Beautiful old mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia

Villages in Saudi Arabia

12 Beautiful Old Mud-Brick Villages in Saudi Arabia
Old Mud-Brick Villages in Saudi Arabia

Do you love old mud-brick villages as much as I do?

While traveling, I have a peculiar list of preferences. Give me dusty, abandoned, ruined places and you will get my attention.

Saudi Arabia is in most part a desert nation, and by such, many old mud-brick villages can be found around the country.

During my 2-week Saudi Arabia road trip, I was able to visit some of these ancient places, a few under renovation, some totally forgotten and other brightly finished and ready to receive visitors.

Mud, sundried mud bricks, and wood are the primary materials that were used to build this type of architecture. Water, and often straw or grass, are mixed with the dirt.

I didn’t really expect to visit all these places, but as I traveled by a rental car in Saudi Arabia, I was discovering most of these places on the go.

DECORATED DOOR IN SAUDI ARABIA
DECORATED DOOR IN SAUDI ARABIA

Things that I like about mud villages:

  • Natural clay earth pigment color
  • Adobe construction technique
  • Ruins
  • Old doors
  • Empty villages
  • Desert settlements

Two weeks in Saudi Arabia

Small video of my two-week trip to Saudi Arabia.

Read my page:

Driving in Saudi Arabia: Jeddah to Riyadh Road Trip – Two Weeks/3000 km

Beautiful Villages in Saudi Arabia

1- Al-Ula Heritage Village

AL-ULA SAUDI ARABIA
AL-ULA SAUDI ARABIA

The old village of Al-Ula city in northern Saudi Arabia is called Ad-Derrah. This 800-year-old mud-brick village is built on a rocky mountain slope and gathers more than 1000 houses. It is currently under renovation.

Visit Al-Ula – what to see

  1. Musa Ibn Nusayr Fort
  2. Old village
  3. Aledam Mosque
  4. Old market
  5. Mosque of the Rock – Masjid Al-Sakhrah

Photos of Al-Ula

1- Al-Ula Heritage Village
Al-Ula Heritage Village

2- Al-Ghat

Amara Palace in Al Ghat
Amara Palace in Al Ghat

The old village of Ghat holds the beautiful Amara Palace. You can also visit the nearby Moghairan castle with 2900-year-old rock art. I found this village while driving and noticed the road sign.

Visit Al-Ghat – what to see

  1. Ad-Deira Mosque and ancient water well
  2. Ruined houses with wall paitings
  3. Old village
  4. Mosque Ahmad Al Sidiri
  5. Moghairan castle
  6. Amara Palace – Ghat Museum

Photos of Al-Ghat

Old building in Al Ghat - Visit Saudi Arabia
Old building in Al Ghat – Visit Saudi Arabia

3- Old Ushaiger

Beautiful old mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia
Old mosque in Ushaiger

Ushaiger is a well renovated ancient mud-brick village located in the Najd region, just 200 km north of Riyadh, this makes the perfect one day trip out of the capital. Expect to explore tiny picturesque streets with 400 mud houses and 25 mosques. Ushaiger is the birthplace of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, a religious leader and theologian who founded Wahhabism.

Visit Ushaiger – what to see

  1. Governor’s House
  2. Al-Salem Museum
  3. Al-Nashwan House
  4. Fulaigiyeh Mosque
  5. Colorful painted wooden doors
  6. Gates of Ushaiger
  7. Al-Omar Traditional House
  8. Al-Shenader House
  9. Museum Abdulrahman Al-Shenader
  10. City Market

Photos of Ushaiger

USHAIGER SAUDI ARABIA
USHAIGER SAUDI ARABIA

4- Uthaythiya

UTHAYTHIYA SAUDI ARABIA
VISITS UTHAYTHIYA SAUDI ARABIA

Uthaythiyah is a small forgotten village located 200 km north of Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh. You can walk around the impressive fortress and mosque. The old ruins are very nice, and you can explore deep inside the mud-brick buildings.

Visit Uthaythiyah – what to see

  1. Fort
  2. Old village
  3. Madrassa

Photos of Uthaythiyah

UTHAYTHIYA SAUDI ARABIA
UTHAYTHIYA SAUDI ARABIA

5- Tharmada

VISIT THARMADA
VISIT THARMADA

Tharmada is one of my favorite mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia. The picturesque fortress stands out as soon as we get closer. You can explore around the village where some people still live along the mix of old and new houses.

Visit Tharmada – what to see

  1. Fortress
  2. Old mosque
  3. Colorful painted wooden doors
  4. Old village
  5. Decorated inside walls of houses

Photos of Tharmada

 THARMADA SAUDI ARABIA
THARMADA SAUDI ARABIA

6- Marat

VISIT MARAT
VISIT MARAT

Marat is a small village located 9 km away from Tharmada. The mix of mud-brick houses with white roofs makes it very interesting. The impressive fortress is located in the old village center.

Visit Marat – what to see

  1. Al Shawaihy Heritage House – Fortress
  2. Wooden carved doors
  3. Old village
  4. Central mosque

Photos of Marat

Beautiful old mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia
MARAT SAUDI ARABIA
MARAT SAUDI ARABIA
MARAT SAUDI ARABIA

7- Rughabah Old Village

VISIT RUGHABAH SAUDI ARABIA
VISIT RUGHABAH

Another unexpected and unusual place I found by pure luck. While driving to Thadiq, I spotted a massive observation tower. It seems it was built in the mid-19th century as a surveillance and security system for the historic village. The view from up is fantastic, and you can spot the 400-year-old settlement.

Visit Al Rughabah – what to see

  1. Al Marqab Tower
  2. Al Tali’i Mosque
  3. Old village
  4. Ruins of Al Hazm Quarter

Photos of Rughabah

Beautiful old mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia
RUGHABAH SAUDI ARABIA

8- Old Thadiq

Beautiful old mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia

Thadiq is a historical village established about four centuries ago. It is located about 130 km north of Riyadh. The amazingly decorated museum is worth the visit. The old village is enormous, and there is a renovated small path where you can walk and see the ruins.

Visit Thadiq – what to see

  1. Heritage Museum
  2. Old village
  3. Village entranve gate and defense towers
  4. Old wooden decorated doors

Photos of Thadiq

THADIQ SAUDI ARABIA
THADIQ SAUDI ARABIA

9- Old Mud Village of Sados

Beautiful old mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia
VISIT SADOS SAUDI ARABIA

Sados is one of the oldest settlements in Saudi Arabia. The streets are very narrow, and many bridges connect the houses facing each other. The village has about 85 homes, and you can explore everything including up on the roofs from where you have a panoramic view of the whole complex.

Visit Sados – what to see

  1. Old village
  2. Inside the houses
  3. Fort
  4. Houses with decorated interior rooms
  5. Defense towers
  6. Old wooden doors
  7. Old mosque

Photos of Sados

SADOS SAUDI ARABIA
SADOS SAUDI ARABIA

10- Ad-Diriyah Historical Village

VISIT AD-DIRIYAH SAUDI ARABIA
VISIT AD-DIRIYAH SAUDI ARABIA

Founded in the 15th century, the old city of Ad-Diriyah is famous because it was where the first Saudi State was established back in 1745. Ad-Diriyah is located just 20 km of Riyadh and is a prime UNESCO World Heritage site in Saudi Arabia.

The At-Turaif District was the first historic centre with a unifying power in the Arabian Peninsula. Its influence was greatly strengthened by the teachings of Sheikh Mohammad Bin Abdul Wahhab, a great reformer of Sunni Islam who lived, preached and died in the city. After his enduring alliance with the Saudi Dynasty, in the middle of the 18th century, it is from ad-Dir’iyah that the message of Salafiyya spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula and the Muslim world.

Quote from « At-Turaif District in ad-Dir’iyah »

Visit Ad-Diriyah – what to see

  1. Al Saud House
  2. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab House
  3. Turaif Quarter
  4. Defensive Towers
  5. Al-Dhwaihrah Mosque
  6. Guest House
  7. At-Turaif Bath House
  8. Al-Imam Mohammad bin Saud Mosque
  9. Salwa Palace
  10. Ibraheem Ibn Saud Palace
  11. Fahad Ibn Saud Palace
  12. Farhan Ibn Saud Palace
  13. Torki Ibn Saud Palace
  14. Museum of war and defense
  15. Horse Museum
  16. Social Life Museum
  17. Commerce and Finance Museum
  18. Ghusaiba Quarter
  19. Bujairy Quarter
  20. AMA Art venue

Photos of Ad-Diriyah

 AD-DIRIYAH SAUDI ARABIA
AD-DIRIYAH SAUDI ARABIA

11- Old village of Qusur Al-Muqbil

 VISIT QUSUR AL-MUQBIl SAUDI ARABIA
VISIT QUSUR AL-MUQBIl SAUDI ARABIA

Just following my instinct, I decided to drive from Riyadh to Qusur Al-Muqbil and try my luck regarding finding something interesting to see in this place. What I encountered was a charming village with a palace and an old mosque, just about 70 km south of Riyadh.

Visit Qusur Al-Muqbil – what to see

  1. Mosque with columns
  2. Old Village
  3. Decorated houses
  4. Palace
  5. Old whell
  6. Gate
  7. Defensive towers

Photos of Qusur Al-Muqbil

 QUSUR AL-MUQBIl SAUDI ARABIA
QUSUR AL-MUQBIl SAUDI ARABIA

And that’s it! I listed all the mud-brick villages I visited in Saudi Arabia. Hopefully, you enjoyed it and found this blog useful to prepare your next trip.

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