The bustling Central Fish Market Jeddah comes to life at daybreak, offering the best wake-up call in Jeddah. The shops in the market sell row upon row of colorful, fresh fishes from the sea. As the sun rises over the horizon, tourists and buyers can watch fishermen unload their catch onto over 100 stalls. They can purchase fresh catch from the largest selection of fish in Saudi Arabia.
Visitors can enjoy the immersive experience of full-service offerings in the market, which includes cleaning, preparing, and cooking fish just hours after they are caught. The market’s good-natured din and vibrant array of fresh catches, not to mention the port’s fascinating role in Jeddah’s history, make it a photogenic feast.
Jeddah fish market history
Being situated on the seaside, Jeddah had an expanding fish market for a long time. Before the technological bloom, fishing was the main source of income in the region. Locals caught the fishes and sold them in the locality to earn their livelihood. However, it all changed in 1950 when the Saudi government announced to regulate the sale of fishes in the area to ensure the quality of fishes. As a consequence Jeddah fish market was built in 1952 on the waterfront near the Historic Al Balad area. Over the years, the market has undergone numerous changes. Infrastructure, air-conditioned halls, and refrigeration units are some of the new additions to the market.
Top fish species
With many vendors displaying English labels for international crowds, it’s a good idea to browse from stall to stall and become acquainted with the variety of seafood available. Tourists have plenty of options, including local favorites like red grouper (‘najil’) and Napoleon wrasse (‘tarabani’), sea bass, tuna, calamari, and mountains of crab and lobster. Egyptian parrotfish and Omani sardines are among the catches from elsewhere in the region. But if you want to try only local fare, look for those labeled ‘baladi’.
Tourists can negotiate the price with the vendor (usually by the kilo), and take their newly purchased items to the peel section behind the market near the Water’s edge. Others are likely to follow, carrying bags of shellfish or a hefty fish in each hand, ready to delegate cleaning, gutting, and fileting to an army of willing workers.
Before entering the crowded cleaning arena to wait in line, the fish will be weighed and priced.
Made to order
With takeaway and dine-in options available at the fish market’s on-site restaurant, tourists can enjoy their purchase however they like. Simply walk in and specify whether you want it grilled or fried, and select from an array of sides such as salad, hummus, and baba ghanoush.
If tourists come early in the morning, the restaurant can keep their fish until they return for lunch.
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Jeddah fish market timings
Although early mornings are the most popular time to visit, the fish market is open from 5 am to 9 pm daily. Turn up on Friday mornings for the most frantic activity, when the weekend begins with a display of Jeddah’s passion for seafood.
Things to Remember while visiting the market
- Visitors should dress modestly as per the Saudi traditions
- Visiting the market early in the morning will help you find the best catch
- First time visitor should ensure to eat one or two local dishes at restaurants in the market
- Tourists should not litter around and keep the surroundings clean
Jeddah fish market offers a vibrant shopping experience amidst the metropolitan of Jeddah. The market appears to be more of a warehouse area than shopping complex. Tourists can indulge in the once in a lifetime experience offered at the market. They can also taste some of the best delicacies of the region.
Fish Market Jeddah FAQs
What are Jeddah fish market timings?
The fish market is open from 5 am to 9 pm daily.
Where is the fish market Jeddah location?
Central Fish Market, Al Kurnaysh Br Rd, Al-Baghdadiyah Al-Gharbiyah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Which are the top fishes sold at the market?
Red grouper (najil), tuna, Napoleon wrasse (tarabani), sea bass, calamari, and lobster are the best fishes sold at the market.