Umluj is commonly referred to as the Maldives of Saudi Arabia. It is so known for its tranquil beaches with silky smooth whiter-than-white sand and pacifying palm trees. It is where you can let your worries wash away into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. If only to feel a capricious calm take hold. Umluj provides for all this and more. Whether you’re looking to be consciously calm or calmly conscious, Umluj is the place for you. This is why we bring you the top 10 reasons to visit Umluj this winter.
Top 10 Reasons To Visit Umluj
Jabal Hasan Island
Imagine riding horses along a sandy tract of land with turquoise waters lapping at the hooves of your equestrian transport. Well, if you pay a visit to Jabal Hasan Island, you won’t have to, seeing as you’ll be living it. This pristine island sports coral reefs, turquoise waters and stunning scenes for miles and miles from civilisation itself.
With shallow shores and a sandy core, the city’s main beach is a near-perfect place. Whether it is to go fishing, frolicking or just for some plain old fun picking shells under the sun. Though people are not allowed to go beyond 5 m in the sea, the dazzling dalliance and dance of the sea and sun make it so that you have to go! It is one to draw people in, again and again.
Al Manakhah Heritage Museum
Being an essential ancient trade centre for trade across the Red Sea, the city really has quite the storied history. It is this same history that you’ll find on display at Al Manakkah Heritage Museum. With artefacts and antiques galore, you will get a rare glimpse into the past cultures that called Umluj home. The museum has also embraced technology to provide visitors with the best possible experience. They have opted for augmented reality exhibitions that will surely knock your socks off.
Farming the most delectable of fruits, the mango, is an arduous task, to say the least. To do so in the desert, though, is more so a feat not meant for the faint-hearted. So take a trip out to this haven to appreciate and take in what the farmers’ hard work has produced. These mango farms are sure to excite your taste buds, and we recommend nothing less than indulging your fruity desires.
Duqm Tourist Park
Lush green parks with ample shade are just what the doctor ordered for some relaxation after taking in the sun. In that case, the Duqm Tourist Park has you covered. It sports stunning performances by equestrians set against the backdrop of a setting sun sinking to the sea. Then it comes as no surprise that it is one of the most enticing places to visit in Umluj. The park also caters to those who haven’t yet had their fill of fun in the sand though, with another beautiful beach waiting to be explored.
You might have heard of or been restaurant hopping, but we bet you haven’t experienced anything quite like this. The fact that the city governorate consists of 104 islands makes it perfect to go island hopping. Yes, you heard it right! Umluj is a must-see, as it allows you to dip your toes in pools of adventure with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Untouched seafronts with little to no people help you plan your hops from one island to the next in peace. You can enjoy activities like snorkelling, dolphin spotting or fishing out on the open seas.
Old Emirate Palace
Dating back to the year 1954, the palace served as the official residence of the governorate’s ruler for 21 years. Its original Arabian architecture, pristinely preserved, flush with the same old lattice windows, makes it a must-see for history buffs. Old artefacts are on display within its walls, detailing the rich history of the region.
Ghobaya Site or Al Hawra
If you’re wondering why you should give Umluj a shot if you’re not interested in the relatively recent past, then wonder no longer. We introduce you to a place more ancient and storied than the rest of the city put together. Discover the Ghobaya site or Al Hawra (the latter, a name by which Umluj was known earlier). The ruins here are sure to transport you to a time immemorial in search of routes unknown. Many researchers believe it to have been the second largest commercial area after the city of Makkah Al-Mukarramah. Not to mention, it is found in the works of many Arab scholars. Most notably, the geographer al-Idrisi, said that “It is a populated village, and its people are noble.” Delve into the storied history of this city, which was borne out of a tangle of monuments, markets and cultures.
In the mood for some authentic Arabian cuisine while in Umluj? Well, then there is no better place to dine than the restaurant at Juman Hotel. Located right across from the governorate’s marina, it hosts surreal views of the Red Sea while you enjoy delicious meals. The hotel’s accommodations are also luxurious, with an aesthetically pleasing environment to boot.
The last place on our list of reasons to visit Umluj is genuinely extraordinary. This black lava field with 50 volcanic cones and craters is located just over an hour’s drive from the governorate. It is right next to the border between the Tabuk and Makkah provinces and is a sight to behold. So venture out, hikers especially, and others alike, to witness our planet in all its fiery glory.