A milestone in waterfront design

Jeddah Waterfront presents the first footbridge for walkers in Saudi Arabia


Saudi Gazette

THE new Jeddah Waterfront project marks a milestone in the architectural design of waterfronts, the city's mayor Hani Aburas said at the inauguration ceremony of the fourth and fifth phases of the "JW" Wednesday afternoon.

The last two phases includes what is considered to be the largest public park project with an area of 40,000 square kilometers at the Nawrus in North Corniche.

He praised the efforts made to achieve this mega project, which took nearly 5 million work hours by about 2,000 employees to complete.

“Take care of your city,” Aburas further said, describing it as “every citizen’s duty.”

Speaking to the reporters following the inauguration, Prince Khaled A-Faisal, the emir of Makkah and adviser to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for realizing this project and other mega projects being implemented in Jeddah simultaneously, such as the Haramain High Speed Railway that carried out a trial run recently and the new King Abdulaziz International Airport “that will open soon”.

“I want to ask the residents of Jeddah what will they do with this project,” Aburas said. “Will you preserve it or will we later learn who is responsible for damaging it?”

The facilities of the SR800-million project are considered unprecedented and world-class, according to the municipality.

The walkway designed in a footbridge is the first in the Kingdom and is 650 meters long, Aburas said. The walkway extends between Corniche and Faisal Bin Fahd Street with two emergency ladders along the way.

The waterfront offers free access to three beaches for swimming, public showers, bathrooms and ablution facilities. The beaches can accommodate 10,000 people.

Fourteen fountains are aligned along the waterfront, including five dancing ones.

In addition, the 730,000-square-kilometer area of the waterfront offers space for various activities, including an outdoor gym, walking, biking and two piers for boat rides. Moreover, there are two bicycle routes.

Catering to children’s needs is always a challenge, Aburas said, adding that the municipality has now prepared eight edutainment areas for children.

The waterfront also caters to visitors with special needs by installing Braille signs. Among the 120 public bathrooms available are several smart-operated ones.

#Jeddah_Waterfront became one of the top ten trending hashtags Wednesday night as citizens and residents celebrated the opening. Many encouraged people to preserve the area and take care of the public property.

Vandals and litterbugs are warned of stiff penalties, Yasser Mufti, project manager of Jeddah Waterfront, told Saudi Gazette that there are 125 surveillance cameras with face recognition technology and a control room to help avoid unruly incidents.

The Jeddah Waterfront’s design is inspired by seagulls with two wings extending from north to south of the Corniche.

Rabea Al-Akhras, a sculptor who is in charge of the project's maintenance, says, “The last two phases of the project are a great leap in architectural design and beauty of the place. The aesthetics aligns with civilization and serves comfort for visitors.”

Al-Akhras created 12 sculptures in Jeddah and handed to the municipality three horse sculptures in the Nawrus area, in addition to designing the walkway and other artworks in the waterfront.