Snow in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is generally considered to be a desert country with a hot and humid climate. It is characterised by extreme heat during the day and an unexpected drop in temperature during the night with fewer chances of rainfall.  No one enjoys winter in a desert as the temperature remains quite high even during the winter months. However, there are some cities in the country that experience cold winters and even snowfall. If you love to experience the snowfall, here are the places to visit in Saudi Arabia during winter. An interesting thing about these places is that although summer is extremely hot here, it gets really cold in winters.

1. Turaif


Located at the northern border of Saudi Arabia, Turaif is the coldest city in the country with the lowest temperature ever recorded. The city recorded a temperature of -12 degrees, the lowest in Saudi Arabia and one of the lowest in the Middle Eastern region beating Amman’s -10 degrees. Turaif is considered to be the coldest place in Saudi Arabia.

Population: 91,713

State/Province: Northern Borders

How to Reach: Direct Flight from Riyadh (1hr-55min)

Distance: 691.40 miles from Riyadh

Things to Do: Sightseeing, Evening walk

[Read Also: Best Places to Visit in Makkah]

2. Sakaka


Located in the northern part of the country, Sakaka also experiences extreme winter with temperatures hovering at sub-zero levels. The surprising part about Sakaka is that even though tall mountains are not found in the region, the temperature remains quite low during winter months.

Population: 242,813

State/Province: Al Jawf

How to Reach: Direct Flight from Riyadh (1hr-35min)

Distance: 538 miles from Riyadh

Things to Do: Visit Za’abal Castle, Qasr Marid, Castle Dumat Al-Jundal & Olive Festival

[Read Also: Amazing Things You Should Know About the City of Madina]

3. Rafha


Lying close to the Iraqi border, Rafha is one of the most beautiful and cold places in Saudi Arabia. The city receives heavy snowfall during winter which is why most expats and Saudi residents like to visit this place instead of going abroad to witness snow.  The temperature can reach as high as 49 degree Celsius in summer while it snows in the winter.

Population: 80,544

State/Province: Northern Borders

How to Reach: Direct Flight from Riyadh (1hr-15min)

Distance: 390 miles from Riyadh

Things to Do: Sightseeing, Adventure activities, Evening walk

[Read Also: What are the Best Tourist Spots to Visit in Yanbu?]

4. Riyadh

Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Riyadh Saudi Arabia

The capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh has a hot desert climate but experiences cold winter. Sometimes the temperature even falls to zero degrees during the night. Riyadhi people love going out in the winter indulging in various outdoor activities and completely love this time of the year.

Population: 51.9 lakhs

State/Province: Riyadh Region

How to Reach: Direct Flight from Jeddah (1hr-30min)

Distance: 524 miles from Jeddah

Things to Do: Visit Masmak Fortress, National Museum of Saudi Arabia & Al Faisaliyah Centre

[Read Also: The Most Popular Trekking & Hiking Spots in Saudi Arabia]

5. Tabuk


Tabuk is another city in Saudi Arabia that experiences cold winter. Whenever there is news of snowfall in the country, Tabuk is the place that must be visited to witness snow. December and January are the winter months in Saudi Arabia.  A thin layer of snow covers the sand after the snowfall and the temperature has been recorded to fall as low as -4 degrees Celsius.

Population: 534,893

State/Province: Tabuk province

How to Reach: Direct Flight from Riyadh (1hr-55min)

Distance: 680 miles from Riyadh

Things to Do: Visit Castle of Tabuk, Al Bidaa, Battleground of Tabuk & Rose Farms

[Read Also: How Ababeel Protected the Kaaba from the Attack of Abraha?]

6. Arar


Founded in the year 1951, Arar lies in the heart of a vast rocky limestone plain and experiences cool-moderate weather. The temperature rarely falls below zero but a thin layer of snow covers the land in winter. Snowfall is quite common here. One can enjoy the great weather and witness snow on their visit.

Population: 166,512

State/Province: Northern Borders

How to Reach: Direct Flight from Riyadh (1hr-35min)

Distance: 550 miles from Riyadh

Things to Do: Visit Dukrah Palace & Archaeological site of Lainah.

[Read Also: The Most Popular Fairs & Festivals of Saudi Arabia]

7. Ha’il


Situated at an elevation of 950 metres, Ha’il enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. It is largely agricultural with date, wheat and fruit production. The historical significance of the city lies in the findings of petroglyphs during archaeological excavation. Ha’il is one of coldest places in Saudi Arabia where it snows in the winter. The city has witnessed recorded temperatures of a bone-chilling -10C.

Population: 1,200,000

State/Province: Ha’il Region

How to Reach: Direct Flight from Riyadh (1hr-15min)

Distance: 364 miles from Riyadh

Things to Do: Al Samra Mountain, Al Rajhi Mosque, Qishalah Palace & A’arif Fort

[Read Also: 10 Hidden Secrets of Madinah That You Don’t Know]

8. Abha


A popular summer holiday destination for the people of Saudi Arabia, Abha is located in the middle of Sarawat Mountains at an elevation of 2,270 metres approximately. It enjoys a mild climate throughout the year with an average temperature of 21°C in the summer and 15°C in the winter. Although Abha does not experience snowfall, it is a favourite destination amongst expats and Saudi citizens because of the pleasant weather. Al Soudah region located near Abha is yet another popular tourist place located on Sarawat Mountain in Saudi Arabia. Covered with Aseer trees, Sarawat Mountain is home to one of the largest national parks in the country.

Population: 2.36 lakhs

State/Province: Aseer Province

How to Reach: Direct Flight from Riyadh (1hr-35min)

Distance: 519 miles from Riyadh

Things to Do: Visit Jabal Sawda, Abu Kheyal Park, Green Mountain & the Art Street

[Read Also: Top 17 Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia]