Famously the homeland of poet Hatim al-Tai, Ha’il Province has been inhabited since at least the Palaeolithic period. It is dotted with centuries-old fortresses, castles and UNESCO World Heritage-listed rock art sites and encompasses reserves protected by the Saudi Wildlife Authority.
Things to do in Ha'il
Whether you want to experience the buzz of the capital Ha’il or escape to the steppe desert of the north-east, Ha’il Province is sure to impress.
Sightsee in Ha’il. Home to the Rashid royal family, Ha’il flourished as a trade hub on the camel caravan route to the Hajj. Admire the mud-brick complex of the Qishlah Fortress and haggle for local handicrafts in the Barzan Souk or learn about the local history at the Ha’il Museum. When it’s time to eat, you can feast on traditional cuisine at Al Turathi Restaurant, which is part eatery, part museum.
Explore Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Natural Reserve. Managed by the Saudi Wildlife Authority, this protected reserve encompasses large areas of dunes, steppe desert and shallow valleys in the north-east of Ha’il Province. It provides important habitat for Arabian oryx, ostriches and Rhim gazelle and is a resting site for houbara bustards during their winter migration. Join a local guide to explore the reserve’s diverse landscapes while learning about the area’s cultural history.
Visit the Al Khanafah Wildlife Sanctuary. North-east of Ha’il Province is the Al Khanafah Wildlife Sanctuary, which lies along the edge of the immense Nafud desert. It’s a particularly popular destination for birdwatchers, with sandgrouse, rock doves and lappet-faced vultures all spotted here. Al Khanafah’s arid landscapes are best explored on a jeep tour, taking in some of the sanctuary’s impressive rock formations.
Getting around Ha'il
Ha'il Regional Airport is the main aviation gateway to Ha’il Province and has flights to destinations across the Middle East. Long-distance buses connect from Medina to Ha’il, as well as travelling between towns and cities throughout the province. Renting a car is the most convenient way of exploring Ha’il Province.