Madinah

Saudi Regions

Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Regions

The Blessed City of Madinah

The City of Madinah radiates peace and calmness. Visitors testify that as soon as you enter the city of Madinah you experience a peaceful feeling that is hard to put in words. The name of the City is also written as Al Madinah Al Munawwarah, which means ‘The Enlightened City.’
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Holy cities, World Heritage Sites, and Coral Reefs

The Madinah province is located on the western side of Saudi Arabia along the coast of the Red Sea.  The Holy City of Madinah is the capital of this Province. The Province of Madinah holds great historical and religious importance. Containing one of The Two Holiest Cities for Muslims, Madinah has no shortage of holy sites. The City is centered around Masjid An Nabawi.

 

The Prophet Muhammad, Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him (PBUH) constructed this Blessed Mosque with his own hands. It is also the place where the Holy Prophet  (PBUH) is buried. During the time of the Prophet (PBUH), Masjid An Nabawi served as the religious, educational, and political center for the Islamic Empire. The Province also contains important cities like Yanbu, Al Ula, Badr, and Khaybar.

 

Al Ula holds the distinction of containing the first UNESCO World Heritage Site of the country. This site, known as Mada'in Saleh or Hegra is an interesting archeological site that dates back to the Nabatean kingdom. It is often also associated with being the location of the Thamudi people upon whom the Prophet Salih (AS) was sent. According to Quran, the Thamud people were idol worshipers and were punished by an earthquake and lightning due to their idolatry. Mada'in Saleh is located 20km north of the city of Al Ula. 

 

Yanbu is the second largest port city on the Red Sea after Jeddah. It also happens to be one of the oldest seaports on the Red Sea. It serves as the major port for the Holy City of Madinah. Yanbu not only plays an important role in the economy of the country but also holds historical importance for being a major port for receiving pilgrims. Yanbu has a natural harbor and offers some great views of the Red Sea. It has wide coral reefs that remain largely unspoiled. This area is great for water activities like scuba diving, fishing, and birdwatching.

 

History

The province has a history dating back to the Bronze Age. Al Ula has held great importance due to its strategic location along the ‘Incense Route’. The walled city was founded in the 6th Century BC. The influence of different cultures can be found due to the rich history of the region. For instance, archeological evidence dates the Tumulus and Al-Hijr to the Bronze Age. Similarly, the port city of Yanbu was also a major port of the Incense Route and connected the Arabian Peninsula with the Mediterranean regions. 

 

The city of Madinah served as the center for the spread of Islam. The conquest of Mecca was also led by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) from Madinah. After the successful conquest, the Prophet (PBUH) returned to Madinah. During the time of the first three Caliphs, Medinah remained the capital of the Islamic Empire. Masjid An Nabwi has been renovated and expanded by various Muslim caliphs, Sultans, and Kings throughout its history.  

 

Geography

The geography of the province varies from different cities. For the most part, it is a harsh desert region with an extremely hot and dry climate. For instance, the city of Al Ula situated in the north of the province has an extremely dry and hot climate with a sandy and rocky desert covering most of the area. There are some fertile oases in between the desert.

 

Madinah is part of the Hejaz region. It is situated at an elevation of around 620 meters above sea level. The highest peak of Madinah is Mount Uhud which stands at 1077 meters. The City can be described as a blessed oasis in the desert. It is surrounded by Hejaz mountains and volcanic hills. The city itself has fertile areas and a good amount of groundwater.

Then we have the coastal regions. A major coastal city of the province is Yanbu. It is mostly a coastal plain with a hot climate. It is surrounded by some fertile agricultural areas and some mountains like the Radwah mountain are also present in the region.

 

Popular Attractions

Madinah City is the second holiest city for Muslims. Masjid An Nabawi  is located in the centre of the city. It houses the Blessed Burial Place of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and also has the Jannatul Baqi cemetery right next to it. Mount Uhud is the tallest mountain in Madinah and the Archers's Hill is the site of the historic battle. Other popular attractions in the city include The Seven Mosques and the largest publisher of the Quran in the world, the King Fahd Glorious Quran Printing Complex.

 

Hegra (Al Hijr) also known as Mada'in Saleh is the jewel of Al Ula. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit for all tourists. The city of Al Ula also contains many other famous tourist hotspots like the Elephant Rock and The Tomb of Lihyan son of Kuza. If you are looking for an escape from the sandy desert of this region then you can head to Yanbu as it offers some clean and perfect beaches like the Yanbu Al-Bahr Beach. It is also a popular place for scuba diving. 

 

Wadi Al-Jinn (Baida) is an interesting site located about 30km from the city of Madinah. It is famous for its magnetic hills that will cause the car to move upwards without the need for engine power and an accelerator. Some folktales attribute this phenomenon to Jinns that live in the valley but it is likely explained natural phenomenon.

 

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