Caves across the globe have been drawing in millions of visitors – and millions in revenue – every year, and no country knows this more than Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is renowned for its stunning caves, many of which are sites of historical and religious importance. Here are four of the country’s most popular caves:
1. Jabal Qarah
Known in English as Mount Qarah, this cave system lies a few kilometers from Hufuf in the Al Hasa Oasis of Saudi Arabia’s eastern region. Jabal Qarah, which is quite popular with locals, offers a distinct labyrinth of natural caves made from sandstone, clay, marl, and sedimentary rocks.
2. Shuwaimis Cave
One of the longest caves in Saudi Arabia, stretching a spectacular length of 530 meters, is Shuwaimis, a cave located in the southwest of the Kingdom’s Hail region. Shuwaimis Cave comes in third in length after Habashi Cave in Taif (581 meters) and Um Jarsan Cave in Khaibar (about 1,500 meters), and has recently been visited by a team from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), which is studying the possibility of developing Shuwaimis into a tourist destination.
3. Heet Cave
Also known as Dahl Heet, this cave, which is actually more like a sinkhole, is by Mount Al Jubayl in the small village of Heet in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital city. With its underground lake and stunning interior chambers, Heet offers some of the clearest, bluest waters in the Kingdom, making it an ideal location not just for regular visitors, but cave diving enthusiasts as well.
4. Dharb Al Najem
Roughly translating to “the Cave of the Fallen Star,” Dharb Al Najem is rumored by some to be the site of a fallen meteor. Located in the desert east of Majma'ah in Saudi Arabia, the cave has a single chamber measuring around 100 meters in depth and 100 meters in diameter. The only way to get in and enjoy the magnificence of the cave is to descend. Once at the bottom, sharp rays of light surround you, lighting up the cave and adding to its beauty.