Al Taif: The City of Mountains, Saudi Arabia

Al Taif - Salam Travellers
Al Taif- City of Mountains [CC: wael alreweie]

Are you looking for a perfect summer retreat on the Arab Peninsula? Look no further! Allow us to introduce you to a hidden gem nestled in Saudi Arabia: Al Taif City. Whether you’re drawn to nature exploration or seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Al Taif offers a unique blend of stunning mountain landscapes and rich cultural heritage. With its pleasant climate and welcoming locals, this city is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience. Al Taif promises to exceed your expectations in every aspect. Situated in the Mecca Province, this city is renowned for its awe-inspiring mountain vistas, offering a truly unforgettable experience.

About Al Taif City

Al Taif City is perched at 6,165 ft. above sea level and is an integral part of the Hijaz slopes. The agricultural land of Al Taif also contributes to introducing it as the best summer stop. The farms of scented roses and fruits give a golden chance to enjoy a vacation in natural beauty. Famous productions of Al Taif are figs, berries, and pomegranates, which fill the country’s domestic requirements and are exported to neighboring countries. Stay engaged to explore the mountain city of Saudi Arabia.

LocationMecca Province, Saudi Arabia                     
Population (2022)563,282
Elevation1,879 m (6,165 ft)
ClimateHot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), with hot summers and mild winters                                                                                                                                                                        
Area – City: 321 km2 (124 sq mi) – Metro: 913,374 (Taif Governorate)
Time zone UTC+3 (GMT + 3)                                  
Postal Code 26XXX                                            
Areacode +966 12                                          
Historic NameWajj (وَجّ)
EtymologyTaʾif (Arabic: ط و ف) translates to “wanderer”, “roamer”, or “circulator”, derived from the Arabic root طَوَاف (ṭawāf), meaning “circulation” or “circumambulation”, referring to the wall built by the tribe of Banu Thaqif that circulated the city. 
Date of EstablishmentIn the 6th century A.D.                          
ReligionPre-Islamic: Idol worship (Goddess Lāt) Later: Converted to Islam                                                                                                                                                                                                 
GovernanceUnder Ottoman rule until 1802, then reconquered by Muhammad Ali in 1813, later part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz until 1926 when it became part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.                                                                                    
Notable LandmarksAl-Rudaf Park, Ta’if rose plantation, Nuqbat al-Hamra’ park, Ash-Shafā, Saiysad National Park, Mosque of Abdullah ibn Abbas, Mosque of Addas, Masjid Al-Qantarah, historic Souq ‘Okaz                                                                      
EconomyTraditionally dependent on agriculture and perfumes, modernizing with a focus on diversification.                                                                                                                                                                
Recent Developments“New Ta’if” project inaugurated on October 1, 2017, aimed at establishing a new international airport, renovating Souk ‘Okaz, establishing Oasis of Technology, Residential Suburb, Industrial City, and University City.                                       
EducationTaif University established in 2004, Canadian Niagara College opened a campus in 2014 offering programs in tourism, hospitality, and business.                                                                                                                 
SportsFootball (Wej SC), cricket, badminton, volleyball


Traditions and Stories

Al Taif has a rich pre-Islamic and Islamic history with many intriguing stories. The city was under the pagan goddess Tallat, considered the Arabian region’s main goddess. With Islamic rituals and practices developed, Al Taif is now known for the Tomb of Abdullah ibn Abbas. He was a great muffler of the Quran in Islam’s golden age and a Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) cousin.

Al Taif is a historical land famous for tourists’ fascinating tales and traditions. Hijazs visit the city to experience the pure Arabic culture of the Arabian Peninsula. The most attractive tradition is the camel show, the largest camel fair in the world, where you can enjoy riding on a desert ship. This is also a historical tale about Islam. Prophet Muhammad invited the locals to accept Islam, but they rejected this invitation by insulting the great Prophet of Allah. Banu Thaqif is the ruling tribe of Al Taif in the present day.

Also Read: Things to do in Riyadh: A Guide to Saudi Capital’s Attraction

Visiting Al Taif

Visiting Al Taif is a great idea. The city is a fantastic mountain getaway to enjoy Arabic culture and cuisine. Taif’s tourist attractions are its high mountains, beautifully organized parks, and historical museums. Mountains are the most prominent attraction for adventure seekers. These mountains also have wild animals and can be spotted by a guided tour of the locals.

The challenging trails in the mountains attract adventure enthusiasts who want to experience trekking. Though some mountains have complicated ski tracks requiring professional skills to embark on trekking, the city also has some simple and easy tracks for beginners. The Al Sarawat mountain range has the highest mountains in Taif; one of the mountains from this range is Al Hada Mountain, which extends from Taif to Makkah.

The Mountain Landscape

cc: wikipedia

Al Taif city is surrounded by the Hijaz mountains, which have significant value and are considered a sacred site for Muslims. These mountains are thousands of feet above sea level and present a mesmerizing vista of Al Taif. The high boundary of these mountains gives Al Taif natural protection from any foreign invasion. Adventure seekers can experience exciting trekking trails in the mountains of Al Taif.

In the scorching heat of Saudi Arabia, the oasis city of Al Taif will provide surprising weather. This historical land has pleasant weather, and each step toward Taif will be cheerful. Due to its excellent weather, the city gives thought to the summer resort of Saudi Arabia, which gives a chance to experience adventurous activities without exhaustion. In the hottest months, tourists have to bear dry, humid, and hot weather, but the winter months are pretty dry, calm, and pleasant in climate.

Land of Roses

Land of Roses
cc: arab news

Taif is also known as the city of roses for having the world’s best forms of roses. The roses of this land are full of scent, and the rose gardens have a mesmerizing view to see in the blooming season. Usually, the season of roses starts in December, and farmers start caring for their fields. In the spring season, which starts in March, tourists can enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers that make the air full of a magical scent. The annual rose festival of Taif is held in April, when the rainbow of roses makes the land like heaven on earth. Visitors can advance toward the Al Hada and Al Shafa valleys to witness the beauty of roses.

Nestled amidst these mountains is Al Shafa Mountain Park. Visitors can also enjoy the beauty of the rainwater waterfalls carving through the mountain slopes. For those seeking adventure, the winding roads, rocky cliffs, and opportunities for mountain climbing offer excitement.

To observe the conversion of rose petals into precious beauty items, people must visit the rose factory in Al Taif. Here, skilled hands prepare the signature scents of Arabic land using rose petals. Rose plants are also used in Taif as an essential ingredient in creams, oils, and rose water. Taif’s roses are red-pink and specified in their deep fragrance. Moreover, these are plucked by hand in the early morning, so the sun’s heat can not affect their fragrance. All these features make their use essential for beauty products.

Fruits and Farms

Fruits and Farms Altaif
cc: wafy

Another prominent feature for tourists is Al Taif’s green orchards, which meet Saudi Arabia’s need for citrus fruits. Taif’s apricot production is also unique in taste, aroma, and color. The city’s high mountains are filled with green orchards of fruits, and the height of the mountains produces a favorable climate for the growth of these orchards. Berries, grapes, figs, and pomegranates are famous local fruits in Al Taif.

Al Taif also has another distinctive product: honey, which is entirely pure and comes from the rose gardens of Al Taif. Most of the production of this rose honey comes from Al Hada and Al Shifa gardens. This honey has many medicinal qualities and is used for medical complications. Its sweetness in taste also makes it an ingredient in many local Taif dishes, especially local sweets.

Al Taif Today

Al Taif city saudi arabia
cc: HotelsCombined

In the present era, Taif is a developed and innovative Mecca city with tall business buildings and hotels. Its high buildings and developed highways are a fusion of history and innovation. The preserved heritage in museum buildings allows one to look deep into history. Taif’s historical mosques and landmarks have a deep history that visitors can explore. This progressive city also has an international airport where regular flights from various countries can be operated.

In the past, Taif depended only on agricultural production; roses and honey were the main products used to gain economic progress. However, with its modern transformation and the development of an 87 km road from Mecca to Taif by Saudi kings, Taif has become attached to other Saudi regions. Due to its richness in tourist attractions, Taif is also gaining economic strength through tourism. The city exports special Arabian roses and honey products to the Saudi economy.

Looking Ahead: The Expected Future of This Vibrant City

Taif is the most beautiful area of Saudi Arabia, rich in natural beauty and preserved heritage and culture. The biodiversity of this city attracts thousands of animal and plant lovers to visit it. Having a moderate climate, Taif owns more than 74% of different types of plants.

However, due to the dangers of climate change and deforestation, Taif’s nature reserves are taking precautionary measures to protect the nature of the city. For this purpose, they are fencing the planted areas and exploring the best seeds for agricultural products that can develop in all seasonal conditions. The Saudi government is also helping the city management of Taif with this protection initiative. The government announced an integral step to protect the nature of Taif by reducing emissions and encouraging afforestation.

Taif has a visionary approach toward preserving its nature, and the city’s nature reserves are working on it with the Saudi government. The city has many goals to achieve in the future, such as protecting the nature and wildlife of Taif from climate change and developing awareness of the diverse cultures of Taif around the world. The ruling tribe promotes Taif tourism by constructing parks and business centers. Agricultural exports are also protected to develop new export standards in Saudi Arabia.

Final Thoughts

So, Taif will become a new tourist attraction for adventure seekers, historians, and nature lovers. This city has the highest trails for hiking in the Arab Mountains. But before trying these trails, remember to get some practice and guidance from the locals. If you are a beginner in this activity, then select the most leisurely trek and keep your water bottle for being hydrated. Being an Islamic city, most tourists come to Taif after performing their Hajj or Umrah in Mecca because the city is just a half-hour drive from its province. During your visit to Taif, respect the local culture and keep its natural beauty clean. I hope this tour guide to Al Taif has helped you plan your next trip to the city of roses in Saudi Arabia.

Stay tuned for more adventure guides from Salam Travellers.

Leave a Reply