bentoninn Destination Al Habala: A Unique Hanging Village In Asir, Saudi Arabia

Al Habala: A Unique Hanging Village In Asir, Saudi Arabia

Al Habala: A Unique Hanging Village In Asir, Saudi Arabia post thumbnail image

Al Habala, also known as the Hanging Village, is a small mountain village located in the Asir Region of Saudi Arabia. Carved from the local sandstone, these houses cling precariously to a ledge at a staggering 400 meters down a sheer cliff. Access was once only possible by daring rope ladders called “habals.”

It’s a fascinating destination known for its unique architecture, rich history, and stunning natural beauty. Here’s a guide to help you plan your visit:

Quick Jumplinks

History and Culture of Al Habala

Amidst the majestic mountains of Asir lies the captivating Al Habala village. Steeped in history and boasting a unique culture, it offers a glimpse into the region’s past. Estimates suggest Al Habala’s existence dates back over 370 years. The traditional village was originally inhabited by a tribal community called Khatani, also known as “flower men,” adopted from their practice of wearing garlands.

The tribe’s choice of location wasn’t accidental. The Ottoman Empire ruled during this period, and Al Habala’s remoteness provided just the security they needed. The village’s inaccessibility, originally reachable only by rope ladders, served as a natural defense mechanism, and where the name habala comes from (habala being the Arabic word for rope).

Modern-Day Al Habala

For centuries, Al Habala’s residents were masters of self-reliance. Terraced gardens flourished alongside small livestock, sustaining the community for generations. This way of life continued until the 1980s.

Al Habala Hanging Village through the ages

The 1990s ushered in a new era for the region with its focus to promote tourism. As a result, a decision was made to relocate the villagers to a more modern village created in the valley below. When the tribe refused to budge, they were evacuated forcibly by the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Soon, cable cars were built to access the area.

Despite all the turmoil, Al Habala’s cultural heritage refuses to be forgotten. During the summer months, some of the original inhabitants return to the village. Here, they share their heritage by performing traditional dances, offering a glimpse into the past for present-day visitors.

Read: Exploring Al Soudah In Asir

Things To Do At Al Habala

🚠 Ride the Cable Car

Al habala cable car ride

Enjoy a scenic ride on a cable car as you take in breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. Once you reach the top, you can explore the historic village of Habala.

🛖 Explore the Village

Exploring the Al Habala Hanging Village

Wander through the village and admire traditional sandstone houses with their distinctive mudbrick appearance. Some of the old buildings have been repurposed into tourist cafes and facilities.

🌿 Relax at Al Habala Park

Al Habala Park

Located near the village, Al Habala Park offers a scenic area with a variety of activities for families, including playgrounds and restaurants.

Also Read: Visiting Green Mountain, Abha

Getting to Al Habala Hanging Village

Al Habala is an hour’s drive from Abha. It is ideal to drive down there by yourself as public transportation is not readily available and taxis could be problematic (they can get expensive and might not necessarily be willing to wait while you explore).

Al Habala Cable Car

High Season Timings 10 AM – 6 PM
Low Season Timings 2 PM – 6 PM
Route Al Habala Resort to Al Habala Hanging Village
Cost 750 SAR

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an entry fee to visit Habala Hanging Village?

Yes, the prices are SAR 25 for adults and SAR 15 for children. Seniors and family members can also avail discounts based on season and availability.

Can children visit Habala Hanging Village?

Absolutely! The village is a popular destination for families in Saudi Arabia. Children will enjoy exploring the unique architecture, hiking the surrounding area, and visiting the local market.

Are there any shops or markets in Al Habala?

Habala Hanging Village does have a local market where you can find souvenirs, handicrafts, and local treats.

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