Jeddah a cheaper alternative to vacation abroad

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A renovated South Corniche attracts both Jeddawis and residents from other cities of the Kingdom.

A renovated South Corniche attracts both Jeddawis and residents from other cities of the Kingdom.

Saudi and expatriate families who cannot go abroad to spend their summer vacation owing to the huge expenses involved have found Jeddah’s beaches an excellent place to enjoy their holidays for minimal charges.

Jeddah’s beaches also provide the perfect setting for outdoor activities, with residents’ favorites being Durat Al-Arous, Alremal, Shums, Bait Albahar, Salhia, Family Cabins and Al-Nakhil. The Red Sea is refreshingly cool when compared to outside temperatures and the marine life in its waters and many offshore coral reefs is remarkable. All the usual water sports are available along the coast including diving, snorkeling, windsurfing and jet-skiing.

Ali Abdul Salam, a Saudi teacher working in Makkah told Arab News: “I prefer to stay in Jeddah during the summer as going abroad requires a lot of money. The Jeddah Municipality has equipped the Corniche with large spaces and beautiful beaches for picnickers to spend their evenings in peace and quiet. I rent a small cabin in one of Jeddah’s resorts for one month to spend my summer vacations here.”

Mohammad Al-Baqmi, official spokesman for Jeddah Municipality, told Arab News: “The municipality has deployed more than 200 workers to keep the Corniche clean around the clock during the summer holidays. The municipality has also provided the Corniche with 100 extra garbage containers of various sizes especially in the picnic areas.”

However, efforts are under way to project the Bride of the Red Sea as a viable tourist center with the launch of the Jeddah Ghair festival this summer. Mazen Batterjee, vice president of the JCCI, said recently at a press conference held to announce the schedule of the 24-day summer festival: “The JCCI plans to make the Jeddah summer festival the biggest tourism festival in the Kingdom, aiming to attract over 3 million visitors.”

Meanwhile, Syrians who live in Jeddah prefer to spend their summer vacation in Jeddah owing to their country being a conflict zone.

Abdul Ruhman Salem, a Syrian resident of Jeddah, said: “I used to travel with my family to Syria every summer to spend time with our relatives and friends who live there. But the ongoing war there has forced us to stay in Jeddah during the summer visiting the beaches, restaurants and cafes which are located at the Corniche.”

Hamdan Al-Halabi, another Syrian resident in Jeddah, told Arab News: “Jeddah’s beaches allow us to meet with family members and friends, while we sometimes make barbecue parties. Moreover, it is hard to go abroad due to the high cost of living during the summer.”

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