Ta'if

Ta'if (Arabic: اَلطَّائِفُ, romanized: aṭ-Ṭāʾif, lit.'The circulated or encircled') is a city and governorate in the Makkah Province of Saudi Arabia. Located at an elevation of 1,879 m (6,165 ft) in the slopes of the Hejaz Mountains, which themselves are part of the Sarawat Mountains,[1] the city has a 2020 estimated population of 688,693 people, making it the 6th most populous city in the kingdom.[2]

Ta'if
الطائف
City
Ta’if seen from Mount Hada
Nickname(s): 
City of Roses, Summer Capital of the Kingdom
Ta'if
Location in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Coordinates: 21°16′30.34″N 40°24′22.16″E
Country Saudi Arabia
ProvinceMakkah
GovernorateTa'if
Conquered by Saudi Arabia1924
Government
  MayorSa'ad al-Maymuni
  GovernorKhalid bin Faisal al-Sa'ud
Area
  Total321 km2 (124 sq mi)
Elevation
1,879 m (6,165 ft)
Population
  Estimate 
(2020)
688,693
  Rank6
  Density2,145/km2 (5,554/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (Arabian Standard Time)
Postal Code
26XXX
Area code(s)+966 12
Websitehttp://www.taifcity.gov.sa

Ta'if has been indirectly referred to in the Qur'an in verse 31 of Surah 43.[Quran 43:31] The city was visited by the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, sometime in the early 7th century and was inhabited by the tribe of Banu Thaqif and is still inhabited to this day by their descendants. As a part of the Hejaz, the city has seen many transfers-of-power throughout its history, with the last being during the Saudi conquest of Hejaz in 1925.

The city has been called the unofficial summer capital of Saudi Arabia[3][4] and has also been called the best summer destination in Saudi Arabia[5] as it enjoys a moderate weather during summer, unlike most of the Arabian Peninsula. The city owes its popularity among tourists to its many mountain resorts and moderate climate, even during the harsh summers of Arabia. The city is connected to the nearby resort town of al-Hada via the iconic Highway 15 (Ta'if–al-Hada Road). It stands out from the rest of the Hejaz region as it is a city that plays an active role in the agricultural output of Saudi Arabia and is the center of an agricultural area known for its cultivation of grapes, pomegranate, figs, roses and honey.[6] Ta'if is also very active in the manufacturing of traditional 'Ittar, and is known locally as the City of Roses (Arabic: مدينة الورود, romanized: Madinat al-Wurud). Ta'if also hosts the historic Souq 'Okaz

The Ta'if governorate is divided into 15 smaller municipalities, with Ta'if as the capital.[7] The administration of the city itself is carried out by 5 municipalities, named North Ta'if, West Ta'if, East Ta'if, South Ta'if and New Ta'if. Ta'if is served by the Ta'if Regional Airport, with a new international airport planned to open sometime in 2020.[8][9]