Taif Rose: The Most Sacred Roses of the Oasis

The mountains and wadis around the city of Taif, which is situated in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, come to life every spring when the roses bloom. The wadis and mountains near Taif are home to some of the world’s most fragrant flowers. These mountains are named Al Hada and Al Shafa, and this valley is named Wadi Mahram. Taif has earned the moniker “City of Roses” because of how important the blooms have become to its local economy.

And while the roses bloom in April, the city blooms in August when the vibrant red and pink hues of roses enter the market. These exquisite, intensely perfumed 30-petal marvels Taif roses are regarded as the most precious in the world due to the altitude at which they are made to grow. This is also one of the reasons why many are surprised at the fact that roses bloom in Saudi Arabia.

Taif Rose

The City Of Roses

Taif is sometimes referred to as the Saudi Rose Garden because more than 900 rose farms generate more than 300 million roses each spring. The harvest is brought to factories throughout the city, where it is distilled into some of the most expensive rose oil, or attar, and rose water. This is then blended with other ingredients to create perfumes by high-end labels like Givenchy and Jimmy Choo.

Every year, a portion of the bustling Al Rudaf Park in the city transforms into a village of roses. In this breathtaking environment, rose-themed dances, plays, exhibitions, and presentations from rose farmers and growers take place while areas of the park are covered in blooms.

 

Immense Popularity of Taif

Taif is a city in Saudi Arabia’s southwest region that is situated at 1800 meters in the Hedjaz highlands. Taif is one of the biggest and coolest cities of Saudi Arabia. What you will love about Taif is the amount of diversity that envelopes the city — diversity in agriculture, traditional dances, attire, and even accents – of course, there is also geographic diversity. This city has deserts, hills, valleys, mountains, and hills at a distance of 50 kilometers. It is also regarded as the unofficial summer capital of Saudi Arabia. Taif offers a refreshing respite from the heat because of its altitude.

Rose Garden
Where flowers bloom, so does hope

Since Taif rose has been grown here for centuries, local knowledge and ancestor traditions have allowed for the production of essential oil that draws many affluent visitors each year from throughout the Gulf region.

Taif, one of the oldest cities in the world, draws a large number of visitors each year from all over Saudi Arabia and even from nearby nations because of its exceptional location. They travel there to take advantage of the pleasant weather, particularly in the summer, the lush mountain scenery, and the region’s specialty: the Taif rose essential oil. Taif is well-known worldwide primarily because of its roses, rose oil, and rose water. It is highly appreciable of everything that goes into the perfume of the renowned roses that is treasured by pilgrims, sheikhs, and monarchs alike.

 

Origins of Rose of Taif

Al Gadhi Rose Factory is the oldest and largest rose factories in the Saudi Arabian, where Taif Roses thrive. The factory has become a tourist place to visit. The floor of the factory is typically covered in a thick coating of rose petals in the main area, where guests are welcomed beneath stained-glass windows and chandeliers. This is how the guests are made to feel special once they enter the factory. 

Rose Petals
The beauty of each petal is different

From March to April, when this factory is open to visitors, local farmers growing these roses are seen queuing up outside the factory to have their rose petals weighed on vintage scales. During this time, the factory’s 100 traditional copper alembic pots, which are covered by a corrugated iron roof, are almost constantly in use. Tens of thousands of petals taken from the farmers are distilled in each pot at once to create a few liters of rose water and a tiny tolah of rose oil. This oil weighs 12 grams but sells for as much as 430 USD. With nearly constant effort, a team of 15 people process up to 100 million rose petals in one season.

 

History of the Taif Rose Factory 

For almost a century, the Gadhi family has operated this company, refining a time-honored but infamously complicated procedure, particularly gathering the pure oil that many regard to be the best in Taif. King Khalid bin Abdulaziz, the monarch of Saudi Arabia in the 1970s and 1980s, was rumored to purchase all of the season’s oil.

Today, tourists from the United Arab Emirates shell out a considerable amount of money for liters of the purest Al Gadhi rose oil, which is revered in Arabic culture as a gift of the utmost respect. A tolah of rose oil has also developed as a traditional souvenir for pilgrims visiting Makkah because the Yemeni corner of the Holy Kaaba in the Grand Mosque is full of its fragrance. These are among the factors contributing to Taif roses’ appeal and its authenticity.

Damask Roses
Happiness blooms from within, so does roses

In some respects, it is nature’s mystery why the rose of Taif is so unique in this place. It is believed that traders and businessmen who wished to produce roses close to Makkah brought them to Taif from the Balkans and Turkey sometime after the mid-14th century. The seeds themselves were identical to those sown in Turkey, Bulgaria, Iran, or India; however, Taif’s altitude produced a microclimate that led to very fragrant petals. 

 

Taif Rose Water and Oil, A Local Gem

Al Hada and Al Shafa mountains still have this scent in the morning air during the spring when farmers get up before sunrise to gather roses by flashlight because too much sun will make the rose petals lose their fragrance. A form of magical alchemy also determines the ability of the roses to create oil. There is no assurance that the petals will yield rose oil even when they are distilled in sealed alembic pots, as those at the Al Gadhi factory. It is the peculiarity of the roses of Taif. To maintain their hundreds of years of authenticity, the way they are grown and maintained is of utmost importance to the farmers.

Rose Factory
The art of making magic with scents

The Al Gadhi Rose Factory and Al Gadhi’s little shop in Taif’s central market both sell rose oil and rose water. A small bottle in their shop costs around 13 USD each. Another store in the same market uses these roses to create its brand of fragrances, lotions, soaps, air fresheners, scented tissues, and other products. A café serving rose tea and a tiny garden with knee-high rose bushes are also present there.

 

The Taif Rose Factory’s Hours of Operation

During non-harvesting seasons, the Al Gadhi Rose Factory is open from Sunday to Thursday, from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm. The stores in Taif Souq that sell these real roses are open from 9 am to 2 pm and 4:30 to 11 pm, from Saturday to Thursday.

This 100-year-old Al Gadhi Rose Factory is well worth a visit during harvesting seasons (May to July) when it is open 24 hours a day. During this time, visitors can see the process of turning flower petals into rose water, fragrance, and other household goods that can be purchased there. 

Al Hada Mountain
Al Hada Mountain

Plan a visit to this oldest and the most prominent rose factory in Saudi Arabia. Besides this, Taif has many tourist attractions that you can’t miss. Rehlat can help you for all the bookings related to hotels and travel at the best prices. 

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