A wealth of natural wonders and historic sites make Tabuk the perfect Saudi tourist spot

Tabuk region is a popular destination during the summer months. (SPA)
Updated 10 July 2019

A wealth of natural wonders and historic sites make Tabuk the perfect Saudi tourist spot

  • Tabuk is nestled between the Red Sea, to the west, and Al-Nafud desert, to the east

TABUK: Tabuk region offers a wealth of tourist attractions that help to guarantee a rewarding visit. The varied geography of the area means that a wide range of natural wonders are within easy reach, including the Red Sea, expansive plains and majestic mountains, along with ancient historical landmarks.

The region also hosts a number of festivals, organized by the Saudi Commission of Tourism and National Heritage, and the climate is wonderful all year round, making it a particularly popular destination during the summer months.

Tabuk is nestled between the Red Sea, to the west, and Al-Nafud desert, to the east. Five of its governorates are on the coast: Haql, Dabba, Al-Wajh, Amlaj and Al-Bada. Tabuk City is one of the largest and most important cities in the northern region, with a heritage dating back to the 5th century BC. It has acquired a number nicknames, including “Tabuk of the Roses” and “Northern Gate.”

The region’s abundant water reserves mean that it is one of the Kingdom’s largest agricultural areas. In addition to wheat, fruit and vegetables, Tabuk is renowned for its roses, which are popular within the country and also exported.

Noteworthy heritage sites in the city include Al-Tawba Mosque and the nearby Tabuk Castle. The Prophet Muhammad set up camp at the latter during his Tabuk expedition. The ancient mosque was built by Umayyad Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz in the location where the Prophet prayed. Thanks to its historical significance the city’s impressive railway station, which covers 80,000 square meters, is also worth a visit, as is the nearby Tabuk Regional Museum.

Other regional landmarks include: the Shuaib caves (Maghair Shuaib), which date back to the days of the Nabateans; the Great Tabuk Mountains, which contain Thamud and Nabatean scriptures; the Haddaj well of Tayma, which is one of the most important wells in the Kingdom and dates back to the first millennium B.C.; Tayma Castle; King Abdul Aziz Castle; and Al-Hamra Palace.

In recent years, Tabuk has undergone an urban and cultural revival. New hotels have been built and the number of passengers arriving at the region’s new airport, which opened in 2011, has risen to an estimated 1.5 million a year.

Tabuk city is currently preparing for its Roses and Fruits Festival, the largest event in the region, with about half-a-million visitors expected, so this is the perfect time to plan a visit.


Recent archaeological discoveries highlight Saudi Arabia as ‘a cradle of human civilizations,’ Rome conference told

Updated 06 December 2019

Recent archaeological discoveries highlight Saudi Arabia as ‘a cradle of human civilizations,’ Rome conference told

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has become a leader in the field of archaeological research in the past five years, a major exhibition in Rome was told.

Abdullah Al-Zahrani, director-general of archaeological research and studies at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, said that 44 international archaeological missions had been carried out this year in the Kingdom.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the “Roads of Arabia: Masterpieces of Antiquities in Saudi Arabia Across the Ages” exhibition, which opened at the National Museum of Rome on Nov. 26.

The groundbreaking exhibition was inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Culture Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan and Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities Dario Franceschini.

Al-Zahrani said that the Kingdom “has become one of the most advanced countries in terms of archaeological disclosures.”

“Recent discoveries by local and international missions have highlighted the Kingdom’s historical status and cultural depth as the cradle of the beginnings of human civilizations,” he said.

Archaeological discoveries continue to “instil the civilized dimension of the Kingdom,” he said.

“The religious, political, economic and cultural stature that Saudi Arabia enjoys is an extension of its long cultural heritage, in addition to its distinctive geographical position as a bridge and hub of cultural interaction between East and West that made it a meeting point for international land and sea trade routes throughout all ages,” he added.