I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Wednesday, January 3, 2024


The view from the Corniche. That small gray blur of a building on the far left will be the tallest in the world when it's completed, just over a kilometer in height.

It's impossible to overstate the amount of money pouring into Jeddah right now. Construction is everywhere—new hotels, museums, public buildings. Some of it is because of Vision 2030, the ambitious plan spearheaded by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the economy and transform Saudi Arabia into an investment powerhouse and global hub.

Opening the country to tourism in 2019 was part of this plan; though the tourism infrastructure is obviously not really in place yet. You still need a visa, and we had to go through immigration and get our passports stamped before we could leave the port. And for reasons I don't really understand, we have to get an exit stamp when we come back to the ship today, or we won't be able to leave the ship in Yanbu tomorrow. It's all very cumbersome, and yesterday's tour in Jeddah was not very interesting either: a long drive past a lot of construction sites and fifteen minutes on the Corniche where the big attraction is a giant JEDDAH sign.

Today is a walking tour of the old city and that, I hope, should be better.

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