City (pop., 2004: 2,801,481), western Saudi Arabia. Located on the Red Sea, it is a major port and the country's diplomatic capital. It takes its name (which means “ancestress” or “grandmother”) from the reputed tomb of Eve, which was located there until it was destroyed by the Saudi government in 1928. Jiddah has long been a point of entry for Muslim pilgrims journeying to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. It belonged to the Ottoman Empire until 1916, when it surrendered to British forces during World War I (1914–18). It was captured by the tribal leader
Learn more about Jiddah with a free trial on Britannica.com.