Jeddah (also spelled Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda; Arabic: جدّة Jidda) is a Saudi Arabian city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The population of the city currently stands at 3.2 million. It is an important commercial hub in Saudi Arabia.
Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, which able-bodied Muslims are required to visit at least once in their lifetime. It is also a gateway to Medina, the second holiest place in Islam.
Jeddah is the most cosmopolitan and tolerant of all Saudi Arabian cities, hosting expatriates from all over the world who have made Jeddah their home. Economically, Jeddah is focussing on further developing capital investment in scientific and engineering leadership within Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East. Jeddah was independently ranked 4th in the Africa / Mid-East region in terms of innovation in 2009 in the Innovation Cities Index.
Regionally, Jeddah is a primary resort city of the country. Jeddah was named a second-tier beta world city, according to Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC).