Jeddah is a major urban center located in the west of Saudi Arabia. The name Jeddah was stated to derive from the word Jaddah which means grandmother in Arabic. This city is the main gateway for Muslim pilgrims before heading to Mecca and Medina. Historically, Jeddah displayed its importance in economy and education during the caliphate years. Jeddah has since been urbanized with various modern cityscape across the city.
King Abdulaziz International Airport is the main airport serving Jeddah and the busiest airport in Saudi Arabia. The airport was named after a Saudi king who inaugurated in the year 1981. This airport serves as the civilian airport as well as the royal terminal, Royal Saudi Air Force base and accommodation for the airport staff. There are three main terminals currently serving civilian passengers. The Hajj Terminal is used only for the Muslim pilgrims before heading to Mecca for Hajj. The Hajj Terminal is so big that it can cater up to 80,000 passengers simultaneously and named one of the largest airport terminals in the world. The South Terminal is currently operated by six local and international airlines, while the North Terminal is operated by other international airlines. There is no direct flight from Manila to Jeddah, but you can reach this city by taking transit flights.
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Jeddah experiences arid climate. Its winter is warm, between 15 to 28 degrees centigrade, while its summer is very hot, up to 43 degrees centigrade. Rainfall is not common and usually occurs end of the year along with heavy thunderstorms but with low rainfall. You also need to be prepared for the possibility of dust storms, which sometimes occur in summer and winter.
Most of the locals are Sunni Muslims. In Jeddah alone, there are more than 1300 mosques. Unless you are making Hajj pilgrimage, it is advisable for you to travel outside this period to avoid the crowd. The Muslims in Jeddah celebrate Islamic holidays which are the fasting and holy month of Ramadan, the Eidul Fitr (celebration after Ramadan) and the Eidul Adha (celebration during the Hajj pilgrimage period). Jeddah Summer Festival is also celebrated in the city in early July, with various local cuisines and arts are displayed. You can also look forward to Jeddah Food Festival held in the end of March where you can fill your satisfaction with many different local delicacies as well as their signature oriental-style coffee.
Jeddah is one of the most visited cities in the world. Many attractions can be found in Jeddah.
1. Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum – This museum was founded in the year 1996 by Sheikh Abdul Raouf Khalil. The Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum building is made of the main building, the mosque, and the façade of the castle. The museum displays rich cultural heritage from the pre-Islamic history, Islamic civilization, and artifacts of the historic local fishermen tribes.
2. Jeddah Waterfront – Opened in the year 2017, Jeddah's corniche and the beach was uplifted and rebranded as Jeddah Waterfront. The length of the waterfront is 4.5 kilometers along the Red Sea shoreline. As you walk along the waterfront, you can enjoy the sea view and visit the parks, plazas and mosques. You can also access the Jeddah Sculpture Museum which is also situated in the waterfront area for free.
3. Al-Shallal Theme Park – If you are on a family holiday in Jeddah, you can also take this opportunity to entertain your family by exploring the Al-Shallal Theme Park. The two-storey theme park has various rides, arcades and even a 15-meter waterfall. The entrance fee varies between 15 to 58 SR (207 to 800 PHP) depending on the parking area you would want to access.