Jeddah is my home town, I live here and I love it. We have compiled many times different things related to Jeddah but this time it is a bit different. Today, we are going to tell you about “Jeddah Firsts”. Confused? The first theme park in Jeddah, the first mosque in Jeddah, the first school, first newspapers, first sports club, first university, first Hospital and First Company. I hope you are going to like this.
First ever Theme Park – Atallah Happy Land: Although there were a few parks with mechanical rides in the Kingdom before Atallah, it was the Atallah Happy Land which truly introduced a concept of theme parks to the people of Jeddah. Some of the very first rides opened to the public have a sort of iconic status in Jeddah and are still operating to this day, in addition to various new rides which have been introduced over the years.
First Mosque – Al Shafei Mosque: Even though this claim has been challenged by some, none the less parts of the Al Shafei Mosque dates back to the time of Caliph Umar (RA), somewhere close to 14 centuries ago. Most of the structure which is standing today dates back to the 13th century CE, during the reign of King Sulaiman bin Saaduddeen Shahenshah the second, with the major portion of the upkeep being carried out by an Indian merchant named Khawajah Mohammad Ali in 1533. It has also been recently restored according to the UNESCO standards, by using most of the same materials such as wood, stone, sea mud and bricks.
First School – Al Falah: The school had been founded in 1905 and is thought to be the first ever regular school in the entire Arabian Peninsula. It had been founded by a highly known pearl merchant named Haj Mohammad Ali Reza Zainal. The Al Falah School went on to open several other branches in the region and introduced the concept of formal school education in the gulf region.
First Newspaper – Al Bilad: Even though the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen several other newspapers prior to Al Bilad such as Al Falah, Al Bilad was the first in Jeddah. The newspaper which is printed in Arabic Language began printing in April of 1932. Initially it would be printed once weekly and under the name of Voice of Hejaz.
First Sports Club – Ittehad: Well known for the football team itihad FC, the club had been formed in 1927 which made it the first sports club in the Kingdom.
First University – KAU (KING ABDUL AZIZ UNIVERSITY): It had been founded by a group of businessmen which had been led by Sheikh Muhammad Bakhashab in 1967. In 1974, a resolution had been passed by the Council Ministers of Saudi Arabia which had it converted into a public university.
First English School – PISJ (PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL): It was started in 1959 initially as a school run by the Pakistani Embassy in two buildings located in the Baghdadiya district. It has since grown greatly and currently has one of the highest numbers of enrollments in the city.
First Hospital – Eye Hospital Jeddah: Although there were several small clinics operating in the city prior to this, it was this Eye Hospital which was the first recorded hospital in Jeddah. The origins of the hospital date back to 1950, which also makes it the oldest hospital in the country.
First Commercially Registered Company – Alireza: Beit Zainal is not only the oldest enterprise in Jeddah but in Saudi Arabia. It had been awarded by the commercial registration number 1 by the Saudi government.
Source: Destination KSA
Places to Visit in Jeddah