Places: Jeddah International Market
Despite the presence of some international brands like Canon, Sony, and Fender, I’m not sure why this mall is called an international market. It doesn’t strike me as being very international because of its lack of goods and food from other places, nor does it feel very much like a market because there aren’t stalls the proprietor must close up each night – like a farmer’s market.
But I guess it doesn’t exactly matter what it’s called. What’s in a name, after all? The real pleasure of going to this mall comes from the items you can purchase here. If you are in the market for electronics or musical instruments (among some normal things like clothes and jewelry), this is the place to go! You can purchase things like cameras, lenses, tripods, TVs, computers, tablets, phone accessories, kitchen appliances, and home surround sound systems, and if you’re musically inclined, we saw violins, guitars (electric and acoustic), pianos, microphones, amps, etc.
I think the mall is worth checking out before you opt to order something off of Amazon or Souq.com. To help with your planning, here are some things to consider while planning your trip to the Jeddah International Market.
Stores & Selection:
- This doesn’t seem to be a very large mall, so it won’t take you a long time to take in all it has to offer.
- There is a decent selection of items in electronics, musical instruments, shoes, and clothes, and if you’re looking for some odd household decorations, there was even a very unique antique store.
- There was a huge supermarket with what seemed to be a large selection of foodstuff. This was appealing to us because sometimes our grocery store doesn’t carry more than one brand of an item – especially ethnic food items (i.e. Asian food sauces and ingredients). From what I understand, you can find a lot of Pilipino food items here.
- Considering that most of the items we looked at were imported items, they were actually very reasonably priced.
- There aren’t very many places to eat, and there didn’t seem to be nice, sit down-type restaurants at all. But we were there after dinner, so I have to admit that I wasn’t paying very close attention to all the restaurant options available. We bought a drink and some ice cream from a couple of different shops, so you definitely can get food here. It’s just not exactly a place to go to have a nice, “fancy” dinner.
- That being said, across the street from the mall, there were a number of restaurants that looked to be pretty good, so keep that in mind if you’re in this area around dinnertime.
- This mall was apparently built in the 80s, and it was the first mall in Jeddah to have A/C! I don’t know if it’s been renovated much in the last 30 years because it’s not exactly spectacular to look at. But it was relatively clean (i.e. no trash scattered around).
- The bathrooms, although not trashy, were not the nicest restrooms I’ve used in the malls in Jeddah. The bathroom had western toilets, but there was no toilet seat. And as is more frequent than I care to admit, there was no toilet paper. (I always keep tissue in my purse for situations like this!) I’ve definitely been to worse bathrooms in my travels, but these could be improved a bit.
- Despite the frequent “No Smoking” signs posted in the mall, there were a number of people who were smoking inside the building. My abaya smelled awful when we got home, so it went straight into the washing machine.
- There was a turtle pond with tons of freshwater turtles!
Have you ever been to the Jeddah International Market? What were your impressions? Would you add anything to my list?