TABŪK (تبوك)

We stopped in Tabūk, an oasis city in northwestern Saudi Arabia, for several hours. The city is situated amid a grove of date palms. Unfortunately, it was Friday today, so the city was deserted, and nearly everything was closed.

Still, we walked from the Turkish fort built in 1694 in the old part of Tabūk through the pedestrian zone around al-Tawba mosque to the former train station.

The mosque was made out of bricks, mud, and palm tree trunks during the rule of Caliph Omar bin Abdulaziz. In 1652 the Ottomans rebuilt it, and the most recent reconstruction was done in the early 20th century. Now it has one minaret, a traditional arched entrance, and a massive prayer hall with plush carpet and beautiful chandeliers.

In former times Tabūk was a station on the Hejaz railway built almost a century ago to take Muslim pilgrims from Damascus to the holy cities of Makkah and Medina. But the project ended in ruins less than two decades after its start due to WWI. Inside the renovated station is now a museum about the history of the railway, and it houses an old model locomotive and freight car.

Parking location – Tabūk: 28.380365N 36.556445E