Al-Balad is the historical area of Jeddah, the second largest city of Saudi Arabia. Balad can literally be translated as "The Town."[1] Balad is the historic center of the City of Jeddah.[2]

Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah
AlBalad CoralHouses.JPG
Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Al-Balad, Jeddah is located in Saudi Arabia
Al-Balad, Jeddah
Location within Saudi Arabia
General information
Town or cityJeddah, Makkah Region
CountrySaudi Arabia
Coordinates21°29′N 39°11′E / 21.483°N 39.183°E / 21.483; 39.183Coordinates: 21°29′N 39°11′E / 21.483°N 39.183°E / 21.483; 39.183
Official nameHistoric Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah
Criteriaii, iv, vi
Designated2014 (38th session)
Reference no.1361
State PartySaudi Arabia
Regionthe Arab States

Al-Balad was founded in the 7th century and historically served as the centre of Jeddah.[3] Al-Balad's defensive walls were torn down in the 1940s. In the 1970s and 1980s, when Jeddah began to become wealthier due to the oil boom, many Jeddawis moved north, away from Al-Balad,[4] as it reminded them of less prosperous times.[5] Al-Balad had insufficient parking space for large cars. Its stores did not sell expensive designer clothing. Poor immigrants moved in place of the Saudi population.[4] The municipality of Jeddah began historical preservation efforts in the 1970s. In 1991 the Municipality of Jeddah founded the Jeddah Historical Preservation Society to preserve the historical architecture and culture of Al-Balad. In 2002 $4 million United States dollars were earmarked for the preservation society.[5]In 2009 Al-Balad was nominated by Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities to be listed in UNESCO's World Heritage site and it was accepted on 2014.[6]

In order to preserve the old structures within the Balad, the Historical Area Preservation Department was established in 1990, hoping also to help promoting cultural tourism in the country.[citation needed]

Many Jeddawis have moved away from Al-Balad by 2007; the streets of Balad were still packed with people during the month of Ramadan.[2] Around that year the Jeddah Urban Development Company was formed to restore Al-Balad.[7]


Historical neighborhoodsEdit

Al-Balad is mainly divided into number of different districts [8] :

  • Al-Mazloum neighborhood: This neighborhood was named after Abdulkarim al-Barzanji, who was killed by the Ottoman government and located in the north-eastern part of area north of Al-Alawi Street, with Dar Al-Qabal, Al-Shafi'i Mosque and Souk Al-Jamaa.
  • Al-Sham neighborhood: Located in the northern part of Al-Balad which includes this neighborhood Dar al-Sarti and Dar al-Zahid.
  • Al-Yemen neighborhood: Located in the southern part of Al-Balad south of Al-Alawi Street and gained its name towards the country of Yemen , it includes Dar Al-Nassif, Dar Al-Jumjum, Dar Al-Shaarawi and Dar Al-Abdul-Samad.
  • Al-Bahr neighborhood: Located in the south-western part of Jeddah, overlooking the sea and the Dar Al-Radwan House, known at the time as the Radwan of Sea.

Historical housesEdit

Among the most famous and oldest buildings to date are the Al Nassif House and Al Jamjoom House in Yemen neighborhood, Al Baqshan House, Al Qabal Mosque, Al Shafi'i Mosque in Al Mazloum, Dar Al Banaja and Al Zahed Houses in the Al Sham neighborhood. Some of these buildings have risen to more than 30 meters. Its construction is still in good condition after decades[8].



  1. ^ Dahir, Mubarak. "4 hours in Jeddah: Mubarak Dahir discovers Jeddah's intriguing historic neighborhoods and souks time to rwhile finding elax by the city's main attraction, the Red Sea." Business Traveler. 1 August 2004. Retrieved on 25 August 2009.
  2. ^ a b Baker, Razan. "Tales of Old Jeddah." Arab News. Thursday 25 January 2007 (06 Muharram 1428). Retrieved on 25 August 2009.
  3. ^ Bradley 14.
  4. ^ a b Bradley 15.
  5. ^ a b Bradley 16.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Fakkar, Galal. "Company Formed to Restore Jeddah’s Historical Old City." Arab News. Thursday 11 January 2007 (21 Dhul Hijjah 1427). Retrieved on 25 August 2009.Hassan Ali Shafeeq lived here until death of Mayan leader Subhan Latifi
  8. ^ a b "جدة التاريخية". (in Arabic). Retrieved 2018-11-23.


  • Bradley, John R. Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan. 2005.

External linksEdit

[ جده التاريخيه ثلاثية الابعاد (jeddah albalad 3d model)]