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  • Ahmed Saleh

Al-Hada and Al-Shafa mountains, Wadi Muharram, vital fruit sources for Makkah

Taif, February 11, 2024, For generations, the peaks of Al-Hada and Al-Shafa mountains, alongside the fertile farms of Wadi Muharram and the surrounding valleys of Taif Governorate, have served as the primary sources of fruit for Makkah and its environs. However, they are perhaps most renowned as the birthplace of the illustrious Taif roses, whose oil holds a pivotal role in the global cosmetic industry, particularly perfumery.

Taif's favorable soil quality and moderate climate provide an idyllic habitat for the indigenous rose bushes. Through the ages, successive generations have meticulously tended to these roses, carefully harvesting and distilling them to extract their precious oil and water. Notably, Taif rose oil has historically been utilized for the annual cleansing of the revered Kaaba.

Beyond their practical applications, Taif's roses hold profound cultural significance. They symbolize refinement and beauty, evoking emotions and inspiring artistic expressions, particularly poetry. Furthermore, they embody an enduring connection between the people of Taif and their cherished land.

Once a rare sight atop the highest mountain peaks, Taif's roses have now become a notable landmark. With substantial investments exceeding SAR64 million in the Saudi market, the farms dotting the Sarawat Mountains yield an impressive annual production of approximately 550 million roses. Collaborating with some 70 factories and laboratories, the more than 910 farms in Taif collectively produce over 80 sought-after rose-derived products, enjoying widespread popularity both locally and internationally.

In a conversation with the Saudi Press Agency, Khalid Al Kamal, an esteemed agricultural expert hailing from a lineage deeply rooted in the cultivation and manufacturing of Taif roses, shared his profound connection to these blooms. Representing the seventh generation of his family, he underscored the roses' significance and elucidated the intricate process involved in their production.

Al Kamal elaborated that the distillation process yields three distinct products: regular rose water, concentrated rose water, and the highly coveted rose oil, renowned as the world's most expensive. The Taif rose season spans some 40 to 50 days, during which the bushes are adorned with blossoms that unfurl at different intervals. Harvesting takes place in the early hours of the morning, when the roses are at their peak bloom.

What sets the Taif rose apart is its singular annual blooming cycle, rendering it even more precious in the eyes of connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

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