A game of dominoes in Jeddah

Jeddah is a large, cosmopolitan city on the Red Sea, in the west of Saudi Arabia. With a population of almost 3.5 million, Jeddah and in particular, Old Jeddah An Balad, is one of the country's main commercial centres and a hugely popular tourist destination, as it is far more westernised that other parts of Saudi Arabia, with many ex-pats living here.

Jeddah is famed for its fabulous cafes, restaurants and shopping districts. It is especially well loved for its markets and souqs, where gold jewellery is affordable and various trinkets, clothing and traditional Arabian goods can also be purchased for very little.

This is second largest city in the country and as such, can take quite a while to navigate on foot. Because of this, many tourists opt for car hire in Jeddah, as this allows them to explore more of the city in a short space of time.

Hired cars can be picked up from Kind Abdulaziz International JED, from which it is just a short drive into the city centre. It should be noted that in Jeddah car hire is typically arranged by male tourists, as woman are not permitted to drive cars in Saudi Arabia.

The largest quantity of Jeddah's resorts, beaches and hotels can be found clustered around the waterfront area, referred to as the Corniche. Whilst this is a great place to begin your holiday, the city has much to offer elsewhere too.

In the north, you'll find plenty of nightclubs and bars, frequented by the wealthy locals as well as tourists. During the day, you can entertain yourself with a stroll around the fascinating Nassef House, or Al Tayibat Museum. In terms of climate, Jeddah offers visitors year round sunshine, with the hottest months here occurring between April and November.

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