210902 Desert
The Jubbah Oasis in northern Saudi Arabia, where humans lived during periods of increased rainfall hundreds of thousands of years ago. Image Credit: Courtesy: Palaeodeserts Project

Abu Dhabi: Like the Indian village of Shani Chingnapur in Maharashtra that caught the world’s attention because all its houses are without locks or doors, the Saudi city of Jubbah in Ha’il has stolen the hearts.

It is a city without doors, not only for safety but hospitality too.

Jubbah, which attracted the attention of the world when it entered the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015, is located 100km north of Hail.

Its people design the men’s majlis, a lounge where guests are received and entertained, without doors and directly open to the street, to welcome guests with the blessing of security and safety that the Kingdom brings.

Jubbah is the treasury of history and the passage of historians. It is one of the oldest cities in the north of the Kingdom - the Thamudians lived there 6,000 years ago. It has been transformed from tropical rainforests and from a lake, which included different marine environments, to fossils created by desertification.

It moved from supporting a hunting life to grazing domesticated animals due to climatic fluctuations.

Sheikh Nawaf Al Ghalib, one of the notables of the city of Jubbah, explained that the design of the houses there takes into account the reception area and the men’s majlis, where attention to detail is evident more than any other part of the house.

He added: “Jubbah houses have been without doors since ancient times, and this is an ancient tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation.

“The people of Jubbah are accustomed to the generosity and love of guests, who are welcomed with generosity from the entire city.”

Nawaf Mutlaq Al Abeeka, a resident of Jubbah, stressed that “the tradition has continued for generations. The men’s majlis in the house is always without a door and always welcoming.”