Visible from all across the city, King Fahd’s Fountain is a much-loved Jeddah landmark, rising against the backdrop of the Red Sea. At 312-meters high, it is the tallest fountain in the world, sending plumes of water shooting skywards at speeds of more than 350kph.
The fountain is at its best after dark, when hundreds of colored lights illuminate the arc of water as it soars spectacularly against the night sky. It’s at this time you’ll find groups of onlookers gathered along the waterfront, watching mesmerized as the fall of water cascades down to the sea below.
The fountain was donated to the city of Jeddah by the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who ruled Saudi Arabia from 1982 until 2005. The monument was constructed between 1980 and 1983 and was unveiled in 1985, immediately establishing itself as a prime sightseeing attraction. The fountain sits just off the city’s corniche and uses saltwater taken from the surrounding harbour rather than freshwater to create its signature surge.
There are plenty of great vantage points to watch the King Fahd’s Fountain, and the Jeddah corniche is among the best. If arriving by taxi or Uber, asked to be dropped off across from the Ritz Carlton hotel, and cross the road to the waterfront. From this point, you’ll have a ringside seat to the fountain and its show.
Afterwards, take a wander along the expansive corniche where food stalls, cafés and restaurants brim with delicious snacks. To make a day of it, take a detour to the magnificently plush Ritz Carlton and treat yourself to afternoon tea, served from 1pm to 9pm, at a cost of SAR150 (about US$40). The spread of sandwiches and pastries is among the best in the city.