Discover Saudi’s Farasan Island


Do you enjoy diving and snorkeling?  How about exploring nature and wildlife preserves?  If so, then it is highly recommended to visit Saudi Arabia’s Farasan Island.  Farasan Island (Arabic: جزيرة فرسان‎; transliterated: Jazyrat Farasan) is the largest island of the Farasan Islands, in the Red Sea. It is located some 50 km offshore from Jizan, the far southwestern part of Saudi Arabia. The main town on the island is Farasan.

There is as much reef in the Farasan Islands as there is along the entire coastline of Saudi Arabia.  As such, this makes the Farasan Island one of the most attractive and popular diving spots in Saudi Arabia and a favorite destination for Saudis and international visitors.  The Farasan Island group is a large archipelago of Red Sea coral islands with many low-lying islands and islets. Some islands are bare and surrounded by coral, while others are sandy. The largest island is Farasan Kabir, being 66 km long and 5-8 km wide, and the highest point does not exceed 72 m. It has the greatest biological diversity of any site in the Saudi Arabian waters of the Red Sea.

In addition, the Farasan Island is home to the special nature reserve which was established in 1989.  It is overseen and mandated by the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development.  As a result of the protected status of the nature reserve, the Farasan Island now holds the largest gazelle population in Saudi Arabia.  On the main island there are more than 500 gazelles which roam freely.  Can you imagine the photo opportunities?!


Fauna of the Farasan Island include 231 species of fish, 49 species of reef building coral, 3 species of Dolphin, wide diversity of molluscus, crustaceans, large numbers of breeding seabirds as well as populations of breeding Ospreys Pandion haliaetus and Sooty Falcons Falco concolor. A remnant population of endangered Dugong Dugong dugon and the only known confirmed breeding site for Crab Plover Dromas ardeola on the red sea coast of Arabia are protected on Farasan Island.

For landlovers, this article would not be complete without mentioning that the Faifa mountains merit a trip for the opportunity to see some unique rock formations and lush green meadows in Saudi Arabia.  And for those who enjoy history, a smaller island not far from the main Farasan Island holds the ruins of an old German-built Fort used during World War II.  It is said that this fort had been a secret storage location for ammunition during the war.

Getting to Farasan Island is easy and enjoyable.  The nearest airport is located in the far south-west port city of Jizan servicing flights from all key cities in the Kingdom . From Jizan, modern ferry services routinely go between the Jizan Harbor and Farasan Island.  The Jizan Harbor is a picturesque site complete with the old traditional wooden fishing boats called dhows and which remain in use today.


The Farasan Hotel (966.7.316.1166) is a centrally located hotel on the main island of Farasan where many Saudi and international visitors choose to stay.  This modern full-service hotel equipped with all amenities is a seven minute drive from the main port. The hotel’s Almurjan restaurant is known for serving guests with freshly caught delicious sea food meals.

For further information about Farasan Island we recommend the web site (Arabic language).


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