With a population of over four million inhabitants, Jeddah is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia, and its long history as a major port and important commercial centre is clearly palpable in the cosmopolitan mix of its people. Gathering millions of Muslim pilgrims on their way to Mecca and Medina throughout its history, the city has become an amalgamation of people and cultures, flavours and aromas, customs and traditions. Nowhere is this tradition more evident than in Al-Balad, the old town, which showcases the city's architectural past with its white coral buildings, narrow alleyway souks, and old city gates.
But it is also a city of fun and entertainment, as it is of fine dining, elegant cafes, and great shopping. It is a place where the country's wealthy come to enjoy and indulge in the city's famous seafood and liberal attitude. The fabulous Corniche is the very essence of leisure, with friends and families enjoying pleasant strolls along the water, sunset picnics on the grass or parties at the hotels and beach resorts all along the 35 kilometres of the walkway.