Shoaiba Beach - Mini Excursion From Jeddah

Now that we're pretty much settled in Jeddah and have fallen into somewhat of a routine, we're excited about exploring the port city and discovering everything it has to offer. 

Last weekend we took to the road for an hour long drive to Al Fahad Shipwreck. Ahmad read about it somewhere and wanted to go see it while I was very blah about it. The half-sunken ship looks cool in the pictures, sure, but it wasn't something I wanted to go and see for myself, I mean, why? But then there are lame things you sometimes do for your spouse so I let this be one of them and agreed to go. 

The site is famous for the ship wreckage of a Ro-Pax vessel named Al Fahad. The ship met its fate in 2004 due to some engine problems and is said to have been anchored into the Red Sea near the beach of Shoaiba.

However, what I did not know was that the wreckage site is actually right across Shoaiba beach which is a pretty decent spot to hang out if and when you do not have access to the many private beach resorts of Jeddah. 

It is located at around 70km to the south of Jeddah - you take the Jizan Highway and go past Jeddah's industrial area to get to the site. The route is the same for the more popular Al Qatan Tourism Village so you can actually make use of the direction sign boards along the way. We used google maps and had no problems finding the spot, I'll post the exact coordinates below. The ship is visible from far, you keep driving towards it until you reach a small bridge with fishing boats docked on either site. 

I was actually pleasantly surprised on seeing how beautiful the water was, I wasn't expecting such deep shades of blue. However, the excitement was quickly turned into anger and frustration when we saw how badly littered the place was. It seemed like every group that ever came there for a picnic left all their trash behind and no one ever bothered cleaning it up, it was a shame! If you've been living in Saudia for a while, you'll be accustomed to families lounging under the shade of their parked cars, fully equipped with the pillows and beach chairs and a-thousand-course-meals. You'll find many such families doing the same on this beach and that's what you should do too if you plan to spend some time. Just pick up your trash before leaving! 

The good news is that if you keep driving along the coast, the litter does disappear, it gets cleaner and you can find yourself a nice spot to park your car, take out your chairs and chill in the cool sea breeze! 

The water is really REALLY shallow and there are no waves so it is perfect for families with children. They can enjoy the water without parents having to hold their hands all the time and can play with their beach toys all they want. There is absolutely nothing else on the beach, no restaurants, no coffee places, no food stalls, so if you plan to stay for long, take along everything you need. We stayed for a couple of hours, strolled along the beach, Aleyan enjoyed the water and the breeze and then we moved to the opposite side of the coast (facing the shipwreck) when it was time for sunset. I must say the sunset was quite beautiful. You can just sit inside your car with your favorite music and enjoy the view.

Below are a few things you can do at Shoaiba Beach, especially if you're going with a group of family or friends:

- Beach day for kids , get their toys for water play and you're sorted for a few hours
- Men and children can swim
- Fishing - If you're into that stuff
- BBQ - you can even stay past sunset and enjoy the moonlight by the sea. There are no lights so either make your arrangements or rely on the headlights of your car(s).
- Volley ball - some people had brought the net along and were having proper beach volley matches

The place is nothing out of the world but its nice to just hang out on a weekend, enjoy the sea breeze, stroll on the beach and watch the sun set. No harm doing all that, right? 

Google map coordinates: 20.802017, 39.425578

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