Beauty, heritage of Fifa mountains offer ideal tourist destination

The old cylindrical mountain houses and the agricultural terraces of the Fifa mountains reflect the heritage and authenticity of the area. (SPA)
Updated 04 July 2019

Beauty, heritage of Fifa mountains offer ideal tourist destination

  • The stunning mountains in Jazan remain one of Saudi Arabia’s most popular tourist attractions

FIFA, Saudi Arabia: The Fifa mountains, which rise more than 1,800 meters above sea level, are about 100 km from the southern Saudi city of Jazan and offer an idyllic tourist destination.

The governorate of Fifa looks like a modern city with its tall buildings that touch the clouds. This mountainous region in southwest Saudi Arabia enjoys generally mild weather during summer and cold temperatures in winter.

The mountains, part of the Sarawat range, are known for their parks and high tops, most notably Al-Absiyya, Al-Laghtha, Al-Kidra, Buqa’at Al-Washl, Al-Surra, Qardha and Al-Sima’a.

Neighboring governorates can all be seen from the pinnacles of this mountain group, including Al-Daer Bani Malik, Al-Aidabi and Al-Ardhah, in addition to the valleys of Jawra and Dhamd.

The old cylindrical mountain houses and the agricultural terraces of the Fifa mountains reflect the heritage and authenticity of the area.

The people of Fifa estimate there to be millions of agricultural terraces, and the fertile soils are protected from erosion by an elaborate system that collects water from the mountaintops and roofs of houses in specially built reservoirs to be used for irrigation during dry seasons.

The inhabitants of Fifa rely on agriculture and livestock as sources of income. They plant aromatic trees and grains of all kinds, in addition to pomegranates, Annona, coffee, cocoa, guava, tamarind and other fruits and vegetables. They also rely on beekeeping, with the Fifa mountains now well-known for the quality of its honey products.

Tourists visiting Fifa can enjoy the local heritage found in Al-Nafi’a souq, which is one of the first markets to be established in the governorate and preserves its traditional character and simplicity of its shops.

Alternatively, the Haqou Fifa market was established by the municipality of Fifa in a modern architectural style and provides municipal services to the market’s visitors and the large public squares, where local events are held.


Dr. Sultan Al-Saleh, director at the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society

Updated 06 June 2020

Dr. Sultan Al-Saleh, director at the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society

Dr. Sultan Al-Saleh has been the director of the heritage department at the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society (SHPS) in Riyadh since August 2018. 

Founded in 2010, the SHPS was established to monitor and encourage public and private initiatives that focus on the preservation of Saudi heritage.

Al-Saleh directs work that focuses on identifying undeveloped and overlooked areas of Kingdom’s cultural legacy, including projects to promote public awareness about the importance of the country’s cultural heritage for present and future generations.

Al-Saleh has both an educational and a practical background in heritage management, at both national and international levels.

As part of his duties at SHPS, Al-Saleh supervises and organizes documentation projects for UNESCO’s heritage lists. He has also represented the Kingdom as part of the Saudi team at several UNESCO meetings. 

In addition to his current post, he has been an event consultant at lastminuteSA in Riyadh since May 2019. He also served as a credit officer at Samba Financial Group in Riyadh from 2005 to 2008.  

He has been a lecturer at King Saud University in Riyadh since 2008, the university where he received his bachelor’s degree in languages and translation in 2005. 

He is also a project management professional with practical knowledge of heritage management methods. He obtained a master’s degree in 2011 in tourism and heritage, focusing on heritage event management, from Université Lumière Lyon 2 in Lyon, France.

He obtained another master’s degree in 2012 from the same university in tourism and heritage management, focusing on engineering and the management of sites and development.

Al-Saleh recently obtained a doctorate in tourism and heritage from Université Libre de Bruxelles (The Free University of Brussels), which is a French-speaking private research university in Belgium.