The vibrant vegetable market is like a hub of all things fresh and colorful.
I’ve been hearing about the vegetable Market for many years now, but never actually got a chance to visit it. My fruit and vegetable requirements were always met by the supermarkets so the need never arose. However, out of curiosity (and looking for something new do,) I’ve decided to finally pay it a visit.
Nestled in Al Safa District just off Umm Al Qura Road, this bustling vegetable market is the largest in the city. When I reached it, trusting the Google location that I was given, I was actually surprised by its large size – more so, by the number of people that were there.
The parking area is of a decent size, but most parking slots were already taken. After finding parking in one of the nearby alleys, I made my way to the nearest entrance. I saw uniform clad porters carrying heaps of produce on flatbed trolleys to the cars of the customers. A porter with a flatbed trolley can be hired for 10 Riyals and the majority of people were using their services. It seemed to be a necessity as visitors to this market seemed to end up with large quantities of fruits and vegetables.
Once inside, I saw that the market was abundant and alive. It’s surprising to see the amount of goods being purchased here despite there being stiff competition from the supermarket chains these days. The market has somehow endured the fad and survived.
The stalls go on for hours, almost like if it were a small mall- sans the glittery lighting and air conditioners. There are parts of the market that are shaded, but then there are others that are open air- giving it more of a street market look.
I personally found the prices to be reasonable; the larger the order, the cheaper it gets. A few vendors were selling fruits and vegetables that you generally won’t find at the supermarkets at all times. Deliveries to the vendors keep coming in. I wonder what they do when their stock nears its expiration as the items on offer all seemed fresh. Most of which were sourced locally.
On the street parallel to the vegetable market, date shops galore. Many famous local date brands have their official outlets here.
On the whole, I must say that here you won’t find the energy to match that of other street markets in Jeddah, but somehow I seemed to enjoy the lesser buzz for a change. Yes, the stallholders kept asking us to buy their produce, but it didn’t feel noisy at all despite all the activity happening around. I found the visit a welcome change to my routine, especially since I used to think that I’ve seen all what Jeddah has to offer and was tired of having to visit the supermarkets for these items. Plus, my visit to the market gave me a set of new veggies to incorporate into my home cooking.