Islands in Saudi Arabia
Visiting the islands is very interesting thing to do, where you can enjoy diving in the buried secrets, and stretch on the charming beaches, swim in the clear waters.
Saudi Arabia includes a large number of islands estimated at 1300, including the 1150 Island in the Red Sea, 150 Island in the Arabian Gulf
Such islands enjoy fascinating tourism attractions. They have different areas, terrain and environments, ranging from coral reefs, sandy, continental, and volcanic islands. The beaches are surrounded by soft sand highlands, gathering plants, as well as various coral reefs; this positioned them to be tourist destinations for fishing and diving in most of the seasons.
Here are some of the most prominent islands scattered near the coast of the Kingdom:
Red Sea islands:
The number of islands in the Red Sea about 1150 of them constituting 88% of the total Saudi islands, characterized by sandy beaches and coastal reefs. They are divided into four main groups:
The 1st Group: These islands exist in the northern tip of the Saudi coast between the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba in the west and Al-Kharibah Bay in the east. For instance, there are Tiran, Sanafeer, Shoushah, Um Al-Hasani, Sindalah, Al-Thaqba, Al-Farsha, Barqan, and Um Qusour islands.
The 2nd Group: These islands are located in the middle of the northern half of the Saudi coast in the area between Al-Wajh and Umluj towns. They include Rikha, Quwar, Um Roqah, Shibarah, Suwaihel, and Jabal Hassan (Al-Hassani) islands.
The 3rd Group: These islands lie in the middle of the southern half of the Saudi coast in the area between Al-Laith and Al-Qunfudah towns. For example, there are Jabal Al-Laith, Jabal Doqah, Thara Al-Tawilah, Um Al-Qamari, and Jabal Al-Sabaya islands.
The 4th Group: These islands are situated in the southern tip of the Saudi coast west of Jazan. They are represented in Farasan archipelago, which contains the richest environmental and biological diversity. For instance, there are different types of birds, coral reefs, and aquaculture of mussels and snails. Also, Farasan Islands are rich in crude amber that is a source of livelihood for some residents of the Farasan islands.
Farasan Islands are the richest areas of coastal mangrove forests, and their water has several groups of rare coral reefs. Besides, there is a rich growth of red algae and sea grass, as well as there are nesting sea turtles and seabirds on the beaches.
The Arabian Gulf Islands:
There are 150 islands in the Arabian Gulf constituting (11%) of the total Saudi islands. They are divided into three groups:
The Northern Group: These islands are concentrated in the north and northwest of Al Jubail city. For example, there are Abu Ali, Al-Batinah, Al-Qarmah, Qannah (Jannah), Al-Maslamiyah, Al-Jareed and Al-Daginah, Karan, and Harqous islands. Harqous Island is one of the most important one since it has many types of sea birds and turtles.
The Central Group: These are located opposite to Dammam. They include Al-Heeza, Al-Binah Al-Kabirah, and Tarout islands. In Tarout Island many Phoenician, Sassanid, and Islamic antiquities were found as well as pottery shreds, which are displayed in the National Museum. In addition, there is the Tarout castles situated in the center of Tarout Island.
The Southern Group: These islands lie near the entrance of Khor Al-Adeed, which is located to the north of Ras Abu Qamis. They include Al-Huwaisat, Hathbah, and Sayyad islands.