A city in The Madinah Province

Places to Visit in Yanbu

A city in The Madinah Province

Destinations in The Madinah Province

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Al Bahah
Al Ula
Najran area

Antique Port City on the Red Sea

Located in the province of Madinah, 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. Traditionally, the economy of Yanbu has been associated with the pilgrimage route, trade, and export of dates. The port is being expanded to take some pressure off the Jeddah port.


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. There are also three oil refineries in the city and it is a major petroleum shipping hub. It also houses an industry for plastics as well as other petrochemical products. Three major pipelines terminate in this region. In terms of climate, Yanbu has a very hot desert climate all year round. It is well connected to other major cities like Jeddah. It is also connected to neighboring countries like Syria and Jordan. 



Yanbu has a history dating back approximately 2500 years. It used to be the main shipping terminal on the historic Incense trade route that passed from Yemen and Egypt to the Mediterranean countries. Diodorus Siculus, the famous Greek historian has also mentioned  Sharm Yanbu (Charmuthas) in his work.


During the time of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), Yanbu came under Muslim rule after the Ghazwah Zul-Ushairah. Between 150 and 200 followers joined this conquest to al-Ushayra, in the Yanbu region. Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) made an agreement with the local tribe, Banu Madlaj, which inhabited the area.


At the time of World War I, Yanbu was the operational base of the British and Arab forces that were fighting the Ottomans. In 1916, the Ottomans surrendered Yanbu. After this, it remained a relatively small port town up until 1975 when it became a major industrial center of Saudi Arabia. The city saw rapid development and massive infrastructure projects after this.



Yanbu is divided into three distinct regions. 


Yanbu Al-Bahr, the northernmost region of Yanbu contains most of the population. The old area, also called Al Balad contains many restaurants that offer traditional cuisines to the expats living in the area. Some international chains are also present here. A shopping mall also serves the needs of the residents. A flower competition is held here every year. Many old, historical buildings are located here and the government is trying to modernize the sites that are in a dilapidated condition.


Yanbu Al-Nakhl (The Palms) is the second main area that contains around 20 villages and farms. Some of these include Jabriyya, Suwaiq, Raihan, Mesharif, Ain-Ajlan, Madsos, Alnejil and Talaat Nazah. It is mostly inhabited by local tribes who own and work on the farms. Jabriyya is the most notable village in this region. A local government office, ATM, general hospital, shopping malls, as well as recreational facilities. The Radwah Mountain can be seen clearly from here. 


Yanbu Al-Sina'iya (the industrial Yanbu) was established in 1975 with the aim to build a modern industrial city in the southern part of Yanbu. This area is further subdivided into the industrial area and the residential area (Royal Commission). Major oil refineries and factories are situated in the industrial area while the residential area has modern housing facilities and all the necessary amenities.


Popular Attractions

Even though the city is well known for its industry, it is a fast-growing tourist destination with some popular tourist attractions that are loved by visitors. Yanbu Al-Bahr Beach also known as the Royal Commission Beach is a great spot to enjoy a seaside picnic. Great views of the Red Sea can be enjoyed along with other activities like horse riding and various water sports. Yanbu is also famous for its coral reefs and scuba diving adventures. You can also enjoy the magnificent corniche in this area. 


Yanbu Waterfront is a new project launched on the coastline of Yanbu Industrial City. With a total length of 12 km, it offers ample space for walking, jogging, and sightseeing. Visitors can enjoy fishing as well as birdwatching. A number of gardens, marinas, hotels, recreational areas, aquariums, and even islands are also being developed here. 


The tourism ministry recently renovated the old house of T.E.Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia. This British officer stayed in this house after he captured Yanbu during World War I. It offers a great learning experience about the history of the region.