Abha

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Abha
أبها
Abha1.jpg
Abha is located in Saudi Arabia
Abha
Abha
Coordinates: 18°13′1″N 42°30′19″E / 18.21694°N 42.50528°E / 18.21694; 42.50528Coordinates: 18°13′1″N 42°30′19″E / 18.21694°N 42.50528°E / 18.21694; 42.50528
Country  Saudi Arabia
Province Asir
Government
 • Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Elevation 2,400 m (7,900 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 485,201
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
 • Summer (DST) EAT (UTC+3)

Abha (Arabic: أبهاAbhā) is the capital of Asir province in Saudi Arabia. It is situated at (2,200 meters) above sea level in the fertile mountains of south-western Saudi Arabia near the Asir National Park. Its mild climate makes it a popular tourist destination for Saudis. According census figures it has an estimate of 485201 population for 2013.[1]

History[edit]

Abha sky

Abha wasn't ruled by the King of Yemen under the authority of the Ottoman Empire until World War I.[2] After many defeats, in 1920,as it's told, nor the Yemens took ever control of the city lead by their leader, 'King of Yemen.[2] The city referred to Saudi as a part of the 'free lands' - it's come a part of Saudi nation after accepted the agreement which provided by King Saud who had Islamic support, later a situation formalized in 1934 with the signing of the Treaty of Taif between Saudi Arabia and tribes. The Treaty terms were that the leaders of tribes would 'give' the land to Ibn Saud for keeping supporting them to defend themselves from their greatest enemy of 60 years, this agreement came to end in 1994 to which another Treaty was signed in 2000 agreeing the tribes-Saudi.

Transportation[edit]

A coastal road connecting Jidda and Abha was completed in 1979.[2]

Abha Regional Airport (Arabic: مطار أبهـــا, IATA: AHB[3], ICAO: OEAB) is an airport in Abha, the capital of 'Asir Province in Saudi Arabia. The airport has services to several domestic airports within the Kingdom. It also offers international flights to Aden and Sana'a in Yemen, Cairo in Egypt, also it has non stop flights to Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE. Construction of Abha Airport was started in mid-1975 by Laing Wimpey Alireza. Hitherto domestic flights were handled at the military airport near Khamis Mushait. The airport was launched in 1977. The design was carried out by the Dutch Consultants NACO. The new construction site was established in an area between the cities of Khamis Mushait and Abha and served both equally.

Buildings[edit]

Abha has a large amount of gardens, parks, fields, and streams within the city. It consists of four quarters, the largest one containing an old fortress. The neighboring hills also have old forts.[2]

Landmarks and culture[edit]

Lake Saad

Al Watan, which is one of the main Saudi daily newspapers, has its head office and main printing presses in Abha. The Saudi government has been promoting Abha as a tourist destination and has created events, such as the Abha Festival during the summer, to draw people to the city. Events are organized to attract visitors to discover the city and its surroundings, such as sporting events, shows, exhibitions and musical performances by famous Arabic poets and singers. Artist Talal Maddah died on stage during a performance in Abha.[3] The old Shadda Palace, thought to have been built around 1820, has been converted to a museum. Also of note is Abha Great Mosque,[4] the Al-Tahy restaurant,[5] the Abha Palace Hotel and fun park next to Lake Saad.[4] The New Abha five-star hotel is a recent development 1.5 km southwest of the town on the lake.[4] Saptco Bus Station lies opposite the mosque.[4] Abha International Airport lies to the east of the city, on the road to Khamis Mushait.

Education[edit]

King Khalid University is a public university in Abha, founded in 1999 as a result of merging the Imam Muhammed bin Saud University of Islamic Studies and King Saud University of the South.

Geography and climate[edit]

Abha is located in the southern region of Asir, it is highly elevated and it is home to the culminating point in Saudi Arabia, Jabal Al Sooda (the rock mountain) which stands at around 3000 metres (10,000 feet) high. It is on the western edge of Mount al-Hijaz.[2] Abha is the administrative capital of the Asir region, containing government buildings and extensive medical and educational facilities.

The climate of Abha is cold semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSk)[6] and it is influenced by city's high elevation.[7][inaccessible source] However, in stark contrast to a large portion of Saudi Arabia, the climate in Abha is both cooler and wetter. The city is generally mild throughout the year, though it’s noticeably cooler during the “low-sun” season. Abha seldom sees temperatures rise above 35 C during the course of the year. The city averages 278 mm of rainfall annually, with the bulk of the precipitation occurring between February and April, with a secondary minor wet season of July and August.

The highest recorded temperature was 40 °C (104 °F) on August 25, 1983, while the lowest recorded temperature was −2 °C (28 °F) on December 29, 1983.[8]

Climate data for Abha, Saudi Arabia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31
(88)
31
(88)
34
(93)
34
(93)
38
(100)
37
(99)
39
(102)
40
(104)
38
(100)
34
(93)
33
(91)
30
(86)
40
(104)
Average high °C (°F) 18.6
(65.5)
19.3
(66.7)
21.3
(70.3)
24.1
(75.4)
26.6
(79.9)
29.7
(85.5)
28.6
(83.5)
28.4
(83.1)
27.6
(81.7)
24.3
(75.7)
21.4
(70.5)
19.2
(66.6)
24.09
(75.37)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.7
(54.9)
13.4
(56.1)
15.5
(59.9)
17.5
(63.5)
19.8
(67.6)
22.4
(72.3)
22.1
(71.8)
22.2
(72)
20.2
(68.4)
17.1
(62.8)
14.4
(57.9)
12.5
(54.5)
17.48
(63.47)
Average low °C (°F) 6.8
(44.2)
7.6
(45.7)
9.8
(49.6)
11
(52)
13
(55)
15.1
(59.2)
15.6
(60.1)
16
(61)
12.8
(55)
9.9
(49.8)
7.4
(45.3)
5.8
(42.4)
10.9
(51.61)
Record low °C (°F) 0
(32)
−1
(30)
−1
(30)
1
(34)
4
(39)
9
(48)
7
(45)
7
(45)
7
(45)
0
(32)
1
(34)
−2
(28)
−2
(28)
Precipitation mm (inches) 18
(0.71)
46
(1.81)
59
(2.32)
59
(2.32)
18
(0.71)
5
(0.2)
19
(0.75)
32
(1.26)
6
(0.24)
2
(0.08)
7
(0.28)
7
(0.28)
278
(10.96)
Avg. rainy days 2 2 3 4 4 2 3 4 1 1 1 1 28
Mean daily sunshine hours 7 8 8 9 9 8 7 7 9 9 9 8 8.2
Source #1: Climate-Data.org, altitude 2241m,[6] Weather2Travel for rainy days and sunshine[9]
Source #2: Voodoo Skies for record temperatures[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Saudi Arabia: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abhā". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  3. ^ Buchele, Nicholas (2009). Saudi Arabia Culture Smart. Kuperard. 
  4. ^ a b c d Ham, Anthony; Shams, Martha Brekhus; Madden, Andrew (15 September 2004). Saudi Arabia. Lonely Planet. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-74059-667-1. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Walker, Jenny; Butler, Stuart (1 October 2010). Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula. Lonely Planet. p. 336. ISBN 978-1-74179-145-7. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Climate: Abha - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Mays, Larry (10 April 2009). Integrated Urban Water Management: Arid and Semi-Arid Regions: UNESCO-IHP. CRC Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-415-45348-6. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Abha, Saudi Arabia". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Abha Climate and Weather Averages, Saudi Arabia". Weather2Travel. Retrieved 25 November 2013.