King Abdullah Economic City, on the coast 100km north of Jeddah, is a new city with big ideas. Conceived in 2005 to attract international business, leisure is also a big part of KAEC’s offering. International tournaments have been played at the Royal Green Golf Club, one of the best in the Middle East, while a motor sports park is being built as part of the Lagoona leisure area. The expansive waterfront is a key part of the city’s appeal, from the bike-friendly Beach Walk to the soft-sand Yam Beach, and the wide range of watersports, especially fishing and diving in the clear Red Sea.
Like much of the Red Sea coast, the area around KAEC is great for waterborne exploration, whether just being out at sea, or snorkeling and diving the shallow reefs not far from the coastline. Boats can be hired at the marina for everything from 30-minute cruises to serious full-day fishing adventures, in waters that host the Red Sea International Sport Fishing Tournament during the summer.
The white-sand Yam Beach, on the shores of the Bayla Sun district, is a hub for fun in KAEC. A shallow natural pool surrounded by coral reefs, it’s popular with kiteboarders and snorkelers, as well as families relaxing under thatched cabanas. There are kayaks and pedalos to hire, and modern food trucks lining the bay. The beach is close to the elegant Views Hotel & Residence, and not far from Aqua Fun, a floating water park at the marina.
Motor sports are a big part of KAEC’s plans, and the easiest way to tap into that is at Juman Karting, a high-speed 700-meter track near the city’s K-Max Theatre. It’s possible to kart whenever, but many come at night, when the air is cooler and the floodlit track lends the experience a futuristic videogame feel.
Where to stay: Options include the slick Bay La Sun Hotel overlooking the marina, with its grand, cruise-like atrium; or the sleek Views Hotel & Residence, with its marble lobby and sea-facing balconies, close to the fun of Yam Beach.
Where to eat: Stop by Casper & Gambini’s for great burgers and pizzas; Bhar for Middle Eastern meat and mezze; Al Safeer for clean, fresh Red Sea fish dishes; and Seasons restaurant at the Bay La Sun Hotel for finer dining.
Where to have fun: Take a spin around KAEC on two wheels with I-Bike, or head to Juman Park to sample mini golf, the park’s maze or to relax on the sprawling greens. Stop by Green Park for quirky topiary animals, and Bay La Sun Marina & Yacht Club for a range of private boat trips and canal cruises.
Learn more: Amazing Tours includes a KAEC boat trip as part of its eight-day human history tour from Riyadh to Jeddah. Shamal offers full-day snorkeling trips to the area’s gorgeous reefs, which are well suited to beginners.
KAEC is a city of the future. Its charming villas and condos, greenery, and varied activities make it perfect for a family staycation. Register on VisitKAEC for access to this coastal getaway, just an hour and a half off Jeddah.
A haven for solo adventurers, business travelers, and families looking for a quick escape, KAEC is a city that has it all.
Visitors with varying palates and random cravings are sure to find comfort at KAEC.
The northeastern city of Tabuk has long been a resting point for Jordanian and Egyptian pilgrims, with a rich Bedouin culture that can be felt in the bustling Souq Twaheen, which still supplies patterned rugs and goat-hair tent covers for modern nomads.