Jeddah’s revamped waterfront fast becoming top attraction for tourists, residents

A multimillion-dollar facelift has transformed Jeddah’s waterfront. (Photo courtesy: Social media)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Jeddah’s revamped waterfront fast becoming top attraction for tourists, residents

JEDDAH: Less than three months after it opened, the new corniche waterfront along the Red Sea port of Jeddah is fast establishing itself as a favorite weekend attraction for locals and tourists.
The SR800 million ($213.3 million) 4.2-kilometer waterfront has watersport parks, designated beaches, children’s play parks, interactive water fountains, six restaurants, 24 kiosks, a floating marina dock, larger-than-life animal and art sculptures, as well as dozens of designated restrooms and phone-charging stations.
The waterfront development was opened three months ago by Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who offered words of praise mixed with a warning. “We congratulate the nation on this project. My question to the people of Jeddah is: Will you safeguard it? Or will we hear tomorrow that it is sabotaged?”
The corniche has been a popular Jeddah destination for many years. However, in the past, litter from picnics was a frequent problem on beach areas and adjoining parkland.
Now, with increased tourism and a more diverse local population, Saudis are assuming the role of citizen ambassadors who care deeply about their surroundings.
A Jeddah resident, Layla Hamdan, told Arab News: “For me as a Saudi, it’s about proper representation. Now we are having more tourists visiting Jeddah and sometimes they ask me for information or directions and I try my best to be helpful. If I can’t help, I guide them to someone who can. I want to leave a good impression because some are visiting Saudi Arabia for the first time.”
Along with police supervision, more than 100 surveillance cameras equipped with face-recognition technology have been installed along the waterfront. The cameras are linked to the Public Security Agency control rooms, as well as the municipality.
As an added deterrent, Saudi authorities have announced fines ranging from SR200 to SR5,000 for littering or damage to public utilities and landmarks on the waterfront. Offenders will have to shoulder additional repair costs as well.
Repair work caused by vandalism on the waterfront is now almost nonexistent.
A street cleaner, Niraj Kulkarni, praised the improved cleanliness along the corniche. “Now there are more people, more food vendors, but not so much garbage like before. People are taking care to keep the corniche clean.”
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund recently announced a separate $4.8 billion redevelopment of the corniche that will add 1,200 acres of beach, retail stores, museums, a marina and more than 10,000 residential housing units. Construction is set to begin early next year and is expected to be completed by 2030.


Saudi Civil Defense makes Kingdom safer place to live

Updated 17 min 26 sec ago
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Saudi Civil Defense makes Kingdom safer place to live

JEDDAH: Collaboration between Saudi universities, research centers and the country’s Civil Defense is helping to make the Kingdom a safer place to live.
Col. Abdul Aziz Al-Zahrani, the general director of the Jeddah department of Civil Defense, said “strong” cooperation on safety and civil protection matters was a vital part of risk management work taking place in the Kingdom.
Speaking during a press conference to announce details of next month’s Intersec Saudi Arabia 2019 trade fair for the security, safety, and fire protection sector, Al-Zahrani said the General Directorate of Civil Defense had spent many productive years sharing knowledge with Saudi education and research institutions.
He said research data helped in producing risk assessments and finding solutions to natural, industrial and domestic safety issues. “The Civil Defense takes advantage of these studies to help keep people and properties safe.”
Al-Zahrani added: “Take me for instance. I am a graduate of King Abdul Aziz University where I obtained my Ph.D. in geological and environmental engineering. I have worked on risk assessment on the coast of the Makkah region. We were able to produce geological maps that helped to locate risky, low-risk and safe areas.”
The third edition of the Intersec exhibition will take place on April 14-16 at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events with more than 150 exhibitors from 20 countries expected to attend.
The event aims to offer a platform to network, create and strengthen partnerships, share information, and keep up to date with the latest innovations driving the regional and global security, safety, and fire protection industries.
Organized by Messe Frankfurt-Middle East and Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE) and supported by the General Directorate of Civil Defense along with other international government partners, trade associations, and non-profit institutions, Intersec will bring together key regulators, government authorities, solution providers and end-users to discuss strategies and collaborative approaches for security, safety and fire protection in the region.
The trade event will cover product groups including commercial security, information security, perimeter and physical security, homeland security and policing, fire and rescue, and health and safety.
Al-Zahrani said great strides had been taken in Saudi Arabia to protect the public from the dangers posed by unsafe appliances, and the Civil Defense had also increased the efficiency and effectiveness of fire and rescue services.