JAZAN PROVINCE – General Information
Jazan Province, an area of 40,000 sq km, lies in the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia on the red sea with a population of approximately 1.2 million, including some 5,000 villages and cities.
Its major city, Gizan , is home to the Port of Jazan, Saudi Arabia’s third most important port on the Red Sea.
Other cities include Sabya, Abu Arish, Farasan, Ad-darb, and Samtah. It is ideally situated on the southern Red Sea coast with a coastline of almost 300 km and is very close to the main east and west sea trade routes to Europe, the Far East and the Arabian Gulf.
The Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia’s first protected wildlife area, is home to the endangered Arabian gazelle, and in winter, it receives migratory birds from Europe.
The province consists of fertile plains, forests and mountains. The fertile plains, which extend behind the coastal swampland, have been created by the alluvial deposits brought down from the mountains by river and flood.
The forest region, which is also subject to flooding, consists of forest interspersed with some areas of rich pasture.
The mountain region is part of the Al-Sarawat mountain range which constitutes the jagged backbone of the Arabian Peninsula.
The highest peak in Jazan is the Fifa Mountain which rises 11,000 feet. Jazan is one of the Kingdom's richest agricultural regions, remarkable for both the quality and variety of its agricultural produce. It is known for its production of coffee beans, grain crops (barley, millet and wheat) and fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, lemons, mangoes, oranges, papayas, plums and tamarinds).
The weather in Jazan is hot in the summer and mild in the winter. The average temperature throughout the year is 30 degree Celsius. The province can be windy during the summer months with winds reaching an average of 25 km/h. The average rainfall is 45-100mm per year.
In Jazan, there are tens of archaeological sites of various cultural periods varying from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic, and from the early Islamic to the present century.
Ancient inscriptions, mining sites and antiquities of early Islamic period such as mosques, ports, castles are other archaeological sites in Jazan. The region's historical cities include Abou Arish Castle, Upper Jazan, Jabal Jahfan and Qalaat Alasilki, which was formerly the headquarters of Turkish rulers.
The area's tourist landmarks include Buqaat Al-Farar, Buqaat Marouh, Buqaat Heran, Al-Meriah and Al-Makhafa in addition to the Al-Absiyah Fortress antiquities and the agricultural plateaus of Shat Al-Sabaya.
• Faifa Mountains: This mountain resort is 70 km from Jazan. Faifa is a mountainous area that has many wonderful places such as the Valley of Qaa, Karthah, Thwayei Mountain, Hakamy Mountain, and Al-Abseyah.
The beautiful addenium obesum, a tree that looks like a bottle of Perrier water blossoms in April. The Valley of Qaa is always covered in green due to the thickness and diversity of its trees.
It is characterized by stone formations and running water for most of the year. Unique waterfalls appear during times of rain. The area is 30 km to the south of the center of Faifa. Karthah is a mountain top overlooking the valley of Damad and the Faifa area. It is lush with vegetation. Only 1 km south of Faifa, it can be reached by an unsealed road. The Thwayei mountain is one of the mountains of Faifa region.
It is characterized by its steepness and gradient that provides beautiful prospects overlooking the valley of Jarrah and the Faifa region in general. The top of Hakamy mountain overlooks a group of planted areas and the valley of Jooh. It is 1 km to the south of the center of Faifa. Al-Abseyah is the highest peak that can be comfortably reached in the Faifa Mountains.
• Farasan Islands: A group of 84 islands in the Red Sea lying 40 km off the southern coast of Saudi Arabia,
the Farasan Islands reserve is especially rich in seabird life.
The uninhabited islands serve as breeding sites for large numbers of birds to which thousands of birds migrate annually from Europe and other parts of the world.
The adjacent marine feeding grounds attract varieties of birds such as Osprey, Sooty Falcon, Pink-Backed Pelican, Red-Billed Tropic Bird, White-Eyed Gull, Saunders Little Tern, Crab Plover, Flamingos and others.
The reserve also protects the Farasan Islands Gazelle, within what may possibly be the largest population of gazelles left in Saudi Arabia.
On the main island, there are over 500 gazelles roaming freely. The waters surrounding the islands are equally important for marine life including dugongs, sea turtles and numerous Manta Rays.
The antiquities of the Farasan islands vary in date between the first millennium B. C. and the Ottoman period. The Ottoman mosque known as Masjid Al-Najedi is decorated with unique patterns and motifs, similarly the house of Al-Refai is highly decorated.
All these antiquities highlight the flourished phase of the Farasan Islands. The island can be reached by ferryboat from Jazan harbor.
• Wadi Lajb: Located within AL-Rayth area some 40 km northeast of Baysh Town, in Jazan province , with an area of approximately 250 ha and altitude 700-1,500 m. Wadi Lajb is an incredibly deep canyon cutting through sandstone mountains in one of the upper tributaries of Wadi Baysh, a vast drainage system of the southern Tihamah mountains. Pristine and perennial wetlands occur along the wadi floor with a rich, moist, tropical flora.
The Wadi Lajb canyon runs southwest to northeast for about 5 km, bisecting two sandstone mountains, Jabal al-Qahar (2,041 m) to the north and Jabal Shaqra (1,946 m) to the south.
Canyon walls are up to 400 m high in places, often overhanging, and the Wadi is often only 3-20 m wide. The watercourse comprises streams, rapids, waterfalls and plunge pools, with canyon-wall seep-lines abundant.
The canyon is luxuriantly vegetated and very African in character, with Minuscops laurifolium, Trichilia emetica, the Long-stemmed Palm Phoenix reclinata and Ficus as the dominant large trees; ferns, including Pteris vittata, abound in the humid environment. Often "hanging" forests occur along seep-lines.
* Fauna: The site probably holds important populations of amphibians and fish, including several endemics, but these have not been surveyed so far. Additionally, the bird fauna is not well known, but Hamerkop Scopus umbretta undoubtedly occurs.
Arabian Serin Serinus rothschildi and Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus have been recorded in winter.
The surrounding mountains hold the largest known breeding population of Asir Magpies Pica pica asirensis, and are possibly one of the few places where the Arabian Leopard Panthera pardus nimr still persists.
* Flora: An incredibly diverse flora has been recorded in the canyon and jabal (S. Collenette, pers. comm.). Other trees (not mentioned above) include Berchemica discolor, Celtis africana
and Diospyros mespiliformis.
JU is now conducting a research survey about the canyon.
Jazan Province is currently witnessing tremendous economic, educational, cultural and healthcare developments. Some of the main developments include:
• Jazan Economic City (JEC) : http://www.jazanecity.com/en/index.html
Jazan Economic City is located along the Red Sea, 60 km northwest of Jazan City with an area of 103 sq km and a coastline of approximately 12km. The nearest town, Baysh Town, is 23 km east of JEC. JEC is not only located at the confluence of available raw materials and abundant labor source, but also sit along the main Red Sea shipping route. Facilitating its high connectivity and accessibility will be its proximity to the new international airport located 60 km south; a new proposed road running east; as well as the future rail connection to Jeddah, situated approximately 600 km northwest. Two third of the Economic City has been devoted to the development of an advanced industrial zone, equipped with the most superior network facilities specifically for heavy industry projects, as well as secondary (processing) industries.JEC represents one of the most important hubs on the coastline of the Red Sea, strategically in close proximity to local and international markets. Jazan Economic City will draw more than a hundred million Saudi Riyals worth of private investment from the various sectors in the Economic City, consequently also contributing to 500 thousand direct and indirect jobs.
Jazan Economic city focuses on four areas:
• Heavy Industries
• Secondary Industries
• Human Capital and
When completed, the city will provide a high-quality environment for key industries, technology exchanges, commerce and trade, employment opportunities, education and training, housing and a broad spectrum of socio-economic activities for a projected population of 300,000 people.