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City Of Abha In Saudi Arabia

Tourism attractions and investment opportunities at Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market

Motaz Othman, eTN  Jan 23, 2011

(eTN) - The city of Abha lies in the southwestern part of the Arabian peninsula. The region abounds in mountains, valleys, and fertile plains. It has a generally moderate climate, heavy rainfall, green pastures, and agricultural plateaus. Abha is engulfed by clouds and is surrounded by dense forests. Situated at an elevation of 2,270 meters (7,500 feet) above sea level, it is a mountain retreat and vacation spot for people from across Saudi Arabia and the other Arabian Gulf countries, given its relatively moderate climate all year around.

To utilize the region's touristic and aesthetic potential, several parks have been established, most important among which is Aseer National Park. It groups small parks in Al Qara'a, Al Souda, Al Wardeh, Dalafan, Al Jarrah, and Al Hassab. The area also includes the Grand Tourist Lake Project and Al Hebla Park, which has been provided with a cable lift service.

Visitors are particularly attracted by the Al Miftaha art village at the King Fahad Cultural Center. Here they find art works by Saudi painters and sculptors. Also available are archaeological items, handicrafts, local honey, hand-woven products, and souvenirs. The open theater presents entertainment by various popular groups.

The city of Abha also includes the famous Shada archeological palace, which dates to the year 1250 H, and contains numerous archeological artifacts. Abha has been beautified and prepared to receive tourists. Available in the city are 5-star hotels, furnished tourist villas, and fashionable motels. Visitors can spend their time moving between mountain parks amidst a hospitable Arab atmosphere.

In the summer, it is noticeably more comfortable than other areas of the country. The Abha region enjoys the highest level of rainfall of any part of Saudi Arabia.

Recent developments
Over the past 20 years, the area has become more accessible, thanks to the rapid development of its infrastructure and direct flights linking Abha with Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dhahran. Abha has a modern airport and more than 56 gardens that are continuously open to the public.

In addition to its scenic beauty, Aseer's geography of mountainous terrain has made it possible for the development of four dramatic cable car systems linking the various resorts with each other, including the cliff-top rides at Al-Sooda and Al-Habala, and the Lakeside and Thera Mountain routes at New Abha.

Blessed with spectacular mountain scenery, a cool climate, fertile soil, and moderate rainfall, Abha is rapidly becoming a major tourist attraction. One of the most populous regions in the Arabian Peninsula, its long history has resulted in a rich cultural heritage and provides a colorful mosaic of changing architecture and traditions.

A large area of parks surrounds the airport area providing various entertainment and sports facilities and superb scenery for the eyes to enjoy.

Abha City is accessible via paved highways winding through the mountains, or only 55 minutes from Jeddah by air. New Abha is ideally situated for visitors to explore the fascinating architecture of Abha City and the spectacular Asir region.

Tourism investments in Aseer province and Abha city
Tourism investment is any investment in the tourism sector; it includes tourism accommodation facilities (hotels and furnished units), conference and exhibition facilities, tour and travel agencies, tourism guide and information services, tourism and recreational services, and other supporting services which provide more attractive elements, infrastructure services, and support to tourism activities.

Aseer province and Abha City is welcoming tourism investments throughout all sectors of tourism during the Saudi Travel and Tourism Investments Market, which is going to be held between March 27-31, 2011. Aseer province and Abha city will present its investment opportunities to visitors and investors at the market.

The development of Al-Jarah Park in Aseer province
Al-Jarah Park is located in the southwest of Aseer province, about 40 km from Abha city and can be accessed through Abha-Fara Road. It covers an area of about 12km² including a line parallel to the mountains, and is estimated to be at a depth of 1.5 km. To the west lies a part of Tuhama Mountains, Prince Sultan Park to the north, Tamniah Village to the south, Al-Farhan Villages along with the road leading to Tamniah to the east, and Tuhamat Aseer to the west. The site is covered with rich forests, mainly of juniper trees.

A preliminary vision is to develop a park that balances tourism development with preservation by developing a tourism resort utilizing the natural resources of the site, providing high quality services and facilities, and offering activities that meet environmental standards. The project’s concept includes the following components: a visitors’ center displaying environmental and archeological components of the site, a mountainous hotel, private accommodation units, archeological-style accommodation units; handicrafts market, camping sites, sports center and courts, and other essential infrastructure services and facilities such as restaurants and others.

The Development of Tour Al–Yazeed Park in Aseer province
Tour Al–Yazeed Park is located to the southwest of Aseer Province about 26 km from Abha city. It can be accessed through Abha-Faraa Road and covers an area of about 4.32 km². The park is adjacent to other parks in the province such as Dalgan Park, Prince Sultan Park, and Al-Faraa Park. The site, which is features viewing Tuhama, is mainly plain lands covered with rocks, juniper, and acacia trees.

The development of a tourism resort utilizes the natural resources of the site and provides high-quality services and facilities while offering recreational activities related to the environment. The project’s concept includes a golf course as a main component of the site along with components similar to the development of Al-Jarah Park: a visitors’ center displaying environmental and archeological features, sports center for youth, archeological-style accommodation units, camping sites, traditional markets for selling and displaying archeological items, and other essential infrastructure services and facilities such as restaurants and others.

Tourism attractions and investment opportunities at Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market

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