ThePlace: Jeddah Waterfront

The Jeddah Waterfront is well-organized and divided into many spaces. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 16 October 2018
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ThePlace: Jeddah Waterfront

  • The Jeddah Waterfront is well-organized and divided into many spaces

Jeddah Waterfront Less than a year after it opened, the new corniche along the Red Sea port of Jeddah is a favorite weekend attraction for locals and tourists.
The SR800 million ($213.3 million) 4.2-kilometer corniche is known as “Jeddah Waterfront.” It has watersport parks, beaches, children’s play parks, interactive water fountains, restaurants, kiosks, a floating marina dock, larger-than-life animal and art sculptures, as well as dozens of designated restrooms and phone charging stations.
The Jeddah Waterfront is well-organized and divided into many spaces specially designed for children, for those who just want to walk, for those who want to enjoy the sandy beaches, and its division allows people to not clash with each other and avoids crowding.
Families in Jeddah are arranging get-togethers and have several spots to choose from — be it thick grass, sandy beach, concrete or wooden huts — and are reviving the long-standing tradition of gathering their family and spending their day relaxing at the seafront.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) 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.


Ronaldinho plans football academy in Jeddah

Updated 14 November 2018
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Ronaldinho plans football academy in Jeddah

  • Backstage at Misk Global Forum, Brazilian football legend reveals intention to open school some time next year
  • Player offered advice for audience, speaking about the value of teamwork, learning from failure and the rewards of giving back

RIYADH: Ronaldinho plans to open a football academy in Jeddah some time next year, the Brazilian football legend revealed to Arab News backstage in an exclusive interview after his appearance at the Misk Global Forum on Wednesday.

“First of all, I want to say thank you for a warm reception and kindness which I have received from the Saudi people,” he told Arab News. “As for the kids, those who want to be a player some day, dedicate as much as you can and follow your dreams.”

Earlier, Ronaldinho appeared on stage to a chorus of cheers at the end of the day’s sessions, where he gave a talk titled the Discipline – and Fun – of Teamwork. 

”I was lucky enough to be on a team with stars,” he said of his career with European clubs Paris St-Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan, and a World Cup win in 2002 with the Brazilian national team. “We all respected each other.

“For me it was wonderful, because my history with this team and players was a beautiful one: To idolize them and later play with them and later win titles again…”

Ronaldinho said he feels grateful for his God-given talent. “Throughout my career we had a plan, and I always worked hard. God gave me the privilege to play football. It was fun, not a sacrifice.”

“I’ve always liked to have a ball around me, to have contact with the ball.”

His advice for the audience? “Prepare yourself and help your colleague or team member,” he said. “Humility is important. Try to stay humble.”

He also said to train hard, read as much as you can and don’t fear failure. “I failed a lot of times,” he said. “Football is like that. You can’t always win. You have to seek lessons from the defeats and not lose hope.” 

Now that he’s retired, Ronaldinho is more concerned with giving back. “After I stopped playing, I have soccer academies. That’s what I’m proud of, and it has given me pleasure. To give something back (as a)  thanks to football and everything it have given me.”