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[1]
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 2,200 meters above sea level in the fertile mountains of south-western Saudi Arabia, near Asir National Park. Abha's mild climate makes it a popular tourist destination for Saudis.

History[edit]

Abha was the capital city for the Prince of Asir Ibn Ayde under the authority of the Ottoman Empire until World War I.[2] In 1918, the Prince of Asir, Yahya bin Hasun Al Ayde grandson of Ibn Ayed, returned to his family throne conquered in Abha with complete independence. In 1920, the Asir area joined with Ibn Saud during the Unification of Saudi Arabia.

Abha has many historic places such as forts and other locations thanks to the regions cultural heritage.

Transportation[edit]

A coastal road connecting Jeddah and Abha was completed in 1979.[2] A SAPTCO bus station connects Abha to other destinations within Saudi Arabia.

Abha Regional Airport (Arabic: مطار أبهـــا, IATA: AHB[3], ICAO: OEAB) is Abha's main airport. International connections are available to Yemen (Sana'a), Egypt (Cairo), and the UAE (Dubai, Sharjah), as well as to other destinations within Saudi Arabia.

Construction of Dutch-designed Abha Airport began in mid-1975, and flights began in 1977. Before construction of the airport, domestic flights were serviced by the military airport near Khamis Mushait by Ali Misfer Ibn Misfer who was founder of Aviation in Abha in 1945.[citation needed]

Landmarks and notable buildings[edit]

The city of Abha is composed of four quarters, the largest of which contains a fortress. Hilltop fortresses are a characteristic feature of the city.[2] Shadda Palace, built in 1927, is now a museum displaying local handicrafts and household items.[3] Other notable buildings in Abha include the Abha Great Mosque,[3] the Al-Tahy restaurant,[4] the Abha Palace Hotel, and the funpark next to Lake Saad.[3] The New Abha five-star hotel is a recent construction on the lake, 1.5 km southwest of the town.[3] The head office and the main printing presses of Al Watan, a major Saudi daily, are in Abha.

Culture[edit]

The Saudi government has promoted Abha as a tourist destination. The city hosts events to attract visitors to the city and its surroundings, including the summer Abha Festival, sporting events, shows, exhibitions, and musical performances poets and singers. The artist Talal Maddah died on stage during one such performance in Abha.[5]

Education[edit]

King Khalid University is a public university in Abha. The University was established in 1999 by merging the Imam Muhammed bin Saud University of Islamic Studies and the King Saud University of the South.

Geography and climate[edit]

Abha sky

Abha is located in the southern region of Asir at an elevation of 2270 meters (7448 feet) above sea level.[citation needed]. Abha lies on the western edge of Mount al-Hijaz,[2] near Jabal Sawda, claimed by some to be the highest peak in Saudi Arabia.

The climate of Abha is cold and semi-arid (Köppen: BSk)[6] and it is influenced by city's high elevation.[7][inaccessible source] The city's weather is generally mild throughout the year, becoming noticeably cooler during the “low-sun” season. Abha seldom sees temperatures rise above 35 °C (95 °F) 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 in 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)
Average 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 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. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Buchele, Nicholas (2009). Saudi Arabia Culture Smart. Kuperard. 
  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.