Abha, the breathtaking city which is floating 2200m above sea level, is a real astonishment to the senses for enthusiasts involved in Arab tourism. It is profoundly cooler, and the neat green lawns, marigolds, mountains and mist also make a staggering impression. For Saudis, the cold, misty and rainy areas are a novelty and they flock here along with Gulf Arabs to escape the unyielding heat and humidity of summer of the Middle East.
This city is known for its cool climate and massive mountains, which incredibly compliment the whole Arab tourism scene. It is rich with natural scenery and mild climate, even in summer. It includes old traditional markets like Tuesday Market, where you can buy exquisite antiques and knickknacks. There are also many modern commercial centres scattered in the city.
The exclusive components which have influenced the election of Abha city in Saudi Arabia as the Capital of Arab Tourism 2017 are explained below. Dr Bandar al-Fahiid, head of the Arab Tourism Organization, detailed these aspects that strengthened the recognition of the city, are its climate, natural beauty, historical, social and cultural heritage, its wonderfully unique agricultural environment, and particularly, its brand of festivals.
An inauguration ceremony was held in Abha, which was attended by royal members, Ministers of Tourism and Ambassadors of the Arab countries, Shaikh Khalid bin Hamood Al Khalifa, chief executive officer of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA), and a number of intellectuals from various Arab countries.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and Honorary President of the Arab Tourism Organization.
The ceremony included a number of events including a short documentary and a performance presented by the singer Abadi Al Johar, along with the participation of a number of popular groups that presented different types of the region’s legacy.
The ceremony also included an exhibition of more than 20 marquees attended by the authorities and companies involved in Abha’s tourism sector.
A carpet of 800 thousand unique flowers is decorating Saudi Arabia’s city of Abha in a bid to attract Arab tourists.
The flowers assembled in different shapes and sizes are spread over 26 thousand square meters.
The city also created a dancing fountain that is 15 meters in diameter and will shoot water up to 12 meters into the air.
As mentioned many times before, one of the greatest characteristics of Abha is its climate. Being at high altitude above the sea level, the city has a pleasant weather all year round. It is also notorious for its stunning scenery such as the woods and forests in Dulghan, al Hubala, and in addition to the spectacular scenery of Soudah which has the highest mountains in the kingdom, including the tallest peak.
Abha has 70 percent of vegetation cover of the Kingdom and enjoys a clean and pollution-free environment. Not to overlook the parks and natural preserves, and the spectacle of the rising fog from the valleys of Tehama to accumulate at the peak of the mountain, in addition to innumerable plant species.
The extensive history of this city has resulted in a cultural heritage and tradition which is extremely rich. One of such examples is that of the Tuesday Market, and Muftaha Art Village, and the Muqabil suburb.
In addition to mountain monuments that carry an opulent history, namely mount “Zra”, which hosted a military barrack which was converted to a telecommunications tower, before it was turned into a touristic landmark. Geographically, being at a strategic location, Abha is still considered an important trade route.
The city is an innovator in establishing the concept of festivals and hosting events that mesmerise the Arab World. It holds within it musical performances, shows, and sporting events that are mostly ongoing through the year.
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