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Farasan Islands

Farasan Islands


"From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free."

---   Jacques Cousteau


The Farasan Bank is a coral shoal 100km wide that stretches 800km down Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast. It lies 40km from Jizan and takes about 90 minutes to get there by ferry.


The islands were created more than 8000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Conditions here are perfect for the growth of coral, which has spread through the area, creating a rich and beautiful ecosystem.


The archipelago includes two large islands connected by a bridge, Farasan Kebir and Segid.


5,000 people live on the largest island, Farasan in Farasan Kebir and Segid. The only other island with a permanent population is Qummah.


Continuously manned coastguard stations are on the main island as well as Zifaf and Rumain.


Kutambil Island northwest of Shuqaiq is a volcanic island situated 5 km offshore. The 100m peak of volcanic clinker dominates the island. The south and southeast parts of the island are flat and sandy. Rich coral reefs lie offshore.

The Farasan Islands are largely low, flat-topped lumps of coral that are barely a few meters above the water. The beaches are made of dead coral, and can vary from smooth white beaches to quite rough sand. On the smaller islands, there are virtually no beaches at all.


Bird life is plentiful and at different times includes Spoonbill, Western Reef Egret, Striated Heron, Osprey Sooty Falcons, Pink-Backed Pelican, Red-Billed Tropik Bird, White-Eyed Gull, Saunders Little Tern, Crab Plover and Flamingos.


To find the ethereal, other-world beauty of the Farasan Islands, it is necessary to put your head underwater where a world of colorful coral reefs, flying rays, dolphins, dugong, sea turtles and whale sharks opens below you. This some of the most awesome underwater diving in the world.


The Farasan Islands are an unpretentious wonderland. Nature in its simple best. Farasan Hotel is the only hotel on the island and accommodation is limited, so it's necessary to book. The hotel can arrange land tours, overnight guided sea trips, fishing, snorkeling and deep sea diving for the accredited diver.


Farasan Hotel

Mohammed Bin Ali

PO Box 17711 Riyadh 11494

Saudi Arabia

Tel: +966-(0)7-3160876

Fax: +977-(0)7-3160873




Source: SCTA