From traditional souqs (markets) to luxurious shopping malls, Jeddah is rapidly becoming the shopping paradise of the Middle East. You’ll be glad to know that Jeddah hotels are cheaper than those in the capital Riyadh, leaving you with more in your pocket to take advantage of the boundless shopping opportunities on offer in Jeddah.
For those looking to experience the essence of Arabic culture, head straight to Al-Balad (literally meaning “the town”) – the old quarter of Jeddah where one can get lost for hours shopping in the myriad of souqs, bazaars and streets filled with vendors selling everything from traditional prayer rugs to electronic appliances. Indeed, some of the most notable shopping sites can be found within the old quarter of Jeddah, making this not only a top shopping opportunity, but one of the most popular Jeddah tourist attractions. Al-Balad is also a top choice to stay, with many Jeddah hotels located in this area.
Souq Al Jamia
This souq is named after the Bedouin tribe who used to sell textiles, spice and grains at the current site of this market. It is little wonder that this market is still famed for its wide variety of textiles, grains and spices. For those looking for the chance to take home exotic fabrics and materials to remember their trip by, Souq Al Jamia should not be missed, with some of the rarest fabrics found here.
Souq Al Alawi
Souq Al Alawi is enormous, cutting through Al-Balad from east to west. This market place is where the traditional meets the modern, offering everything from traditional souvenirs, to electronic household appliances. The variety of goods on offer will amaze you, with products such as dates, perfumes, honey and spices, to name but a few, being sold. This market is at its liveliest during the Haj season.
Souq Al Nada
This is the place to shop for gold and silver. Shoppers can bargain for 18k and 24k gold by weight, so remember to bring your best haggling skills! This is one of the oldest markets in Jeddah, providing an opportunity to take a look into Jeddah’s rich history as a trading centre. Souq Al Nada also sells a variety of rare and exquisite ornaments from Asia, Africa and Arabia.
Heera A Street
One of the primary shopping places in Jeddah, this street is home to the famous Heera International Market – Jeddah’s first shopping mall. Noted for its elegant glass dome features, this massive shopping centre houses a great variety of local and international brands.
Al Khayyat Centre
Located on the famous high-end Talia Street, this should be the first stop for all those ladies out to find the latest international trends. Home to major international labels such as Gucci, Armani and Prada, this shopping centre will satisfy even the most seasoned shopaholic.
Mall of Arabia
The newest shopping sensation to take over the middles east is “destination malls” – more than just a shopping mall, these places go above and beyond the wildest dreams of any shopping lover. There is no bigger destination centre than the Mall of Arabia located on Medina Road. Within this complex are 330 plus stores, food courts, full-scale theme parks and even a snow village! A must for any visitor – this place has to be seen to be believed! Some top Jeddah hotel can also be found connected to these centres.
Khayyam Al-Rabie Est
With floor-to-ceiling rows of dates, nuts and other Arabic delicacies, this is your opportunity to satisfy your shopping desires and taste buds all at once! Located in Al-Balad, this is the place to sample the traditional delicacies of Arabian cuisine that have delighted travellers to the region for centuries.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Jeddah Hotels content.