Located within the largely agricultural province of Al-Baidha, Rada'a is a city whose pre-Islamic origins, once situating it between the ancient kingdoms of Radman and Himyar, are evidenced by pre-Islamic structures, like carvings, cisterns, and a historic citadel. In the early Islamic centuries, Rada'a was slow to develop, largely neglected until the fifteenth century, when it began to flourish under the Tahirid dynasty. However short-lived, Tahirid patronage contributed to the architectural development of the city, sponsoring building projects in Rada'a including the construction of notable madrasas, such as the Madrasat al-'Amiriya, in addition to cisterns and irrigation systems.
Public spaces in Rada'a have historically been constructed of mud brick and stone, with the latter appearing most frequently in governmental buildings. Selma al-Radi has argued that historical brickwork is characteristically refined, used for both structural and decorative purposes. Unique elements of Rada'a's local architecture include the use of double and triple arches, and alabaster, in the construction of ornamentation and window fan-lights.
Al-Radi, Selma. “Rada'a”. In Development and Urban Metamorphosis; Volume 2: Background Papers, edited by Ahmet Evi, 30-31. Singapore: Concept Media/Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1984.