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Saudi Hospitality Industry Visit Saudi Arabia

Jeddah Opens First 3 Heritage Hotels with UNESCO World Heritage Protection

Written by Linda Hohnholz

In Historic Jeddah, known for its immense historical and cultural importance, the Jeddah Historic District has initiated the restoration and rejuvenation of 3 UNESCO Heritage protected properties into upscale hotels.

Historic Jeddah, known as the Gate to Makkah (Mecca), is situated on the eastern shore of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In November 2014, the Saudi Council of Ministers passed the New Antiquities, Museums and Urban Heritage Law by royal decree which provides for the protection of Historic Jeddah.

Rich in cultural diversity, the site is directly associated with Hajj, the yearly Muslim pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, reflecting the symbolic intangible level as well as the architectural and urban level of the area.  

The hotels are part of a Jeddah Historic District program which has paved the way in the regeneration of the old town of Al Balad. The properties are part of a wider restoration of a collection of heritage properties and represent the first 17 keys to open of a further 165 keys that will belong to 34 heritage properties that will open by 2027.

The first 3 hotels – House of Jokhdar, Kedwan, and Al Rayes – have been carefully reinvigorated with the work of historians and the knowledge of locals, utilizing local artists, carpenters, and architects as well as locally sourced products. The 3 properties thoughtfully reflect their original layout and design while offering luxurious and effortlessly chic modernity.      

Each property offers a set menu for both lunch and breakfast at one centralized restaurant for all 3 properties, where locals and visitors can also enjoy the delicious local flavors. Additionally, all guests will be enveloped in the heritage and history of the area and are greeted with coffee and rose-infused tea upon arrival as they are also given the opportunity to personalize their visit ahead of time. Everything from chocolates in their airport transfer to the scent of incense in their room is personalized, offering guests a home away from home. Complimentary airport transfers on arrival and departure stand on the ready.

House of Jokhdar

Comprised of 9 light and airy rooms and suites, including the Royal Suite, Dar Neem Suite and Deluxe Suite, this unique hotel has been thoughtfully designed to provide a haven of tranquility amid the vibrant bustling streets of Al Balad. This luxury hotel has a stunning roof terrace for guests’ exclusive use, with stunning views of the historic center.

Al Rayess

With 6 suites and rooms, Beit Al Rayess’ grandeur is evoked through its impressively high ceilings. Matching its surroundings, the boutique hotel focuses on bridging the gap between old and new, tradition and luxury. While evoking tradition, the amenities and facilities provide modern comforts for guests to feel at home during their stay.


A blend of heritage and contemporary, Beit Kedwan boasts 2 guestrooms and can also be hired in its entirety, alongside multiple living spaces where traditional Arabian design merges with modern comfort. Beit Kedwan also has an exclusive rooftop terrace for guest use, offering an enclosed space with views of the Arabian skyline where visitors can enjoy their meals.