“I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey” – Seal.
After attending the Hotel Conference in the cool city of Jeddah, we headed inland to the famous city of Taif. Taif is often dubbed the “City of Roses” and it isn’t hard to see why this title has been allocated to the place. Here, there were many curiosities and our visit was well timed by Young Pioneer Tours as we arrived on the very day of the city’s extraordinary annual Rose Festival! Yes, we were only here in Taif for a day and that day happened to be the Rose Festival.
We left Jeddah behind on a road that took us past the Muslims only road to the spiritual Mecca (Maccah), the home of Islam. After we had avoided the border crossing that we couldn’t do, and seen some monkeys, we were here in Taif. Taif is a gorgeous city and another memorable one from my journey in Saudi Arabia. Apart from a Ramada Hotel and a toilet and drink stop, our first port of call here was the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif.
Getting to the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif
We were on a tour organised by Young Pioneer Tours in conjunction with local company and Saudi Tour Guide Haya Tours. Our guide here was Mohammad M. Al Juaid who is local. Our Young Pioneer Tour leader was Marko Moudrak. This made our journey here easy as they drove us! There is no public transport system that takes you here to the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif. There is certainly no nearby bus stop nor will you be able to find it easily on your own – so unless you have hired a car, go with a tour group.
Arrival at the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif
We were guests of Mohammad and they were awaiting our arrival. In typically Saudi Arabian style, we were greeted with tea on arrival. But not just any tea. There were two large urns filled with different teas. These two teas were freshly made on site from roses that are harvested here. In fact the roses grew just a few metres from where we were given our two welcome drinks. One was a sweet rose tea, the second one less sweet. Both were delicious and you can get top ups no problem. I made real friendships with all those on my tour – Eduardo (one of the most travelled guys I have ever met), Albert (actually even more travelled and VERY clever guy), Agustin (the funniest guy on the tour – simply a crazy Mexican who gave us lots of laughs), Marko (the coolest tour guide this side of Riyadh) and Frank (my back seat buddy with good chats about Hong Kong and brewing beer).
Touring the Rose Garden at the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif
After drinking the Rose tea, we walked through the rose garden. Mohammad explains the system here, but it’s simple – they grow roses then make products from them, then they sell them. The place smells sweetly of rose obviously ands the garden also includes apricot and raspberry plantations – they can grow a lot here.
Touring the Rose Factory at the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif
Next up we enter the main building and see how it all works. I have visited many factories on my travels and memories came reeling back – the plastics factory in China, the silver factory in Indonesia, the candle factory in Swaziland, the Tayto tour in beautiful Northern Ireland and many more.
We can meet the workers and wander around at our leisure. It is very interesting. Here they make all sorts of products from the roses onsite – pink roses. We also watch a video which is surprisingly in English. We are the only tourists or visitors here and it’s great. It’s wacaday.
“Wacaday” – Timmy Mallet (1980s).
What do they make at the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif?
Basically they use pink roses to make all sorts of things. At the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif they mostly make rose water, rose sprays, rose fragrances, rose soap, rose tea, rose perfume etc.
The Gift Shop at the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif
And now for the commercial part which you knew was coming. The Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif has a gift shop but it’s more or less just a counter at the factory entrance which sells products. You can buy them and take them out of the country. Things are reasonably priced here – I bought my Mum some Rose Soap for 15 Riyals ($4 US). It smells great. Life can be amazing when you are blessed like this.
The Address of the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif:
Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory,
We also attended the Rose Festival in Taif. I backpacked the world in my life and I know these are highs. These are the good times, my friends.
“Love remains the drug that is the high; nat the pill” – Seal.
Here are some videos from my tour of the Rashid Husain Al Qorashei Rose Farm and Factory in Taif when backpacking Saudi Arabia: