Granite rocks have formed over one of the hardest mountains in southern Saudi Arabia in an area with the largest diversity of flora in the region. Standing at an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level, the Shada Mountain in al-Bahah region is soon expected to be a tourist destination for people from all over the world.
Shada Mountain in the al-Bahah region has been made famous for its caves throughout history. Nasser al-Shadwi, historical researcher and an owner of one of the caves which he turned into a tourist site, said: “Shada Mountain has a unique geological formation, it is famous of its wide granitic caves, which were used by the inhabitants of this mountain thousands of years ago. This was evident in the Thamudic and Sabaean drawings and inscriptions in the caves of the mountain. These caves were used as houses that only needed to build some open sides, thus it was inhabited at these ages”.
Turning caves into tourist attraction
“Nowadays I – probably I am the first one to do it – renewed and used some of the caves around our house, by sculpting and pruning it to create large areas, thus it became a famous tourist attraction after that. I was also keen to make showers and taps made of pure granite, then I paved the side road leading to it with stones, through caves to become natural tunnels, inside which the driver experience an adventure,” al-Shadwi said.
“Out of my role as a journalist and historical researcher, I introduced this mountain earlier, in researches and reports published in newspapers, lectures and posts on social media until the mountain became famous. Tourists came to visit it form all around the world,” he added.
The geological tourism
“The Shada Mountain had a geological formation that Formed over the past periods of times, forming a magnificent geomorphology shapes. It is an exceptional and unique place for geological tourism only, as a new type of tourism. This new type also adds to the entertainment, recreation and scientific tourism, which is suitable for academics and university students. Especially if we knew that Geological Survey Authority considered it as the one of the earliest geological formations on Earth and is estimated to be 763 million years old,” he clarified.
“This geological museum has a lot of cracks that were used by man who inhabited this mountain, and made it a vital source. He built small dams and made them traps for rainwater, to achieve water security and food security,” he added.