Let’s Talk About Jeddah – a Saudi Port City

Jeddah by day                  Jeddah at night



Recently someone had asked me about what to see and do in Jeddah if coming there from another location within the Kingdom.  Since I’m based in Riyadh I reached out to two dear friends who have been long term residents of Jeddah (25 plus years for each of them) and following are their recommendations:




“M” recommends: 



The new    Red Sea Mall    (It’s huge and has a Krispy Kreme in it!)  You can spend loads of time there….and it’s fun just to go and walk around and see the fountains and the people all staring at each other.  : )



                Mega Mall –  This is more of a bedu mall if that’s what you want..also quite large



                Sultan Mall –  Also next to an electronics shop called Extra.  (smaller)



                Roshan Mall –  It has Virgin in it if you like books….just opened also.



                Movinpick Restaurant (looks like a shell) on the Cornishe…you eat outside over the water…very romantic….very casual. 



                Andalucia Cafe’  is very middle eastern type of place to have sandwiches  606-3210



                Casper and Gambini’s  667-2020  Fun place to eat; casual, has free internet



                Al Multaqa  –  Very fancy sushi place… a bit pricey but worth it.



                The Red Sea -You can go to a private club that your hotel will have access to or   you can just go for a walk in front of the Westin. Beautiful!





Most of the things I do are with private clubs/groups.  Hope this helps some. 



And according to “Y” don’t miss:




The Corniche in Jeddah is the longest in the world. Every little bit there are sculptures and paved sidewalks to enjoy the view of the sea. Down at the end of Palestine Street there is what is known as The Open Air Museum. The only problem with enjoying the sculptures there is the sometimes awful smell of the stagnant water by the sea. You find it in pockets so some places are better than others. Sometimes I prefer just to drive along and admire them. Weekends anywhere on the Corniche are a panic, definitely where the dirty and crowded comes into play. Also the Balad or downtown area has a charming destination called Al-Alawi restaurant which, if it’s still in business is a Moroccan restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. There are still gold and spice suqs in the Balad but you might find most people there are visitors just like you!



Most people either visit friends or go to restaurants as “M” suggested. I’d add Bubbles and Byblos which are off Andalus Street on a strip where there are a myriad of restaurants to try. I enjoy going there because of the view of the sea, spaciousness of the dining area and the service and food. Bubbles is more of a fusion place and Byblos has perhaps the best Lebanese food in Jeddah. Al-Multaqa on Malek Road close to Khalidiya is also owned by the same company with fabulous starters and desserts and some tasty main courses most of us indulge on the starters, nibble in the middle (unless there is lobster thermadore) and then save room for dessert. There is no view but open seating and during the weekend many times live piano music.


If you are interested in visiting Mecca, my husband was there only 2 days ago and says it’s hardly crowded at all and the weather is still very pleasant after dark. Perhaps if we had an idea of what you would enjoy or what is fun to do in Riyadh we could match it with something in Jeddah.


Yes the roads are not as wide or nice and the weather is more humid but part of the reason it’s so crowded here is because of all the people from Riyadh who come here to the Paris of the Red Sea.


11 Responses

  1. Thanks for a beautiful discription of my hometown :). If i may add, if you like see food and interested in a less fancy setting, you can drive for 30 minutes north of Jeddah, towards “Durrah Al Aroos” resort, there are plenty of sea food local resturants, with frest items just been fished on the same day. I recommend “Al Anbaryea” right off Durrah Al Aroos exit.

  2. Shadowhispers,

    thank you so much! It’s great when “locals” give us the best advise on what to see and do. Please don’t hesitate to add more to this post!

  3. Hey delhi, I didn’t realize you were going to post this information (as is) or I’d have made more of an effort. (I thought this was for your friend who was coming to visit here.) Please warn me next time. Thanks. : )

  4. A2S: Both.

  5. One of these days I’m gonna have to add a “Jeddah reviews” section to my blog. In the mean time, visit JeddahFood.com for some restaurant reviews. The blog seems to be moribund but it has a few interesting reviews (some done by yours truly).

  6. Thank you for sharing the link, Saudi Jawa!

  7. I am considering a potential offer to work in Jeddah, SA with KAUST. I understand they have set up a community for expats to live in which is just under an hour away from the campus. Can you tell me anything you know about experiences working with KAUST and also the Housing Community nearby that they place expats in?

    Also, what rules should a woman follow living there that are different than living in America or Europe?

    Thank you.

  8. KAUST is a very unique piece of Saudi Arabia and being built/established along Western standards and practices. The KAUST community is very much like “Anytown, USA” with comfortable, well-equipped housing built like Western homes with openness, light and amenities. The KAUST community has a beach, golf course, yacht club and would be much like living in a country-club environment. In some ways the KAUST housing and community will be an artificial community as compared to what is typical of Saudi Arabia.

    In regards to the campus itself, it is priding itself on following Western standards and practices there as well.

    As a woman who will live at the KAUST housing and work at the KAUST campus, within those perimeters you would likely feel very much that you are working in a western environment. However any ventures outside of that environment and you will quickly have the experiences of traditional Saudi Arabia.

    Specifically in regards to rules, as a woman in Saudi Arabia, I advise women to be more conservative in general. This is not only for the woman’s protection to not inadvertently promote the wrong image but also illustrates understanding of the culture too and therefore make for an easier transition and acceptance.

  9. Can you tell me if american women living in Saudi Arabia drive …. or are they not allowed.

    Thank you.


  10. Deena – sorry to say that women are prohibited from driving in KSA.

  11. […] flights to Jeddah.  The Al Tayabat is only one of the many many treasures to explore and enjoy in Jeddah.  And for where to stay, don’t forget to check out this earlier post! Possibly related posts: […]

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