A City Guide to Abha, Saudi Arabia

A City Guide to Abha

Abha is a famous destination for tourist in Saudi Arabia. It is the capital of Asir province. It is located 2200 meters above sea level in the lush green mountains of south-western Saudi Arabia. The city’s mild and pleasant climate makes it a popular tourist location for the residents of Saudi Arabia. Flights are available from Medina, Jeddah and Riyadh to Abha on a regular basis. Thanks to the regions cultural heritage, Abha has many historic places such as forts and other locations. Apart from that, being located on the high altitude makes it a popular summer getaway. The road trip from Khamis Mushait to Abha can be exciting, but one needs to drive carefully.

Until World War I, Abha was under the authority of the Ottoman Empire and it was the capital city for the Prince of Asir Ibn Ayde.  In the year 1918, Yahiya bin Hasan Al Ayde grandson of Ibn Ayed, the Prince of Asir returned to his ancestor’s throne conquered in Abha with complete independence. The Asir province joined with Ibn Saud in coursework of the Unification of Saudi Arabia in 1920.

A beautiful and scenic coastal road connecting Jeddah and Abha was constructed in 1979. The Saudi Public Transport Co. (SAPTCO) buses connect Abha to other destinations within the region of Saudi Arabia.

The main airport is the Abha Regional Airport. In the early 1975, construction of Dutch-designed Abha Airport began, and flights started operating from 1977. Domestic flights were serviced by the military airport near Khamis Mushait by Ali Misfer Ibn Misfer before construction of the airport. International connections are available to the UAE (Dubai, Sharjah), Egypt (Cairo), Yemen (Sana’a) and as well as to other destinations within Saudi Arabia.

The city of Abha consists of four different quarters, the largest of which contains a fortress. Hilltop fortresses are a distinctive feature of the city. Shadda Palace, constructed in 1927, has now turned into a museum displaying household items and local handicrafts. Other famous and renowned buildings in Abha include the Abha Palace Hotel, the Al-Tahy restaurant, the Abha Great Mosque, and the fun park adjacent to Lake Sadd. About 1.5 km southwest of the town, The New Abha five-star hotel is a latest entrant on the scenic lake front. Al Watan, a major Saudi Arabian daily, has its head office and the main printing presses located in Abha region.

The Saudi Arabian government has endorsed Abha as a tourist location. The organization regularly hosts events to attract visitors to the city and its surroundings, including the sporting events, summer Abha Festival, shows, exhibitions, and musical performances by poets and singers.

In addition to its scenic beauty, the mountainous terrain of Asser’s has made it possible for the development of four breathtaking cable car systems joining the numerous resorts with each other, that also includes the steep rock rides at the Lakeside, Al-Sooda and Al-Habala and Thera Mountain routes.

The city is blessed with stunning mountain scenery, a pleasant and cool climate, fertile soil and moderate rainfall. No doubt, Abha is vastly becoming a major tourist attraction. It is one of the most populous regions in the Arabian Peninsula during the vacations. Its remarkable history has resulted in a rich cultural heritage and presents a colorful mosaic of changing traditions and architecture.

The Saudi Arabian Authorities have played a major role in the development of Abha. The city has 5-star hotels, fashionable motels and furnished tourist villas. Visitors can spend their leisure time moving between beautiful mountain parks amidst a hospitable Arab atmosphere.