Cities and Regions

Jeddah lies in western Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea. It began as a fishing village over 2,500 years ago. It first achieved prominence in 647 A.D., when the Muslim caliph Uthman ibn Affan turned it into a port for pilgrims making the hajj to Mecca. It has a population of about 3.4 million.

It is thought that the name is derived from jaddah, the Arabic word for "grandmother," because in the Arabic tradition, the tomb of Eve, grandmother of all humanity, is located in Jeddah. The supposed tomb was concreted-over by the religious authorities in 1975, as some Muslim pilgrims were praying to Eve there, which is strictly against Islam.


Jeddah is the gateway to the millions of pilgrims on their way to Mecca and Medina  for the annual hajj. It is served by King Abdulaziz International Airport with its modern Hajj Terminal.