Arabian Gulf formerly named ‘Al-Ahsa Gulf’

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Updated 19 August 2015
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Arabian Gulf formerly named ‘Al-Ahsa Gulf’

AL-AHSA: An ancient map drawn up by Italian sailors in Venice in 1693 had once named the Arabian Gulf as the ‘Al-Ahsa Gulf.’

This is according to Sami Al-Maghlouth, a historian and map specialist. “After strenuous attempts to read the titles printed on the old map using a magnifying lens, I found that the existing Arabian Gulf was labeled ‘Al-Ahsa Gulf’ in the Italian language,” he said.
Al-Maghlouth said the body of water had various other names in the past, determined by those who controlled the area. The names Hajr, Qatif and Basra were also used, he said.
He said Islamic maps had documented the area as the ‘Bahrain Gulf.’ The ‘Gulf of Basra’ was used under the Ottoman Empire. It was renamed the Arabian Gulf after the end of the British occupation.
Al-Maghlouth said that during the Renaissance, which saw a flowering of arts and culture in Europe in the 16th century, the Italians excelled at cartography.
Al-Maghlouth said that Al-Ahsa received special attention from King Abdulaziz to include it as part of the Kingdom because of its strategic, historical and cultural importance.


ThePlace: Fifa Mountains in Jazan

Photo/Colors of Saudi
Updated 15 February 2019
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ThePlace: Fifa Mountains in Jazan

The stunning mountains in Jazan remain one of Saudi Arabia’s most popular tourist attractions. Part of the Sarawat range, the dense forests that cover the jagged rock formations create a green blanket of natural beauty on the backbone of the Arabian Peninsula. The mountains are characterized by their towering peaks, terraces, and coffee and maize fields.