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Archive for the tag “Fakieh Aquarium”

Top Tourism Attractions in Jeddah!


Jeddah, the wonderful city of Saudi Arabia, is steadily growing in stature as the commercial capital and a gateway to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The most easygoing city of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah has a rich history of trade and commerce through its port, in the bygone era.

Today, Jeddah is changing its image with innovative architecture and design. The Corniche and seafront has been tastefully developed along with interesting public squares and upscale shopping malls. It also has a reputation of serving delectable, fresh, sea food and international cuisine. There is lots to do in Jeddah and Saurabh Das gives us his top tips on what to see and where to go in the city.

fountain

Corniche at Sunset with King Fahd’s Fountain in the background. Photo Credit: Tim E White

King Fahd’s Fountain

King Fahd’s Fountain is the world’s largest water fountain, and is located on the newly decorated Jeddah Corniche. Visit the Fountain in the evening to see its wonderful lighting effects. The fountain was constructed between 1980 and 1983, and was inaugurated in 1985. The Fountain jets water to a height of 853 meters with a maximum speed of 375 kilometers per hour, and is visible throughout the city of Jeddah!

Balad, The Historic District. Photo Credit: Joanna Browne.

Balad, The Historic District.
Photo Credit: Joanna Browne.

Balad

Balad is the old part of Jeddah and reminds one of the bygone glory of the city. This is the location where the first settlement of Jeddah was established by fishermen over 2,500 year ago. The port of Jeddah received millions of devotees, who arrived in the country via sea, to visit the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. The architecture in Balad mainly showcases traditional coral stones and woodwork of Roshan which helps to regulate the flow of air.

halaltrip.com

The Floating Mosque (halaltrip.com)

Floating Mosque

The beautiful Floating Mosque is located on the North Corniche, jutting out from the Red Sea. Its unique architecture and positioning gives out an illusion as if it is floating on water. The interiors are wonderfully decorated, made of shining white marble. The mosque is also a favourite spot for Mecca bound pilgrims during their stay in Jeddah.

Medina Gate

The Bab Medina Gate is a part of the old city wall that used to enclose the old historic neighbourhood of Balad on all sides. Today, the city gate is the only remaining part of that wall. The Medina Gate is an imposing city gate, made up of limestone and embedded with corals, and is wonderfully illuminated in the evening with stunning lighting effects.

Makkah Gate

Makkah Gate

Makkah Gate

Makkah Gate, one of the oldest structures in Saudi Arabia, also known as the “Quran Gate”, is located on the Makkah Mukkarram road of the Jeddah-Makkah highway. It is the official entrance to the holy city of Makkah and the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad. The gate was designed in 1979 by an Egyptian architect, Samir Elabd, and the structure is an elegant representation of the Holy Quran resting on a book stand.

Jeddah Corniche

The Jeddah Corniche is an amazing waterfront which has been redeveloped into a contemporary Red Sea playground. The Corniche runs all along the waterfront for over 60 kilometers. The north and south of the Corniche has good beaches and coral reefs, which can be best explored by scuba diving and deep sea diving.

Fakieh Aquarium

Saudi Arabia’s only aquarium for public, the Fakieh Aquarium is an amazing destination which offers a comprehensive insight into the marine biology of the Red Sea, as well as from other seas and oceans from all over the world. Close to 200 species of sharks, dolphins, sea lions, groupies, sting rays, napoleon wrasse, sea horses, Murrays, and sea dragons, among others.    

Silver Sands Beach Photo Credit: Joanna Browne

Silver Sands Beach
Photo Credit: Joanna Browne

Silver Sands Beach

Silver Sands beach is an exclusive, well-maintained beach in Jeddah, which is a hotspot for expats living in the city. The beach has lovely palm trees amidst the backdrop of the shimmering Red Sea. It offers excellent swimming and water sports facilities, along with a restaurant, an exclusive club and many more amenities.

Mall of Arabia

The Mall of Arabia is a highly popular shopping mall located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and is located on the eastern side of Medina Road. The mall is located close to the King Abdulaziz International Airport, and features Kidzania, Billy Beez and Vortex – three amazing kid’s entertainment zones.

Souk Al Alawi (Getty Images)

Souk Al Alawi (Getty Images)

Souq Al Alawi

The Souq Al Alawi is one of the traditional souqs of the country, and is located in the heart of the old city. This place is an amazing destination, if you’re looking to buy genuine Arabian jewelry, Islamic art, and traditional dresses. Bargaining is encouraged by the local merchants here, and the souq is extremely pedestrian-friendly, giving you a great shopping experience without the disturbance of bikes and cars.

5 Fun Things to do with your Children during Winter Break in Jeddah


For many children in Jeddah, depending on which school they go to, they are either in the middle, or just starting their Winter Break. If you are wondering how you’ll ever be able to keep the little monkeys busy this holiday, we have some great places to visit and fun things to do right here in Jeddah.

Fakieh Aquarium

Launched earlier this year to much fanfare and excitement, Jeddah’s first aquarium can be found on the busy Corniche Road. Enthusiastic Jeddawis have been flocking to visit the aquarium and have come away with excellent reviews. They tell us that the area is very clean (food and drink are not allowed inside), and the staff are efficient and organised. The dolphin show is a must-see. Open every day from 11am-11pm and from 1:30pm-11pm on Fridays. Make sure you keep a note of the dolphin and seal shows which are scheduled every day for 1pm, 7pm and 9pm and plan around this time. Free wifi is a great plus for those of us who hate to stay away from the internet for long.

Kathy Bacchus wrote in to tell us, “A lady’s morning at Jeddah Aquarium found me there. Vibrant, fresh and welcoming from the outside,we purchased our tickets with ease. Inside, I was struck  by the imagination and detail in my undersea exploration. The aquarium is vast with many shark, stingrays, starfish and all species identified and described carefully which I found very educational for all ages. The Dolphin show is a must!.On the day,there were School trips visiting  and school children giggling enjoying the show. All in all a very enjoyable visit and a delight to families”.

Expect to pay: SR 50 per person for entrance to the aquarium and SR 50 per person for the dolphin show.

Cafe Ceramique

Situated in Stars Avenue Mall, (by the entrance that goes up to the supermarket – thank you Soreya!) this delightful spot is a sure winner with kids of all ages. Children choose a clay object, from figurines to decorative plates, and then take their time to paint the piece, being as creative as they like. Once they’re done, you take the finished pieces to be glazed and set, and return after a week to pick up your masterpiece. The only problem is, your children might want to start all over again when they see how awesome their creation turns out. One 11 year old girl says, “I like Cafe Ceramique because it’s fun to pick out what you want to paint and then you get to keep what you’ve made”.

Parents can also have a go at practicing their artistic skills. Snacks and drinks can be ordered while painting.

Expect to pay: SR 30-100 per clay piece depending on the size.

Stationery Fantasy

Particularly popular with younger children, Stationery Fantasy on Prince Sultan Street, next to GNP Hospital offers a range of activities kids can indulge in from cooking to arts and crafts, the sandbox, dress-up and a large ball pit. You buy tickets from the counter for your choice of activity and then send the children into the activity room while you sit and watch them through large glass windows. The children are generally well-supervised by staff. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase. Stationery Fantasy also caters to birthday parties. “I like going to Stationery Fantasy because they have lots of nice games which are a lot of fun, especially the ball pit. I like the snacks too”, says a very active 9 year old boy.

Expect to pay: SR 7-45 per activity. The sandpit is SR7 each, the cooking class SR15 and the carpentry section is around SR 45.

Sail Island

Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time to take your young ones to Sail Island. Located on the Corniche (you can’t miss the huge white sails atop the venue), children have a blast swimming in the pools and playing in the sandy playground. The restaurant is set up overlooking the sea and in our opinion, it’s one of the best places to view the sunset from. The best part is that the entrance tickets can be redeemed at the restaurant for meals. The grilled hammour is particularly delicious and cooked to perfection. One boy we asked said, “they have a big area to swim in with fun sprinklers and the beach-side sandy playground.”

Expect to pay: SR 60 per adult and SR 40 per child.

In10So

If your children are in the older age category, then you might want to introduce them to In10so (pronounced Intenso, aimed at kids over 10 years). This gaming area can be found on the third floor of Serafi Mega Mall, on the opposite side of Moon Toon, and also in Red Sea Mall. It’s a great place for teens to hang out decked out with a snooker table, Playstation and Xbox games, and racing/ go-carting. They also have a wide range of challenging arcade games and a bowling area. The latest pop music plays in the background and there’s even a hangout spot with sofas and lights for the teens to chill and chat. There’s also a snack bar with snacks and beverages. One young teen says, “I like it because it’s a good alternative for older siblings to hang out instead of going to Moon Toon which is more for younger kids.”

Expect to pay: SR 50-100 depending on the number of activities chosen.

For more kids’ stuff, click here.

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