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Jeddah Historic District Program and Cruise Saudi Partner to Promote Tourism
Jeddah Historic District Program and Cruise Saudi Partner to Promote Tourism

Jeddah Historic District Program (JHDP) and Cruise Saudi have signed an MoU to boost tourism and help cruise visitors discover the historical sites of Jeddah

This collaboration focuses on preserving Jeddah’s cultural heritage and allowing visitors to discover Jeddah’s many historic landmarks, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Al Balad.  

The MoU also aims to create job opportunities by growing small businesses through local entrepreneurship.

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JHDP and Cruise Saudi Partnership

Image credit Cruise Saudi

The collaboration between the Jeddah Historic District Program (JHDP) and Cruise Saudi represents a groundbreaking paradigm shift in cultural tourism. 

By blending the preservation of Jeddah’s timeless appeal with the kingdom’s visionary economic aspirations, this partnership sets a precedent for responsible and sustainable growth, ensuring that the Al Balad historic district continues to captivate visitors worldwide.

This partnership’s key elements include increasing the cultural heritage awareness of Jeddah’s historic district, driving the economic growth of the local entrepreneurs, and taking initiatives to improve the guests’ overall experience visiting the historic Jeddah district.   

Unlocking Jeddah’s Timeless Appeal

Image Credit Al Balad

As the influx of international cruise passengers surges, showcasing Jeddah’s captivating historical sites has become a paramount priority. 

Renowned for its enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al Balad, the iconic Jeddah Historic District has emerged as a sought-after destination, immersing visitors with its maze of curling alleyways, vibrant marketplaces, and architectural wonders that rumor stories of an ancient period.

Al Balad: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Image Credit Al Balad

Al Balad is at the heart of Jeddah’s appeal, a captivating UNESCO World Heritage Site that has stood as a testament to the city’s rich maritime heritage and cultural legacy for centuries. 

Dating back to the 7th century, this historic district has served as a pivotal trading hub along the ancient Silk Road, its winding alleys and intricate architectural marvels bearing witness to the ebb and flow of diverse cultures and traditions.

Image Credit Al Balad

With over 600 meticulously preserved historical buildings, including the recently opened first three heritage hotels, each adorned with distinctive architectural styles that echo the region’s storied past, Al Balad offers a mesmerizing glimpse into Jeddah’s soul. 

From the intricately carved wooden doors that adorn the residences to the vibrant souks brimming with the scents of exotic spices and handcrafted wares, every step through this enchanting district unveils a tapestry of authenticity that has captivated visitors for generations.

Immersive Tours and Experiences

Image Credit Al Balad Hospitality

Recognizing the profound appeal of Al Balad and the broader Jeddah Historic District, Cruise Saudi has meticulously crafted a range of immersive tours and experiences that allow international visitors to delve into the heart of this living museum. 

Image Credit Al Balad

From guided walking tours that unveil the district’s hidden gems to interactive workshops that showcase traditional crafts and culinary delights, each offering is a testament to the partnership’s commitment to preserving and celebrating Jeddah’s rich heritage.

Heritage Preservation and Economic Prosperity

Image Credit Al Balad

At the core of this groundbreaking collaboration lies a shared commitment to strike a delicate equilibrium between heritage conservation and economic revitalization. 

The JHDP, a visionary initiative established in 2018, has been at the forefront of safeguarding Jeddah’s tangible and intangible cultural legacies, ensuring that the city’s soul remains intact amidst the tides of modernization.

Image Credit Al Balad

Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Al-Issa, the esteemed Director General of the Jeddah Historic District Program, underscored the partnership’s multifaceted objectives, stating,

 “Our strategic alliance with Cruise Saudi transcends mere economic growth; it actively engages in the district’s regeneration, fortifying our unwavering dedication to protecting the tangible and intangible heritage that has earned the district its coveted UNESCO status.”

Cruise Saudi: Driving Sustainable Tourism

Image Credit Cruise Saudi

Cruise Saudi, a pioneering entity under the aegis of the Public Investment Fund, has welcomed over 300,000 cruise passengers since its inception, pivotal in positioning the kingdom as a burgeoning cruise destination. 

With a steadfast commitment to sustainable tourism practices, Cruise Saudi has consistently curated immersive experiences that allow visitors to explore Jeddah’s unique historical sites through meticulously crafted tours and enriching cultural encounters.

Image Credit Cruise Saudi

Lars Clasen, the visionary Chief Executive Officer of Cruise Saudi, echoed the partnership’s shared vision, asserting,

 “Jeddah’s Historic District is undoubtedly one of our most sought-after Shorex destinations, and we continue to witness its profound impact on international passengers as they delve into its unique historic sites through our carefully curated tours and experiences.”

Promoting Local Entrepreneurship

Image Credit Al Balad

Beyond preserving the district’s cultural identity and historical landmarks, this pioneering collaboration aims to catalyze local entrepreneurship, investment, and private-sector innovation, fostering sustainable economic growth that benefits the entire community. 

By leveraging the expertise of the private sector, the partnership aspires to elevate the visitor experience, create employment opportunities, and nurture the growth of small businesses, aligning seamlessly with the kingdom’s overarching vision for economic diversification.

Aligning with Saudi Vision 2030

Image Credit Al Balad

The partnership between the Jeddah Historic District Program and Cruise Saudi is a testament to the kingdom’s unwavering commitment to the Saudi Vision 2030, a bold and ambitious roadmap for economic diversification and sustainable development.

 By leveraging the nation’s rich cultural heritage and positioning Jeddah as a premier destination for international tourism, this collaboration catalyzes transformative growth, fostering economic opportunities, cultural exchange, and global recognition.

Preserving Heritage, Securing Future

Image Credit Al Balad

As the kingdom continues to embrace its role as a leader in the global tourism arena, initiatives like this pioneering partnership pave the way for a future of heritage preservation and economic prosperity, ensuring that Saudi Arabia’s cultural tapestry remains vibrant and celebrated for generations to come.

More Jeddah Developments

Jeddah Balad Heritage Hotels

Image Credit Al Balad

The first three heritage hotels in Jeddah’s Historic District have finally opened to the public after undergoing meticulous restoration. 

These hotels, namely Beit Jokhdar, Beit Al-Rayes, and Beit Kedwan, were carefully restored following the guidelines set by UNESCO. In 2014, Jeddah Historic District, also known as Al Balad World Heritage Site, was recognized and awarded by UNESCO. 

These hotels proudly display the remarkable architecture and skilled craftsmanship of historic Jeddah, and guests can also enjoy the authentic flavors of local Saudi cuisine at the on-site restaurants. Prices for a night’s stay start at 5000 SAR.

Jeddah Central Destination

Image Credit Jeddah Central Development Company

The new Jeddah Central destination, aimed towards elevating Jeddah into a global tourist hotspot, has moved closer to realization. The Jeddah Central Development Company has recently awarded $3.2 billion in contracts for the inaugural development phase. 

Spanning an expansive 5.7 million square kilometers, this iconic destination is poised to showcase a world-class stadium, an oceanarium, beach resorts, 2,700 hotel rooms, shopping malls, restaurants, and 17,000 housing units.

MARAFY Waterfront Project

Image Credit ROSHN

ROSHN, a real estate developer under the ownership of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has recently initiated the MARAFY Waterfront project in Jeddah by laying the foundation stone.

The highly awaited MARAFY development is set to include an 11km artificial canal, establishing a direct connection to the Red Sea.

The waterside districts of MARAFY are expected to be seamlessly linked to one another and the broader Jeddah community through water taxis, ferries, and a dedicated metro station.

Additionally, there are plans for a direct canal link from MARAFY to Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport.

Jeddah Tower

Image Credit Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Jeddah Tower, the world’s tallest building in Saudi Arabia, has resumed construction to surpass 1,000 meters, which is greater than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The skyscraper, set to eclipse the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates, is designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

The tower is designed to feature a sleek, glass-clad exterior with a sloped façade, drawing inspiration from the folded fronts of desert palm trees.

Keep Reading: Jeddah Historic District Program Partners With Al Balad Development Company To Operate Heritage Hotels in Jeddah

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