King Fahd Coastal City: A victim of indecision and neglect


Saudi Gazette report

THE now-defunct King Fahd Coastal City was established more than a quarter century ago as a hub of sports and entertainment in Jeddah, spending huge amounts of money. Occupying some 12,000 sq. meters of prime land near Al-Baghdadiya Al-Gharbiyah neighborhood, the city had hosted several important sporting events thanks to its latest facilities before it was closed down in 2013.

According to Al-Madina Arabic daily, King Fahd Coastal City used to be the favorite escape for sports enthusiasts and everyone in the city who wanted to take part in cultural activities. The number of memberships had hit 20,000 a year. The city also organized sea trips for residents and visitors to Jeddah.

The city had bowling centers, a workout area, a football ground, tennis and squash courts, a swimming pool and sauna, in addition to a 400-seat theater where important seminars and lectures were held.

German experts helped design and construct the city. After it was closed down, its ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Finance, which was planning to invest in the land and construct residential towers.

However, the city has become an abandoned place ever since and only stray dogs and cats visit the place. The current state of the city with its rundown buildings and walls caused by sheer negligence is pitiable.

Anyone can enter its premises because most part of the wall surrounding the city is longer there. Debris and miscellaneous items are scattered everywhere. Numerous derelict and abandoned cars are parked near its main gate. All the sporting facilities inside have provided a safe haven for stray animals. With dirty water all over the place, the city produces a stinky smell. All the sports and entertainment facilities and equipment have worn out.

Many members of society, including sports personalities, have called upon Turki Al-Asheikh, the head of Sports Authority, to rehabilitate the city so that sports enthusiasts can use it again. People now have to pay huge amounts of money to play tennis or squash in the grounds of hotels in the city whereas in the past they could play their favorite sport by having a membership in the city paying nothing.