The site comprises the coastal lagoons just north of Jiddah port (21°30'N 39°10'E) and along the South Corniche road (21°23'N 39°07'E), south of the military area. It contains extensive sandy and muddy intertidal flats and shallow lagoons with sandy islands/peninsulas. All the surrounding area has been landfilled and urbanized, and the whole landward side of the site is bordered by roads.
See box for key species. This is the richest area of the central Red Sea coast for wintering waterbirds, and has a high density of migrating and wintering waders due to the presence of sewage outlets from Jiddah. In 1990 dozens of nests of Phoenicopterus ruber were present as were large numbers of displaying birds, although the colony disappeared after the site was flooded by spring tides.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The South Corniche is a busy recreational site at weekends, though the port area is relatively well protected from disturbance due to its proximity to the heavily guarded port. The mudflats at the port show signs of severe eutrophication, and in 1992 the South Corniche area was hit by an oil spill. The entire site is threatened by expanding urbanization and industrial development. Part of the site is proposed as a Natural Reserve in the NCWCD System Plan for Protected Areas.