Adventure at every turn
There’s much more to Saudi Arabia than vast ochre deserts. With more than 2.5 million date palm trees blanketing a verdant expanse just inland from Saudi Arabia’s Gulf coast, Al Ahsa is the archetype of a lush desert oasis. And the UNESCO World Heritage-recognized region recently added a new feather to its cap: in October, Guinness World Records declared Al Ahsa the largest self-contained oasis in the world.
When in the Al Ahsa Oasis, Go Explore
Al Qarah stands about 75 meters (or about 250 feet) tall — and the view from the top of the 30,000-acre oasis below is not to be missed. The craggy limestone peaks are well worth scaling, too.
On the outskirts of Al Ahsa, this striking lake is hemmed in on all sides by lofty sand dunes and fringed by a thick ring of ferns. Visitors are in for quite an adventure: There are no roads, so you have to get to the banks of the lake by dune-bashing your way over in a four-wheel drive.
Built by the region’s Bani Abd Al Qays tribe in the seventh century, Jawatha Mosque is believed to have been the first mosque in eastern Arabia. It’s also where the second Friday congregation prayer was held.