Dhahran Al-Janub

A traditional village at the crossroads of different styles of architecture

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The old village of Dhahran Al-Janub is a wonderful testimony to old mud-brick traditional constructions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is located at the crossroads of three places known for its specific traditional buildings as it lays on the eastern edge of the Aseer Province just 15 kilometers away from both the Najran Province and the Republic of Yemen.

Roof view on Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Alan Morrissey)

Roof view on Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Alan Morrissey)

The road leading to Dhahran Al-Janub offer some of the rare viewpoints on the Republic of Yemen​ simply from the tarmac.

Road between Abha and Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

Road between Abha and Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

View on Yemen from the road to Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

View on Yemen from the road to Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

Road between Najran and Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

Road between Najran and Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

 A traveler on his way to Dhahran Al-Janub will see on the road side of the modern city a curiosity present in few places in the Kingdom of Saudi, a replica of the Eiffel Tower whose peculiar shape appears to be popular in the country.

A similar one can be found on the Ha'il-Al-Ula highway.

Replica of the Eiffel Tower (photo: Florent Egal)

Replica of the Eiffel Tower (photo: Florent Egal)

The traditional village of Dhahran Al-Janub is located above 2160 meters on a plateau formed by the Sarawat mountains. It lays along a meander of the Wadi Kutam and is abandoned nowadays since the population moved to modern houses built along the road linking Abha to Najran.

Wadi Kutam at Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

Wadi Kutam at Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

Therefore, visitors have to take a side street to find the traditional houses hidden behind the modern buildings. Since the traditional village is no longer maintained there are unfortunately some old mud-brick houses which have been badly damaged by the weather or that have even collapsed. Visitors have to pay attention to the risk that buildings about to fall down represents.

New buildings in front of the traditional village (photo: Florent Egal)

New buildings in front of the traditional village (photo: Florent Egal)

Dhahran Al-Janub traditional architecture (photo: Florent Egal)

Dhahran Al-Janub traditional architecture (photo: Florent Egal)

But most of the old city is still standing and hasn't lost anything of its charm with its traditional architecture and crafts of the artesans of Dhahran Al-Janub.

Hand-craft window (photo: Florent Egal)

Hand-craft window (photo: Florent Egal)

Street view in Dhahran Al-Janub traditional village (photo: Florent Egal)

Street view in Dhahran Al-Janub traditional village (photo: Florent Egal)

Street of the tradional village of Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

Street of the tradional village of Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

Along the old street there are still panels with names inscribed and an enchantment of a bygone era, and although the village is no longer inhabited visitors can still feel the life that enlivened these streets not so long ago.

Old building with traditional decorations (photo: Alan Morrissey)

Old building with traditional decorations (photo: Alan Morrissey)

The doors of some houses are still open so it is possible to enter and climb the stairs to enjoy the wonderful viewpoints from the roofs, but bear in mind the two following points: although these houses are abandoned they still belong to families that probably live in the modern village, and as buildings are not maintained, any visit to them is at a visitor's own risk.

Roof view on Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)

Roof view on Dhahran Al-Janub (photo: Florent Egal)



A traditional village at the crossroads of different styles of architectures (author: Florent Egal)

About the Author

My name is Florent Egal, I am a French national living in Riyadh since January 2010. After six years of exploration of Saudi Arabia I have decided to show with this website that KSA has much more to offer than the stereotype landscape of empty extends of sand dunes. I hope that after reading through these pages people will feel the same willingness and amazement than I have to discover this fascinating country

Leave a Reply 3 comments

Thes - November 17, 2016 Reply

Is there any booming in Dhahran al janub?

    Florent Egal - March 21, 2017 Reply

    Hi Thes,
    Sorry for the late feedback, these past weeks I was focused on completing the website.
    Dharan Al-Janub is really close to Yemen so I wouldn’t advise traveling there as long as the security situation hasn’t dramatically improved.
    Regards,
    Florent

    Florent Egal - March 21, 2017 Reply

    Hi Thes,
    Sorry for the late feedback, these past weeks I was focused on completing the website.
    Dharan Al-Janub is really close to Yemen so I wouldn’t advise traveling there as long as the security situation hasn’t dramatically improved.
    Regards,
    Florent

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