Jeddah, Or Djeddah Jiddah, a town of Hedjaz in Arabia, on the Red sea, 65 m. W. of Mecca; lat. 21° 28' N, Ion. 39° 13' E.; pop. about 18,000. It is built on the edge of the sea, in a sterile desert, about 10 m. back of which is a range of low hills, devoid of trees or vegetation. It is surrounded by walls, with fortified towers at intervals, and a ditch, and has nine gates, six facing the sea. The sea is gradually-receding from the town, owing to the constant growth of the coral reefs. The harbor, which is the best on the Red sea, has a depth of from 3 to 17 fathoms; it is difficult of entrance, being shut in by ranges of reefs. The streets are straight and regular, and cleaner than those of most eastern towns, and the houses of the better class are built of stone or madrepore; but the suburbs are extremely filthy, and the dwellings little more than hovels. The principal buildings are the governor's residence, the custom house, several mosques of little architectural pretension, some large and handsome khans, and the British and French consulates.
132° during the simoom. Intermittent fevers are prevalent, and they generally attack Europeans on arrival. During the months of pilgrimage the population is increased to 40,000, and sometimes to 60,000, about 120,000 pilgrims for Mecca and Medina passing through it annually. Of the ordinary population, about 1,000 are British-Indian subjects, a number of whom are wealthy merchants. There are also many Egyptians and a few Greeks, and several English and French merchants. The industry of the natives consists of fishing, diving for black coral, which is found for only a short distance along the coast, the manufacturing it into beads and mouth-pieces for pipes and cigars, and the dyeing of English cotton cloths. The trade of Jiddah, which is very large, is carried on chiefly by square-rigged British vessels, the vessels of the Mejidie steam company, and native coasting vessels averaging about 80 tons burden. The exports are coffee, gum, spices, balm, incense, essences, senna, cassia, ivory, mother-of-pearl, pearls, tortoise shell, ostrich feathers, coral, dates, cutlery, hardware, and leather.
The imports are provisions, including grain, from Egypt; metals, glass, bottles for essences, cutlery, soaps, cloths, silks, and cottons, from Europe; rice, sugar, timber, nankeens, muslin for turbans, and girdles, from India; elephants' teeth, ostrich feathers, musk, mules, and slaves, from Africa. A brisk trade is still carried on in slaves, the most of whom are Abyssinians; they are landed at night along the shore, and carried into the city in the morning with the connivance of the Turkish authorities, with whom the firman of the sultan for the suppression of the traffic is a dead letter. Jiddah was bombarded in 1858 by the British in retaliation for the massacre of the British consul and a number of Christians.