Saudi is not much focused on tourists. It's willingness to preserve its heritage seems low. Balad may stand out in the attempt to make Jeddah as non-descriptive as possible. This is a genuine nice place to be. Nice souk with lots of franchises offering various goods, ranging from (traditional) clothes, Korans, to jewelry. I have not found any decent restaurant as their seems no food culture like in Italy or France. The streets are crowded with various nationals and the street vendors are adding flavor to it. If Jeddah would have had a warm heart, it would be pulsing in Balad. For Saudi standards I would have given it 5 stars but compared to other locations in the world it is around average. That is a pity as the Saudi's on average are nice friendly people. I agree in general with the observations of my fellow travelers.
It is interesting to follow prayer time in the evening at the big square near the Corniche Commercial Center. Irrespective of your beliefs one has to admire their devotion to take some time off for worship.
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