Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape

 Saudi Arabia
N25 24 7.8 E49 37 50.05
Date of Inscription: 2018
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(v)
Property : 8,544 ha
Buffer zone: 21,556 ha
Ref: 1563
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In the eastern Arabian Peninsula, the Al-Ahsa Oasis is a serial property comprising gardens, canals, springs, wells and a drainage lake, as well as historical buildings, urban fabric and archaeological sites. They represent traces of continued human settlement in the Gulf region from the Neolithic to the present, as can be seen from remaining historic fortresses, mosques, wells, canals and other water management systems. With its 2.5 million date palms, it is the largest oasis in the world. Al-Ahsa is also a unique geocultural landscape and an exceptional example of human interaction with the environment.

Suggested Bases:

Hofuf is a city in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The city is located within the oasis of al-Ahsa (or al-Hasa), and the names are often used interchangeably. In 2018 this oasis was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. See Jawatha Mosque 12 km northeast of central Hofuf). The mosque where Friday prayers were offered for the first time outside Medina in 8th Hijri (Around 630 AD); Jabl-e Gara. A mountain of mud with natural caves and sulci; Qasr Ibrahim. Located in the down town of Hafuf this is a palace of Ibrahim Basha of Egypt. Surrounded by 10 meter high wall spread of 7-8 acres castle is made of mud; Al-Oqair Beach. One of the oldest beaches in eastern coasts of the country which opened India to Muslims in 712 AD and where a treaty was signed by Saudi King and British Government after First World War. The history goes back to 300 BC [read more].

Khobar (Al-Khobar, Al-Khubar) is a city in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The newest of the Dammam-Dhahran-Khobar trio, Khobar is generally considered the most pleasant of the bunch, thanks to its seaside location and beachside Corniche. Besides, Khobar is most organised and has the best pedestrian friendly walk ways, and women have fewer restrictions (in terms of wearing a hijab) compared to other eastern cities. One popular activity in Khobar is riding ATVs on the coast of the Arabian Gulf south of town. It’s a lot of fun to run up and down the sand dunes or just along the beach in an ATV at 40 miles per hour. Most of the places where you can rent ATVs are managed by locals who do not speak English. While it is ideal to be accompanied by an Arabic-speaking companion, a visitor with a minimal level of cross-cultural communications skills will usually have no problem reaching an agreement [read more].

Dammam is the largest city in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and the 3rd largest city in the kingdom after Riyadh and Jeddah. See Dammam Corniche. The Dammam Corniche is basically a green strip facing the gulf. On a good weather day, you can have a nice picnic on the green grass; Al Morjan island. Al Morjan island is a small artificial island with a monument in the center, located as an extension to the Corniche. This is a good place to have an afternoon walk, which of course depends on the weather; Flagpole. Visit the tallest flagpole in the kingdom. Take a picture next to the 60-meter high flagpole. The flag availability on the pole can’t be always guaranteed. Do take a wake at Dammam new corniche, it’s a newly refined corniche where walking – depending on the weather of course – on the walking track can be fun (best time between November till April) a track that is almost 4 kilometers long.

1 reply »

  1. The really spectacular attraction here is the ghostly cave complex inside al-Qarah Mountain. The natural caves, carved by wind and water erosion, take a bit of climbing to get into but are well worth the effort, especially as they are significantly cooler than the heat outside.


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