The country’s commercial capital, and a point of convergence for pilgrims and traders for centuries, Jeddah is the most easygoing city in the Kingdom – not to mention its most beguiling. The Al Balad district, the heart of Old Jeddah, is a nostalgic testament to the city's bygone days, with the beautiful coral architecture of historic buildings casting some welcome shade over the bustling souqs where shopkeepers hawk their goods.
Jeddah has done much to improve its image over the years. North Jeddah in particular has undergone massive redevelopment to make the Corniche more attractive to visitors, while upscale department stores and malls have expanded shoppers' choices. The city is also famed for its international cuisine and seafood, and it remains a sweet spot for seasoned and novice scuba divers.