Wanderlust in Saudi Arabia: Ancient Well of Haddaj, Tayma

I’m starting a new blog series called Wanderlust in Saudi Arabia! I will share a brief description and images of a beautiful place somewhere in Saudi Arabia in each Wanderlust in Saudi Arabia post. This way I can share with you some of my favorite travel destinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and bring some light on these lesser known travel destinations. Hopefully these amazing places encourage and inspire people to explore the hidden treasures Saudi Arabia. 

The first #WanderlustSaudia feature is the ancient Haddaj well, located in Tabuk Province of Saudi Arabia. We visited the city of Tayma on our recent road trip from Riyadh to Jordan. You can see more images from our Saudi road trip of over 4000km on my Instagram and Facebook page with the hashtag #saudiroadtrip. My image of the Haddaj well was also featured in the Tabuk Tourism instagram account.

The oasis town of Tayma has a fascinating rich history which dates back thousands of years to the Bronze Ages. The ancient well in the center of the city has been used by many different people who stopped by the Tayma oasis on caravan trade routes and pilgrimages. Tayma was always a prosperous city because of its source of water and an important meeting point for different civilizations.

The Haddaj Well is estimated to be at least 2500 years old. It’s quite a large well, 20 meters in diameter and it’s said there used to be 99 camels at once that drew bucketloads of water from it.

Bir (arabic for well) Haddaj, is one of the most famous wells from ancient times and is an outstanding architectural landmark for the region. The well is known to date back at least to the middle of the 6th century BCE, during the Babel occupation. In the 5th century BCE, all of Tayma was abandoned and buried, so the well fell into disuse for many centuries until Suleiman al-Gonaim restored it to a functional state.

In 1373H (1953), King Saud added four pumps to increase production and help local farmers to obtain sufficient water for their crops. The nearby date palm farms still get their water from the well to this day.

Haddaj well Tayma, Saudi Arabia


Bir Haddaj is mentioned in the Bible in reference to Tayma: “The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled.” (Isa 21:14.7)


Some interesting history about Tayma

-The only confirmed hieroglyphic inscription in Saudi Arabian soil was found in 2010 on a rock near Tayma. It mentions Pharaoh Ramses III who ruled 1192 B.C.to 1160 B.C

-Tayma also used to be the capital of Babylonia when King Nabodinus lived there in 6th century B.C.

-One of the oldest Jewish settlements of Arabian peninsula used to live in Tayma oasis.

-A Jewish poet and warrior Samuel ibn Adiya, built the Qasr Al Ablaq palace in 6th century BC, which still stands in Tayma to this day. 

-A huge 11km long wall dating back to 6th century B.C surrounds the ancient city.

-Two queens have ruled Tayma.

-A Jewish Prince is said to have governed Tayma as late as in the 12 th century AD.

More hidden gem places to discover in Saudi Arabia: Wanderlust Saudi Arabia 

To get more Saudi Arabia travel inspiration, check out the Images of Saudi photography galleries here: Images of Saudi 

For Saudi Arabia travel guides head to the Explore Saudi Arabia section

Find more hidden gem places on the Off the Beaten Path page

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  • Ersatz ExpatMay 29, 2016 - 4:46 pm

    This looks lovely, hope we get a chance to visit soon. I host a blog link up every month (next one due next week), called Travel At Home, featuring stories of local travel, would love you to join in and post this (or other pieces) on travel in KSA, will send you a prompt next week if you are interested.ReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraMay 29, 2016 - 10:54 pm

      Thank you yes I would be interested that sounds very exciting, great idea!ReplyCancel

  • […] For more lesser known travel destinations inside KSA, check out the previous Wanderlust Wednesday post- also from Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk Province: Ancient Haddaj Well in Tayma  […]ReplyCancel

  • Muhammad Sabeeh KhanJanuary 16, 2019 - 2:46 pm

    great information, following your blog

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