The historical area of Jeddah, which is locally called “Al Balad”, has finally received what it deserves after Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz agreed to the proposal of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to establish an administration under the name of managing the Historical Old Jeddah project with an independent budget and under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture.
The importance of the royal decree lays in the fact that it came after the suggestion of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been working for several years to take Saudi Arabia to the place it deserves in all fields, especially in the tourism and cultural sectors.
The historic area of Jeddah - which includes many ancient mosques, buildings and neighborhoods - has received considerable attention for the past recent years that was amplified by recognizing it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. But despite this interest, being in the agenda of Ministry of Culture will put it at the center of cultural events in Saudi Arabia after it was only seasonally recognized. Al Arabiya.net has prepared a short video of the historic region from 90 years ago.
It is unknown when this area was created exactly; but sources indicate that it started having fences and doors during the Portuguese campaign on Jeddah in the middle of the sixteenth century to protect it from the wars of domination between the Portuguese and the Ottomans. However, the first one to write about Jeddah was the famous traveler Al-Maqdisi; he visited it on his way to Mecca in the fourth century AH and said that it has wonderful castles with water but it is tiresome.
However, the most obvious date in relation to the historical area of Jeddah is the Shafi’i Mosque, dating back to the thirteenth century AD, and the Othman ibn Affan Mosque, dating back to the ninth century AH.
Besides the mosques, there are the old neighborhoods of Jeddah, which are the reason for its fame; the most recognized neighborhoods are Haret al Madhloumn, Haret al Sham, Haret Yemen, Haret al Bahr and others that still exist to this day.
Despite everything that has been said about the historical city of Jeddah, its beauty can be found in its buildings decorated with wooden dormers that let the sea air pass to nearby houses on the one hand and gives high privacy to the residents of these houses on the other. Despite the attempts to take care of the region, it has suffered for the last few years of many fires that have affected several of these old buildings without a clear cause for the ignition of fire.