The fair ladies of Jizan are considered to be great cooks, tidy housekeepers and skilful in the use of perfumes and fragrances – so are much admired by Saudi men! If you’re invited to an inhabitant’s house, expect a fabulous feast. The whole region of Jazan is known for its famous hospitality, in which guests are fed to the gunnels.
For the traveller, Jizan can seem muddy, grubby and drab – and in summer unbearably humid. Fruity fish market smells don’t help either. Most use it merely as a jumping-off point for Farasan Island. But if you’re here in the autumn (usually around September), be sure to enquire about the famous Parrot Fish Festival, which is a riotous and very colourful event.