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Tourism In Saudi Arabia : Heritage Sites You Should Not Miss

Tourism In Saudi Arabia : Heritage Sites You Should Not Miss

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rich in many Arab, Islamic, and world heritage sites. The Arabian Peninsula has a rich history before and after Islam.

World Heritage Sites are landmarks nominated by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Program. These landmarks may be natural, such as forests and mountain ranges, and they may be man-made, such as architectural landmarks such as bridges, dams, cities, and others, and they may combine the two.

At its seventeenth session in Paris on November 16, 1972, the UNESCO General Conference approved the Convention on the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage. This agreement seeks to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of universal and exceptional value for humanity and future generations.

Six sites in Saudi Arabia are on the list of World Heritage Sites after being approved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). To begin, the site of Mada’in Saleh was included in 2008 / 1429 AH, within the Al-Turaif neighborhood in the old Diriyah area in 2010 / 1431 AH, and the historical Jeddahina in 2014 / 1435 AH. In 2015 / 1436 AH, rock art was registered in the Hail region to be on the World Heritage List. The last site to be included on the list was in 2021 / 1442 AH, which is the Hama Cultural District.

In 2015, UNESCO added ten Saudi sites to the temporary list, which is the first step toward inclusion on the World Heritage List, including the “Al-Ahsa Oasis”, which was later listed as a World Heritage Site, specifically in the year 1439AH/2018.

Medina area

Al Hajar (Madain Saleh)

One of the principal cities of the Nabataean kingdom in the north of the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Hijr was named Diyar Thamud. The site includes huge tombs dating back to the first century BC. It also includes about 50 inscriptions and several cave drawings dating back to that period.

Riyadh region

Its dwellings are distributed on the banks of Wadi Hanifa and its tributaries, and its old wall is surrounded by its fortifications and mud towers. Diriyah was the first capital of the Al Saud family.

Historic Jeddah

Historic Jeddah (Al-Balad) is located in the center of the city of Jeddah and includes several monuments and archaeological and heritage buildings, such as the Jeddah wall and its historic neighborhoods, as well as several historical mosques.

Hail Region

Rock art in the Hail region includes paintings of Jabal Umm Sinman in Jubbah, Rat, and Al-Manjour in Shuwaymis. The area of Jabal Umm Sinman was a lake at an earlier time, and its inhabitants left many inscriptions about their lives. Rat and Al-Manjour were two valleys, and the inscriptions in them show drawings of humans and animals dating back ten thousand years.

Al-Ahsa Oasis

The oasis is located in Al-Ahsa Governorate Eastern province, and it grows more than a million and a half palm trees. It is the largest palm oasis surrounded by sand in the world. There are many agricultural activities near it, thanks to the abundance of water and fresh springs. The site includes several landmarks, namely: Jawathi Mosque, Ibrahim Palace, Sahood Palace, Muhairis Palace, Abu Jalal Palace, Al-Aqeer Port, Qara Mountain, and Al-Qaysaria Market.

Najran Region

Hema Cultural District,

The Bir Hama area is one of the most prominent sites that include prehistoric rock drawings and inscriptions. These include human and animal drawings, in addition to writings in Thamudiyah, the Southern Musnad, and the Kufic script. The area also contains sites belonging to different civilizations, such as tombs and circular stone structures.

Ain Zubaydah

The road was named “Darb Zubaydah” after Zubaydah bint Jaafar, the wife of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, for her numerous efforts to set up facilities for pilgrims along the road. It dates back to before Islam and reached its peak in the early Abbasid Caliphate period, when stations, rest houses, wells, ponds, and other services were established.

 27 primary and 27 secondary stations were monitored along the road. Among the main stations whose landmarks are still prominent are Al Jumima, Zabbalah, Al Shihyat, Al Thalabiyah, Fayed, Samira, Al Nuqra, Al Rabza, Ma’aden Bani Salim, That Irq, Al Khraba, and others.

Hejaz Railway

Tabuk Region

The area of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah is located between Damascus and Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah. Work began on it in 1900 and it opened in 1908. It continued to work until it was destroyed in 1916 during the First World War.

 There are a number of stations located within the territories of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, and Syria. For the Saudi section, there is Tabuk station, which consists of a group of structures, and Indian Thealeh station, which includes sixteen buildings built of fine stone. Madinah Al Munawwarah station is the last stop on the line.


It extends between the Hijaz and the Levant and was known as Tabukiyah because of the Tabuk that it passes through. Then comes Al-Moadham, Al-Aqra’, Al-Hijr, and Al-Ula as it crosses Wadi Al-Qura (Al-Mabiyat).

The first three are taken from Wadi al-Qura to al-Saqiah, then to Dhul-Marwa, then cross Wadi al-Had to al-Suwayda, then to al-Falahtin, then to Dhu al-Khashab, and then to Medina, but since the seventh century AH there has been a modification in the path.

“Maghayer Shuaib”

It is in AlAl-Bida’, one of the most prominent points along the Egyptian Hajj Road, Tabuk region.

Maharajah Al-Mukarramah Region The trail has been used by pilgrims from Egypt, the Maghreb region, and other African countries, as well as pilgrims from Andalusia throughout history.

The path passed through four different stages that extended into contemporary history. The Saudi section of the road includes several castles and archaeological sites, the most prominent of which are the Shoaib Caves, Al-Muwailih Castle, Al-Azlam Castle, and others.

The ancient village of Al-Faw in the Riyadh region is the village that served as the capital of the Kingdom of Kinda on the Arabian Peninsula for more than five centuries. It was a very significant commercial center.

 The site currently includes many archaeological monuments, such as Greek ruins scattered throughout the site, the palace, and the market. In further excavations, some bronze figures and other artifacts were also found on the site, as well as a number of tombs in their forms.

Rijal Almaa Heritage Village, Asir Region The village is located in the Rijal Almaa Governorate, located in the Asir region. The village was considered an influential point, as it connected people from Yemen and Al-Sham in the north, passing through Makkah and Madinah, which made it an active commercial center. The village consists of about 60 buildings built of natural stones, mud, and wood. The site includes the Dar Almaa Museum for Culture and Heritage, which was established by the people of the governorate.

Ghamid Hella. Dhi Ain Heritage Village exists in Al-Baha District. The village was built of stones and covered with branches of juniper trees that were transferred to it from neighboring forests.

 Its balconies were decorated with quartz stones in the form of compact triangles. The village includes some defensive forts that were established in the past for protection and control. The village is located in a low area within the upper Tihama in Al Baha, and it rises about 1985 m above sea level. Its distinguishing feature is the combination of heritage buildings and agricultural terraces that are watered by a spring that runs throughout the year.

The historical oasis of Dumat Al-Jandal

(Al-Dara’s neighborhood in Dumat Al-Jandal) Al-Jouf Cultural District 6034 2015 Al-Dara’s neighborhood is located in the middle of Dumat Al-Jandal within the archaeological area next to the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque, and it is one of the remains of the ancient city of Dumat Al-Jandal.

 The neighborhood consists of adjoining stone houses, and its alleyways are connected. Although the history of the neighborhood’s establishment dates back to the medieval Islamic era, some parts of it are based on archaeological layers and foundations dating back to the middle of the first millennium BC. The neighborhood is distinguished by its stone buildings, its corridors, its location between orchards, and the private waterways of the springs. These waterways wReswaterways are wResbydentsighborhood.

Uruq Bani Maarid Reserve, Najran Region

Uruq Bani Maarid is located on the western edge of the Empty Quarter desert. It is considered a nature reserve. It has been identified as a vibrant botanical area due to its rich plant environment compared to other areas of the Empty Quarter. 106 types of plants have been recorded in the reserve, including the Arabian and Saadia Artas, along with dwarf plants, such as Persian rum, frankincense, and sage, in addition. In addition, perennial legumes.

 The reserve was home to the Arabian Oryx before it disappeared from the wild. From that population, it was chosen to reintroduce the Oryx raised in the family’s breeding program. Subsequently, Reem gazelle, mountain gazelle, and ostrich herds were added to it; these animals historically inhabited the area.

 In the reserve, there are also ruble’s fox, red fox, sand cat, hare, Abyssinian hedgehog, Jessman’s gerbil, small Egyptian jerboa, desert gerbil, and others. As for birds, 104 species of birds were recorded in the reserve, but only about 16 species are endemic, such as eagles.

Farasan Islands Reserve, Jazan Region

Farasan Islands Reserve is a nature reserve located in the southeastern section of the Red Sea. The archipelago comprises many islands with a total area of about 600 square kilometers. The islands consist of reefs of limestone flats and several short valleys that end in the sea. As for the coasts, they are covered with white calcareous sand that resulted from the destruction of coral reefs and seashells. Among the most significant types of trees in the reserve are Samar, Balsam, Sidr, and Arak, along with mangrove trees such as (Al-Shura and Qandal), which form dense coastal groves, as well as mesquite trees or exotic percussion.

 The reserve is distinguished by the presence of the Persian antelope endemic to some of the Farasan Islands, the white-tailed mongoose and several species of rodents and lizards. As for birds, they are distinguished by their diversity between water, shore, and migratory birds, the most significant of which are the osprey, gray pelican, dark gull, and heron.


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