Abha City Profile
Geography & Location
Abha, the home of the headquarters of the regional Governorate and capital of Asir region, is located in the south-west of the Kingdom. The region abounds in mountains, valleys and fertile plains. It has a generally moderate climate, heavy rainfall, green pasture and agricultural plateaus. Abha is engulfed by clouds and is surrounded by dense forests.
Situated at an elevation of 2270 m (7,500 feet) above sea level, it is a mountain retreat and vacation spot for people from across Saudi Arabia and the other Arabian Gulf countries, gives it a relatively moderate climate.
One of the greatest attributes of Abha is the moderate temperature and climate all year round, which in summer, is noticeably more comfortable than found in other areas of the country. It has a generally heavy rainfall, green pasture and agricultural plateaus. The Abha region enjoys the highest level of rainfall of any part of Saudi Arabia.
To ancient Egyptians, this region was known as the land of spices and incense.
Visitors are particularly attracted by the Al Miftaha art village at the King Fahad Cultural Center. Here they find art works by Saudi painters and sculptors. Also available are archaeological items, handicrafts, local honey, hand-woven products and souvenirs. The open theater presents entertainment by various popular groups.
The city of Abha also includes the famous "Shada" archeological palace which dates to the year 1250H (1927 AD), and contains numerous archeological artifacts. It was as an office/residence for King Abdul Aziz's governors. After being restored, it was reopened as a museum in 1987.
Abha's houses there are made of stone and mud and were built by hand. Some are over 300 years old and still inhabited. The slight graduation from on layer to the next gives these houses the overall impression of truncated pyramids. Foundations are usually stones. The houses are built in shelf-like, overlapping, vertical rows that act as rain guides, keeping the rain from saturating the walls and washing them away. On every hill stands one of the famous stone watchtowers built over the centuries to monitor the movements of possible invaders.
Abha's daily market is a busy affair, bustling with activity and people. Locals bargain for fruits, vegetables, coffee beans and other wares. Local handicrafts like ornate silver Bedouin jewelry and hand woven basketry are specialty items.
ver the past 20 years the area has become more accessible, thanks to the rapid development of its infrastructure, and direct flights linking Abha with Jeddah, Riyadh and Dhahran.
Abha has a modern airport and more than 56 gardens that are continuously open to the public.
In addition to its scenic beauty, Aseer's geography of mountainous terrain has made it possible for the development of four dramatic cable car systems linking the various resorts with each other, including; the cliff top rides at
Al-Sooda and Al-Habala,the Lakeside and Thera Mountain routes at New Abha.
Blessed with spectacular mountain scenery, a cool climate, fertile soil and moderate rainfall, Abha is rapidly becoming a major tourist attraction. One of the most populous regions in the Arabian Peninsula, its long history has resulted in a rich cultural heritage and provides a colorful mosaic of changing architecture and traditions.
Abha has been beautified and prepared to receive tourists. Available in the city are 5-star hotels, furnished tourist villas and fashionable motels. Visitors can spend their time moving between mountain parks amidst a hospitable Arab atmosphere.
TOURS AROUND ABHA
- Abha Exhibition Center
Abha Exhibition Center, Health Center and Syahya Airport Mall are close to Abha Airport, centrally located between the two cities of Abha and Khamis
The Abha International Exhibition Center provides a total of 8000 square meters in five exhibition halls around a semi-open central area, plus a state-of-the-art auditorium for 550 delegates with additional conference rooms and full support services. Just two kilometers from Abha airport, the center includes a leisure complex with a 60-room motel and health club. Attractions include a bowling center, restaurants and cafeterias and indoor sports arena. There are also outdoor facilities for tennis, football and horse riding, with a children's play area.
A large area of parks surrounds the airport area providing various entertainment and sports facilities and superb scenery for the eyes to enjoy. Also available is a restaurant and a coffee shop overlooking Abha airport.
Various entertainment facilities are available for the entire family. Facilities include open sports playground for tennis, football and other sports in addition to specially designed sidewalks to enjoy walking in the middle of superb scenery. Other indoor activities are available including a fully equipped gymnasium, covered pool and a large centre of Bowling.
- Abha City
A visit to Abha Citys attraction like Al Muftaha village, Shada Palace, Visitors Center and Tuesday's traditional marketplace. You can during your sight seeing tour enjoy a cable car ride from New Abha to the Green Mountain passing through the parks of Abou Khayal where you will find Tihama Valleys and spectacular view of Abha City. Children can enjoy the entertainment and water sports provided at New Abha resort.
- Al Qara
You can visit Princes Sultans Park, Al Qara resort, Al Masqi Park and childrens Entertainment Park. If you wish you can rest at Prince Sultans Park and spend the pest times with your family. A special garden is available for campers.
- New Abha Resort
Priding along a hill beside the picturesque Lake Saadd, The New Abha Resort and Apha Palace Hotel are located in the most beautiful Part of Abha City with super views across the city and the rolling hills and blue mountain park, impressive cable car rides into the surrounding mountains, and a range of high quality accommodation. Accessible via paved highways winding through the mountains, or only 55 minutes from Jeddah by air, New Abha is ideally situated to explore the fascinating architecture of Abha City and spectacular Asir region.
- Al Habalah (Hanging Village/Village of Rope)
The name Habalah comes from Arabic word "habl" meaning "rope", this tribe had been located by a helicopter out spotting for mining research center, at the foot of perilous rift. Al Habala is one of Asirs unique regions and one can visit passing through Al Qara resort and entertainment village. Al Habala is an old name for a once inhabited village. Part of the old village is located at a steep of 400 meters where then relocated in King Faisal village. Al Habala is one of Asirs unique touristic areas and is located 2000 meters above sea level and 35 minutes from Abha airport. Why has a place of such difficult access been chosen? - The official account, according to which a clan of the Qahtan tribe had fled the Turks years before and taken refuge in this perilous eerie.
Al Habala has several options for family entertainment including children games; coffee shops and restaurants. Specially designated family areas have been setup on the edges of rocky cliffs where one can view parts of Tihama area and old Habala village in addition to viewing the cable cars transporting tourists to and from the old village.
Al Habala contains large areas of natural parks of rocky nature where one can spend the best moments enjoying the spectacular nature.
- Cable Car
Al Habala resort cable car is one of four cable car system in Asir region. Al Habala cable car system is 600 meters long transporting tourist to Al Habala old village.
- Green Mountain Restaurant & Cafe
Green Mountain restaurants & cafés are located at Abha City on the highest point of Jebal
Thera, with dramatic views over Abha City & the surrounding regions.
The restaurant serves all kinds of oriental and international food and sweets and can help you in planning for your special parties.
In addition there is an open coffee shop where you can enjoy fresh air and there is a full equipped Internet café.
- Al Saudah
Al Soudah is situated on Sirwat Mountains in the Magical area of misty Sirwat mountains and un-spoilt jumping forests, located at the highest point in
Asir, west of Abha City, 3000 meters above sea level and 30 minutes from Abha airport, there is much less oxygen in the air. The mountains are covered with Araar trees and natural forest and contain one of Asirs largest national parks.
- Cable Car
You can visit Al Soudah passing through superb forests, Al Sooda resort, and the cable cars. You can during your tour, ride the Soudah cable cars to Qaws valley which is 2000 meters deep and then visit Almaa Museum in Al Shabin province known for its history and traditional building. The highest of any visit is the seven-kilometer cable cars ride down from Al
Soudah, descending around 2000 meters to connect Sirwat Mountains with the Tihama villages through a spectacular cable car journey. 14 cars operate on the route, which includes facilities for the handicapped, and is equipped to the highest standards of comfort and safety.
Al Soudah has several entertainment options for the entire family including children games, coffee shops and walking through specially designed pavements in a mist of superb nature view on a 100,000 square meters park containing games for children and adults, sports games and coffee shops. An indoor facility containing fitness club, swimming pool, bowling alley and video games, is also available for the enjoyment of the entire family. The children can also enjoy the entertainment park in Al Sooda resort.
- Abha Palace Hotel
Abha Palace Hotel is situated on the banks of the picturesque Lake Saad on Nahran Road 1.5 kilometers from city center and approximately 10 minutes from Abha airport.
Abha Palace Hotel is located in the vicinity of New Abha Resort overlooking the Lake, where you can find entertainment parks offering a variety of adult and children games. A 7 kilometers cable car system transports visitors to and from the Green Mountain where one can enjoy the magnificent scenery surrounding
Tihama, New Abha City and enjoy splendid settings of restaurant and coffee shops.
- National Parks
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through its vastness, enjoys a diversity of good natural scenery ranging from mountains covered by a variety of natural vegetation and trees and wide plateaux with attractive plants in spring, to beautiful green oases in the middle of the desert, distinguished by their wild fauna, and the rich coastal regions by the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf.
The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has realized the importance of the protection of these natural resources, which are for the enjoyment of present and future generations, enabling Saudi citizens to holiday in a location of outstanding scenery and natural interest to rival anywhere abroad. It has thus been concerned with the establishment of parks, such as the National Park of Asir on the large mountainous and hilly landscape of Aseer around the city of
Abha. There are also studies and designs in preparation for the establishment of modern parks in Riyadh,
Al-Hasa, and Al-Baha and in other places.
To utilize the regions touristic and aesthetic potential, several parks have been established, most important among which is the Aseer National Park. It groups small parks in Al
Qaraa, Al Souda, Al Wardeh, Dalafan, Al Jarrah and (Tanumah). The area also includes the Grand Tourist lake Project and Al Hebla Park, which has been provided with a cable lift service.
Asir National Park in the Al-Soudah area near the summit of Saudi Arabia's highest mountain, Jabal
Sawdah, is one of the most scenic protected areas. From the observation deck of the parks Visitors Center, it is often possible to see some of Asir's wild baboons. A cable car ride to the floor of the Tihama Valley leads to the village of Rijal Alama to explore its castle, now a wonderful museum of Saudi wares. Habalah is a deserted farming village perched on the cliff face above a broad valley. Before Habalah was abandoned in the late 1980s, ropes lowered people and goods to the village.
- Raydah Escarpment Reserve
A first class site 15 km from Abha signposted off the Al Sooda road. The site is a very steep west-facing slope with crags at 2750 m to the floor of Wadi Jaw, 4 km away at 1250 m. The contrast in climate can be tremendous: cool, damp, cloudy and very temperate at the top, to hot, oppressive tropical conditions at the bottom. The escarpment supports a more or less intact forest on the uppermost slopes. Lush more deciduous vegetation occurs on the lower slopes.
- Wadi Mahalah
A well-vegetated wadi approximately 10km north of Abha, reached by taking a track from the football stadium. This wadi has standing water and attracted many bird species.
- Tanumah and Shallal al Dahna.
Tanumah lies about 100km north of Abha and is connected by a fast and good road. It lies in area of broken granite hills covered with juniperus and acacia. Shallal al Dahna contains one of a few semi permanent waterfalls in the country and a pool.
- Malaki Dam Lake and Wadi Jawah
A large lake at the edge of the Asir foothills, 15km directly east of Abu
Arish. It is fed by four main wadis. At high water levels this lake spreads to around 10 sq. km. To the north the reservoir is bordered by basaltic lava plains and several rocky outcrops which form the edge of Wadi
Jawah. The surrounding acacia and salvadora scrubland is interspersed with
tamarix. The surrounding hills are grazed and cultivated.
- Basket Souq
There is also famous "basket souk" in the city. Abha is famous for these heavy duty colorful baskets which are made from reeds and sometimes vinyl. Most of which are handmade. They can be found at good prices and used for just about anything. It is run by mostly Saudi women.