My backpacking adventures in Saudi Arabia continued with some day trips away from the humungous capital city Riyadh. It was towards the end of our trip that we ended up in Ushaiqer (which sounded like “U Shag Her” at the start). On the same day that we visited the Salt Flats, the village of Rabat, Shaqra, the Sand Dunes for Quad Biking and the cheeseburger lunch, it was time for Ushaiqer. Ushaiger or Ushaiqer (Arabic: أشيقر) is a small village near Shagra (or Shaqra!) in Saudi Arabia. It is 200 km northwest of Riyadh. We came here by minibus as part of our Young Pioneers Tour following our work at the Hotel Show in Riyadh.
Ushaiger / Ushaiqer is one of the oldest towns in the Saudi region of Najd and it was a major stopping point for pilgrims coming from Kuwait, Iraq and Iran to perform Hajj or Umrah. It was originally known as A’ekel but the name was eventually changed to Ushaiger. It was changed because the town is bordered by a small mountain north of the Village. The mountain is red in color, yet locals said it was blonde simply because red and blonde were used interchangeably in the old days. Ushaiger means the “Small Blonde”, which is a description of that particular mountain. We visited a museum here, which in all honesty felt like a guy’s house with a load of bits and pieces / bric-a-brac / miscellaneous items that he had put on show to the public for a charge! I say public – we were the only ones there and it looked like they only opened this “museum” for us, and that nobody else ever goes there. Despite all that, we went there!
Historical Ushaiger belongs to the Tamim tribe although other tribes lived here as well. It is also the home land to many families in the Arabian Peninsula. Such families are Al-Elsheikh (The family of Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab), Al-Thani (Rulers of the State of Qatar) and Al-Misnad originated from Ushaiger.
Lately, the people of Ushaiger restored the historical village to preserve its heritage and allow visitors to tour it, free of charge of course. Then in this building by the roadside, they have made a museum called Al Salem Museum, which displays various relics and pieces from the village, there is a donation on request if you visit it, and souvenirs are available. This village is like a mud style walled city similar to Rayen and Mahan in Iran, or indeed Shagra / Shaqra in Saudi Arabia and fairly nearby.
I won’t do a top backpacking sights for Ushaiqer as there were really only two things to see and do here:
During the tour we are (no surprise) offered a cup of tea and dates. This is Saudi Arabia in a nutshell. Tea and dates everywhere!
In the same region we also stopped somewhere between Ushaiqer and Shaqra for photos at a desert viewpoint, then we went on our merry way. And it was goodnight Ushaiqer for this lifetime…
How to Organise a trip to Ushaiqer Town
As Saudi Arabia continues to develop its tourist potential, there are still no tourist visas available. However, if like me you have a work event, a business opportunity or commerce, you can get a business visa. Once you have that, organise your trip with two of my partners, Young Pioneer Tours and Haya Tours:
Young Pioneer Tours
No. 2804 South Block Lijing Building, Caiwuwei, Jintang Road 48#, Guiyuan Street, Luohu District, Shenzhen City, 518000, CHINA
First Floor, Alia Plaza, Exit 6,
Cnr: Thumamah Road and Abi Bakr As-Siddiq Street,
Ar Rabi, Riyadh 13316
Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia
Here are some videos from my time exploring Ushaiqer Town while backpacking in Saudi Arabia: