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Surviving Riyadh

Jeddah, A Unique City In Saudi Arabia

Jeddah A Unique City In Saudi Arabia


Jeddah, the ancient Arab trading port, is a city of great beauty and often referred to as the ‘Bride of the Red Sea.’ After securing an in-country certificate from the Personnel Department, I joined twenty one American expatriates for a weekend tour of Jeddah. We left on a Wednesday after work. We had three male tour guides. We took a van to the airport. The flight to Ahba was 45 minutes.

We were greeted by the staffs of the hotel and transferred to the Red Sea Palace hotel. Welcome drinks were served upon our arrivals. We checked in. I shared a room with Liz, a friend. Then we had a Mongolian Barbeque dinner by the swimming pool. The set-up was amazing. The chefs prepared varieties of food while the waiters served us.
Thursday, we had Swiss Buffet Breakfast at the ‘Al Bouhaira’ restaurant. We met other American expatriates from other cities. After breakfast, two hotel vans took us for a tour of Old Jeddah. Unlike being in public in Riyadh, the women were not required to wear their scarves. The guides told us that the old buildings were built from clay and straws. We walked through narrow streets taking pictures without any restrictions. We visited the Abdul Raouf Museum. There was a short movie to familiarize us about the city’s development while tea was served. Some government officials patiently answered our questions.

The hotel tour guides carried lots of food for lunch. After touring the museum, the tour guides drove us downtown for a shopping trip. Watch for the conclusion of this article.

Keywords: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, trading port, tour, expatriate, museum

To Your Success,


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