Historic Jeddah, also known as Old Jeddah is located on the Eastern shore of the Red Sea. It was basically built, in the 7th century AD, to be a harbor master for the Indian Ocean trade routes and the gateway to transfer goods and transit Muslim pilgrims to Mecca, that is why it is called the Entrance Gate to the holy cities Mecca and Medina.
The port city is where the popular Jeddah Corniche is, it also includes historic houses, hotels, and sculptures. It is characterized by the multi-storey houses that are built out of distinctive coral. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2014—it was described as “The Bride of the Red Sea” and selected for its importance as an ancient trade city.
Historic Jeddah’s visitors can enjoy watching various places and wandering around the city.
Nasseef House… the house whose doors are never closed
Nasseef House is located in the center of Jeddah. The story of this house is a special one; it took its name from Sheikh Omar Nassef, its original owner, the construction works took nine years and finished in 1872. The Sheikh later hosted King Abdulaziz in 1925, what added to its significance. Sheikh Nasseef gifted the house to the state. Being one of the most significant monuments in Jeddah, it was converted into a museum. The townspeople always say “visiting Historic Jeddah without passing by Nassef House like you did not do”.
Wandering around the City’s endless markets has been always a splendid idea. Visitors will enjoy walking through the closely-aligned houses, the locked doors, the still windows, and the winding narrow alleys. Souk Al Aluwi, Souk Al Baddu, Souk Gabils, and Souk Al Nada are the highly-recommended markets to visit there.
Historic Jeddah is known for its popular wall that has seven old gates; Bab Makkah, Bab Al-Madina, Bab Al-Sharif, Bab Jadeed, Bab Al-Bint, Bab Al-Mughrabi, and the newly-built gate Bab Al Saba.
Jeddah’s ancient dwellings & Historic Districts
Historic Jeddah is well known for its remarkable architectural style featuring the Hijaz region and reflecting the reality of the Kingdom’s original heritage. These ancient dwellings are of great strength, durability, and sturdy construction. Dar Al-Nassif, Dar Al-Jamjoom in Harrat Al-Yemen (The Yemeni District), Dar Al-Ba’ashin, Dar Al-Qabil, and Al-Shafi’i Mosque in Harrat are the most popular dwellings in Historic Jeddah.
Historic Jeddah is divided into four main districts—In the North is Harrat Al-Sham and in the South is Harrat Al-Yemen where Nasseef House and Harrat Al-Bahar are. Adding to Harrat Al-Mathloum where the town’s oldest mosque is.
Historic Jeddah’s Festival
Of the most important events to attend in Historic Jeddah is its Annual Festival, where you can enjoy traditional arts, old markets, Hijaz cuisine, old coins, old Islamic mosques, and traditional clothing.
Ramadan Month is the best time to visit Historic Jeddah so that you can watch the decorated house with lights and enjoy the aesthetic and religious rituals featuring this special month. However, one can enjoy the local cuisine and juices with all kinds of traditional delicacies featuring the Hijaz diet throughout the year.