Jeddah Blog

Discover the best of Jeddah!

Ignite Jeddah

Ignite Jeddah is an exciting event coming up in March at the Effat University. Ignite is a worldwide event, where participants are given five minutes to speak about their ideas and personal or professional passions, accompanied by 20 slides. Each slide is displayed for 15 seconds, and slides are automatically advanced. The presentations are meant to ignite the audience on a subject, i.e. to generate awareness and to stimulate thought and action on the subjects presented.

Sumaiyya Naseem, Marketing Manager for the event explains, “Ignite is an international geek event for people with passion and eagerness to know and share. The speakers will share their personal and professional stories to inspire you.”

Ignite was started by Brady Forrest, who is the Technology Evangelist for O’Reilly Media, and by Bre Pettis of The first Ignite took place in Seattle in 2006, and since then the event has become an international phenomenon, with gatherings in Helsinki, Finland; Paris, France; New York, New York; and many other locations. At Ignite Jeddah, 20 well-known and educated youth will talk about their personal and professional stories. It’s going to be a wonderful night of motivation and success stories. The event is hosted by Effat University, and organized by the Effat SG (Effat University Student Government). It will take place of 7th March in the Effat Hall from 5:00 – 10:30 PM.

You can register here. Tickets cost 100 SR and they will be sold at Virgin Megastores and at the day of the event. The organizers say that it’s very important to register online, and once the tickets are available e-mails will be sent to the people who registered.

Further information can be gleaned from the Ignite website, their Facebook page, by emailing or by calling 02-6364300 ext 5405

Shabby Chic Furniture Workshop

Dorothy Boyer has 30 years experience of carrying out specialist faux finishes including, gilding, distressing, old plaster, stencil and trompe l´oeil effects. She has taught in London and Jeddah, and will be conducting this 2-day workshop.

Tired of the same old furniture?

Shabby Chic 2

Would you like to learn how to give your old fashioned frames or furniture a quick aged look? Shabby Chic is the term given to the kind of antiquing that will fit in with any type of interior. It can look Mediterranean, Italian, French, Swedish or English Country House. You can make it look as old as you like, and have it in the colour you like.

Shabby Chic 3

Call Kawther on 6571030 at the Darat Binzagr for details and to register. Take along a SMALL item to work on, either a chair, small table, frames etc. They provide all the materials and sample boards. Dorothy will demonstrate on carved pieces of picture frame—-you might like to try that!

Shabby Chic 1

“This Victorian desk of mine was destroyed in a devastating flood two years ago. I repainted and distressed it , fitting a new leather top. It is now a very useful dressing table!” – Dorothy Boyer

Top Makeup Tips from Bee

We’ve been very busy at the blog lately with recent competitions, activities and courses. We have also been getting lots of positive feedback from our readers. One Jeddah Blog subscriber Saadia Fatima, wrote in to us recently with a very practical question for Bee, adviser to all lost souls in this modern metropolis. Here is what she said:

Hi Bee,

I’m a 15 year old girl and I am no beauty geek. However, last few days I have given make up a stand and wanted to check out a few products on myself.

I have Indian skin. I’m not fair. And I was looking for some products to start with. Coming to the point, could you suggest me some products which would fit into my budget of 250-300 SR.
I will prefer only branded products such as Bourjois Paris, L’Oreal Paris, Sephora, Avon, Dior and Maybelline. Also, note that foundation and compact powder is a must for me.
I just need a simple, elegant and edgy look. I live in Jeddah, so if you give me references to the shopping malls where I should shop I’ll be very thankful.
Please reply me at the earliest possible.
Lots of good wishes.
With Anticipation,

About Bee

Bee is a 30 something mother, wife, corporate consultant and a bona fide prodigy in the art of shelling out unnecessary, unsolicited and often useless advice. The kind people at her office actually pay her for doing this on an hourly daily basis and she returns the kindness by making them lose sleep over random pointless issues. She currently lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with her very sane husband (he takes after his mother) and her two not very sane children (they too take after their mother). Her own personal hell would be to have nothing to do with no-one paying her for pretending to have nothing to do.

Dear Saadia,

I like to describe myself as: “Classy, Sassy and a bit smart-Assy”

But I have a dirty little secret. I am classy in a cheap kindda way. Not cheap as in a penny-pincher, but I am a sucker for a good deal and when it comes to make-up, there are many good and budget friendly swaps to be had in Jeddah.

In response to your query, I will give you a breakdown of makeup products with their cost and sourcing details for my own daily look. I personally am a huge fan of the ‘no-makeup makeup look’. I mean, if you look like you are wearing tons of make-up, it defeats the whole purpose of makeup, n’est-ce pas?

So here goes, behold the makeup secrets of the great Bee:

The first think I recommend is that you splurge on the foundation, and the one I found works best for daily wear is MAC. It keeps the skin looking neat and non-blotchy throughout a long day of much head-banging and hand-wringing stress. This is not to say that you cannot find the same quality in cheaper brands (see below for other great options) but I have personally found MAC to work wonders on my own brown, tired and often sleep-deprived skin. The foundation will take a big chunk out of your budget, but since we are going for a simple look, you will have enough to spend on other stuff.

Another must-have item is the translucent powder to fix the foundation. You said you will need a compact, but let me tell you that when you use a good foundation and a good fixing powder, all you will need is a little dab of powder on your nose during the day and you will continue to look impeccable. Compacts on the other hand can make you look cakey as the day goes on. And the NYX powder is so affordable, you can keep one in your purse too for touch-ups.

Here is a breakdown of stuff I use on a daily basis, and people in my office wrongly assume that I am naturally gorgeous ;)

Foundation Bourjois Healthy Mix FoundationSAR 85Centre Point MAC Select SPF 15FoundationSAR 150

MAC Stores in Red Sea Mall and Tahlia Mall

Translucent powder NYX Loose powder in Soft BeigeSAR 70Centre Point MAC Mineralize Skin Finish PowderSAR 150+MAC Stores in Red Sea Mall and Tahlia Mall
Eyeliner Maybelline Eye Studio Long lasting Eyeliner gel ORRevlon ColorStay Eyeliner PencilSAR 60-75

Citimax and Center Point stores

MAC Fluid LineSAR 150MAC Stores in Red Sea Mall and Tahlia Mall
Blush Rimmel Blush in 131 Madeira(great for Asian Indian Skin tones) ORMaybelline Dream Mousse cream blush in Rose PetalSAR 30- 45

Citimax and Center Point stores

Clinique Soft-Pressed Powder BlusherSAR 150-180Paris Gallery
Mascara Maybelline Great Lash MascaraSAR 75Citimax and Center Point stores Maybelline makes the best mascaras so I don’t suggest splurging on these.
Lip Colour Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in 630 Velvet Beige ORRevlon colorstay Lip-gloss almost all shades are great ORMaxFactor Color Elixir Lipstick in

SAR 40-60

Citimax and Center Point stores

Centre Point

Estée Lauder Classic Color Lipstick in Caffe Latte (a great nude/ brown shade)SAR 200+Paris Gallery

I hope this helps you take the first tentative steps into the world of makeup. Take it from me, experimenting is half the fun, so please take my recommendations as a guide only and get products you feel complement your own looks. You can also check out What Not To Do While Shopping for Makeup in Jeddah for more details on how to get the most out of your makeup shopping experience in Jeddah.

Good luck!


Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

A tea party on the 28th of February. Thank you to Debra at The Quilting Arts Studio for sending this to us:

Head Over Heels in Saudi Arabia – February 2013

Written, directed and performed by Dr. Maisah Sobaihi, Head Over Heels in Saudi Arabia is a fun, light-hearted play that touches on a variation of topics concerning Saudi Arabia. Jeddah Blog reviewed the show back in October 2012 and we are very pleased to know that it will be performed once again. It addresses many of the questions raised about Saudi Arabia with specific reference to Saudi women. Maisah is a Saudi playwright and this is her thrilling and humorous one-woman show in which the narrator begins by telling her story and moves on to tell the stories of other women, giving insight into the powerful and rich experiences of Saudi women. If you haven’t seen it already, it is not to be missed. It’s a great opportunity for you all to go and see Maisah Sobaihi in action.

We are delighted to announce that Jeddah Blog will receive one free ticket to the play for one of our lucky readers. If you would like to win the ticket, leave a comment at the bottom of this page telling us why you would like to go and see the play. Don’t forget to add your email address so that we can contact you. Special thanks to the promoters for this. Hurry, as the competition ends tomorrow (Sunday, the 17th) at midday.  The competition has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered. The winner is announced below.

Tickets are available at the door and at Munch Arafat from 5 – 10pm daily, but you can take advantage of discounts if you book online with Eventbrite. You can also contact them via the Head Over Heels Facebook page.

The event is open to ladies and gentlemen although seating will be separate. The English performance is on 18th February and the Arabic performance is on 19th February, 2013.

The winner of the free ticket is ERUM KHALID.

Congratulations Erum! Get in touch with us via email to claim your free ticket :)

Parking Problems

Jeddah is notorious for its heavy traffic during rush hours and double (or sometimes triple) parking. What does one do, however, when you wake up one fine morning to find that your car has been completely blocked by a number of other cars? As we left our house on Thursday morning to catch an appointment at the hospital, we were welcomed by the scene below. If you look at the following photograph, you’ll see our car boxed in by three other cars.


Our car

Even Houdini wouldn’t have been able to get out of this one.

We asked some men working nearby if the cars belonged to them. No luck. After searching for a while, we found out that a man in some offices (you can see them in the right-hand side of the picture) had parked the car quite conveniently and was sitting inside. Five minutes later, we were on our way. If we hadn’t found the culprit, we could have missed our doctor’s appointment.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Where do you think are the worst parking spots in Jeddah? Drop us a line and let us know.





Jeddah Compounds

Since our previous two lists, the Definitive Jeddah Blog List of Schools and Playgroups, Preschools and Nurseries have been so well-received, we thought a listing of compounds in Jeddah should be next to aid those looking for accomodation in Jeddah. We have tried to give you links to websites or Facebook pages where possible to keep this page simple and easy to navigate. The housing list below is by no means exhaustive and we’ll be continuously updating it, so if you live in a compound, or have heard of a compound that is not listed here, please do drop us a line and we’ll add it in. Also, please leave a comment and let us know about the compound YOU live in. Do you like it? Is it good value for money? or has it not reached your expectations? Would you recommend it to others? Abdullah Compound

Tel:652 2358/ 651 5416

Abir Compound

Tel: 652 2358/651 5416 ext 7759

Al Andalus Luxury Villas

Location: Tahlia St.

Tel :6695154

Al Aoun Village Al Gandool Compound Al Hajrayn Village

Location: Malek Rd.

Tel :6697220

Al Basateen Village Al Deyafa Compound Al Hamra Villas

Al Hamra District

Tel :6630180

Al Rumaih Compound

Opposite Floating Mosque

Tel: 699 1259 or 699 1231 ext 300

Al Salam Compound

Location: Al Rehab District

Tel: 671 7121

Al Saraya Compound

Location: Behind Tahlia Street

Tel: 663 7047 / 665 7566

Amoudia Compound

Arabian Homes Compound

Assaf Compound

Azzam Compound

Belleview Compounds I, II and III

Bin Hamad Compound

Binzagr Compound

Tel: 667 2064 Ext 111

Diamond Compound Dive Village

Tel: 6561980

Divona Compound

Tel: 0563390816

Elite 2

Location: Al Rawdah District

Tel: 661 0930

Elite 3

Tel: 2831666

Fatma Compound

Location: Intersection of Malek Road and Sari Street

Tel: 652 2358/ 651 5416

Flowers Compound Garden City Compound

Location: Intersection of Madinah Road and Falasteen Street

Tel: 660 7590

Hiba Compound

Location: Al Hamra District

Tel:665 0819

Kindi Housing Compound

Location: Sitteen Street

Tel: 691 0884

Lily’s Compound

Location: Al Rawdah District (behind Meridien Hotel)

Lotus Compound

Location: Al Hamra District

Lotus Compound II

Location: Al Naeem District

Lotus Compound IV M & M Compound (Al Meem Compound)

Location: North of Obhur

Montoro Compound Mosly Residential Complex

Tel: 691 0683

Mura Bustan Compound Nada Village

Location: Near Sharbatly Village

Tel: 692 0099 Ext 293

Nueve Andalucia

Location: Behind Sari Street

Tel: 682 3434

Oasis 1 Compound

Location: Prince Abdullah Street

Tel 660 7590

Oasis 2 Compound

Location: Prince Sultan Street

Tel:660 7590

Oasis 3 Compound Orchidia Compound

Residential compound with 10 units split into 20 villas. Complete with open-air swimming pool, basketball & soccer court, recreation lounge and indoor gym. Coordinates:   21°33’39″N   39°10’4″E

Location: Rawdah District (behind Meridien Hotel)

Rahma Compound

Location: Al Naeem District

Rania Compound

Tel: 660 7103

Rawdah Compound Raytheon Compound

Tel: 6915380

Reem Compound

Tel 682 9195

Rose Village Compound

Location: North Obhur

Tel: 6562501

Salmia Compound

Location: Near Makkah-Madina Highway

Tel: 640 0253

Sari Palms Compound Saudia City Compound

Location: Al Khalidiya District

Tel: 682 0030 ext 4353

Shaker Village

Tel: 694 1129 Ext 401

Siham Compound

Location: Near Prince Abdullah Street

Tel: 644 0844

Sharbatly Village Sunset Village

Tel: 654 9533

From the White Page to the Stage

Have you ever fancied being a theatre actor or writer, but not sure of the techniques? This refreshing workshop will lead you through building a plot, creating complex characters, constructing a story and authoring short, dramatic scenes. For aspiring actors, you will be lead through physical and vocal training, the basics of acting, analysing different scenes and much more.

You can register at . The closing date for registration is 5pm on 11th February, 2013.

Urdu Academy International Launched in Jeddah

Urdu is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world, and to secure the language, build bridges between the East and the West, and serve future generations, the Urdu Academy International has been launched with its head office in Jeddah.

Urdu Academy International

Rohail Khan, founder of the UAI asserts that the organization will be a global think tank “to incubate new ideas and develop new projects to promote the Urdu language, literature and culture.” Activities will be held in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and GCC countries. Rohail tells Jeddah Blog that an office will be established next year in Washington, DC to manage operations across North America and Europe.

Urdu lovers are invited to join and contribute towards the growth of this newly-founded think tank. Click on their Facebook page  for further details.

Some projects in planning are the launching of a quarterly Urdu Digest, publishing an Urdu-to-Urdu dictionary for the comprehension of difficult Urdu words, publishing a Grand Urdu Encyclopedia, and an Urdu thesaurus. They will also petition Facebook to adopt Urdu as one of its official languages. An international directory of Urdu writers, poets and scientists will be compiled and develop computer operating systems in Urdu, making Urdu accessible to the average smart phone, computer and laptop users.

If you think you may be interested in participating in this project, or would simply like to follow their progress, check out the UAI’s Facebook page.

Fine Motor Skills Workshop

Hope for Exceptional Needs, Saudi Arabia’s first and only multilingual center for life skills catering for children 0 years and above is holding their first training workshop on fine motor skills on the 13th February, 2013.

“All funds collected through these workshops will fund needy children who require financial aid to support their growth at the center, ” says Founder Uzma Raheem. “With the help of this workshop we will be able to train people and help needy children at the same time”.

For further details, call the Center on 699 6475/5246.

20 Tips for a Green Jeddah

Things are looking greener for Jeddah as an increasing number of green enthusiasts and environmental initiatives have sprung up in the city, and it has become much easier to Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Anousha Vakani speaks to a couple of such enthusiasts who agree that while the environmental situation in Jeddah leaves much to be desired, we have come a very long way in the last decade.

Sahar Radwan, a volunteer at Mawakeb Al-Ajr and a member of the Taif Orphans Association, explains that the pick-up truck from Trewind for the recyclables collected on their venue is now needed everyday as opposed to just once a month when they began six years ago. She talks about the increasing awareness among the people of Jeddah, and says, “people are very interested in the idea of recycling and reusing things. It’s a new culture for them but they are very enthusiastic about the fact that there is a place where they can send recyclable or reusable items.” However, Sahar admits that there is a transportation issue as the recycling situation in Jeddah is not yet big enough for recyclables to be picked up from individual areas. Instead, households must drop off their recyclables to Mawakeb Al-Ajr’s venue in Khalidiyah. Due to this, Sahar admits that other than many schools and companies, most families that drop off recyclables live close by in the Khalidiyah or Rawdah Districts.

Jeddah has seen the appearance of public recycling bins which can be found in many schools, colleges, hospitals and even supermarkets such as Hyperpanda, Wall Street Institute and United Doctors Hospital. Recycling bins have also been seen lined on a couple of streets.


Mona Othman co-founder of Naqa’a Enterprise, which provides sustainability solutions to companies, has also noticed a significant improvement in the environmental awareness levels between today and five years ago. Naqa’a Enterprise has worked with companies such as Nestlé and Abdul Lateef Jameel Co. Ltd. as well as Dar El Hekma College and Friends of Jeddah Parks.

Mona believes that the awareness of proper waste disposal will lead to a much better future for the environment. She goes on to add that currently they are contacted “mostly by international companies with young people who have either studied abroad or grown up there with environmental awareness, or due to pressure from international branches.”

Local companies are, however, slowly entering the green scene. One such company is The Loft, a creative hub based in Jeddah. Co-founder Ruba Sidani mentions that The Loft uses a very minimum amount of paper in the office but does end up with a good amount of plastic water bottles. After a little research they came across Mawakeb Al-Ajr and now send recyclable items to their venue in the Khalidiyah District.

Ruba explains that The Loft team is very enthusiastic about water and energy saving and the reuse of resources. She asserts, “We felt that especially in Saudi the topic of recycling is not of any significance, so we thought we would start in the office and once it kicks off we would move on to a campaign to try to spread awareness and to encourage people to separate their waste and recycle. We hope this catches on because it is for a much greater good, better for Saudi and better for the world.” The Loft has recently collaborated with Ateeq on a promo video of the Trochet project.

The Trochet project is the brainchild of Diana Rayyan, and another green campaign that Jeddah can be proud of. Trochet (trash + crochet) aims to reuse, through crochet, plastic and other recyclable items in the creation of hand-made products. They have even managed to design and create a bean bag made of crocheted strips of plastic. Recycling bins will soon be placed for the collection of plastic bags for Trochet.

The people of Jeddah are strongly urged to do their bit to help paint Jeddah in the vibrant green that it deserves. Jeddah Blog has compiled twenty tips for a greener Jeddah to help you start off:


Twenty Tips For a Green Jeddah !

  • Aim for shorter showers, reduce the flow of your shower head and don’t keep the water running while brushing your teeth.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room, especially if you’ll be gone for more than a minute.
  • Recycle technology; old laptops and cellphones can be sold to local shops who will usually offer a good deal as most parts are reusable.
  • Participate in Earth Day 2013, follow green blogs and local environmentalists to stay up to date and participate in events taking place in Jeddah on Earth Day. Take a look at activities from Earth Day 2011.
  • Raise awareness by inviting environmentalists to give talks at your school, college, workplace orevent. Companies and groups such as Naqa’a EnterpriseAl-Nabta and Faseelah hold environmental awareness lectures.
  • Educate children at home by encouraging them to reuse and recycle wherever possible. Start them off at a young age by looking for green activities to do with your toddlers, such as recycled material in an arts and crafts project.
  • Make an effort to improve air quality and reduce traffic by carpooling whenever you can.
  • Reduce the amount of plastic bags you bring home from the grocery store. Ask the bagger to place as many items as possible into a single bag. Better yet, take your own reusable bags to bring home your groceries in.
  • Switch off the hot water boiler in summers. Tap water in the summertime is usually hot enough for showers and household chores.
  • Buy your groceries in bulk and reduce the amount of containers that have to be recycled.
  • The greener the product, the better. Look for environmental friendly products the next time you go shopping. Take a look at Destination Jeddah’s Green Living section for updates on green products.
  • Unplug cellphone and laptop chargers when not in use
  • Separate your trash immediately into paper, plastic, metal and glass. Consider colour coding your waste baskets to make it easier and more fun for the family. Take a look at Trewind’s How You Can Help section for details on this.

  • Bring the separated recyclable items to your nearest collection point such as Hyper Panda, Mawakeb Alajer, Wall Street Institute and United Doctors Hospital. Contact Trewind for more information on collection points.
  • Khayra Bundakji, an environmental enthusiast and student at Effat University tweeted a useful and simple green tip; invest in reusable cups and take them to cafes instead of using their disposable ones. If you have your coffee (or tea) on the go, invest in a thermal coffee cup and have your daily drink in your own reusable cup, saving hundreds of paper and plastic cups per month. These reusable cups can be found in places such as Lifestyle, Home Centre, Ikea and most grocery stores.
  • Instead of giving kids money to buy bottled water from school, invest in a reusable water thermos for them to take to school.
  • If you have large windows at home, open the curtains and let in the natural light for as long as possible before switching the lights on.
  • Set your air conditioner on a timer instead of keeping it on all night.
  • Donate old clothes, toys, books and furniture to local charity groups such as YIG Jeddah or second-hand shops such as Mawakeb Alajer. Organizing a yard sale in your compound or neighbourhood can help you to get rid of items no longer needed as well as make you a little extra cash. Items can also be sold online at or Jeddah Yard Sale on Facebook.

Green Bookmarks

Naqa’a Environmental Enterprise

GREENation Saudi Arabia

Green Jeddah

Destination Jeddah

Mawakeb Alajer


YIG Jeddah



Saudi Environmental Society

Friends of Jeddah Parks

Green Prophet

Liyano Design and Production

Jeddah Yard Sale

Green Crafts for Kids

PMP Training Course

The Project Management Professional (PMP) Course is designed to demonstrate a strong level of project management leadership skills. PMP is now being offered in Jeddah and the next course begins on 13 February 2012. Details are below.

PMP-Jeddah - 13 Feb

Family Festival

For some family entertainment, consider visiting the Family Festival planned for the 31st of January 2013 at the Seasons Restaurant, opposite Al Baik on Siteen Street – next to Zahid Tractors Head Office. There will be stalls for ladies’ cosmetics, jewellery, clothing, abaayas and food. The event will begin at 5pm and will end at 11:30pm.

For directions or other enquiries, call on 0555246018.



Dinner in Honour of Shahid Afridi

Since our last blog post on Pakistani cricket icon Shahid Afridi’s visit to Jeddah, we have had numerous comments and emails from readers asking for more information. We can now share further details with you, thanks to our friend and SCC advisor Rohail Khan.

Le Meridien Hotel in Jeddah was the venue for a dinner in honour of former captain Shahid Afridi, and hosted by the Saudi Cricket Centre (SCC) on Thursday 17th January 2012. Shahid Afridi disclosed that he was impressed by the seniors’ trials and said that the SCC “is breaking new grounds for the development of cricket in the Kingdom”. He went on to add, “I am impressed by the senior players here. As for the under-19 group, it needs more attention, coaching and training”.


L to R: Tahseem Haqqi (Vice Consul (Welfare) Pakistan Consulate Jeddah), Rohail Khan, Shahid Afridi and Junaid Khan (Pakistan Consulate Jeddah).

Rohail Khan presented ajrak shawls, bouquets and souvenir gifts to Shahid Afridi, Iqbal Sikander, Tahseem Haqqi, Hasan Kabir, and Nadeem Nadwi in acknowledgement of their services to promote cricket in Saudi Arabia.


Rohail Khan presenting gifts to Shahid Afridi amidst the gathering of VIPs.


25000 Hits!

Jeddah Blog 25000 hits

Thank you to all our lovely readers for supporting us over the years. We have reached 25000 hits in just over 6 months and we have over 500 followers. We will continue to do our best to try to bring you posts that are informative, intelligent and positive.

– Image  by Suha Ali


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