5 GORGEOUS Sites In Yanbu That Are Well Worth The Long Drive

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Yanbu is one of the biggest cities in Saudi thanks to its huge industrial hub that lies to its south. But it isn’t just an industrial city, it’s planned so well and so differently that you’ll almost be confused that you’re in Saudi Arabia—in a good way. The city still doesn’t have a reputation as a tourist destination, but once you see these sights, you’ll know that it deserves to be one in its own right.

1. Yanbu Lake

This man-made lake that sits inside the Royal Commission area is a sight to behold. Lush greenery with mind-boggling diversity, waves of migrating birds visiting it on any given day, and a quiet that makes it better than your fave picnic spot—this is bound to become your favourite place to go with the family once you visit it. With the weather cooling down now, you could spend hours here in the lap of nature, enjoying the birdsong.

 

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2. Historic Area

If you’ve visited the place 10 years ago, and you visit it now, there’s no way you’d be believing that this is the same place. The authorities have clearly invested a lot in seeking to restore the historic area of this ancient town to its glory days. There is still a lot of construction going on as many buildings are being restored, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting the places that have already been opened to the public, which include the house where T. E. Lawrence once lived.

3. Yanbu Al Nakheel

Yanbu is actually divided into three sections; one of the three is Yanbu Al-Nakheel, which is located much further inland and is rarely visited by anyone who visits Yanbu. This will undoubtedly be an off-trail adventure as you travel into an area where the undulating desert highway gives way to an expanse of lush green watered by a natural spring. This one’s for all the nature lovers out there.

4. Night Market

Technically, it’s part of the Yanbu Historic Area, but the market deserves a special mention of its own, so here goes. Locals claim that the night market has been present since centuries ago, when passenger ships transporting pilgrims to the Hajj and Umrah as well as commerce ships bringing goods from East Asia and Africa would land there. The sailors and fishermen who would buy supplies there just before setting sail in the early morning nicknamed it the “night market.” The market did fall on hard times in the past century, but that has all changed as the authorities have beautifully restored it, making it a centrepiece attraction in the city of Yanbu. As the name suggests, you’ve got to visit it at night.

5. Al Mubarak Village

The place exudes mystery, and for good reason: even many Yanbu residents are unaware of its existence. This abandoned village, located not far from the highway that connects Yanbu with its twin, Yanbu Al-Nakheel, is as if it were stuck in time. It’s almost like visiting a village from centuries ago, one that hasn’t been affected by the rapid development that Saudi Arabia experienced following the oil boom.

 

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