24 Jun 2024
25 Jun 2024
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Saudi Regions

Places to Visit in The Northern Borders Province

Saudi Regions


Fascinating Hinterland Region

If you are the sort of traveler looking for a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience of traveling to a remote destination far away from the noise and pollution of urban cities, then the northern borders province may be the ideal destination for you. Located in the north of Saudi Arabia, this remote province is an ‘off the beaten track’ destination perfect for tourists who want to explore the desert life. Seasoned travelers know that often it’s the undiscovered places that offer the best experiences. The Northern Borders Province is a true hidden gem of Saudi Arabia. 


In terms of population, the Northern Borders Province is the least populated region of Saudi Arabia. The province consists of three governates, Ar’ar, Rafha, and Turayf. The city of Arar is the capital of the province. The international borders of Iraq as well as Jordan link to this province. Despite its seeming remoteness, it is well connected to other cities through a network of highways and airports. A new airport terminal was inaugurated at Arar airport in February 2021. Has the capacity to accommodate up to 10,000 flights per year.


The region is known for having a has a decent number of archaeological and historical landmarks. Due to its location at the north of the Arabian Peninsula, it held great historical importance as the northern gateway to the Arabian Peninsula. Artifacts and tools dating back hundreds of years have been found in the area that indicates human settlements in the area. 


Historic pilgrimage routes in the area were used to connect Iraq, Syria, and Egypt to Makkah. During the period of the Abbasid Caliphate, Zubaydah bint Jafar wife of the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid developed this route further to facilitate pilgrims coming to Makkah. A number of wells were dug, markers and milestones installed, pavement work done, palaces and houses built, stations and substations made operational, and also guard posts were set up along the trail. Due to her charitable work in developing this historic trail, it earned the name of ‘Darb Zubaydha’ or the ‘Zubaida Hajj Road’. 


In modern history, the city of Arar also serves as a significant supply stop for travelers who are making their journey through Highway 85 of Saudi Arabia. The city was founded in 1951 after the construction of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline). Arar initially served as an oil pumping station that also had housing and medical facilities developed for the workers. It gradually evolved into becoming a major city. 


In terms of the geography of the province, around 50% of the total area consists of a gravel and sand desert. Due to this reason, it is mostly uninhabited. Arar, the capital of the northern borders province is a well-developed city with all the necessary amenities and facilities. Its geography is more suitable to sustain life. The city lies on a huge limestone plain and also contains some beautiful valleys in the region. The climate is generally hot and rainfall is pretty rare. Winters in Arar are a bit moderate and you can see green vegetation and flowers in the region.


The province also has some fertile pastures. Due to the presence of these pastures, the main occupations of the locals are sheep and camel herding.

Popular Attractions

Northern Borders Province is the perfect destination for adventure seekers. The mountains of the region, like Aqran, offer great views and activities like hiking and camping can be enjoyed here. Hunting is a popular sport in the region. People travel from all over the country come here to hunt with hawks and falcons. Experiencing this hunt in real-time is an unforgettable tourist experience.


The rich history of the region is preserved and highlighted for visitors through a number of different museums like the Northern Borders Museum. Inaugurated for the public in 2007, this particular museum not only highlights the cultural and historical dimensions of the province but also spreads awareness among the people. The museum follows the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA) and helps preserve ancient artifacts found in the region. Al-Obaid Museum and the Al-Jawharah Museum are two of the other famous museums of the province. 


Dawqara Palace is an ancient archeological site that offers tourists a trip back in time. It is located approximately 40 km west of Turayf. Historians believe that this site was established during the late Roman or the early Islamic period. Nature lovers who are looking for a getaway can visit the calm and peaceful Arar National Park. At-Taysiyah Natural Reserve is another popular destination that also contains a sanctuary for the desert Ghazal Al-Reem, Arabian Oryx, and Ostriches. 

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