"Jiddah--the narrator of my tedious life's story" Top 5 Page for this destination Jiddah by Manyana

Jiddah Travel Guide: 724 reviews and 1,319 photos

My Jeddawee Life


I have lived in this stunning hometown for nearly 20 years, that is, my whole life,lol. Funny enough, I have found myself falling short of taking pictures of my surroundings back then. Probably I did, but left them behind for some reasons! I used to take lots of pictures of my museum bedroom, our home garden, my college entrance and corridors, and loads of the corniche coast of the Red Sea. Yes, I do remember noting down the moments of connection with each one of these places as if they had their own time and age only with me. But when the time of leaving came, I just had to leave them all, otherwise, they would have kept me back with them. Surprisingly I have not written enough, nor considered to share my sweet memories and and convictions which I have always held with me about Jeddah. I am not sure why, probably I was just soaked in it that I could never look at it as an outsider or tell its story through objective spectacles! After leaving my soft comfortable bed and cosy sofa in Jeddah for nearly a year now, thriving memories have started to pull me back and to call me again to remember them one more time. So here I go again, take the courage to wipe the dust away from my green diary book and yellow torn scrabbled papers on my lovely town, on Jeddah:^)

Growing up in this controversial culture, I have learnt to defend my views, no matter what they were, to have a very strong sense of identity and purpose. This was good in itself, yes...to sustain who I was, but sadly I might have hurt lots of signficant others without prior knowledge. Honestly, Jeddah is a grand witness to my rebellious childhood, romantic teenage and wise early adulthood. How can I resist to love it? Even if I want to, I won't be able to.

In these pages, they may act as personal journals having a very private touch, sad tears or hysteric laughs. Somehow, i take pride in continuing being who I am. I will narrate my story with Jeddah as I used to see it and as I am seeing now, what should be said and what could be different. I will also write about History, Culture, Education, Corniche, Dating, Weddings and Death, Eid and Money gifts, Ramadan and Tents and many other things that I have lived and been meant to pass on.

Facts and Myths: what is the difference?

The city is historically divided in two parts; Old Jeddah in the south, and New Jeddah in the north. The first used to be a small city sheilded by a wall to defend the inhabitants from any outside attacks. This part is mainly historical now and inhabited by 90% non-Saudis and major companies that have the lead for the last 70 years. It also used to have its own airport for the Hajj season. Nothing remains of the wall but only the big gates as Jeddah is expanding northward and the old airport is idle now and has moved 50 km away from its previous location. North Jeddah (New) is technically divided into social classes. Depending on the district, you are more likely to tell the social class of a particular family. Al Rawdha, Al Hamra, part of Al Zahra are the high-class districts. Other areas can be a mix of upper and lower middle-class like Al Salama, Al Shatee, and Al Naeem and many others. However, Jeddah is rapidly growing and has auto-created residential areas beyond the airport borders specially it used be a barren desert! Al Mohammadiyya or Al Basateen are the modern districts now, newly built villas and houses are seen over there. This part of Jeddah is exploding with shopping malls and as Jeddawy people say,
"for every Saudi , there is a shopping mall.
In 5 years, there will be one mall for every GCE,
So in 10 years a mall for every Arab":^D

Kol Shai Jaayiz! possible!

Almohem...anyway, Quickies:
- Language spoken: Arabic Hijazi is widely spoken, which is close to Makkah or Medina's dialect with slight differences in use of expressions.
- Population: 2,800,000
- Ethnic groups: Jeddah acts the door for international pilgrims to the Two Holy Mosques. Around 70 years ago, immigrants have settled down in Jeddah from Yemen, Egypt, Malaysia, post Soviet Union countries, Morocco, Turkey and many others. You can hardly spot the ethnic origin of families. The bottom line, we are proudly 80% melted. We are Jeddaweyyeen:^)
- Education: host for one of the biggest universities in the Kingdom; King Abdul Aziz University
- Coastal line: 40 km long
- International Airport: King Abdul Aziz Airport with two terminals; Saudi Airline South Terminal and Foreign Airlines North Terminal. Well both need instant emergent refurbishment,lol.
- Known as: Arous al Bahr al Ahmar; the Bride of the Red Sea
- Festivals: Summer and Ramadan Shopping Festivals; nahhh discounts and cars.
- Temprature: Summer 40C - Winter 17C.
- Famous for: the Islamic Seaport and sealife, and shopping.

Yimken, perhaps I might be a bit bias in areas or better to say subjective. But isn't this what makes us unique? I love knowing about cultural traditions, religious practices and local customs. So you may find me write thoroughly on the traditions and conventions. Just be ready if you like this aspect about traveling....across the Arab-mixed culture in Jeddah

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:shopping malls, restaurants
  • Cons:rocky beaches
  • In a nutshell:Aros al Bah'r al Ahmar (Bride of the Red Sea)
  • Last visit to Jiddah: Sep 2006
  • Intro Updated Mar 4, 2007
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Reviews (76)

Comments (38)

  • Kabdu's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2009 at 2:19 AM

    Photos are a lasting memory of your wedding, get the best from Premier Jeddah Photographer, Samia http://photographybysamia.com

  • Jefie's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2008 at 6:13 AM

    Loved reading through your local customs tips! I had no hair until I was almost a year old, there wouldn't have been a lot of money for charity with me!

  • goutammitra's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2008 at 3:50 AM

    I have heard about great bSaudi food made of Dumba meat & Rice. Saudi Biriyanis are also great. Excellent page on Jiddah. Shall come back for more. Write on something very Saudi!! I enjoyed my virtual trip to Saudi.

  • mallyak's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    I Love to pretend I am deaf and can't find my hearing aid when I get unwanted calls-salesmen etc . Phone Dating-thats a FANTASTIC TIP!

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2007 at 3:26 PM

    I love your tips. You get those people who just keep calling and calling all over the world. Whistle into the phone. They don't like that ;)

  • kado's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2007 at 1:30 PM

    hope to cu out there again

  • Aug 15, 2007 at 10:43 AM

    id like to know more about women riding Horses in Saudi, my husband is saudi and I am american. Are you allowed to ride in an arena here..alone? DO you have a web address for this place or e-mail address? e-mail me conniealgoflah@msn.com

  • janetanne's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:07 PM

    Very, very interesting tips from the perspective of a young Arab woman! I especially liked your thoughts on 'why men should be veiled!' Good idea! Cover the men' uncover the women:):)

  • Apr 23, 2007 at 9:38 AM

    I though you were in london because of your profile, you seem to live there. How's your job then?

  • Apr 11, 2007 at 2:51 PM

    I was in Jeddah many years ago (left in 1975 to be precise). All changed I'm sure. The tallest building that impressed everyone so much was the Queens building in the souk. North of the Creek there were a few beach compounds but nothing else.

Manyana Used To Live Here!


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