The World’s Largest Oasis By Guinness: Al-Ahsa Ushering On A New Era Of Development

Al-Ahsa, regarded as Saudi Arabia’s biggest oasis, is located to the east of the kingdom, with the provinces of Buqayq, Nairyah, and Ulya Village to the north, the Arab Gulf, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to the east. According to Arab News, Al-Ahsa is ushering in a new era of progress as a result of the establishment of a new development authority. The change is intended to increase the governorate’s potential while advancing tourism, Al-Ahsa’s history, and cultural components. In order to support the governorate’s economy and encourage development, modernization, and diversity, the authority will establish a balanced and sustainable long-term project.

But there are so many things you need to know about this wonderful city.

What do you need to know?

The city of 1.3 million people was registered into the Guinness World Record as the largest self-contained oasis in the world. Additionally, it was named a world heritage site by UNESCO two years ago. According to the official site of Guinness, Al-Ahsa Oasis is home to more than 2.5 million palm trees in the oasis, which are fed from a huge underground aquifer, allowing year-long agriculture in a region that is otherwise a sand desert. The oasis occupies around 85.4 square kilometers of land and is irrigated by the flow of more than 280 artesian springs. 

Along with historical structures, urban fabric, and archaeological monuments, it also boasts a changing cultural environment made up of gardens, canals, springs, wells, and a drainage lake. Indeed, the oasis’s occupants and vegetation benefit from the springs’ irrigation. The oasis also takes pride in its longstanding heritage of handicrafts, such as its high level of tailoring expertise, particularly in the creation of Bisht, a traditional men’s cloak.

There are a number of activities Al-Ahsa provides for those looking to enjoy the magnificence of such a gorgeous city.

Al Qarah

According to Welcome Saudi, Al Qarah Mountain is renowned for its fascinating and distinctive caves that were created as a consequence of the dissolution of water-soluble rocks, and the collapse of the higher rock layers as a result of abrasion and fissures. The Al Nashab cave on the Al Qarah Mountain, which enjoys generally consistent temperatures all year long, is one of the more well-known caverns there. Additionally, certain caverns serve as workspaces for the region’s traditional potters. Locals and visitors alike frequently visit to marvel at the spectacular heritage site and learn about its history by touring the caverns.

Jawatha Mosque

This mosque was built by the region’s Bani Abd Al Qays tribe in the seventh century and is believed to have been the first mosque in eastern Arabia according to Visit Saudi. Much of the original building has been destroyed over the centuries, but the mosque was recently restored. Now Friday prayers are regularly recited there again.

Souq Al Qaisariya

Travelers to Al-Ahsa have made references to Souq Al Qaisariya in their journals as early as 1822, however many locals assert that it has been operating for centuries longer. Regardless of its beginnings, it is undeniable that it is one of the most vibrant and historic markets in the kingdom. Visitors can bargain for anything from handcrafted leather sandals to abayas to vials of rosewater, old gramophones, and antique daggers all in a maze of more than 7,000 square meters of shops to explore according to Islamic Architecture.

Yellow Lake

This stunning lake is located on the outskirts of Al-Ahsa and is surrounded on all sides by tall sand dunes. Visitors are in for quite the adventure because there are no roads and you must drive across the dunes to reach the lake’s shores. Once there, you can enjoy a picnic, go bird watching and you might spot eagles, Kentish plovers, and mustached warblers, or go kayaking on the serene lake.

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