Asir is "South" in Arabic. Here we use "Asir" for the whole Southern region of the country including three provinces:
- Asir Province, the southwestern highlands of Saudi Arabia. Like Taif further North, the area is known for its temperate climate and is a popular place to go to escape the summer heat.
- Najran Province, another mountainous inland area.
- Jizan Province, a coastal area that, like the Jeddah region further North, gets very hot indeed.
The region borders Yemen, most of it was once claimed by Yemen, and there are cultural resemblances. However, it has been under Saudi control since 1934 and the Saudi and Yemeni governments finally agreed on a border at a conference in 2000.
- 1 Abha. capital of Asir Province, popular summer getaway near the best national park in Saudi
- 2 Jizan. capital of Jizan Province, third Saudi port on the Red Sea
- 3 Khamis Mushayt.
- 4 Najran. capital of Najran Prpvince, Yemeni influence and the remarkable Najran Fort
The Empty Quarter, the most thoroughly barren desert in Arabia, lies just to the East of this region. Visiting is possible, but requires a convoy of four-wheel drive vehicles and considerable caution.
This area is much safer than neighboring Yemen, but perhaps not entirely peaceful. The area just across the border is one of the most turbulent in Yemen and there have been border clashes.