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Old 21st January 2021, 11:11   #1
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Default Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia

Hello BHPians!

We get to see a lot of travelogues from India, Europian Countries, Dubai, etc. in TBHP. This time, it is a bit different though!

So here it is - I will be coming up with travelogues of my visits to tourist destinations of Saudi Arabia to TBHP if time and tide allow me to do so. To begin with, I will share about my Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair Fort of Al-Hassa City from Saudi Arabia.

Link to

Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains.

Jawatha Park.

Uqair Fort & Beach.

A warm welcome to all BHPians!
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-7pn6o6aqm6p31.jpg

Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 01:41.
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Old 21st January 2021, 11:25   #2
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Default re: Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia

Even though my family have been in Saudi for the last 25+ years, and myself for around 15 years, we haven't explored much in Saudi. One reason being - on a country level, Saudi Arabia started pushing tourism in recent times only.

Moving on, the pandemic has hit all of us, which halted all weekend get-togethers, local gatherings etc. By Nov-2020 things were getting normal and all tourist spots here were re-opened with necessary precautions. On one fine evening of last weekend of December-2020, we decided to kick off the year 2021 on a positive note. Hence decided to go for a small road trip which consisted of three families :
  • My family of 5- Myself, Parents & 2 Sisters
  • My cousin's family of 3- Himself, Wife, and a 4-year child.
  • & One of our family friends - Uncle Himself, Wife & 2 children (One newborn baby!)

Since we were 12 members, we decided to go in two cars - My humble CHANGAN EADO and Uncle's behemoth CHEVROLET TAHOE.

And yes, the date was confirmed - 1st January 2021.

We had decided to leave around 9:30 AM, but as usual, the departure got delayed by almost an hour and it was around 10:30 AM, when we finally began the journey

I live in Al-Khobar City of Saudi Arabia and the distance from my city to Jabal Al-Qarah was around 160km :
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-capture.jpg

Our plan was to visit Jawatha Park after covering Jabal Qarah, which was just 20 minutes away from there.
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-jawatha.jpg


Let the journey commence..
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You can see the TAHOE in front.
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We reached the destination by 12:30 PM, almost 2 hours drive, which had 1 stop at a fuel pump. G-map was totally confused when we were nearing the spot, so we took the help of locals to reach the spot without much further fuss. The parking area was somewhat occupied on that day, maybe due to new year + weekend.

The entry fee was 50 Saudi Riyals($13.33) per head for those who are 12+. I found that to be slightly on the higher side. We had to get 8 tickets in total which made us eligible for some sort of discount on ticket price. Finally we paid 35 Saudi Riyals ($9.33) per head for 8 members. The entire area was neatly maintained, washrooms included. We collected our tickets and entered the cave by 12.45 PM.

Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 00:54.
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Old 21st January 2021, 11:51   #3
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Default Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains

Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains / جبل القارة



Let Wiki talk a bit first:
Quote:
Al-Qarah or Al-Garah (Arabic: القارة‎) is a village in Al-Ahsa in Saudi Arabia. Al-Qarah is well known for its small mountain Jabal Al-Qarah. Al-Qarah is one of Al-Ahsa's eastern villages and is located about 10 km from Al-Hofuf, city center, 140 km Southwest of Dammam and 300 km East of Riyadh.
Quote:
Jabal Al-Qarah (Arabic = جبل القارة, which means mountain of Al-Qarah) is a Mesa that stands about 75 metres (246 ft) high, with a maximum elevation of 225 meter above sea level. It has many caves with very cool air inside. Unlike many caves, these were formed by subaerial weathering rather than dissolution, and as a result have a highly distinctive shape.

The caves, which include 28 tall linear passageways totaling 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) in length, have long been a site of commerce. Some caves of Jabl Al-Garah have traditionally been the site of the workshops of local traditional potters, who are known for the quality of their wares.

This mountain count as one of the most important natural sights in Al-Ahsa and registered in the UNESCO world heritage centre's list at 2018, after the inclusion of Al-Ahsa oasis,

Quote:
Geology

The base area of Al-Qarah mountain is about 14 square kilo meters and consists of reddish colored sedimentary rocks . Also the caves' temperature is semi-steady and moderate along the year and it's about 20 C ° , accompanying with gentle and cool airflow from inside the cave to outside. As well , it's consist of limestone , sandstone , marlstone and siltstones , while the uncovered base of the mountain composed of a thin layer of marlstone topped with layer of Breccias rocks up to 17 m , followed by limestone and sandstone with thickness of 18 m , after that there is a 75 m thickness of sequential layers of grey crumbling sandstone with intermittent layers red marl and marl-alluvial , ends up with a cover of 2 m of limestone. several types of the mountain's caves extend in a form of ribbed grids of cracked ground , while the others are cavities due to chemical weathering , abrasion process and collapses .

Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 00:45.
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Old 21st January 2021, 12:53   #4
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Default Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains

There were a few souvenir shops and coffee shops in the reception area.
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Before entering the cave, there is a small museum to brief out some of their history.


They call it the Land Of Civilizations..
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Ancient Arabic scripts
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From the photo gallery : ( I had taken very few pics )
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Replicas of Thajj treasure- The unknown princes of Thajj
Quote:
The Thaj treasures were discovered in a burial chamber in Jubail in 1998, In her tomb lay gold mask, pearls, bracelets, necklaces and other gold pieces were found, the Hellenistic gold funerary mask led scholars to suggest that Thaj may be the lost city of Gehrra. Saudi scholars revealed that the burial chamber dates back around 2,000 years, to the Hellenistic era.What intrigues archaeologists about Thaj, is that the burial was inspired by ancient Hellenistic practices, even though the tomb was found in the northeastern desert of Arabia.
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Once the museum walkaround is completed, the exit door opens to this :
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Entrance to the mountains & caves:
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0223.jpg



Quote:
Why some hills of Qarah have an off-white color?
The composition of limestone gives most part of the Qarah hills an off-white color. Because, limestone is a sedimentary rock formed from the skeletons and shells of marine organisms that consists chiefly of calcium carbonate. Source


This leads us to an interesting fact that the area was under the sea a few million years back!
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Mountains actually look taller than what you see in the pictures below. You can see people trying to reach the top. (It's slippery and risky!)
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Some craft items were displayed.
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Some vintage elements were 'created' it seems.
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Even though it wasn't a hot day, it was too sunny. Sunglasses recommended for all!
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As you continue walking, you reach the entrance of a tall cave.
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CCTV surveillance was everywhere, caves including.
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The cave is pretty narrow, at some places hardly one person can pass at a time.
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Some sunlight passes through these narrow openings.
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Temperature was cool throughout the cave. It is said that it remains cool even during scorching summer! My visit was anyways during the winter season.
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We walked out of the Cave and decided to 'climb'. Moms did not join and isn't recommended either, as it was very slippery and the descend also was not smooth!


Interpreting history on the way.
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0307.jpg

Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 01:09.
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Old 21st January 2021, 15:10   #5
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Default Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains

Climbing the Mountains..

They have organized trekking if you'd prefer that. But we did not have the time to join them as the next scheduled time would have delayed things for us. Hence we decided to climb ourselves.
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This view is just after climbing a bit, maybe the 1/4th of actual height.
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Some of the visitors were clicking pictures from the edge of the mountains. Later, the security personnel stopped them from doing this.
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We had to descend quickly as many were slipping while climbing, and security personnel began to pull down everyone from climbing at all. The surface is entirely different from the stone mountains, this doesn't give grip at all, whichever kind of shoes you wear!
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You take the exit and there are some rest places to sit.
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A small counter for perfumes, basically OUD.
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Dad happily taking some peanuts, supported by my EADO! We left for lunch then. All were hungry by that time. It was almost 02:45 PM then, which rounds up to around 2 hours to cover the mountains & caves.
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So we headed to hotel Romansiah as that was a known brand. Google maps performed poorly again! Reached there in 30 minutes or so.
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-rd.jpg

Ordered Spicy Chicken (Shawayah)
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0358.jpg


And Mutton Mandi.
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0359.jpg


Cousin took over the wheels thereafter. We headed to Qaisariah Souq (an un-planned destination).
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0364.jpg

Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0368.jpg


Roads in Al-Hassa city were truly a mixture of past days and modernity!
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We reached Qaisariyah Souq (again below-average performance by g-maps!!). Unfortunately, we couldn't find a parking lot even after taking a couple of rounds around the market.
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0377.jpg


Headed to Jawatha Park then, which was part of our planned destinations.
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0378.jpg


Quote:
Qaisariyah Souq

According to historians, the market was built in 1822 AD-1238 AH and was later overhauled in 1334 AH during the reign of King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud. The Qaisariah souq consists of more than 422 shops and is distinguished by its architectural designs of closed corridors and elevated roofing. This offers the visitors good ventilation and natural light while walking in the market, and enables them to have a better grasp of the ancient heritage of the Eastern Province. The market was built on high ground and its shops have dakas — terraces — to protect it from rain and water in the streets, and to provide the visitors and customers with a place to sit in and take their time to examine the merchandise.(Source)
Some Pics of the market :
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-qaisariah_souq_saudi3.jpg
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-c_9qwwrvwaa9d4h.jpg
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-c_9qwxcv0aasdsz.jpg
Image Credits

Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 01:02.
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Old 21st January 2021, 15:25   #6
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Default Jawatha Park

Jawatha Park - حديقة جواثا


Now let Google speak a bit :
Quote:
Jawatha park is located in the village of Al-Kilabiyah, about 12km northwest of Hofuf, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia. There is a lake in the middle surrounded by paved walkways, green grass, a palm garden, and a restaurant. Large car parking area in front of the park. The historical Jawtha mosque is located on the right side of the main entrance. Nearest Airport: Al-Ahsa Airport, Hofuf (Around 36.7 KM from Jawatha Park).
Sky view : Pic Credits

Quote:
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-3492465.jpg

Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-3492463.jpg
Quote:
Jawatha Mosque - It was built in the seventh year of hijra (c. 629 AD) at the hands of the Bani Abd al-Qays tribe which lived there before and early in the Islamic period. This mosque is believed to be the first mosque built in Eastern Province and is where the second Friday congregation prayer in Islam was offered, the first being held in Medina. Source
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dmalumyw4aawrwn.jpg
Source


By the time we reached Jawatha, it was already dark, due to which I had to take some pics from google as added above.

They have got a huge parking area, but still, almost 80% of the parking was occupied. The queue for entry ticket was L-O-N-G! The entry fee charged was 10 Saudi Riyals ($2.66) which is a fair amount. Social distancing was maintained, but for sure there was a B-U-Z-Z due to the crowd. It was a Friday weekend and this was expected. The crowd would be less on days excluding Fri & Sat.

Entered inside after the security check and this " Selfie Bridge " welcomes you :

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Selfie bridge leads to a pathway which is nicely decorated.
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"Street Food" kind of arrangements on both the sides of it. (Took pics of very few shops only.)
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Some 50 varieties of tea was being sold in one shop, nicely arranged.
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My favorite food
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This electric train is for the visitors- they take you throughout the park,
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There is a small Zoo inside the park, strictly for kids, with an entry fee of 5 Saudi Riyals ($1.33).
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0384.jpg


Some of them were well maintained.
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But I felt bad for the King Of The Jungle
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Plenty of normal pet animals were there.
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He was angry at me!
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She was sleepy.
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And they were in some kind of meeting.
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Am shy!!
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Ship of the Dessert looked tired.
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Sad for some reason,
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Good Night!
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They were in plenty. And we took the exit and continued the walk inside the Park (Not all the animals in Zoo were captured).
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0430.jpg

Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 01:06.
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Old 21st January 2021, 16:06   #7
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Default Jawatha Park

Some Food trucks and small cafes were there
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0440.jpg


I liked the way they were named & designed.
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0443.jpg


Loved this caption a lot! All foodies will!!
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0488.jpg


There was a coffee shop in the middle of the lake.
Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0456.jpg


A closer look.
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This looked like a playground, it was well decorated with flowers on that particular day. The shape resembles the map of Kingdom with their palm tree emblem at the center. I wish I had a drone cam to capture it.
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For Reference :
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Some officials were "chilling" out there.
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Some program was going on for the kids. Apart from this, they had an area for rides - for both kids and adults such as Sky wheel, etc. (Missed to take pics.)
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Stood there for 10 minutes and continued the walk.
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This was a sealed house, just for the sake of decoring.
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They have a speed boat service if you would like to, but the one you see below is just for clicking photographs.
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You can get inside, click pics and come out.
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This was almost the end of the park.
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Something to conclude the walkaround.
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Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia-dsc_0485.jpg


We sat there in the garden for around 15 minutes, had some snacks, and left the city. This concluded the New-year trip for us.

Previously I had traveled to Al-Hassa to visit UQAIR FORT, I will share that briefly below.

Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 01:08.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 21:22   #8
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Default Uqair Fort

Uqair - عقير


About Uqair :
Quote:
Uqair (Arabic:عقير) is an ancient fort of Islamic origin, located in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. It is the first seaport in the Persian Gulf. It is alternatively spelled Al-'Uqair, Uqayr, and Ogair, all Latin transliterations of the same Arabic word. It has been linked by some to the ancient city of Gerrha mentioned in Greek and Roman sources.

The fort sits about 50 mu northeast of the fertile oasis of Al-Hasa on the east coast of the Persian Gulf. At the ancient locale are the remains of a large fort that now marks the site of the same name. The current structure that exists is of unknown origin. It is not absolutely clear who built the fort that measures roughly 150 ft (50 m) on each side which consists of a stone rampart topped with mud brick. Source
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Once a Busy Hub of International Trade

The cargoes moving from al-Uqair to al-Hasa ranged from 250 to 300 shipments of goods such as timber, food, coffee, cardamom, spices, clothing, perfume, incense, and sandalwood, coming from India, China, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Oman. They returned with the most significant products of al-Hasa such as dates, molasses, palm shoots and leaves, wool, and livestock.

Al-Uqair also tends to have ties with ancient Gerrha and Mesopotamia. Some believe it was built by Arabs as a defense. As foreign attacks were predicted, the fort could provide a safe haven, as well as defense.

The fort’s origin is still under question, and its history remains a mystery. When the Kingdom was established, al-Uqair was its economic gateway — the main port through which to access the East and the middle of the country. Its historic position was strengthened due to the political agreements established during the reign of King Abdulaziz.

This historical site was the location of the conference, at which the Uqair Protocol of 1922 was issued, helping establish the borders of modern Saudi Arabia by King Abdulaziz. The protocol is of great political significance, and to this day still marks the border between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.Source

We went to Uqair on 28 December 2019 (Yes, pre-covid era.) Our plan was to visit Uqair Fort & Uqair beach. Both were unexplored spots then and not many were aware of those places. Later Uqair was included in Tourism and now they are being developed.

We reached there around 12.30 PM and it was a sunny day, winter was just on the way. The Fort is in an isolated area and we couldn't even find a single shop or human being anywhere near the Fort, maybe nothing in the nearest 25 kilometers! We parked the car and walked to the fort entrance. There was no entry fee, heck no one was there at all!! We were the only visitors that day as per one caretaker who was there. Apart from us, they had some official visit that day by someone from the tourism department & a princess (as said by the caretaker).


EADO parked.
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This was the widest angle I could get of a portion from the first floor of the fort.
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This small building (maybe an office then) consists of 3 rooms.
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The first wide-angle pic was taken from the first floor of this building.
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Most of the door entrances and windows get this arch shape.
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The windows & door entrances.
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A closer look at the doors :
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A closer look at the staircase & finish of the wall :
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This was how the ceilings looked like.
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Most of the lamps were broken, I think this was done purposefully to make them look 'old'.
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Exit from one of the doors takes you to this place.
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This was the main office for trading as per the caretaker.
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We were not allowed to enter this particular building, as the state of pillars were very weak.
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We were not allowed to cross this gate under the building as well, which leads to the sea shore.
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Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 01:10.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 23:36   #9
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Default Uqair Fort

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The other side of the gate looks like this Below Image Credits
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Everything looked old and rusted.
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At some areas, there is access to the silent sea shore.
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Crystal clear water with zero tides.
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We were about to leave, but as I mentioned above they had some official visit there and the event was organizer was an Indian lady. She invited us for lunch with them when she saw us, and yes, we never reject any invitations especially for food. We had some food with them and got ready to leave the Fort.
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Some pictures of the cars that accompanied the officials who came in a luxurious SAPTCO bus.
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All the officials (ladies) were in this bus, the interior looked super luxurious like a caravan but sorry I couldn't sneak in my camera lens due to security concerns. ( SAPTCO - Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company )
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After lunch, we headed to Uqair Beach which was 20 minutes drive from the Fort.
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Supported by G-maps (below par experience).
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Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 01:12.
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Old 23rd January 2021, 00:26   #10
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Default Uqair Beach

Reached Uqair beach with much of a fuss actually!(Courtesy - Gmaps ofcourse! )
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Finally some snaps of my EADO.
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With cousin's Toyota Yaris.
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She was happy to see some greenery after those old age forts and rusted doors.
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I forgot to take pictures of the beach. Attaching a couple of pictures from the internet for those who would like to see. Image Credits.
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After taking some snacks and tea, we waited for sunset at Uqair beach. Post sunset we headed to Saihat for dinner.
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To a small shop known for their Kababs and Shish tawook
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Ordered them all!
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I don't go green normally, but I had to wait for the food to be served.
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And here they come.
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For me, A day well spent has to be wrapped up with good food.
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Thank You BHPians for reading!
Your truly,
________Kamil Haris

Last edited by kamilharis : 23rd January 2021 at 02:02.
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Old 25th January 2021, 07:06   #11
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th January 2021, 09:54   #12
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Default Re: Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia

Amazing travelogue ; requesting the mods to please take this to the homepage. You have clicked some great pictures that compliment the travelogue too.

This single thread gives you an introduction to the car scene in Saudi, the cuisines that you have there, as well as great tourist attractions, just how a travelogue should be. I also appreciate that you added the Wikipedia excerpts so that people like me who don’t know anything about these cities in Saudi can be enlightened.

If I ever visit the Middle East, a trip to all these wonderful places is a must.

P.S. — I would like to know more about your Changan Eado too, seems like a great but underrated car.

P.P.S. — Is Google Maps always that unreliable in the Middle East? Have you tried any other alternatives?

Last edited by EightSix : 25th January 2021 at 09:55.
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:09   #13
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Default Re: Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia

Thanks Kamilharis for an unique travelogue. I had lived in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) for about 2 years before I left for university (my father lived there for 6 years) but as with you, we've never travelled much given how tourism wasn't really open as it is now except for some common destinations like Taif, Yanbu etc. I guess its time for another visit to the KSA now that the country seems almost unrecognizable!

Saudi Arabia is indeed a hidden gem and now that the country has opened and restrictions lifted, it's certainly worth a visit as a tourist! Another hidden gem is Oman which is just gorgeous!
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:35   #14
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Default Re: Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia

Great to see Saudi opening up more.

Good old memories of KSA..... Its the food that I miss the most. Evertime I see a Shawarma stall in India, I get angry, because I know they are doing everything (except how chicken on the rotating grill is assembled) is wrong and does not hold a candle to real Shawarma, be it the diluted and "Indianised" taste, the size or the contents inside. But then I swallow my pride and my anger and go and eat it because I know that's the closest I will ever get in our country.

The only thing made properly in India(mostly Kerala) is Mandi.

My friends here are surprised when they hear that I never ever went to a McDonald's store(i.e. my father never took me not did I care) during the 16 years I lived in Saudi Arabia. Infact, I have only eaten McD twice while in Saudi at some friend's party.

For people who love the KFCs in India. They taste quite sad compared to the KFC we get in MiddleEast. The fries are okay though. I don't know about how the McDs or Pizza Franchises compare. We used to buy amazing Pizza from bakers nearby where we used to get a 10inch veg. pizza for the equivalent of 70Rupees, that too straight from a clay oven, with real fire inside and NO PANEER any where on a Pizza. None of the Pizza's which are sold for Rs.300 to Rs.600 we get in india whether from large chains or mid range restaurants give me the satisfaction that I got from those 70Rs Pizza's.

Sorry for the food rant.

Things that I miss most from KSA are The cars and the food.
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:11   #15
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Default Re: Visit to Jabal Al-Qarah Mountains, Jawatha Park & Uqair - Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia

Quote:
Originally Posted by EightSix View Post
Amazing travelogue ; requesting the mods to please take this to the homepage.
If I ever visit the Middle East, a trip to all these wonderful places is a must.
P.S. — I would like to know more about your Changan Eado too, seems like a great but underrated car.
P.P.S. — Is Google Maps always that unreliable in the Middle East? Have you tried any other alternatives?
Thanks a lot, EightSix for those comments. Just PM whenever you plan to pay a visit to Saudi. Changan EADO long-term ownership review is in pipeline for the last six months but I couldn't complete it, hence this travelogue came in between to fill in. And regarding G-maps, yes they are pretty unreliable in developing cities like Al-Hassa especially when we reach remote areas. Sadly I don't think there is any alternative for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
Thanks Kamilharis for an unique travelogue. I guess its time for another visit to the KSA now that the country seems almost unrecognizable!
Saudi Arabia is indeed a hidden gem and now that the country has opened and restrictions lifted, it's certainly worth a visit as a tourist! Another hidden gem is Oman which is just gorgeous!
Thanks dragracer567. Yes, Oman is in my list for a drive, along with Qatar, Dubai & Jordan. You can check out more on Saudi tourism here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
Great to see Saudi opening up more.
Good old memories of KSA..... It's the food that I miss the most...Shawarma ...Mandi...I never ever went to a McDonald's store(i.e. my father never took me not did I care)...KFCs in India...Pizza..Sorry for the food rant. Things that I miss most from KSA are The cars and the food.
I think we are in the same boat. Your comments on the Arabic foods that are being served in our homeland is true, especially for the Shawarmas and Broasted Chickens. And regarding the McD yes I started visiting recently only as there was no other option to snack during the lunch hours at the office. In the first 13 years or so I never went to McD + wasn't bothered to, Happy with the Falafels & Zatars!

Last edited by kamilharis : 25th January 2021 at 11:24.
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