Jeddah, the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia, is located on the Red Sea coast.
The lifestyle in Jeddah is vibrant, fun and there is a lot one can do in the city. Weekends are usually spent at one or the other sparkling beaches located just to the north of Jeddah where one can hire a boat or a jet ski. Diving in the Red Sea is another popular activity among expats living in Jeddah. Apart from this, one can even indulge in outdoor sports and activities such as golfing and horse riding. There are numerous private beach clubs with swimming areas and restaurants that one can go to.
With old souqs and traditional bazaars, the city has a lot to offer to the shopaholics. One can find everything from jewelry to clothes, fabrics, electronics and even gold, which is sold by weight. These bazaars are best for those who want a taste of the local experience and interested in trying out the local street food. The various international consulates in the city also organize numerous events that are accessible to the general expatriate public such as food festivals and cultural events.
Restaurants in Jeddah serve different varieties of cuisines from across the world, including American (except for pork), Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Turkish, Lebanese, etc.
The booming tourism industry of the Middle East too has loads to offer. One can go for a camel safari across the Arabian Desert or visit Istanbul– the cradle of civilization. Dubai is barely a few hours away by flight. Also, other international travel destinations are easily accessible from Jeddah.
Going out to enjoy a good dinner is very popular among those living in Jeddah: some people like to quip that dining and shopping are Saudi Arabia’s national hobbies. For both, there are lots of opportunities in Jeddah. Fans of international cuisines new to the city will find plenty of options: Chinese, French, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, Thai, Turkish, and US American meals are within easy reach. Of course, you should make sure to taste some seafood specialties as well.
But Jeddah has a lot more going on than its many delicious eateries. Although the city may revel in the glories and landmarks of its ancient past, the construction boom, which is still going strong as of 2016, means that there are constantly new things to do and try. You can pay an early visit to the local fish market, explore the Corniche with its numerous open-air sculptures, or take your kids to a theme park or an ice rink. You can also stroll through a souq in Al-Balad, the old center of town, or book a guided camping trip to the Arabian Desert. If you really need a break from living in Jeddah once in a while, Istanbul or Dubai is just a short flight away.