Nestled between Mount Shammer to the north and Mount Salma to the south, the city of Hail was once the capital of all the Arabian Desert and home to legends like Hatem Al Tai, the Arabian poet whose altruism earned him spots in stories like “One Thousand and One Nights.”
As an oasis city with plentiful water wells, Hail has held great significance as a stop for ancient caravan trade routes. It also catered to pilgrims. Hail is known for three important castles. The A’arif Fort is a 200-year-old mud castle on a hill overlooking the city. It is one of the city’s main attractions and offers excellent views.
The Barzan Palace was a vast palace that spanned over 300,000 square meters. Its construction was started in 1808 and was completed under the reign of the second Rashidi emir, Talal ibn Abdullah. It consisted of three floors: reception halls, gardens, kitchens, places for diplomatic guests, and the royal family.
The third major fort is the Qishlah Fortress in the city’s center. It was constructed during the 1940s when Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Musa’ad Al Saud held office in Ha’il province. The mud palace consists of two floors with walls over 8.5 meters.
Around 80 kilometers out of Hail, on the highway toward Buraydah, we “luckily” realized that 7 out of 10 stud bolts on our right rear wheel were missing. We looked for spare parts one day but realized you couldn’t buy such a simple M14 bolt in KSA. So the next day, we took a sample and returned to Hail by local taxi (150 SAR) to find a shop to make it. We found skilled Pakistani workers who made it within a few hours (40 SAR per piece, 50 SAR for rim welding, and 350 SAR to return and mount it). We also had two other expensive options 🤪; one was waiting a week for spare parts from the USA (and praying that customs would not make troubles as usual), and the second was flying from Hail to Dubai to get it (and praying that it would fit).
Service on the road
Parking location – Hail: 27.517030N 41.705017E (🚻)