The Ancient Cultural City: Taif

Shubra Palace
ID 63796270 © Giuseppemasci | Dreamstime.com

Taif is situated in the Hejaz region, 90 km southeast of Mecca, to the west of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The city is famous for its rich and colourful history and culture. It existed from the pre-Islamic period. There was a temple for the ancient goddess Al-Lat. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) destroyed it later.

Taif is a city with a very favourable, mild climate. Summer isn’t as hot as the rest of Saudi Arabia. The winter is not freezing. That’s why Taif has become the hub of agriculture. There are a lot of gardens and parks. Vegetables, fruits, and crops are grown in the vicinity.

Even if the town is small, it’s very cosy, well planned, clean and green. The mountain air is fresh. There are always heavy rains in the summer.

Taif is famous for its rose gardens, the oil of which is widely used in cosmetics and perfumes. The city is also famous for its two festivals.

Festival “Suk Okaz”

It is probably the most popular historic market in the Arab world in the south part of the city since ancient times. Arab traders rushed with huge caravans of goods from ancient times.

Traditional poetry, theatre and music events, art and craft exhibitions are held within the framework of the festival. It even played the role of a forum for poets and writers’ discussion and debate in the Middle Ages.

The event is attended by famous thinkers, poets, and intellectuals from the Arab and Islamic countries.

Taif Rose Festival

An incredibly beautiful flower festival takes place every spring, usually in April, in Taif. This festival, which is regulated by local authorities, is usually scheduled to take place in local rose fields with aromatic petals.

It takes place at once in several Taif parks. There is also a fair during the festival where you can buy natural rose waters, perfumes, oil, soaps, creams, air fresheners, and traditional handicrafts. Candles and oriental oils, and fruit and crops, are sold from all the countries of the Persian Gulf. You’ll see a spectacular show of light and music fountains in the popular Rudaf Park at night.

What else to see in Taif?

1. Al-Hada: Here you may feed and watch the wild monks just cautiously. This place offers incredible views of the mountains around!

2. Teleferic Taif cable car: There is also a cable car in Hada, which allows you to travel and see the scenic countryside. One-person ticket costs 85 Saudi riyals ($23).

3. Water park in the Al-Kar: There is no sea in Taif. There is a large water park with a variety of slides and pools. You can get there by cable car or car.

4. The tomb and mosque of Abdullah ibn Abbas: the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

5. Taif Zoo: There is a well-known zoo in Saudi Arabia near Rudaf Park. It’s worth a look.

6. The Shubra Palace: The Taif Museum is the former residence of the first King of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz As-Saud. Besides, King Faisal used the palace for the summer meetings of the Council of Ministers and has recently become one of the largest museums in Saudi Arabia.