More Saudi Cities…

More Saudi Cities…

|| Al-Uyaynah || Usfan || Unaizah || Thaj|| Taif || Haql || Habalah || Domat Al-Jandal ||


Al-Uyaynah, the birthplace in 1703 of Muhammad Abdul Wahhab, is located in the central Nejd.

In the middle of the 18th century, Al-Uyaynah was the seat of the powerful Al-Mu’ammar family of the Bani Tamim. When Muhammad Abdul Wahhab returned from his travels around the Middle East and began to preach the pure form of Islam to which he was committed, he met with a mixed reception. In the end, the Al-Muammar family compelled him to leave the town.

Driven from his town of birth, Abdul Wahhab travelled some 40 miles to Ad-Diriyah, which, since 1726, had been the seat of the local prince Muhammad bin Sa’ud.

Abdul Wahhab was welcomed by Muhammad bin Saud. He continued his preaching, attracting great support from the surrounding tribesmen. In 1745, an alliance was formed between Muhammad bin Saud and Muhammad Abdul Wahhab that was to change the history of the Arabian peninsula.

Al-Uyaynah was one of the first towns to fall under the sway of the new alliance. Riyadh held out for another 27 years but then succumbed.


Usfan is a small town located 40 miles north-east of the center of Jeddah. In the past, Usfan was the last stop for pilgrims on their journey from the north (Syria and Jordan) to the Holy City of Makkah. Today it is the site of the junction of two of the Kingdom’s modern expressways.


Unaizah lies to the south of Buraidah in the Qasim region. It has a desert climate (hot summers and cold winters).

The Unaizah region has made a substantial contribution to the Kingdom’s agricultural and fisheries development programs. In addition to the wide variety of wheat and barley strains which it produces, the region grows grapes, grapefruit, lemons, mandarins, oranges and pomegranates. It is particularly famous for its date palms.


Thaj lies in the Kingdom’s Eastern region. Today Thaj is a village, set in a desert – but 2,000 years ago it was a bustling city on an important trade route running between Mesopotamia and the Yemen. A ruined fortress is one indication of Thaj’s former importance.


Taif (which lies south east of Jiddah and the Holy City of Makkah) stands 1,800 meters above sea-level on the eastern slopes of the Al-Sarawat mountains. Its cooler temperatures have made it a traditional summer resort for both these cities and, in the summer months, the seat of government is moved from the dry heat of Riyadh to the more equable climate of Taif.

Taif embraced Islam in the ninth year of the Hijira. It was amongst the first cities, after Madinah, to accept the word of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

Taif is famous for its agricultural produce which includes grapes and honey.

General view of Taif


Haql is a small town in the north west of the Kingdom, in Al Qurayyat region. In addition to agricultural activity (dates, other fruit, vegetables and livestock), there is a local carpentry industry.


Habalah, located about 40 miles from the center of Abha, is a now deserted village that seems to hang from a 1000 ft cliff face, above terraced fields and a wide valley. Hence its name – “the hanging village”. When the village was inhabited, people and supplies were lowered to the village from above by means of ropes attached to iron posts. Habalah was the site of the first cable-car system in the Kingdom.

Domat Al-Jandal

Domat Al-Jandal, a town in the north of the Kingdom not far from Sakaka in the Jouf region, is the site of Qasr Marid, a ruined fortress which had its origins in Nabatean times, and the Mosque of Omar, founded in the 7th century, one of the oldest mosques in the Kingdom. The town is famous for the manufacture of swords, daggers and carpets.


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