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  • Harry Stuckler

Most desirable city award - Jeddah

Jeddah’s historical district, Al-Balad, often referred to as the heart and soul of the city, has been nominated in the “Most Desirable City — Rest of World” category for the Wanderlust Travel Award.

With a history spanning over two decades, the award serves as a beacon within the travel industry, celebrating and acknowledging the pinnacle of travel experiences and destinations across the globe.

It encompasses a diverse array of categories, recognizing excellence in various sectors, including tourist destinations, tour operators, and aviation companies, among others.

Al-Balad, an ancient district established in the 7th century, holds immense historical significance in the city of Jeddah. This neighborhood earned the distinguished honor of being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014, a testament to its rich cultural heritage and architectural treasures.

Al-Balad’s nomination for this coveted award underscores its position as a world-class heritage destination, rich in history and cultural significance.

This historic district boasts a mesmerizing blend of architectural wonders, traditional markets, and a unique ambiance that transports visitors back in time. Its labyrinthine alleys, centuries-old coral stone buildings, and iconic gates tell a tale of the city's heritage and its connection to the Red Sea.

The Wanderlust Travel Award nomination is a resounding testament to the global travel community’s recognition of Al-Balad’s exceptional charm and historical importance. It showcases the dedicated efforts made to preserve this invaluable piece of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage, while also ensuring its accessibility and appeal to modern travelers.

In 2022, Saudi Arabia was awarded the bronze award for the “Most Desirable Emerging Destination” in the Wanderlust Travel Awards. This recognition serves as a testament to the remarkable transformation and growing popularity of this historically significant and visually stunning region.

The Kingdom holds immense historical and cultural significance, with a rich heritage that spans thousands of years. In recent years, the country has undergone a remarkable transformation and has emerged as a highly sought-after destination for travelers.

Saudi Arabia’s appeal as a travel destination is further enhanced by its inclusion of UNESCO World Heritage Sites beyond Al-Balad. These sites, such as the At-Turaif District in Diriyah, the Rock Art in Hail, and the Al-Hijr archaeological site in AlUla, add to the country’s cultural and historical allure.

Travel enthusiasts and aficionados now have the opportunity to vote and show their support for Al-Balad. The voting period extends until Oct. 18, allowing people from all around the world to contribute to the acknowledgment of Al-Balad’s timeless allure.

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