Ta’if City-The Top 10 Most Terrific Tourist & Visitor Sites

Recently, my wife and I wanted to visit the beautiful city of Ta’if with our boys. However, the online tourist information about the city is very scattered.

We wanted to know the best places for us as a family to visit and the best things for the kids to do there.

So, I decided to write this post entitled ‘Ta’if City-The 10 Best Sites For Tourists And Visitors’. It contains detailed information about the 10 best places for families to visit in Ta’if City.

Taíf -The Mecca Road

Another post I wrote deals with the exciting activities to found in the lovely resort town Al Hada, 15 km north of Ta’if city, and on the way to Mecca.

Click here to read about. Al Hada (Ta’if City) The Top 10 Terrific Tourist and Visitor Sites.

The following are my recommendations for you next time you travel to Ta’if.

I made them with my kids in mind. Apart from the one place, the rugted Saiysad National Park, my kids thoroughly enjoyed visiting them all. 

If you follow my recommendations, I hope you and yours will feel the same.

Swipe and zoom the pictures to see the details of the top 10 Ta’if attractions.

10 Best Sites For Tourists And Visitors-Handy Google Maps Coordinates

NoClick For Quick Access To Site Google Maps Location 
1Shubra PalaceGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
2Taif ZooGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
3Al Rudaf ParkGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
4Taif Old, Historical MarketGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
5Souq Al OkazGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
6Al Shareef Museum Google Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
7Jouri MallGoogle Maps Location 
8Ta’if Rose Festival (Al Radaf Park) Google Maps Location 
9King Abdullah Park (Park Cinema)Google Maps LocationOpens in a new tab. 
10Saiysad National ParkGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

Ta’if (The City of Roses)

Birds Eye View of Taif City From The Top Of The Awaliv Hotel

Introduction 

Ta’if (known formerly as Waj) is a lovely city located exactly 83 km from Mecca in the southeast of Saudi Arabia. It lies high up on Mount Ghazwan (1,879 m) that separates the Sawarat Mountains from Mecca and the flat, plains to the north. 

1,200,000 people live in the region and many more outsiders come to stay in Ta’if during the summer months because of the comparatively cooler weather. 

The wall surrounding the city is called Waj.  

Traditionally, people of Ta’if work on farms growing grapes, pomegranates, figs, and honey. It is especially known for the production of Damask roses.

Before Islam, Ta’if tribespeople worshipped a pagan god called Al-Lat. Mughirah bin Shu’bah destroyed it and subsequently, the city produced staunch Muslims and defenders of the faith.  

Weather 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIM1C_9gAh0
Severe Rain Storm Taíf May 2020

The humidity is low and temperatures generally moderate. Due to its high location, Ta’if is mild in summer 15°C-38°C and can get cold in winter 3°C-23°C. 

Actual Temperatures Today!

Jan-April 22°C-30°C
May-Sep33°C-35°C
Oct-Dec30°C-23°C

Tribes And Its People

The following tribes are well known in Ta’if and its borders. 

Main TribeBranches
ThaqifBani Thabet
Al Qahtani Bani Hareth
AdnaniBani Adwan, Utaibah, Otaibi

History

Rose Fields In One of The 900 Farms in Ta’if

Ta’if was a tiny agricultural village until Abdullah Ibn Abbas,Opens in a new tab. a companion to Prophet Mohammed (SAW) moved there. After that, the city grew and grew.  

It has fertile soil and lots of water so was an important ancient destination for traders on the caravan routes. 

Over the centuries many travelers past through the city leaving carvings and inscriptions on pathways and rock surfaces many of which can still be seen today.  

The region and its people are fiercely independent having resisted much aggression and a number of hostile takeovers. The city finally succumbed to the Ikhwan, the forces of King Abdul Aziz Al Saud in 1926, and by 1960 had become modernized and fully integrated into the unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  

Location

Ta’if City &  RegionGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

Fun Fact: Ta’if was the first city to be visited by Prophet Mohammed (SAW) after he left Mecca. 

Guided Tours 

To get a guided tour of Ta’if city, click on the government official tourist website Opens in a new tab.for details.  

1.Shubra Palace

Shubra Palace And Museum, Shubra, Ta’if

Why Visit It?

Shubra is a beautifully decorated palace in the city of Ta’if. Completed in under two years, it was built in 1905-7 by the order of Sharif Ali, (Pasha) the then ruler of the Kingdom of HejazOpens in a new tab. 1916-1925. 

With time, the Kingdom of Hejaz was conquered by King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud Opens in a new tab.in 1925 before becoming fully unified into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the regions of Al Hasa, Qatif, and Nejd. 

King Abul Aziz used the palace as his summer house. Both sons, King Saud Opens in a new tab.1953-1964 and King Faisal Opens in a new tab.1964-1975 subsequently had their residences there too. 

Shubra Palace was later used to house the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation and to host international events. Other ministries occupied the palace until King FahdOpens in a new tab. 1982-2005 had it converted into a museum.   

The palace building has a basement level, 4 upper floors, and 150 rooms. There are a number of entrances and four facades. The palace’s stone walls are Romanesque and Islamic with traditional Hijazi architectural styles. 

It has etched columns and a huge entrance hall with two long hallways that lead to large palace rooms. Gardens surround the palace.

A carpeted Italian stairway connects the 4 floors. There are beautifully carved arches, traditional doors, walls, and gorgeous latticed style window shutters. 

What Can/Do/See There?

Shubra Palace and Museum

The Heritage and Antiquities Museum

The exhibits are in three parts:

  1. Pre Islamic Period (Stane Age to Jahileya or period of ignorance)
  2. Period of Islam
  3. Saudi Unification

The exhibits consist mainly of old photographs and artifacts of the bygone eras. It is definitely worth a visit to witness the excellent craftsmanship, to see the exhibits of old Saudi Arabia, and to experience the impressive decorated interior spaces and pristine (Italian Cararra) marbled floors. 

How Much $?

The palace has recently been renovated so entrance fees are still unknown. 

When To Go? – Timings

  • Sunday-Thursday 9 am-1 pm
  • Friday & Saturday Closed

For More Information Contact: 050 371 5949

Visit Duration 

1 hour +Guided Tour 30 minutes

Who Will Love It?

Photographers, historians, lovers of architecture, and royal places. 

Location

Shubra Street

Shubra PalaceGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

Fun Fact: Ta’if has two more old palaces; the Palace of Shaikh Abdullah Al Sulayman & the Palace of Al Kateeb

2. Taif Zoo

Bactrian Camel Enclosure At Ta’if Zoo

Why Visit it?

Ta’if Zoo is an excellent chance to see a wide variety of animals, reptiles, and birds in a beautiful natural, clean environment. 

There are also exciting funfair rides for kids, playgrounds, gift shops, tasty snacks, grassy areas where you can sit and relax. 

Included are fun daily sea lion and dolphin water shows where the kids can watch dolphins and sea lions performing jumps and tricks.  

What Can/Do/See There?

Guide To Ta’if Zoo

The wonderful Taif Zoo contains animals in large cage-like enclosures. The animals on display to the public are as follows:

  • Lions
  • Tigers
  • Desert Cats
  • Foxes 
  • Gazelle
  • Brown Bears
  • African Elephants
  • Giraffes
  • Zebras
  • Oryx
  • Llamas
  • Camels, (Bactrian & Dromedary)
  • Deer  With Antlers
  • Horses  
  • Deer  
  • Goat 
  • Bison
  • Hyenas 
  • Ducks 
  • Snakes  (Vipers, Adders, Burmese Pythons)
  • Dolphins
  • Sea Lions 
  • Lizards 
  • Donkeys 
  • Monkeys
  • Marsupials 
  • Baboons
  • Vultures
  • Peacocks 
  • Ostriches
  • Emus
  • Gophers 
  • Eagles
  • Geese
  • Guinea Fowl
  • Blue Macaws 
  • Green Parrots
  • Giant owls
  • Turkish Sheep
  • Rabbits
  • Mongoose
  • Badgers
  • Guinea pigs
  • Porcupines
  • Hedgehogs
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Crows
  • Fancy Pigeons
  • Tortoise
  • Chickens
  • Bulls
  • Exotic birds 

All the animal enclosures are signposted in English and Arabic with information about the animals in the cages. At night, the enclosures are illuminated in colored lights and visitors can see the animals clearly. 

Facilities

The Taif Zoo has good facilities. They include: 

  • Parking Area for 250 cars
  • Public Toilets
  • Zoo Mosque
  • A Row of Gift & Toy Shops
  • Fast Food Stalls- Fries, Candy floss, Soft Drinks
  • 8 Cafeterias & Tables and Seating
  • 2 Ice Cream Shops
  • Tree-lined and Grassy Sitting Areas
  • Water Fountains
  • Colorful Paved Walkways
  • Large Kiosk to Buy Rugs and Picnic supplies

Activities For Visitors

  • Funfair with Kids Rides- Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Rounds For Kids
  • Inflatable Bouncy Rides (Spiderman and Pirate) 
  • Self Driving Buggies 100 SR 
  • Horse Shows & Rides Cost Unknown
  • Dolphin & Sea Lion Arena for Shows 30 SR 
  • Ride Inflatable Boats With The Dolphins Cost Unknown
  • Animal Feeding Times 
  • Camel Rides
  • Animal Petting Sessions
  • Duck Farm With Large Pond
  • Donkey Sanctuary
  • Snake World Exhibitions 12 SR
Animal Shows At Ta’if Zoo

Some visitors voice concerns and criticism that the Ta’if Zoo is old, rubbish-strewn, smelly, and poorly managed with underfed animals. They also say that some animals are sick.

I agree that no one likes to see caged animals especially of they look sick. It is unnatural and cruel. At the same time, caging them does provide an opportunity for everyone to experience a wide variety of wildlife and animals from different countries all under one roof. 

Also, it seems unreasonable to suggest that the zoo starves animals if they are the stars of the show. The zoo has a vested interest in feeding them well and taking great care of the resident animals. 

In fairness, the zoo does get renovated and those that throw litter and dirty the zoo are visitors themselves, not the zoo staff.  

Admission- How Much $?

  • Entrance Fee is 12 SR per person
  • Children Under 2 year Free
  • Daily Shows 31 SR
  • Reptile Show 12 SR

When To Go? -Timings

  • Monday-Thursday 9 am-12 am (Midnight)
  • Friday-2 pm-1 am
  • Sunday 3 pm-1 am 
  • Closed During Rainy Season 

Visit Duration

2+hours  

Best Time To Visit?

The best time to visit Ta’if Zoo is when the weather is coolest. This means that the cooler winter season December to March is the ideal time. 

Also, on warmer days, the early morning, late afternoon, and night time is the best time to see the animals since the sun is at its lowest points and there is plenty of shade. 

At these times animals will come out of their dens.

Who Will Love It?

Great place for the family especially young children

Guide To Ta’if Zoo And All The Animals In Arabic

Location

As Saddad, Taif 26514 

Ta’if ZooGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

For More Information Contact: 0564458515 & 0506194088

Fun Fact: Ta’if Zoo also has weird animals; a three-legged camel, a five-legged buffalo, and one huge elephant. 

3.Al Rudaf Park (Pronunced Arrudaf)  

Nice View Of Al Rudaf Park, Ta’if

Why Visit It?

Exactly opposite the Ta’if Zoo is a new, (Gates 5 & 6 ) beautiful natural public park with trees, stunning landscaped lawns, with 8 granite rocky landscape features, fountains, and a giant water feature. 

Built in 2015, the park is huge, 1km long & 1km wide with an overall circumference of 3km. It has 6 main entrances. It is set against the mountainous backdrop of Taif. 

The Al Rudaf Park centers around a massive lake in the shape of a giant fidget spinner with towering fountains that illuminate at night. 

Kids and adults can have fun scrambling up rocky hills, enjoying the shaded playgrounds, sitting, relaxing, having picnics, playing sports, running around, and quietly enjoying the evening water shows and entertainments.

It has good security and any loutish behavior is prohibited and controlled. Only families are allowed to enter. Possible but NOT entirely wheel-chair friendly. 

You can buy rugs and picnic accessories from vendors selling outside the park. No cooking or fires allowed inside the park.  Bring your own food or picnics. 

It is a stroller and a pushchair kid-friendly environment! No bicycles or mechanical vehicles allowed inside. (Kids and adults). The car parking area gets crowded.  

During the August ‘Ta’if ‘Season’ the park becomes decorated and transformed into a village of roses. Plays, traditional dances, shows are performed and exhibitions held. 

All displayed focus entirely on roses. Growers and Farmers sell roses and the park becomes blanketed in beautiful, colorful roses and flowers.

Overall, in Al Rudaf Park you and your family can escape the heat and enjoy a spacious, very clean, and beautifully maintained environment. 

What Can/Do/See There?

Views Of Al Rudaf Park
  • Free Parking
  • Good Seating 
  • Restaurants-Herfys, Jan Burger, Fanadeer, Canton, Pizza Inn
  • Coffee Shops- Options, Cinnezeo, Ineed 
  • Snack Bars, Movenpick, Koob Kubeez
  • Shops (Flowers and Perfumes) 
  • ATMs SAAB
  • Sports Stadium 
  • Mosque
  • 4-5 Clean Bathrooms and Toilets
  • Park Offices
  • Large Lake (400m In Circumference) 
  • Dancing Interactive Fountains (7 pm – 10:30 pm Hourly)
  • Hot Air Balloons
  • Visitor Centre
  • Floral Exhibits
  • Umbrella Visitor Shading
  • Shaded Gazebos 
  • Manicured Lawns And Features
  • Large Grassy Spaces
  • Lots of Palm Trees
  • Eucalyptus Trees
  • Bouganvilla 
  • Colorful Flower Bed Displays, Hanging Baskets, Shrubbery
  • Cactus Exhibition 
  • Picnics
  • Playing Areas for Kids
  • Kids Gym
  • Firework Displays
  • Trees
  • Picnic Areas
  • Rocky Mountain Areas (Beautifully Illuminated At Night)
  • Solar Lightening (Walkways and Hills) 

Activities

  • Festivals (Rose Festival) 
  • Fun Fair Rides
  • Circus Shows
  • Musical Water Shows (loud) 
  • Walkways
  • Jogging/Walking/Rollerskating Tracks
  • Raised Walkway Bridge, Curved for Public Viewing
  • Horse Rides
  • Camel Rides
  • Quad Bike Rides
  • Playground Areas
  • Rare Bird Shows
  • Basketball Courts
  • 2 Big Football Pitches
  • Tennis Courts
  • Repeated Musical Fountain Shows 7 pm until 10:30 pm Hourly 

Admission -How Much $?

Entrance is Free 

When To Go? -Timings

  • Daily 
  • Opening 1 pm
  • Closing 1:30 am (Midnight)
  • Sunday-Closed All Day and Night

Visit Duration

4 + hours. However, it gets busy on Thursdays and Fridays after 4 pm. It requires two days or more to explore fully

Who Will Love It?

Al Rudaf Park Rose Is Transformed During The Ta’if Rose Festival

Families and Kids Really Love It

Al Rudaf Park is very popular, well attended and highly rated for visitors

Photographers, garden, nature-lovers, groups of friends, and romancers. 

Caution: Weekends & Autumn, Spring & Winter Times Get Crowded

Location

South Central Taif & 12 km from The City Centre 

Abu Talib, Al Sadad, Taif 26515

Al Rudaf ParkGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

4. Taif Old Historical Centre (Sooq Al Balad

Ibn Abbas Gate Al Balad Market, Ta’if

Why Visit it?

Ta’if historical market area (Sooq Al Balad) is a busy hustle and bustle of street vendors, bazaars, plazas, hidden souqs, and little narrow alleys leading you around a labyrinth of old shops, restaurants, market stalls, and historical buildings.

There are more than 2,000 shops.

What Can/Do/See There?

Guide To Ta’if’s Historical Center In Arabic

Most people go there to shop for traditional and Islamic clothes, buy gold, perfumes, eggs, butter, ghee, fish, spices, honey rose water, oil, herbs & spices, and to enjoy the nightlife and Arab and Asian restaurants. 

In this are you will find:

  • Market AreaOpens in a new tab.
  • Older & Historical Building 
  • Traditional Clothing
  • Asian Dresses, Scarfs, Abayas, Niqqabs, etc 
  • Thobes, Jackets, Shoes, Sandals & Accessories    
  • Gold and Bazaar (Qasariyah) 
  • Watches
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Variety of Honey 
  • Rose Water 
  • Traditional Medicine and Herbs
  • Hair and Beauty Oils
  • Makeup Brands
  • Gifts and Curiosities
  • Kitchen and Home Furnishing
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
  • Nuts, Sweets, and Snacks
  • Old and modern Restaurants 

Turkish, Indian, Arabic, Egyptian, and Philippines

Landmarks

4 Beautiful Mosques 

Admission-How Much $?

The old market area is public so there is no charge. However, before making purchases you should learn to haggle prices.

When To Go?-Timings

Evening times! Some shops open in the mornings, especially in the cooler winter months. However, most of the trade occurs from 4 pm until 11 pm. 

Visit Duration

3-4 hours

Who Will Love It?

Gold Markets At Taif’s Historical Centre

Adult men and women who love traditional Indian clothing, Arabic thobes, gold, perfumes, and jewelry lovers.  

Location

Abdullah Ibn Abbas Street, Taif 

Old Historical TaifGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

Note: There is a coach station and plenty of car parking spaces especially in those of three of the above mosques. 

5. Souq Al Okaz

Opening Ceremony Of Souq Al Okaz Actors in Traditional Costumes-Courtesy Arab News

Why Visit it?

The Arabic word Souq (السوق) means a market. However, Souq Al Okaz is not a market for shopping as we generally understand it. Actually, it is an age-old festival that celebrates the lives, the poetry, and the cultural works of ancient Arabic ancestors. 

Today, it is an annual, open-air event that brings together master poets, craftsmen, historians, singers, and performing artists from the GCC countries, and around the Arab world.

Every night for ten days to one month they meet at the Souq Al Okaz siteOpens in a new tab. to celebrate history, culture, Arabic literature, music, and especially Al Mo’alagat poetry that include the lives, culture, and ways of their Arabic ancestors. 

In the past, Souq Al Okaz ran from the 1st to the 20th of the Islamic month of Dhuhul Al Qaidah. When it ended, shoppers moved to the Majna Souq to buy their goods. 

Today at Souq Al Okaz, people still dress in traditional costumes and reenact the past through imagination and playing make-believe.

Souq Al Okaz has a loud, bustling, energetic atmosphere. There are formal Arabic poetry recitals, many musical concerts, competitions, arts and crafts exhibitions, horse and camel races. 

Workers and entertainers dress in Arabic costumes of old in recognition of the past.    

Each year, the development and history of Arabic poetry are explored through recitals and the names of the ancient poets celebrated through professional theatrical performances. Each year’s event is dedicated to one renowned poet of the past.   

These include poets from:

  • Early Arabian Era
  • Islamic Era 
  • Umayyad Era
  • Abbasid Era
  • Andalusian Era

They tell of wars of the ancients, the soldiers, the lives of the people, poets, love, and death. Present-day performances also show the history of Souq Al Okaz, its historical place in the development of the Arabic language, poetry, and culture in Saudi Arabia. 

History

A recent study Opens in a new tab.of artifact rocks and ancient sites around the Okaz shows it had been inhabited since the stone age. Also later, just before Islam beginning in 501 AD, the old Arab tribes formally gathered at Souq Al Okaz

They met to see friends, to chat, to share news, to judge in disputes, and even to start off wars. It was also a place to discuss intertribal problems and to find ways of settling ongoing disputes. 

Importantly, famous poets would recite beautifully inspired poetry to lament, laud, and boast of the virtues of their people. The recitals were always executed in the competitive Al Mo’alagat spirit. 

Arabic Language Diwan

Heritage, Culture and Crafts Pavilions At Souq Al Okaz 2019

Together with the buying and selling of Persian silk, weapons, perfumes, leather, fruits, and goods from all over the world,  Arabic literary and poetic prowess was the focus and hallmark of Souq Al Okaz

Al Mo’alagat poets were eager to present their new poems and they recited their poetry in loud voices to their fascinated listeners. 

Some Of The Famous Al Mo’alagat Poets To Recite At Souq Al Okaz were:

  1. Al Nabigah 
  2. Al Zebyani 
  3. Al Nabigah 
  4. Al Ja’adi 
  5. Hassan bin Thabit 
  6. Amr bin Kalthom 
  7. Al Mostawgar bin Rabia bin Kaab bin Saad
  8. Ghairan bin Salmah 
  9. Al Ashah 
  10. Al Khansa (Tamadir bint Amr)
  11. Al Aglab 
  12. Al Ajali 
  13. Hadeem bin Jawas Al Tameemi
  14. Al Rahib Al Moharbi
  15. Al Saleeb bin Al Selkah

These poets wanted to share and spread their poetic works far and wide as they were possibly able. They even hung written versions of poems on the buildings for others to read. Souq Al Okaz was the Amazon of its time. 

After the arrival of Islam in 610 AD and its subsequent popularity, trade at the Souq Al Okaz traditional market shifted to the more permanent Souqs in the city of Mecca. 

Later, Prophet Mohammed (SAW) visited Souq Al Okaz. He (SAW) loved and was friends with a man called Giss Bani Saedah. Prophet Mohammed (SAW) loved his sermons and in a conversation remarked on the beauty of his words.     

‘’When Prophet Mohamed asked the Ilyad tribe about Giss Bani Saedah, they said “He had died”. Then the Prophet (SAW) said; 

I’m like still seeing him on his camelback with parchments saying sweetest words, though I can’t remember.” 

Then one of the delegation members replied, ‘I have memorized them.’ Then, the delegate recited to him parts of Giss Bani Saedah’s sermons.’’

The general public is not allowed to bring picnics, food, and drinks. There are gated entrances for special needs visitors and electric golf carts available for the disabled and infirm.

Criticisms

Many visitors complain that restaurant prices are high and the weather in summer is too hot to bear. Also, there is insufficient AC in pavilions and stands and the car park is located too far away from the event. 

Othrcomplain that events get overcrowded. The songs and sounds from neighboring loudspeakers get mixed up and are too loud. They cause annoyance, discomfort, and headaches. 

There is a shortage of bathrooms and it seems the Souq Al Okaz staff and officials have difficulties with organizing and managing large crowds.

What Can/Do/See there?

Great Video Showing Events and Atmosphere At Souq Al Okaz
  • Ample Free Parking 
  • Traditional Saudi/Arabic Clothing
  • Poetry Recital Competitions
  • Folklore, Poetry, Song, Dance, and Food
  • Large Open Air Theater & Stage
  • Giant TV Screen For Televising and Viewing Events
  • Laser Light Shows
  • Illuminated Models of Traditional Houses, Forts, Houses, Majlous, Boats, etc
  • Pavilions With Government Ministry Stands/Displays
  • Many Individual Concerts and Events Held Across The Venue
  • 200 Artisan and Craft Shops 
  • Pottery, Silverware, Glassware, Wall Arts and Old Manuscripts For Sale
  • Horse Shows & Riding 
  • Camel Shows & Riding
  • Bus Rides Around The Site
  • Long Walkway- (called Al Jadeh)
  • Restaurants and Food Stalls with High-Quality Food
  • Beautiful Historical Displays- Wooden Chairs and Old Household Items
  • International (GCC & Arab) Stands With Performances
  • Prayer (As-Salat) Areas for Men and Women

Admission-How much $?

Entrance Fee is 10 SR

Pay cash at the gate but it is better to buy the ticket online Opens in a new tab.to avoid the inevitably very long queues. 

When To Go?-Timing

Souq Al Okaz is a month-long event celebrated in June, July or August. Traditionally, the event occurred during the Islamic month of Dhuhul Al Qaida.  

Visit Duration 

They occur nightly for 10 days + during the Souq Al Okaz month. (August)

Who Will Love It?

Traditional Clothes for Sale At Souq Al Okaz-Ta’if- Courtesy Mutab Al Mutairi

Saudi, Arab nationals, and international tourists. The events are for adults, but there are so many fun things for kids to do and enjoy. 

Location

Souq Al Okaz is located on Okaz Road, which is in NorthEast Taif. It is exactly 15 km east of Ta’if International Airport and can be reached via the north Mecca road, Route 80. The Souq Al Okaz venue covers an area of 14,000 meters square.

Souq Al OkazGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

For More Information Contact: 012725 3100

Caution: The events are loud and it can get very crowded.

6. Al Shareef Museum 

Al Shareef Museum, Ta’if Traditional Entrance

Why Visit it?

Established in 2005, the very traditionally built old Arabic house style Al Shareef Museum takes you by the hand and leads you into a past world environment of Arabic street life, the homes, and arched rooms crammed with a veritable treasure trove of ornaments and decorative items actually used by people in Saudi Arabia long ago. 

The staff dress in old Arabic costumes, as craftsmen and inhabitants of home environment from the past. 

There are a series of 12 rooms centered around a huge old world courtyard with interiors decorated like old, traditional houses that you can enter and leave as you view and enjoy the artifacts they contain.

Currently, signs and exhibition information are in Arabic only!  There is a restaurant serving traditional meals of chicken or meat Capsa.

What Can/Do/See there?

Old Saudi Exhibits At Al Shareef Museum
  • Old World (Arabesque) Ticket Office
  • 12  Sections for Exhibitions
  • 20,000 Artifacts
  • Open Courtyard Restaurant
  • Old US and European Cars, Trucks, And Buses Used in Saudi Arabia
  • Old Water Mill And Well
  • Minaret 
  • Old Weighing Machines And Scales
  • Giant Arabic Coffee Pots
  • Traditional Diwan (Sitting Rooms) With Shelves of Old Coffee Pots
  • Old Wood Burners
  • Hanging Lanterns
  • Traditional Baqala or Shop Selling Tea, Coffee and Herbs
  • Beautiful, Colorful Traditional Handmade Ladies Dresswear
  • Big Old Jewellery
  • Ladies Boudoir
  • Copper Engraved Doors
  • Traditional Janbiyas or Holsted Sheathed Daggers
  • Beautiful, Red Hand Made Rugs 
  • Old Guns, Decorated Mirrors, TVs & Radio
  • Large Copper Plates, Ladles, Bowls and Cooking Utensils
  • Old Chairs & Camera Contraptions
  • Wide Flowing Men’s Thobes Of The Past
  • Incense Burners
  • Thatched Roofs
  • Clay Drinking Water Carrier/Holders
  • Aprons And Working Skins
  • Bread Bakers Ovens
  • Black And White Photos Of The Past
  • Ancient Wooden Doors
  • Gorgeous Lattice Trellised Screens
  • Old Saudi Money
Old Guns at Al Shareef Museum, Ta’if

Admission -How much $?

35 SR

When To Go?- Timing

Daily 4 pm-8 pm

Visit Duration

2-3 hours

Who Will Love It?

Traditional Diwan (Majlis) At Al Shareef Museum, Ta’if

Kids, History buffs, The Curious, School Groups etc. 

Location

Um Sabah District, Al Sadad, Taif 26514

Contact: 0555700008/Mobile: 0555700008

Al Shareef MuseumGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

7. Jouri Mall

The Shiny Jouri Mall In Ta’if

Why Visit it?

Jouri Mall Opens in a new tab.is a popular, shiny, high-class shopping center occupying several floors with water feature and fountain at its center. 

The Mall offers tens of international brand stores, a huge food court, 2 children’s indoor play areas, and ongoing fun events and entertainment for kids provided by the Arabian Centres Group Opens in a new tab.who own it. 

Most of the stores sell ladies high-end clothing and accessories, but men and children are catered for too. 

Facilities within are very good as you’d expect in a high-class Saudi shopping center. 

The Jouri Mall floors and walkways are made of highly reflective marble. There are clean toilets and bathrooms for women, children, and babies only. The spaces have a great AC system.

A First Aid room, a Lost & Found Service can be had at the Customer Service Desks

Wheelchairs and baby carts are available for the disabled and the infirm.  

There are plenty of ATM Machines and the shopping public is monitored using state of the art CTTV cameras by specialized Mall security personnel. Also, locals use the Jouri  Mall’s cooled environment to walk and to stay fit. 

What Can/Do/See There?

Jouri Mall, Ta’if
  • 5 Entrances and Main Gates
  • Plenty of Free Parking
  • Clean & Spacious Mall
  • Good, Well Serviced Bathrooms
  • Excellent Air Conditioning
  • Many Branded Stores
  • International Food Court With 20 Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Ample Seating 
  • Lots of Kids Events 
  • Indoor Play and Game Parks- Billy Bees & Sparky’s
  • The Champion Ships (Sheep) Game Competitions
  • Muvi Cinema Coming Soon
  • Fun Fair Rides
  • Sparkys Entertainments Center

What Kinds Of Outlets Stores Are There? 

Clothes, Shoes, Bags & Accessories

Marks and Spenser’s Louzan,  Mayoral, Okaidi, Sergent Major, Tape A  L’Oeil, The Children’s Place,  Ziddy, Actan, adl, Anotah, Camaieu, Cortefiel, Desigual, FG4, Jennyfer, Koton, Lipsy London, Miss Selfridge, Monsoon, Oxxo. Promod, Quiz, Rina, Riva, Sfera, Stradivarius, Terranova, La Senza, Oysho, Springfield, Blueage, Giordano, Mahyaaz, US Polo, Adidas, Ibrahim Qurayshi, Company’s, F&F, Gap, Mango, Zara, Quiz, Carpisa, In In, Girls On Film, Nine West, BanShow, Call It Spring, Guess, Blooming, Steve Madden, ViVi, Choice, Oysho, Lausanne, Giordano, Ice Cube, Bermuda, My Size (Plus Size), Loya, SuiteBlanc, Nichi

Ladies Abayas

Nawaaem Villo,Rashmesh, Ramsha

Jewelry & Accessories

Aldo, BijouBrigette, I Am, Alpha, Abdul Ghani Jewelry, Swarovski, Al Daham Watches, Cardial, RG, Ibrahim A Qurahsi, F&F, Majed For Accessories, Astani, Violet, Tous, Naomi, Gingersnaps, Accessorize, Albaroo, Patchi

Eye Glasses

Alpha Optical

Perfumes & Cosmetics

Abdul Samad Al Quraishi, Caramel Bath & Body, Flormar, Inglot, L’Occitane En Provence, Make Up Forever, Mikayyajy, Natural Touch, Oud Milano, Sephora Body Care, The Body Shop, The Face Shop, Zohoor Al Reef, Smash Box Cosmetics, Ibrahim Al Qurashi, My Songs, Extra Ordnery, Moment, Rapesez, Violet, Alesayi, Femi9, It’s Maine, Nour Maysan, Tutex, Fluor, Not In Rose, Choice, Shield, Paris Gallery, Angellete, Reef Perfumes, Beauty Secrets, Madame Coco, Zavis, Terra Nova, 2 Tex, Al Jazeera Perfumes, Natural Touch

Incense

Inglot’s

All, Kids and Household 

Centrepoint, Early Learning Centre, Season Lights, Orange, Red Tag, Mango Kids, Home Sweet Home, Aqua Life, Promise, Athletics Co

Ladies Lingerie, Swimwear, and Pyjamas

Oysho, Undiz, Women’s Secret

Men’s, Kids & Watches

Arabian Oud, Biscuit, Springfield, Blueage, Gap, Giordano, US Polo, RG,  Ibrahim Quraishi, Oud Milano, Al Daham Watches, Cardial Watches, Old Navy, Princes Houses, The Swiss Corner Watches, Elite Watches, Roberto Cavalli, Emporio Armani, Boss, Mahair’s  Thobes, Pull and Bear, Sun and Sand, iOud, Gingersnaps

Health and Personal Care & Food Supplements

Al Dawaah Pharmacies, Dr. Nutrition, Whites, A Barber’s Shop

Sports Wear

Adidas, Nike, Flo, Sketchers, Reebok

Phone

Sarah Vaughn

Food Court Restaurants

Food Hall At Jouri Mall, Ta’if

Tako Hut, Roma Way, Macdonalds’, Kudu, Herfy, Canton, Burger King, Simit Mama Roti, Antalya, Piaz, Shawarma, La Casa Pasta, Aazal, Iranian, Wokx

Cafes

Sbarro, Seattle’s Best, Dafe Cafe, Cinnabon, Idihat Al Muhtarif. Simit Sarayi (Turkey), Chocchino, Molten Cafe, Nespresso, Markaz Cafe, Guan, Khave Dunyasi, Fenjan Shadleya

Sweets

  • AlKhafeef
  • Al Moez Street
  • Sarh Belques 
  • 48
  • Cafe Dunaisi
  • Jayarat Al Beit Juice
  • Class Cafe

Admission – How much $?

High-end prices for goods but look for regular sales and offers at the Jouri Mall Facebook Opens in a new tab.site. 

When To Go? -Timing

Opening Times 10 am -11:30 pm

Visit Duration

4-5 Hours As Per Your Budget

Who Will Love It?

Billy Bee’s Play Center For Kids At Jouri Mall. Ta’if

Women, Kids, Families, Socializers, Health & Fitness Lovers, Restaurant and Bargain Hunters

Location

King Khalid Street and 50th Street, Al Qutaybah, Ta’if, 26523 

Jouri Mall Google Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

Jouri Mall is opposite the wonderfully elegant Terra/Danube  Mall 

(Hypermarket plus Fresh Foods & Restaurants) 

Terra/Danube MallGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

8. The Ta’if Rose Festival- (Al Radaf Park) 

Ta’if Rose Annual Festival – Al Rudaf PArk, Ta’if

Why Visit it?

The Ta’if Rose Festival is a celebration of flowers and color – a riot of pink and red. 

Started in the year 2005, it is an annual ten-day event that runs in April. This month is when the 30 petaled Damask Ta’if rose blooms. These fresh rose petals are used to make delightful oils, perfumes (Attar), and soaps.  

Every year, 300 million roses are harvested by more than 900 rose farms that exist in and around the Ta’if region. 

Today a bigger and more interesting festival is held at the beautiful Al Radaf ParkOpens in a new tab.. In the past, it took place at the much smaller King Faisal ParkOpens in a new tab., in Qadeera District.    

For the festival, the Ta’if Chamber of Commerce and IndustryOpens in a new tab. creates colorful displays of more than 100,000 flowers in huge flower beds right across the park and in other venues. It uses thousands of different flower species. 

At the Ta’if Rose Festival, visitors can also enjoy the many exhibitions in pavilions, participate in arts and crafts contests, see and buy handicrafts, witness folk dancing concerts, eat in traditional restaurants as well as having lots of fun. 

There are crowds of people who daily attend the Ta’if Rose Festival but Al Radaf Park is very big, with plenty of grassy spaces and with great wheelchair accessible walkways. 

What Can/Do/See there?

Wonderful Ta’if’s 15th Rose Festival
  • Huge Flower Beds And Displays
  • Free Roses
  • Rose Garlands and Tiaras 
  • Rose Petal Scatterings
  • Traditional Saudi Clothing (Boys and Girls) 
  • Bubble Making Machines For Kids
  • Arts and Crafts Contests (Taif Cultural and Arts Society)
  • Folk Shows-(Ardha Dances)
  • Poetry Evenings
  • Plays
  • Essential Oils Training Sessions
  • Barcoding For Beginners & Professionals
  • Visual Arts
  • Rose Themed Competitions for Artists (Ta’if, KSA, and Gulf)
  • Roses Football Competitions
  • Laser and Illuminated Water Fountain Shows 
  • Wide Open Grassy Spaces
  • Plenty of Picnic and Resting Spots
  • Colorful Flower, Butterfly, and Cultural Displays
  • Beautiful Giant Flowers, Perfume Bottles and Cartoon Characters 
  • Water Features and Displays
  • Traditional Desert Tents
  • Diwan Seating and Carpets & Arabic Coffee
  • Delightfully Lit up Arched Walkways
  • Illuminated Trees, Horses and Figures
  • Open Top ‘London’ Bus Rides
  • Golf Cart Rides
  • Old Household Utensils Displays 
  • Many Exhibitions and Stands
  • Shops Selling Rose Oil, Water, and Soaps
  • Sweets For Sale (Qaymaat)
  • Incense Burning
  • Papier Mache Fantasy Figures and Animals
  • Official Visits By Groups and Associations
  • Evening Firework Displays

Admission-How much $?

No Entrance Charge -Free

When To Go? -Timing

Wonderful Ta’if’s 14th Rose Festival

5 pm-12 am. Doors open at 4:30 pm. 

10 Days in April

Visit Duration

Different events are held every day for 10 days

Who Will Love It?

Women, children, and families of all nationalities.

Wonderful Ta’if’s Rose Festival

Location

South Central Taif & 12 km from The City Centre 

Abu Talib, Al Sadad, Taif 26515

Ta’if Rose FestivalGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
Social MediaTwitter: Taif_Rose1Opens in a new tab. Instagram: Taif_Rose1Opens in a new tab.

9. King Abdullah Park

Calm, Peaceful and VERY Clean King Abdullah Park in Ta’if

Why Visit it?

King Abdullah Park is the perhaps second-best park after Al Radaf and is located in Eastern Ta’if. It has ample green lawns with lots of trees, shrubs, flowers, and has very well kept and maintained walkways and facilities. Many people comment on how it is beautifully clean and hygienic. 

King Abdullah Park is .5 km long and .3 km at its widest. It is designed around a central lake and shooting fountains and it has wide leafy walkways that are great for taking an afternoon stroll, light exercise, breathing the fresh air, and feeling calm. 

The formal gardens are so beautiful and set again a backdrop of curvaceous hills and natural rocky landscapes. You can see date trees, hybrid fig-trees, deciduous trees, high shrubs, annual flowers and colorful bedding plants. 

There is also a rockery with hundreds of exotic plant species. Many beautiful birds frequent the park and they are especially noticeable early in the morning. 

At night, an illuminated fountain shoots up colored water high into the sky using high powered jets. The walkways between lawns are well lit up with wonderful street lights and there are a number of fixed tables and benches for picnics.

King Abdullah Park, Water Fountains And Dances

Kids cycles, roller skates, strollers, etc are allowed.  Special parking spaces exist for cars with disabled passengers. Here is good security at the 8 gates. The bathrooms are cleaned and plentiful. You can bring in your own food, snacks, and drinks.

The quietest, most peaceful location in the park is next to Gate 6. 

Also, King Abdullah Park is close to Ta’if Municipality, shops, a petrol station, the Johnny Mall, the Terra Mall and Saco.  

What Can/Do/See there?

  • Ample Free Car Parking 
  • Two Small And One Large Lake With Fountain Jets
  • Calm, Cool  And Quiet Atmosphere
  • One Large Public Pavilion 
  • Shaded Pavilions With Seating
  • Many Benches 
  • Stunning, Lush, Spacious Lawns
  • Variety of Trees and Shrubs
  • Beautiful Flowers
  • Old Fashioned and Modern Street Lights
  • Cafeterias
  • Two Main Playgrounds For Little Kids With Padded Floors
  • Red Tiled and Patterened Walkways  With high Shrubbery
  • Open Shaded Tent Like Gazebos
  • Walk Inside Giant Bubbles To Walk Over Water 
  • Elegant Lit up Arched Walkways
  • Beautifully Curved Pathways
  • Full-Sized Astro Turf Football Pitch
  • Three Tennis Courts
  • Volley Ball Courts
  • Spot Lamps for Night Time Sports Events 
  • Nighttime Spotlight Shows
  • Cinema
  • Excellent Night-Time Lighting
  • Lots of Rubbish Bins 
  • Kiosks for Coffee and Light Snacks
  • Excellently Serviced Bathrooms
  • Mosque with Separate Prayer Areas
Lovely Trees, Shrubs and Gazebos At King Abdullah PArk, Ta’if

Admission-How much $?

Entrance to King Abdullah Park is free of charge

When To Go-Timing

  • Tuesday to Friday  1 pm -12 am
  • Saturday 12 pm – 12 am
  • Monday Closed

Visit Duration

1 – 11 hours 

Who Will Love It?

Families, nature lovers, photographers

Location

King Abdullah Park Google Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

Fun Fact- King Abdullah Park was the location chosen to host the first Taif Cinema Movie Theater held during the 2019 Ta’if Season Festival. 

It was operated by the Riyadh based Muvi Cinemas Company.Opens in a new tab.

The cinema first started showing Arab and International films on a huge screen in the open-air in the park and seated 350 people. Ticket prices were SR 50 ($14). 

Films shown were for adults and kids under 15. 

10. Saiyasid National Park 

Gushing Spring Waters In April / May Brings Saiyasid National Park, Ta’if To Life

Why Visit it?

Al Saiyasid National Park is Ta’if’s wild and natural underdeveloped area of beauty. 

It got its name after the river dam that exists there called Sised. Originally, this large stone dam was built by a companion of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) called Mu’awiya bin Abi SufyanOpens in a new tab. in 677 AD. (Check) He was an Umayyad Caliph 639-661. 

The six lined words in Arabic engraved on one of the foundation rocks of the dam translate as the following:

This dam is the property of Muawiya, who worships God (Allah)

He is the Caliph of Muslims and the dam is built by Abdullah Bin Sakhr

It was built in the year 58 H only by the grace of God

May Allah forgive his worshipper Muawiya

May Allah forgive his sin, help him and give him benefit

To the ones who believe through him.

This is written by Amr Ibn Habab (Inscribed)
Inscribed Rock At The Saiyasid National Park

Over centuries, 70 dams were built in and around Ta’if of which 29 survive until today. 

Al Saiyasid National Park lies in the Northeast of Ta’if, 7-8 km from the city center. It is located in an area of 16 square km. 

The park is a massive nature reserve set against a backdrop of mountains, with trees, gushing rivers, little valleys, and lots of mountain springs.   

The park is the meeting place, a confluence of the flowing valleys Al Arj, Sisood, and Nakhb.  

Neglected until 1998, the park was updated and access to the area was restored before it opened to the public in 1999. 

It is popular with camel drivers, campers, day-trippers, bird watchers, picnickers, hikers and off-roaders.  People enjoy its open green spaces and rocky terrain. 

Try to avoid the national park during the rainy season as rivers swell and flows are torrential. 

The park is underdeveloped and rustic. There are no shops or services so visitors need to take ALL supplies with them and warm clothes are recommended at night.  

What Can/Do/See There?

Ta’if’s Saiysid National Park- Pre Rainy Season!
  • Driving Around The Reserve
  • Off-Roading
  • Walking
  • Scenic Photography
  • Bird/Animal Spotting
  • Grazing Camels
  • Enjoying Gushing Rivers
  • Paddling in Pools & Streams
  • Jumping in Waterfalls
  • Camping
  • Picnicking In The Trees
  • Playground For Kids
  • Football Pitch
  • Engraved Rock

Admission-How Much $?

The park is gated and is free of charge

When To Go? – Timing

Open 24 hours a day

Visit Duration

Unlimited Time

Who Will Love It?

Nature lovers and outdoors types

Another Dam Ekrimah In Ta”if

Location

North East Ta’if 

Saiysad National Park Google Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

Handy Google Maps Coordinates- Taif

NoThe Site, Event or Point of InterestGoogle Maps Location 
1Shubra PalaceGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
2Taif ZooGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
3Al Radaf ParkGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
4Taif Old, Historical MarketGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
5Souq Al OkazGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
6Sharif Museum Google Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.
7Jouri MallGoogle Maps Location 
8Ta’if Rose Festival (Al Radaf Park) Google Maps Location 
9King Abdullah Park (Park Cinema)Google Maps LocationOpens in a new tab. 
10Saiysad National ParkGoogle Maps LocationOpens in a new tab.

Recommended Hotels

Recommended Hotels In Ta’if

References and Useful Links

  1. The Kingdom of HejazOpens in a new tab.-Wikipedia
  2. King Abdul Aziz-Opens in a new tab. Wikipedia
  3. King SaudOpens in a new tab.-Wikipedia
  4. King FaisalOpens in a new tab.-Wikipedia
  5. Shubra Palace- A Brief HistoryOpens in a new tab.-Wafy
  6. King FahdOpens in a new tab.-Wikipedia
  7. Shubra-The First Historical Palace in KSAOpens in a new tab.-Arab News
  8. Taif ZooOpens in a new tab.– Facebook Page
  9. Taif and Saudi Tour GuideOpens in a new tab.– Khalid Sherbil
  10. Study-History & Antiquities of Souq Al OkazOpens in a new tab.– Saudi Ministry of Tourism
  11. Souq Al Okaz Program and Activities-Opens in a new tab.Saudi Ministry of Tourism
  12. Official Ta’if ToursOpens in a new tab.-Visit Saudi Website
  13. Discover Ta’if CityOpens in a new tab.-Ahmed Al Juaed Local Guide
  14. Ta’if Rose FestivalOpens in a new tab. – Arab News
  15. King Abdullah of Saudi ArabiaOpens in a new tab. -Wikipedia
  16. Ta’if’s First Open Air CinemaOpens in a new tab.-Arab News
  17. Taif SeasonOpens in a new tab. -SaudiSeasons.sa

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Mohammed Francis

I am a UK national, a college teacher, father of 3, writer and blogger.

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