Old DownTown, Jiddah

2 Reviews

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  • Old DownTown
    by mikey_e
  • Old DownTown
    by mikey_e
  • Old DownTown
    by mikey_e
  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    Unholy Mess

    by mikey_e Written Nov 17, 2012
    4 more images

    Perhaps the most shocking thing to see in a city such as Jeddah is the general lack of investment in any sort of restoration or upkeep. On the one hand, urban development and urban design do not favour the renaissance of old areas: if you want to erect a new store, you simply add to the urban sprawl and build it somewhere with an empty plot of land. This is partly caused by the horrendously unequal distribution of land in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, there is a general unwillingness to preserve the old. Some of this attitude comes from the extension of Wahhabi efforts to obliterate the sanctity of the temporal, while another source may be the lack of a tradition in the Nejd of any sort of settled and established existence. Whatever the cause, much of Al Balad and the old town are in ruins, crumbling under the affect of the city's humidity and a general lack of care. The old town is primarily inhabited by the poor and by illegal migrants, who have no voice, and the lack of a tourism industry means that there is little financial incentive for the local municipality to create a showcase of the local history. With chronic mismanagement of the efforts to limit the effects of winter floods and summer humidity, it is only a matter of time before these architectural and cultural treasures vanish forever.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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  • Jeddah has a Mediterranean...

    by majed81 Updated Mar 15, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

    Jeddah has unique Mediterranean flair this is
    because most people who are living there
    are original from the Mediterranean countries.

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