King Fahd Fountain

The King Fahd Fountain is the world’s tallest fountain reaching a maximum height of 312m (1023ft). It was fashioned after the fountain in Lake Geneva, however King Fahd felt the scale was insufficient for his liking and insisted on making his fountain even larger. It was built in the 1980s.
This fountain sprays costly desalinated water from the salty Red Sea back into the waters of the Red Sea. If the water were not treated, the fountain’s components would be destroyed by corrosion from the naturally salty sea water. The fountain’s plume of high pressure water spray carried in the air at any given time weighs an incredible eighteen tons and is shot out at a speed of 375 kph! Operating the fountain requires constant oversight by ten full-time technicians. The only time the fountain is ever shut down is for its annual planned maintenance, which takes about three weeks.
It is located off the coast of Jeddah in the Red Sea and is visible for miles from various points in the city and all along the Corniche. When it is lit up at night, the King Fahd Fountain is a spectacular sight. Nearby is the Salam Palace built by King Fahd, which was built on a manmade island in the Red Sea. King Fahd reportedly was quite ostentatious and wasteful during his reign as king. For his enormous palace, he actually brought sand and plants all the way from Hawaii with which to build his palace island.
His lifestyle was arguably more lavish and wasteful than any other ruler of Saudi Arabia, plus he lost millions gambling overseas (gambling is prohibited in Islam). He spent extended periods of time outside the kingdom, enjoying a Western lifestyle while ruling with an iron Islamic fist at home. When his oldest son passed away, King Fahd did not even return to the kingdom for his own son’s funeral.

About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
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17 Responses to King Fahd Fountain

  1. Catheline says:

    I have seen this fountain so many times when I lived in Jeddah. It is a spectacular site. Brings back such nice memories!

  2. Syaa_Fiqq says:

    Beautiful shot Susie, I like it. Hopefully, I will someday visit Jeddah.

  3. Gary Ansorge says:

    ,,,that was supposed to be YEARS,,,

  4. Gary Ansorge says:

    Susie: Are you sure they don’t capture and recycle the water. It wouldn’t be all that difficult.

    As an ARAMCO brat , one time employee of ARAMCO and SCECO, I love your photos. They bring back some fond memories of the 13 years I spent in Arabia.
    I have just one question, (since you are obviously much closer to the Saudis than company employees or expat kids), what are the Saudi Arabs saying about Barack Obama? Do they think he’s a positive change from our last eight yeras?

  5. Pingback: Theme Day: Glass « JEDDAH DAILY PHOTO JOURNAL

  6. Yoli says:

    Oh Susie I love this new blog!!! I hope one day to bug you enough to send me a post card from Arabia! So excited you will be featuring your photographs here.

  7. Musings says:

    He brought sand from Hawaii? Good gracious! I didn’t think we had enough to spare.

  8. Dina says:

    Quite a water show; thanks for the details of its inner workings. The night photo is beautiful.

  9. Bill B. says:

    I’m having trouble deciding if it is a wonder or a waste.

  10. ladyfi says:

    Wonderful photo – although it does seem a bit extravagant to have to use desalinated water.

  11. ruhsa says:

    I saw the photo and thought Jet d’Eau (in Geneva)- then I read the description and sure enough, it is modeled after it. Ahhh, childhood memories- thank you! 🙂

  12. Geogypsy says:

    An amazing sight that seems totally wasteful. Wonder how it affects the salinity of the Red Sea and the life near it. In this day and age it seems wrong somehow.
    Very interesting.

  13. Marahm says:

    As often as I have seen photos of this fountain, I never thought about how it operated, or how it is maintained, let alone how it came into existence in the first place.

    Thanks for this very interesting post!

  14. Guy D says:

    Cool shot Susie, I love the reflection.

    Regina In Pictures

  15. Jacob says:

    That is all absolutely amazing! Thanks!

  16. Sonia says:

    Hi Susie,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Isn’t amusing how some of these people lead several different lifestyles. What a shame that they failed to invest in reforming their education system, yet they love to show off their enormous private planes, 200 million dollar mansions, etc. Allah swt test us all through poverty and wealth.

    Love ya,


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