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Jeddah Islamic port has an excellent location in the middle of the international shipping route[which?] between east and west.
The port lies on the Red Sea coast at latitude 21° 28' north and longitude 39° 10' east. It is the Saudi's principal port serving the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The port serves the commercial centers through which 59% of the Saudi's imports by sea are being handled. The importance of Jeddah Port increased and reached its maximum limit when Saudi Arabia was developing into a modern country.
The Port established in September 1976, whereupon it started developing its facilities. The port has expanded from a modest 10 operational berths in 1976 to the 58 berths of international standard in service today.[when?]
Jeddah Islamic Port is a congestion free harbor[according to whom?]. It occupies an area of 10.5 square kilometers and its deep water quays provide an overall berthing length of 11.2 kilometers with a maximum draft of 16 metres.
- The third Muslim caliph Uthman Ibn Affan establishes the fishing village of Jeddah as the seaport for nearby Mekkah.
- Jeddah Seaport is the western terminus of the Saudi Landbridge Project, the eastern terminus being Damman
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Along the coastline of the Red Sea runs a parallel stretch of coral reefs. Jeddah is one of the few places where a gap in the reefs allows large vessels to approach the coastline directly. Nevertheless the reefs have proven fatal to many ships through the ages.
From the sixties it is reported[according to whom?] that two ships had run aground to the north and to the south of the entrance to the port: thus marking the safe shipping lane between them.
As of 2007 at least three large ships have been reported[according to whom?] lying south of Jeddah. At lies the "Saudi Golden Arrow", ex-Norwegian Ferry "M/S Europafergen" reported[according to whom?] laid up at Shoieba.
Also since about 2000[clarification needed] the "Al Basmalah I" built as "Glen Sannox" in 1957 and the "Al-Fahad", ex "Free Enterprise III", that anchored after engine problems in 2004 and has since reported[according to whom?] to have become semisubmerged.
Some 14.6 kilometers southwest of the old city center at, approximately 1.74 kilometers from the coast, a half submerged wreck can be viewed on Google Earth.