MAKKAH: Tallan Mountain, the 2,200-meter peak in southern Saudi Arabia, has long attracted the interest of photographers and visitors, especially in winter when low cloud and fog create a sense of calm and seclusion.
The mountain is part of the Hijaz range in Al-Dayer governorate, which has stepped up activities to attract winter visitors, with mountain trails, museums and rural lodges, plus the introduction of agricultural festivals highlighting products such as coffee, mangoes, and honey.
But for many visiting the area, the festivals are a secondary consideration. It is the view from the top of Tallan Mountain that they want to see.
Visitors often spend hours in the cold, enjoying the solitude and escape from the hustle and bustle below, while glimpses of nearby mountains can be seen through the thick cloud.
Photographer Hamed Al-Ali told Arab News that winter temperatures rarely fall below 15 degrees Celsius, creating a moody, cloudy atmosphere across the entire governorate.
Every now and then, clusters of twinkling town lights appear through the fog — a sight rarely found in other parts of the Kingdom.
Al-Ali said that many photographers seek out the winter views from the top of the mountain.
Al-Dayer has put itself on the economic, agricultural and tourism map due to its wonderful potential.
Nayef bin Lebdah, Al-Dayer governor
“The place is charming. It looks like a painting that must be admired,” he said.
Al-Ali said that many images were popular with nature and visual arts lovers.
The Jazan region is considered one of the most beautiful in the Kingdom, and is popular with visitors and tourists due to its geographical diversity, outdoor activities and agricultural products.
Al-Dayer governorate is also famous for cultivating coffee trees. It produces high-quality Khoulani coffee, one of the world’s finest varieties. The Khoulani coffee bean is being offered to UNESCO for inclusion on a heritage list.
The Jazan Mountains are host to more than 54,000 coffee trees farmed by 600 farmers, annually producing 300 tons of their delicious beans.
The governorate celebrates its coffee trees by holding a festival attended by the governor of the region, some officials and people interested in coffee from around the world.
It is the largest mountain province of Jazan, with a population of about 100,000 spread across 420 villages.
Al-Dayer Gov. Nayef bin Lebdah told Arab News that specially prepared winter programs will appeal to visitors from around the Kingdom, with coffee festivals likely to prove especially popular.
Many events coincide with the mid-term vacation, with activities to suit families.
He said that competitiveness in all sectors has become a goal as entrepreneurs set out to provide attractive environments for visitors. Meanwhile, business accelerators aim to encourage investment in the governorate.
“Al-Dayer has put itself on the economic, agricultural and tourism map due to its wonderful potential,” bin Lebdah said.
“Agricultural activities, fishing, the pearl trade and a rich cultural heritage make this one of most beautiful and promising governorates,” he added.