When in Jeddah, there are several attractions that compete for your attention. There is one with a clear height advantage – the King’s Fountain, the tallest fountain not only in Saudi Arabia but also the entire world.
Located along the coast of Jeddah and the Red Sea, the King’s Fountain was donated by King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz himself, which was why it was officially named King Fahd’s Fountain, also known in some corners as Jeddah Fountain.
How tall is it exactly?
King Fahd’s Fountain shoots to as high as 312 meters (or over 1,000 feet!) above the Red Sea, making it visible throughout the city. Since its base stands on the Red Sea, the jets get salt water from the sea and eject it at a top speed of 375 kilometers per hour, which produces an airborne mass that is more than 18 tons. In other words, the strength of this fountain can kill anyone on its path.
Constructed from 1980 to 1983, the Jeddah Fountain opened in 1985 and since then has become the wonder of sightseers. It even caught the attention of the Guinness Book of World Records, naming it as the tallest water fountain in the world. To add more to the attraction, 500 spotlights have been placed surrounding the fountain to illuminate it at nights. The result is one spectacular site.
Now a famous landmark in Saudi Arabia, the fountain is maintained by the city of Jeddah. It undergoes comprehensive maintenance and regular inspections daily, weekly, monthly, half yearly, and yearly to make sure it is running well every day of the year for many, many years. It has not been damaged for 25 years; the spotlights were only switched off on March 27, 2010 to support Earth Hour 2010.
The city of Jeddah is the proud host of the fountain. Jeddah also boasts itself as the prime commercial and tourism destination in the country and is considered as the most foreigner-friendly city in Saudi Arabia. Located on the shores of the Red Sea and known fondly as the ‘Bride of the Red Sea’, Jeddah is home to the most beautiful beaches and resorts in the Middle East, attracting thousands of locals and tourists to cool off from the hot scorching desert sun.
The Red Sea also provides opportunities for diving. The beauty of Jeddah’s underwater flora and fauna can easily compete with the top dive sites in the world. Apart from the beaches, other leading city attractions are the Floating Mosque, Biet Nassif, Makkah Gate, Old Jeddah, Jeddah Corniche, and a number of mosques and traditional houses.
Jeddah’s fame also has to do with the fact that it is the official gateway of Hajj pilgrims to the holy city of Mecca. Millions of Muslims from all over the world make this pilgrimage as part of their duties as faithful followers of Islam. Hordes of pilgrims pass by Jeddah regularly, gazing at the wonder of the world’s tallest fountain as well as the other tourist landmarks.
Apart from being a famous attraction, the King’s Fountain is also an engineering wonder in the area of water jet propulsion. The best materials and design were used to make sure the fountain does not succumb to corrosion and abrasion. It was built by the SETE Technical Services Latsis Group.