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Jeddah (Arabic: جدّة‎ Jidda) is a Saudi Arabian city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The population of the city currently stands at 3.2 million.

18022007059 by Korszun, on Flickr

Giant Fountain Jeddah by ATLANTIS (Jimmy Villa), on Flickr

Some top tallest building projects in Jeddah
Lamar Towers | 350m | 1148ft | 72 fl | 301m | 988ft | 62 fl
The Headquarters | 240m | 52 fl | 69m | 15 fl

The Headquarters

Lamar Towers[email protected]/5969193431/[email protected]/5967119216/in/photostream/

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Old Jeddah
Excavations in the old city suggest that Jeddah was founded as a fishing hamlet in 500 BC by the Yemeni Quda'a tribe (بني قضاعة), who left central Yemen to settle in Makkah[8] after the destruction of the Marib Dam in Yemen.[9]
Other archaeological studies have shown that the area was settled earlier by people in the Stone Age, as some Thamudi scripts were excavated in Wadi Briman (وادي بريمان), west of the city, and Wadi Boweb (وادي بويب), northwest of the city. It was visited by Alexander The Great (356 BC - 323 BC).[10]
[edit]Rashidun Caliphate
Jeddah first achieved prominence in 647 AD, when the third Muslim Caliph, Uthman Ibn Affan (عثمان بن عفان), turned it into a port for Muslim pilgrims making the required Hajj to Mecca.
Since then, Jeddah has been established as the main city of the historic Hejaz province and a historic port for pilgrims arriving by sea to perform their Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. The city's strategic location as the gates of the Holy City and a port on the Red Sea has caused it to be conquered many times throughout its history.
[edit]Fatimid Caliphate
In the 969 AD the Fatimids from Algeria took control in Egypt from the Ikhshidid dynasty and expanded their empire to the surrounding regions, including Hejaz and Jeddah. The Fatimids developed an extensive trade network in both the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean through the Red Sea. Their trade and diplomatic ties extended all the way to China and its Song Dynasty, which eventually determined the economic course of Hijaz during the High Middle Ages.
[edit]Ayyubid Empire
After Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem, in 1171 he proclaimed himself sultan of Egypt, after dissolving the Fatimid Caliphate upon the death of al-Adid, thus establishing the Ayyubid dynasty, which set conquests throughout the region. Hejaz—including Jeddah—became a part of the Ayyubid Empire in 1177 during the leadership of Sharif Ibn Abul-Hashim Al-Thalab (1094–1201). During their relatively short-lived tenure, the Ayyubids ushered in an era of economic prosperity in the lands they ruled and the facilities and patronage provided by the Ayyubids led to a resurgence in intellectual activity in the Islamic world. This period was also marked by an Ayyubid process of vigorously strengthening Sunni Muslim dominance in the region by constructing numerous madrasas (Islamic schools) in their major cities. Jeddah attracted Muslim sailors and merchants from Sindh, Southeast Asia and East Africa, and other distant regions.
[edit]Mamluk Sultanate
In 1254, following events in Cairo and the dissolution of the Ayyubid Empire, Hejaz became a part of the Mamluk Sultanate. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, having found his way around the Cape and obtained pilots from the coast of Zanzibar in 1497 CE, pushed his way across the Indian Ocean to the shores of Malabar and Calicut, attacked the fleets that carried freight and Muslim pilgrims from India to the Red Sea, and struck terror into the potentates all around. The Princes of Gujarat and Yemen turned for help to Egypt. Sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri accordingly fitted out a fleet of 50 vessels under his Admiral, Hussein the Kurd. Jeddah was soon fortified with forced labor as a harbor of refuge from the Portuguese, allowing Arabia and the Red Sea to be protected, parts of the city wall still survives today in the old city. Even though the Portuguese were successfully repelled from the city, the fleets in the Indian Ocean were at the mercy of the enemy. This was part of the Battle of Diu between the Portuguese and the Arab Mumluks. The Portuguese soldier's grave is still found within the old city today, and it is referred to as the Christian Graves.[11]
Ottoman Empire

In 1517, the Ottoman Turks conquered the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt and Syria, during the reign of Selim I.[12] As territories of the Mamluk Sultanate, the Hejaz, including the holy city of Mecca and Jeddah, passed into Ottoman possession. The Ottomans rebuilt the weak walls of Jeddah in 1525 following their victory over Lopo Soares de Albergaria's Armada in the Red Sea. The new Turkish wall included six watchtowers and six city gates. They were constructed to defend against the Portuguese attack. Of the six gates, the Gate of Mecca was the eastern gate and the Gate of Al-Magharibah, facing the port, the western one. The Gate of Sharif faced south. The other gates were the Gate of Al-Bunt, Gate of Al-Sham (also called Gate of Al-Sharaf) and Gate of Medina, facing north.[13] The Turks also built The Qishla of Jeddah, a small castle for the city soldiers. In the 19th century these seven gates were minimized into four giant gates with four towers. These giant gates were the Gate of Sham from the north, the Gate of Mecca from the east, the Gate of Sharif from the south, and the Gate of Al-Magharibah on the sea side.
Ahmed Al-Jazzar, the Ottoman military man mainly known for his role in the Siege of Acre, spent the earlier part of his career at Jeddah—where in 1750 he killed some seventy rioting nomads in retaliation for the killing of his commander, Abdullah Beg. It was this act which reportedly earned him the nickname "Jezzar" (butcher), which he carried for the rest of his life.
[edit]First Saudi State and Ottoman-Saudi War
Main article: Ottoman-Saudi War
In 1802, Nejdi forces conquered both Mecca and Jeddah from the Ottomans. When Sharif Ghalib Efendi informed Sultan Mahmud II of this, the Sultan ordered his Egyptian viceroy Muhammad Ali Pasha to retake the city. Muhammad Ali successfully regained the city in the Battle of Jeddah in 1813.
[edit]World War I and The Kingdom of Hejaz

Mohammed Abu Zenada, one of the Chiefs of Jeddah and the advisor to the Sharif during the surrender to King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud in 1925
Main articles: Arab Revolt and Kingdom of Hejaz
During World War I, Sharif Hussein bin Ali declared a revolt against the Ottoman Empire, seeking independence from the Ottoman Turks and the creation of a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.
King Hussein declared the Kingdom of Hejaz. Later, Hussein was involved in war with Ibn Saud, who was the Sultan of Nejd. Hussein resigned following the fall of Mecca, in December 1924, and his son Ali bin Hussein became the new king of the remaining soil of the Kingdom of Hejaz.
[edit]Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
A few months later, Ibn Saud, whose clan originated in the central Nejd province, conquered Medina and Jeddah via an agreement with Jeddans following the Second Battle of Jeddah. He deposed the Sharif of Hejaz, Ali bin Hussein, who fled to Baghdad, eventually settling in Amman, Jordan, where his descendants became part of its Hashemite royalty.
As a result, Jeddah came under the sway of the Al-Saud dynasty in December 1925. In 1926, Ibn Saud added the title King of Hejaz to his position of Sultan of Nejd. Today, Jeddah has lost its historical role in peninsular politics, since the historic Hejaz province along the west coast has been subdivided into smaller provinces, and Jeddah falls within the new province of Makkah, whose provincial capital is the city of Mecca.
From 1928 to 1932, the new Khuzam Palace was built as the new residence of King Abdul Aziz in Jeddah. The palace lies south of the old walled city and was constructed under the supervision of the engineer Muhammad bin Laden. After 1963 the palace was used as a royal guest house; since 1995 it has housed the Regional Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography.[14]
What was left of the walls and gates of the old city was taken down in 1947. A fire in 1982 destroyed some ancient buildings in the old town center, called Al-Balad, but much is still preserved despite the commercial interest to tear down old houses (Naseef House, Gabil House) and build modern high-rise buildings. A house-by-house survey of the old districts was made in 1979, showing that some 1000 traditional buildings still existed, though the number of structures with great historic value was far less. In 1990 a Jeddah Historical Area Preservation Department was founded.[15][16]
The modern city has expanded wildly beyond its old boundaries. The built-up area expanded mainly to the north along the Red Sea coastline, reaching the new airport during the 1990s and since edging its way around it toward the Ob'hur Creek some 27 kilometers from the old city center.

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