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Jeddah Information

Lying between the Red Sea and the Al-Sarawat Mountains, Jeddah is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia. The city carries important commercial status within the Saudi nation in part because Jeddah has the largest harbor on the Red Sea. Covering an area of 651 square miles (1,686 square kilometers), the city has a population of 3.2 million.

Jeddah has 135 districts and boasts a varied cultural and ethnic population as immigrants arrived from all over the world in the last millennium. The number of immigrants increased within the last half century as workers arrived for employment in the oil fields. For this reason, many consider Jeddah the most modern and liberal of all the cities in Saudi Arabia. Religious freedoms are typically more lenient and women enjoy a greater degree of independence.

As Saudi Arabia largely consists of desert, Jeddah has an arid climate. However, not like other Saudi cities, the area remains warm during the winter with temperatures ranging from 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius). It is not unusual for summer temperatures to exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) during the day and cooling to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) in the evening. Though mainly dry, December often brings a number of thunderstorms.

Archeological excavations revealed that humans inhabited the area from the time of the Stone Age. Documentation also indicates that Alexander the Great visited Jeddah. The city first gained historical prominence around 647 A. D. after becoming a port and the gateway to the Holy City of Mecca. For this reason, over the centuries, many invaded Jeddah for control of the port.

Jeddah's central location in the Middle East and close proximity to Africa enable short trade routes by flight. This significance makes the city the second most important commercial center in the Middle East. Jeddah also gains recognition as the fourth largest industrial city in the nation. King Abdullah Street serves as the center for commercial development and corporate offices. Tahaliyah Street remains another prominent destination and serves as the upscale fashion and shopping district.

Football by far remains the most popular sport in Jeddah, which boasts having the oldest clubs in the nation. Al-Ittihad formed in 1927 and Al-Ahli formed in 1937. The teams regularly compete in the AFC Champions League and the Saudi Premier League. Jeddah also has six different football stadiums located throughout the metropolis. The city additionally holds the distinction for having the nation's leading rugby team, which emerged in 1979.

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