World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Balad, Saudi Arabia

Article Id: WHEBN0008710693
Reproduction Date:

Title: Balad, Saudi Arabia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Balad
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Balad, Saudi Arabia

this article is about the historical area in Jeddah; for other uses, see Balad (disambiguation).

Al-Balad is the historical area of Jeddah, the second largest city of Saudi Arabia. Balad can literally be translated as "The City."[1] Balad is the historic center of the City of Jeddah.[2]

Al-Balad was founded in the 7th century and historically served as the centre of Jeddah.[3] Al-Balad's defensive walls were torn down in the 1940s. In the 1970s and 1980s, when Jeddah began to become wealthier due to the oil boom, many Jeddawis moved north, away from Al-Balad,[4] as it reminded them of less prosperous times.[5] Al-Balad had insufficient parking space for large cars. Its stores did not sell expensive designer clothing. Poor immigrants moved in place of the Saudi population.[4] The municipality of Jeddah began historical preservation efforts in the 1970s. In 1991 the Municipality of Jeddah founded the Jeddah Historical Preservation Society to preserve the historical architecture and culture of Al-Balad. In 2002 $4 million United States dollars were earmarked for the preservation society.[5]

They little knew that they had established the cornerstone for one of the most thriving and cosmopolitan neighbourhoods of the Arab world. Balad is a beautiful blend of the modern and the classic where the glass facades of modern skyscrapers rub shoulders with Historical buildings with the distinct horizontally embedded Wooden beams that has come to symbolize Balad over years.

Though it may not occur to one as quickly as Bond Street or Fifth Avenue, Balad can be a Shopper's Paradise. Balad has a plethora of upscale shopping centers with high-end fashion brands from Milan and Paris, along with the traditional street vendors and open air Souks (Eastern Markets) . Many Saudi companies are headquartered here, the most famous of which is the National Commercial Bank. The award winning structural design is widely regarded as the first Arab Skyscraper and features Gordon Bunshaft at his best.

In order to preserve the old structures within the Balad, the Historical Area Preservation Department was established in 1990, hoping also to help promoting cultural tourism in the country.

Many Jeddawis have moved away from Al-Balad by 2007; the streets of Balad were still packed with people during the month of Ramadan.[2] Around that year the Jeddah Urban Development Company was formed to restore Al-Balad.[6]




  • Bradley, John R. Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan. 2005.

Coordinates: 21°29′N 39°12′E / 21.483°N 39.200°E / 21.483; 39.200

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.