Al-Baha coast gets tourism green light

Tihama’s diverse culture is a major attraction for visitors. (SPA)
Updated 07 January 2019
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Al-Baha coast gets tourism green light

  • The villages of Khalaf and Al-Khulaif, about 5 km from the northern governorate of Qilwah, house Islamic inscriptions dating back hundreds of years

JEDDAH: The people of As-Sarah, a mountainous area in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Al-Baha region, are increasingly turning to the coastal Tihama strip to enjoy its warm climate and abundant natural attractions.
Recent heavy rain has left Tihama, a narrow strip between the Red Sea and nearby mountains, covered in verdant foliage, heightening its appeal for the Al-Baha Spring Festival being held in Al-Mikhwah governorate.
Tihama’s four governorates, Al-Mikhwah, Qilwah, Hijrah and Ghamid Al-Zinad, are preparing parks and tourist sites to receive visitors, and are organizing a variety of spring events.
The spring festival includes entertainment and shopping activities, an exhibition for government departments with pavilions showcasing the province’s heritage, a lighting and sound hall, a zoo and illuminated corridors, as well as cultural events in an open air theater.
Tihama’s diverse climate is a major attraction for visitors. Its varied landscapes in the four governorates include lush valleys and plains stretching along the Red Sea coast and west to the Sarawat range and Shada Mountain.
The tree-lined valleys include Wadi Ileeb, 10 km from Hijrah, and Wadi Al-Khitan at the bottom of Akabat Al-Abnaa, south of Baljurashi.
Tihama is also home to archaeological sites, such as Thee Ain village, built on top of a mountain of white marble and surrounded by several farms irrigated by the village’s spring.
The villages of Khalaf and Al-Khulaif, about 5 km from the northern governorate of Qilwah, house Islamic inscriptions dating back hundreds of years.
Tihama is also known for its traditional restaurants with popular dishes, such as porridge, broth, Mandi, Mazbi and barbecues.
Al-Bahah Gov. Prince Hossam bin Saud bin Abdul Aziz has directed authorities in Tihama’s governorates to prepare tourist attractions and picnic areas, and provide essential needs for visitors.
He has also told security authorities to strengthen their presence in parks and tourist sites, and to improve traffic flow for tourists.


‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 36 min 31 sec ago
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‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”