The state of development of Jeddah’s Red Sea coast can be easily classified or divided into three regions — the North, the Middle, and the South.
The North Red Sea coast is the most developed region. It is the go-to place for the finest private beaches and resort clubs in the city. There are several luxury beach resorts and five-star hotels on this part of the coast.
The Middle Red Sea or Jeddah Corniche is a coastal area of about 30 kilometers of paved esplanades. People of all social status go to this region for leisurely walks, morning jogs, and other recreational activities. The Jeddah Floating Mosque and Fakieh Aquarium are some of the popular destinations in this area.
The South Red Sea is the most undeveloped beach region in this coastal city. Although a public coastal resort is under development near the water desalinization plants, there are no commercial establishments at present. This is where we often go on long weekends to swim, fish, or catch crabs. We go here most often because it’s free. The only drawback is the undeniable sight of litter scattered everywhere.
Al Sahel Resort
Last weekend, our group was fortunate enough to stay at Al Sahel Resort, a private resort in North Obhur. It is situated in the northern Red Sea coast about 30 minutes from Jeddah International Airport. Here’s a satellite map and a bunch of photos and activities below.
I don’t fish but most of my companions do. A lot. They started fishing as soon as we settled at the resort (about 3:00 p.m.) and until the sun had fully risen the next day. They only spent an hour or so fishing and almost never slept the whole night. But their efforts were properly rewarded with about three or so pails of fish bounties.
And while most of my companions busy themselves manning their fishing rods, I spent my time either sleeping or snorkeling.
There’s this spot at the resort with a concrete pavement declining towards the water. I’m not sure what was the original purpose of this structure but at present, the pavement is flanked by boulders on both sides and at the submerged end which serve as an artificial reef and fish habitat.
In this age of social media, one once remarked how difficult it is to tell a story unless a photo or video exists to accompany your narrative. However, the fun events happened underwater and I don’t have a GoPro or any submersible camera so I’ll be as descriptive as possible.
I took my snorkels to see what fish live underneath and I was surprised to see a large assortment of surgeonfish and other colorful fish varieties that I can’t name. They are of varying sizes, too, with some smaller than my pinky and some are four times bigger than my palm. The fish are feeding on the moss growing on the surface of the pave concrete floor. But what’s more surprising was that the fish doesn’t seem to care that I was watching them and won’t swim away as long as I keep my distance to an arm’s length.
This was this one surgeonfish, however, who startled me when it lunged at my finger. It had deep dark purple skin and blue head. I thought it was just aggressive because it was brooding since it was attacking other fish species that come close by as well. However, as I see more and more of the same species, I realized they were really territorial. I enjoyed taunting them with my pointing finger and retract before they come close to it.
But snorkeling is not limited to this spot. And even if you don’t have snorkels, you could still see the fish and corals from above the water surface.
Windsurfing and other water sports
There are several windsurfers but they probably were from other nearby resorts. Also, we spotted yachts and jet ski docked from some distance. There was even a water villa at the resort next to Al Sahel. And the best thing is, this is also where deep sea diving happens.
More photos of Al Sahel Resort
Look closely at that last photo and you’d see a vague image of the planned 1 kilometer-tall Jeddah Tower. The tower is just a bit over one-fourth of its target height but construction is, unfortunately, currently halted.
Best Luxury Beach Resorts in Jeddah
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Silver Sands Beach
The resort has gained the reputation for being the best beach resorts in Jeddah for expats. It has several sun beds perched along the beautiful stretch of sandy beach with plenty of water sports available. Yearly membership is being offered but one can easily enter without membership by paying the day tour fee.
- North Obhur, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Park Hyatt Jeddah – Marina, Club and Spa
This 5-star designer hotel has a contemporary style with Arab-Andalusian influences. The seafront is located along Jeddah Corniche and equipped with an infinity pool overlooking the Red Sea. CLICK HERE to book now or see more information.
- Al Hamra District, Southern Corniche, 21211 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Narcissus Resort & Spa Obhur Jeddah
This resort has a private sandy beach, an outdoor swimming pools for males and kids, and an indoor swimming pool for females. Snorkeling is a popular water activity offered at the resort. CLICK HERE to book now or see more information.
- Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Street 7636, North Obhur, 23811 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Makarem Annakheel Hotel & Resort
This is a newly renovated hotel with modern interiors. The beach is surrounded by palm and has private yacht jetty. It features an outdoor lap pool, a hot tub, a tennis court and two restaurants. CLICK HERE to book now or see more information.
- North Obhur, 21433 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Mövenpick Al Nawras Jeddah – Family Resort
The resort is on a private island in the Red Sea. It features an indoor pool, herbal steam room, and a luxury spa offering beauty treatments. Some of the villas are equipped with private pools. CLICK HERE to book now or see more information.
- North Corniche Road – Beside Al Nawras Square, 21424 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
People looking for a place to relax and rejuvenate or to engage in thrilling water sports will find the northern coast of the Red Sea the perfect weekend getaway.