Al-Ahsa’s Yellow Lake… Life in the Saudi Desert – Asharq Al-awsat – English


International and Arab News
Nestled between sand dunes in the middle of the desert, Asfar Lake, popularly known as Yellow Lake, springs up with life in Saudi Arabia’s eastern Al-Ahsa Oasis region.
Apart from being one of the Kingdom’s hidden gems, Yellow Lake is an important water resource in eastern Saudi Arabia and a stunning sight for residents and tourists to enjoy.
The lake is famous for its scenic landscape and its rich flora and fauna.
It is a gathering station for many types of migratory birds, and a destination for hikers and tourists looking to spend time in the surrounding wilderness and highlands.
Various desert plants grow around the lake, such as ferns, anabasis, tamarisk, calligonum, and others, and when the water recedes in the summer, it becomes a rich pasture for sheep and camels.
At the upper limit, the area of the lake is equivalent to the area of the cultivated oasis, which is 25 km long, and its width varies according to the climate in summer and winter.
The lake is a rest stop for different migrating birds such as ducks, nightingales and sparrows. They cross it twice a year, from north to south, and vice versa.
Moreover, Yellow Lake has substantial marine life. Trekkers can watch fish of different sizes swimming in the water body. However, visitors stay away from fishing in the lake. There are also many species of algae and aquatic weeds.
Yellow Lake is the largest water body in the Arabian Gulf region with an area of 326 million square meters and an important reason why Al-Ahsa is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The lake is declared a natural reserve, according to the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture. The ministry’s declaration comes to protect the lake from all kinds of pollution.

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