Historic Jeddah Festival 2024: programs and activities


You will get the chance to observe a rich heritage that is recognized by UNESCO when you travel to Jeddah. From ‘Historical Jeddah’ to the old designs of stone walkways, balconies, and old pavements, this place reveals mysteries that have influenced writers, painters, and tourists for centuries. This is the place where you may witness breathtaking sunsets that glisten off the heavenly coastlines of the Red Sea and experience breathtaking diving with vibrant coral reefs. You will not soon forget Jeddah’s various year-round splendors, whether you choose to explore on land or beneath the sea on a wonderful boat trip. Annually, the Al Balad neighborhood of Jeddah, Western Saudi Arabia, hosts the Historic Jeddah Festival.

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The Festival Timing

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, the city will host the Jeddah Heritage Festival from December 2 to December 18. It will include a museum, gallery, fashion section, a section dedicated to architecture and design, and a market dedicated to preserving cultural heritage. Included in Saudi Vision 2030’s Quality of Life Program, the event seeks to showcase the historical and cultural characteristics of the city.

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Al Balad Historic Jeddah
Al Balad Historic Jeddah

The historic district of Jeddah, the second-biggest city in Saudi Arabia, is known as Al-Balad. Balad, also known as Jeddah Old Town, is the city of Jeddah’s historic core.

AL BALAD, or “old town,” is the historic location of Old Jeddah, which is currently protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the structures that date back to the 7th century were built with limestone reinforcement, teak, mahogany, and sisam that were brought in from India and Africa by ships, and they were decorated with elaborate designs inspired by the corals found in the surrounding Red Sea.

The historical district of Jeddah hosts the annual festival. Emphasising Al-Balad’s historical and cultural significance is the event’s primary goal. Throughout the event, guests meander around the historic lanes and streets. Additionally, the program hosts several conventional events that provide amusement for both children and adults.

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The Festival’s Activities
 historical Jeddah festival celebration

The Historic Jeddah Festival’s programs and activities are mostly centred around everyday life in historic Jeddah throughout the previous few decades. The celebration is being hosted in an area of mosques and historic structures, including Al-Mazloom, Al-Sham, Al-Yemen, and Al-Bahr Haras. One of the initiatives to realise the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is the Quality of Life Program, which includes the festival. The event celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the city and its people while showcasing Jeddah’s historical, cultural, and heritage aspects.

The Historic Jeddah Festival 2023 will highlight the city’s commercial, social, and cultural character over the years. The ministry is excited to honor Jeddah’s national legacy, emphasising the historical and cultural aspects that Jeddah has encountered over the decades. The most notable historical and cultural aspects of Jeddah from pre-Islamic times to the present will be on display during the Heritage Festival. There will be a distinctive fusion of aspirational modernism with a historical legacy. The visitor will have an engaging historical and modern experience with fun, up-to-date technical moulds as a result.

Opening Ceremony

Visitors to the Historic Jeddah Festival will be welcomed in traditional costume at the famous market, which is set to take place in an open space with a historical heritage feel. Along with merchants of dates, grains, fish, and bread, artisan vendors will showcase a variety of handmade items, including old clothing and pottery. Together with antique cars, stores, and tools, there will be sculptors, carpenters, and other craftspeople, offering the visitor a glimpse into the bygone era of popular marketplaces.

Visual Arts and Traditional  Architecture

Visitors will have a stunning visual interactive experience at the Visual Arts Gallery after seeing the traditional popular marketplaces. This gallery will have films, images, models, and historical locations using the most recent technological advancements, all of which are integrated into an instructive and fascinating template. The Grand Mosque of Makkah, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, and Nasseef House are just a few of the historical locations that guests can explore virtually within the museum.

The “Architecture and Design” area of the festival will also replicate the streets and buildings of old Jeddah. It will showcase various aspects of construction techniques along with the types of ancient urban buildings, streets, windows, entrances, gathering places, cafes, and interior designs of homes.

Saudi Traditional Fashion

The ‘Fashion Through Ages’ section will feature regional costumes, their historical progression, and the key shifts that have impacted them. It will also explain the materials used in their production by showcasing the costumes on models that have a brief history, a name, and some details.

Theatrical Shows

There will be a theatrical production that aims to provide comedic insights into the shifting ideas and ways of living in society, as well as some distinctions between the past and present. To depict the most significant interactions between individuals and the most pressing issues in their lives at the time, this will be set in a neighborhood that houses all of the essential features, such as stores, cafes, and seating places.

Traditional Food

In addition to Saudi coffee, the restaurant’s seating areas between the past and present will feature a mix of modern and vintage chairs. The menu will feature creatively served local dishes with influences from around the world, as well as traditional drinks like almond coffee, sahlab, and sobia.

Traditional Dance and Kids Games

Vintage interactive and kinetic games would be mixed with contemporary games in the children’s games section. Finally, The guest comes to an end at the Historic Jeddah Festival in the “Arts Square” area, where live performances of traditional dances and historical folk arts will be showcased by folk ensembles.

Historical Places in Jeddah

Jeddah is a tourist’s paradise because of its historical sites. There are museums, markets with goods on display, the remnants of palaces and forts, and several truly lovely mosques. Then there is Saudi Arabia’s charming, historic Jeddah, which is emerging as a leader in technology and engineering. In Jeddah, it’s a well-liked location for touring well-known Islamic historical sites. Though contemporary civilization has transcended the ancient physical borders, the historic city of Jeddah has an interesting past. In order to maintain contact with the rest of the globe and other Saudi Arabian towns, the city is growing towards the Red Sea shoreline. The most magnificent historical tourist destinations in the city are listed below.

The Floating Mosque
Al Rahmah Mosque

The Floating Mosque, also known as Al Rahmah Mosque, is a well-known and revered mosque that seems to float. It was constructed on stilts over the river. It welcomes pilgrims and travellers with its breathtaking architecture. For people planning to go to the Hajj or Umrah, it serves as a layover. The mosque is a symbol of spirituality, with a mausoleum made of white marble. It contains fifty-six colourful windows with Quranic texts etched in Arabic lettering. For the stunning sunrises and sunsets, visitors and devotees frequently arrive here in the early morning or evening.

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Nassif House
Biet Nassif House Museum

Located on Jeddah’s main boulevard, this beautiful building, also known as the Biet Nassif House Museum, was constructed in the late 1800s. It was originally used as a venue for hosting social events for affluent individuals. It’s one of Jeddah’s most enticing sites for art lovers, with 106 rooms filled with artwork and Arabic calligraphy.

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Souq Al-Alawi
Jeddah historic souq

Visitors frequently come to this historic souq to purchase handicrafts, spices, and antiques. The best way to see old Jeddah is through its charming streets. It is well-known for selling tea and petals made from organic hibiscus flowers. Tourists and locals wander worry-free because cars are not permitted in the area. Also, they purchase jewellery and traditional clothing that are exclusive to this market.

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