The Jeddah Historic District Program (JHDP) and Cruise Saudi have recently entered into an MoU to enhance tourism and aid cruise travelers in exploring the notable historical sites of Jeddah. 

The main objective of this partnership is to safeguard Jeddah's rich cultural legacy and enable visitors to explore its various historic attractions, such as the renowned Al Balad, a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Additionally, the MoU seeks to generate employment opportunities by promoting the growth of small enterprises through local entrepreneurship.

Cruise Saudi Partnership with JHDP

Cruise Saudi

The partnership between the Jeddah Historic District Program (JHDP) and Cruise Saudi is a significant change in cultural tourism. It combines the preservation of Jeddah's timeless charm with the kingdom's ambitious economic goals, setting an example for responsible and sustainable development. 

This collaboration focuses on increasing the recognition of Jeddah's cultural heritage in the historic district, promoting economic growth for local business owners, and implementing measures to enhance the overall experience for visitors to the historic Jeddah district.

Highlighting Jeddah's Historical Appeal

Al Balad

With the rise in the number of foreign tourists arriving on cruise ships, it has become crucial to highlight Jeddah's fascinating historical landmarks.

The Jeddah Historic District, famous for its alluring UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al Balad, has become a popular choice for travelers, offering a unique experience with its winding streets, lively markets, and impressive architecture that speaks of a bygone era.

UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Balad

Al Balad

At the core of Jeddah's charm lies Al Balad, an enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been a symbol of the city's abundant nautical history and cultural heritage for many years.

Originating from the 7th century, this historical area has played a significant role as a central trading hub on the ancient Silk Road, with its meandering streets and elaborate architectural wonders reflecting the influence of various cultures and customs.

Al Balad

Jeddah's soul can be glimpsed through Al Balad, which boasts more than 600 well-preserved historical buildings. These buildings include the first three heritage hotels, which have just opened, and feature unique architectural styles that pay homage to the region's rich past.

The district is adorned with intricately carved wooden doors on the residences and vibrant souks filled with the fragrant scents of exotic spices and handcrafted goods. Each step through this captivating area reveals a tapestry of authenticity that has entranced generations of visitors.

Engaging Tours and Experiences

Al Balad Hospitality

Cruise Saudi has carefully designed a variety of captivating tours and activities that cater to the allure of Al Balad and the larger Jeddah Historic District. These experiences are tailored for foreign tourists to fully immerse themselves in this vibrant living museum. 

Al Balad

Ranging from expert-led walking tours that reveal the district's hidden treasures to engaging workshops that showcase traditional crafts and local cuisine, each option demonstrates the partnership's dedication to safeguarding and honoring Jeddah's abundant cultural legacy.

Balancing Heritage and Hospitality

Al Balad

The collaborative partnership between the JHDP and Cruise Saudi represents a shared vision to strike a harmonious balance between heritage preservation and sustainable tourism development. 

By leveraging their respective expertise, the two entities aim to create a holistic visitor experience that celebrates Jeddah's rich cultural legacy while propelling economic growth and job creation. Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Al-Issa, Director General of the JHDP, encapsulated the essence of this alliance, stating,

 "Our strategic partnership with Cruise Saudi is not only to drive economic growth but also to actively engage in the regeneration of the district." 

This sentiment underscores the program's commitment to revitalizing Al Balad while safeguarding its cultural authenticity.

Cruise Saudi: Navigating Towards Sustainable Tourism

Cruise Saudi

Cruise Saudi, a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, has emerged as a trailblazer in the Kingdom's burgeoning cruise tourism industry. Since its inception, this pioneering entity has welcomed over 300,000 cruise passengers, offering them an unparalleled opportunity to explore Saudi Arabia's myriad wonders.

Cruise Saudi

The visionary Chief Executive Officer of Cruise Saudi, Lars Clasen, reiterated the partnership's shared vision by stating.

 "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."

Fostering Local Entrepreneurship

Al Balad

One of the key pillars of this collaboration is the promotion of local entrepreneurship and private-sector innovation. 

By harnessing the expertise of the private sector, the partnership seeks to enhance the visitor experience while simultaneously fostering sustainable economic activities that benefit the entire community.

Supporting Saudi Vision 2030

Al Balad

The collaboration between Cruise Saudi and the Jeddah Historic District Program demonstrates the kingdom's steadfast dedication to the Saudi Vision 2030, a daring and ambitious plan for promoting economic diversity and sustainable progress. 

By utilizing the nation's abundant cultural heritage and promoting Jeddah as a top tourist destination, this partnership drives transformative growth, creating economic prospects, cultural interchange, and worldwide acclaim.

Forging a Legacy

Al Balad

The partnership between the Jeddah Historic District Program and Cruise Saudi represents a bold and visionary step towards harmonizing cultural preservation and sustainable economic development. 

By leveraging their collective expertise and resources, these two entities are poised to create a lasting legacy that resonates far beyond the boundaries of Jeddah's Historic District.

Other New Jeddah Developments

Jeddah Balad Heritage Hotels

Al Balad

The first three heritage hotels in Jeddah's Historic District have finally been opened after much anticipation and careful restoration. 

These hotels, known as Beit Jokhdar, Beit Al-Rayes, and Beit Kedwan, have undergone meticulous restoration following guidelines from UNESCO. In 2014, UNESCO recognized Al Balad, Jeddah Historic District, as a World Heritage Site. 

These hotels proudly showcase the exceptional architecture and craftsmanship of historic Jeddah and offer authentic local Saudi cuisine at their restaurants, with prices starting at 5000 SAR per night.

Jeddah Central Destination

Jeddah Central Development Company

The Jeddah Central Development Company has marked a significant milestone in elevating Jeddah into a premier global tourist destination. 

With the recent announcement of $3.2 billion in contracts for Phase One of the Jeddah Central project, this ambitious development spans over 5.7 million square kilometers. 

It features a state-of-the-art stadium, an oceanarium, luxurious beach resorts, 2,700 hotel rooms, shopping centers, dining options, and 17,000 housing units.

The strategic positioning of Jeddah along the Red Sea and its proximity to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah underscores the ideal setting for the PIF-owned developer to metamorphose the $20 billion Jeddah Central project into a year-round tourist destination.

MARAFY Waterfront Project


ROSHN, a real estate firm owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has recently commenced the MARAFY Waterfront project in Jeddah by laying the foundation stone. 

The highly anticipated MARAFY development will feature an 11km artificial canal, establishing a direct connection to the Red Sea. 

The waterside districts within MARAFY are anticipated to be seamlessly interconnected, providing convenient access to one another and the wider Jeddah community through modes such as water taxis, ferries, and a dedicated metro station. 

Furthermore, there are intentions to establish a direct canal link from MARAFY to King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.

Jeddah Tower

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Jeddah Tower, currently under construction in Saudi Arabia, is set to resume its construction, targeting a height surpassing 1,000 meters and outshining the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai. 

Designed by the renowned architectural firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, this skyscraper is a feat in engineering and an aesthetic marvel. 

Its sleek, glass-clad exterior and uniquely sloped façade draw inspiration from the gracefully folded fronts of desert palm trees, promising to redefine the skyline with its impressive design and unprecedented height.

Continue Reading: Jeddah Historic District Program and Al Balad Development Company Partner to Open Heritage Hotels