Treat the sea and sand lover in you.
As dusk strikes, the sun shines dimly, its weak rays reflect in the vast sea. The beach boasts of a sunset experience like no other near Jeddah, where neither boat nor watercraft obstructs the horizon. It’s just the sand and sea in front of us and grass and palm trees behind us with the winds slowly breezing past them, creating the most beautiful sounds.
The kaleidoscopic kite flies high as children learn to swim in the shallow waters while some of them practice maneuvering on their self-balancing scooters. Families try to barbeque, with some of their members taking selfies with the setting sun and a few parents close by run after their toddlers who seem to enjoy walking in the soft grass. This is a sight we saw while at Al Saif Beach.
We heard about it this new beach that opened fairly recently in 2015 a while ago. But now after hearing its reviews we couldn’t wait any longer and decided to visit. Someone told us that we could swim so we got our swimming gear along with us.
Despite opening without much fanfare, we found Al Saif Beach crowded. In Jeddah when a new attraction opens, somehow the entire city knows about it within days.
Google Maps has it listed as “Sword Beach,” a literal translation of Al Saif. If one starts asking or searching for Sword Beach they won’t find it anywhere except on Google Maps. All signboards leading up to the place have it written as Al Saif Beach and Jeddawis know the beach as that as well.
Speaking of signboards we came across plenty of them on the way, especially after reaching King Faisal Road. The road is filled with warehouses and factories and we passed hoards of them on our way. An interesting thing I saw here was the solar powered streetlights, something I haven’t seen in any place in the country before. Though they were not the best looking they were definitely the most eco-friendly ones out there.
We followed the signboards and reached South Corniche; a place anglers prefer over Al Saif Beach. From South Corniche we continued to head south following Corniche Road and went round a thermal power plant. After the power plant it was another 5-minute drive, and there was Al Saif Beach, neatly laid out with palm trees flanking the main road. The total distance of the beach from downtown Jeddah is around 55 kilometers and it took us less than an hour to reach.
Finding a parking spot was a hassle, but we eventually found one. The swimming gear wasn’t of much use as the water was only knee-high and the waves were negligible; no wonder it was mostly filled with children. An excellent spot for the young ones to learn swimming, as the sand beneath is extremely soft and no stones or algae whatsoever are found at the beach.
Plus the beach is surprisingly clean considering the numbers it sees, especially if we consider what happened to Jeddah’s Corniche only days after reopening, where one would find plastics and all sorts of garbage seaside.
What we enjoyed most at the beach was walking in the shallow waters, the soft sand dispersed with every step we took making the seawater look murky. The experience of dusk here deserves a mention on its own; pristine – to put it in one word. A place where you can get a book or drink a fine cup of tea while watching the sun set into the vast seas ahead of you.
Since there isn’t any habitation or makeshift kiosks nearby it’s best to get all your supplies from Jeddah. There are even huts available for families who want that extra bit of privacy; we didn’t find many using them though. A makeshift mosque is available at sight along with many restrooms that one comes across while walking by the beach. On the whole it is an ideal picnic spot for families, be it barbeques or weekend gatherings.
Coordinates: 21.170042, 39.170793