Hijaz
Other spelling: Hejaz
Arabic: ‘al-hijāz

Mountains of Hijaz. Photo: S. M. Amin/Saudi Aramco

Region and province in western Saudi Arabia, comprising the cities of Mecca and Madina, Jeddah and At Ta’if.

The region is defined by the Red Sea region of the Arabian peninsula, ending with the mountains in the south where Yemen begins. Hijaz neighbors Najd to the east, the other major region of modern Saudi Arabia. Tihamah in the south is defined by the mountains.

The land of Hijaz is between 800,000 and 900,000 km². It has no permanent rivers or lakes, and the highest point is the Sawdah mountain, 2910 meters.

The land of Hijaz is dominated by arid plateaus, sandy to stony deserts with fertile oases. Hijaz is known for its darker, more volcanic sand.

Only briefly has Hijaz formed political unities, it has been part of larger empires, the caliphate, Egypt, the Ottoman Empire.

History
1258: Hijaz comes under Egyptian rule.
1517: Surrendered to the Ottoman Empire.
1916: The establishment of an independent kingdom under the name Hijaz.
1926: Hijaz is conquered by the neighboring Kingdom of Najd.
1932: Becomes part of Saudi Arabia.

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