Fly To Taif, Saudi Arabia
Elevated 1,879m on the slopes of the Sarawat Mountains is the beautiful and lush rose city know as Taif. This might be an ancient city but it is famed for many attractions, mainly for their roses, which covers fields like carpets and is sort-after throughout the globe.
From the ancient palace of Shubra to the Beit Kaki which was once home to Mecca's most important merchant family, and the picture perfect Al Shafa mountains, Taif is a city that converges all types of tourism making it into the most sort after holiday destinations in Saudi Arabia.
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Why visit Taif?
- With long hiking trails and massive cable cars, this is a city that is filled with so much adventure!
- This 'City of Roses' hosts many annual fairs and festivals. The 'Rose City Festival' being one of them which is the most spectacular festivals in the Arabian Peninsula!
- Indulge in the city's locally produced goods, succulent grapes, pomegranates, figs and pure honey, while soaking up the great weather!
This place is known as the summer capital of Saudi Arabia, people usually escape the summer heat of cities like Jeddah and Mecca and flock to this cool, vibrant and relaxed city that offers amazing endless views. Taif is known as a city that is great to visit any time of the year.
The hottest month of the year is August where temperatures reach highs of 35ºC, and the coldest month of the year for Taif is January, the average daytime temperatures usually fall between 13º C and 18ºC.
The best time to visit Taif would definitely be during their festival seasons which begins in March with the 'Rose City Festival', as the weather is perfect and the streets come alive.
The official languages spoken in Taif is Arabic and English which is understood throughout this city.
- Taif generates more income from their roses than from the cultivation of vegetables and/or crops.
- This rose city is located 2000 meters above sea level and is the reason why temperatures are much cooler here than other Arabian Cities.
- In the 6th century Taif was dominated by the Banu Thaqif tribe (an ancient Arabian Tribe) and some members can still be found around the city today.
Taif's biggest attraction is its great climate but it definitely has more than this to offer. Filled with public parks, gardens, beautiful formations and buildings Taif is the perfect place to unwind.
If you looking for an Historical experience, Taif has done a great job in preserving its history. To get a taste of this visit Beit Kaki, back in 1943 it served as a summer residence for one of Mecca's most important merchant families, it was restored and turned into the museum which still exists today.
Seeing that it is known as the City of Roses it would only be right that you get to see some roses during your trip right? Our top choice is the Al Gadhi Rose Factory, one of the largest rose factories in the city and is worth the visit, especially during harvest time (between May and July). While you there be sure to make a stop at the Taif rose plantation, as it’s very close to the factory, here you are pick roses and purchase some of the best rose oils in the world.
If breath-taking views and mountaineering is your thing we suggest you visit one of the mountainous suburbs such as Al Hada Al-Hada, Al-Shifa, Bani Saad, Thaqif, Bal-Harith, Bani Malik. If you want to experience the views without doing the hard work, visit the Al Hada Mountains where you will find Saudi Arabia's largest cable car. The Cableway is located conveniently next to Ramada Hotel in Al Hada.
We also suggest visiting these popular attractions when visiting Taif:
- Al Shafa which is the highest mountain in the Taif region
- Wadi Ardah, Al-Hadban, and Jabal Dakka Parks
- The Shubra Palace
- Taif Zoo
- Jouri Mall
- Al Wahbah Crater
- The old Souk Al Balad
There are many unique and popular Saudi Arabian dishes that are loved by locals in Taif. The Saudi Arabian diet has been the same for centuries and most dishes consist of core ingredients like wheat, rice, lamb, chicken, yoghurt and dates. The city of Taif does not offer much variety when it comes to foods on offer. However they do have a really good signature dish which is a large-grain rice and milk pudding called Seleeg.
The best restaurants to eat at in Taif include:
- Vitamin Palace
- Restaurant at Ramada Al Hada Hotel & Suites
- Kabayan Restaurant
- Broast House
Local cuisine can be found in restaurants like Fratini La Trattoria, NOX-Dine in the Dark, Rhubarb, Blu Kouzina, and MTR Restaurant, to name a few.
The majority of residents in Taif are Muslim, as this city became part of the emerging Islamic state in 631 AD. Islam has been influencing Taif strongly from an early stage. Taif is the gateway to Mecca (Mekkah), Islam's holiest city. The Islamic law, known as Shari'ah law. Since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic State, Shariáh law applies to all individual while out in public areas, Muslim or not. A perfect example: During Ramadan where all Muslims are required to fast and all individuals whether Muslim or not are not allowed to eat in public during the day, out of respect for the Muslim's that are fasting and the faith of Islam.
There are many laws and restrictions that should be respected when visiting this city and the rest of Saudi Arabia, they include:
- Music should not be played loud in public, as it is disrespectful.
- All individuals should dress modestly, which means no revealing outfits would be tolerated.
- No alcohol may be consumed, purchased, produced and even brought into Riyadh.
- Women cannot drive, a man is required to drive them around or they need to find a taxi driver as a means of transport.
- Unlawful mixing between sexes can lead to the arrest of the violators and criminal chargers.
- Women also need to be accompanied by a male guardian known as a 'mahram' whenever they leave the house.
- Women are not allowed to wear clothes and make up that show off their beauty.
Taif is a very hot place and during the summer months, and it is very important to stay hydrated. Tap water should be avoided as it is not always hygienic, thus we advise you to stick to bottled water.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considered to be a very safe country, due to the fact that there is such a strong police presence in public areas. For women it is advisable to have a trustworthy driver, as women are not allowed to drive, and walking around in the city by oneself is not an option for women as men will stop their cars and harass them, especially if they are not fully covered.
Nigerians need a Visa in order to enter Saudi Arabia.
- Leave plenty of time for Visa processing and don’t forget to check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that there are at least 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- You can contact the embassy of Saudi Arabia (Telephone: +27 012 362 4230) for more information, in addition to visa applications.
Abubakar Al-Razi Square
Abdullah bin Huzafah Al-Sahami Road
Diplomatic Quarters P.O. Box 94386
(+966) 11 482 3024
(+966) 11 482 4134
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||₦ 580||₦ 600||₦ 796|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||₦ 300||₦ 350||₦ 159|
|Coke/Pepsi||₦ 98||₦ 100||₦ 78|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||₦ 500||₦ 143||₦ 199|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||₦ 250||₦ 300||₦ 531|
Taif International Airport (code: TIF) is located in Taif, Saudi Arabia. It offers many international flights and is considered to be very important in Saudi aviation history as it witnessed the first landing of Ibn Saud, founder of the Kingdom, plane.
The information on this page is correct as of March 2016. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.com.ng takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.