16 reasons why you should travel to Saudi Arabia right now
Travel to Saudi Arabia is a rare experience that very few people may have the chance to try. The reason is simple: until very recently, it was the only country in the world that did not issue a tourist visa. And how to travel to Saudi Arabia? Back then, only foreigners admitted to the territory were expatriates, soldiers, professionals on business trips, or Muslims on pilgrimage. From October 2019, it is no longer a country closed to visitors: nationals of most countries can apply for a tourist visa. Even Saudi Arabia airlines started tourist flights. The government is an immense unknown territory which opens up to discovery, a kind of new frontier of tourism. Where is Saudi Arabia? Stretching along the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia is by far the largest of the countries on the Arabian Peninsula. When you think of an Arabian country, you may ask whether is it safe to travel to Saudi Arabia. Definitely, yes, it is one of the safest countries in the Middle East.
There are many tourist destinations, beautiful natural landscapes, historical sites to see in Saudi Arabia. Here you can find 16 reasons why you should travel to Saudi Arabia right now, including the answers to the questions like where is Saudi Arabia, how to travel to Saudi Arabia, and is it safe to travel to Saudi Arabia. Additionally, you will learn about the places to visit and stay during your visit to Saudi Arabia and flying with Saudi Arabia airline.
1. Where is Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is an Arabian country in the Arab Peninsula. The capital of the state is Riad. Saudi Arabia is one of a few religiously governed countries in the world. Also, it is one of the most exciting countries in the world, especially if we speak in tourist terms.
2. How to travel to Saudi Arabia?
The country was a trouble spot when it comes to organizing travel. Until very recently, the arrival of visitors to the region was impossible unless it was for pilgrimage reasons. The ban was in force since 2010, and that is now taking a turn to adjust to the interests of a society increasingly in love with this region of the world. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is the main driver of tourism in Saudi Arabia today. Its objective is that the country does not have its economic sustenance exclusively in oil, but that there are other sources of financing, so it has set its sights on tourism and leisure. Now, you can travel to Saudi Arabia by several means. However, the most comfortable way is flight. To fly within the country, you can also use the services of Saudi Arabia airline.
3. Is it safe to travel to Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is almost the safest country in the region, with low crime rates and no terrorism. Nevertheless, you have to obey and respect some religious rules during your visit. Without going any further, drinking alcoholic beverages is prohibited, just as you must take into account the current regulations regarding clothing or women, as well as concerning everything religious. However, little by little, the situation changes. Now women have the right to drive in the country, something that was unlawful for more than 30 years.
Arabic food is always a feast for the senses and a joy for every tourist, including in Saudi Arabia. The menus of the restaurants and smaller shops and snack bars include, on the one hand, typical Arabic dishes such as couscous with chicken, hummus bi tahini, and sfafid allush, on the other hand, not infrequently, international dishes as well. Lamb and chicken are common, less often beef, but never pork, which is prohibited by Islamic law. The fact that spices play a major role in Arabic cuisine has a tradition or rather a long history that goes back to the country\'s long trade relations with other countries.
It is one of the busiest places in Saudi Arabia, thanks to its commercial port. Jeddah has such popular attractions as the Corniche, Souq al-Alawi, the Al-Tayibat City Museum of International Civilization, and the Jeddah Tower, which is under construction and will be the tallest building in the world. It is beautiful to stroll through Balad, the old town of Jeddah, and listen through its winding and labyrinthine streets to the different dialects and languages. It is essential to visit the street markets, full of different colours and smells.
It is a port city and located in the southwestern corner of the Kingdom and north of the Yemeni border in the Red Sea. The locals are very welcoming to guests. The city offers visitors a walk that sometimes seems to take you to Africa itself with round and vaulted houses, and cabins built-in rope and straw. The typical dishes of the area are fresh fish seasoned with spicy sauces.
7. Mountains of Asir
For years this mountain range in the southwest of the Saudi country has been one of the most isolated and secret corners of the world. It is a land of deep ravines on hanging terraces and where wild animals such as baboons, eagles, and blue lizards take over the landscape.
8. Farasan Islands
This is a group of arid climate islands located on the northwestern coast in the Red Sea. It is an archipelago formed by a large island (whose central city is Farasan), a medium one, two other smaller ones, as well as dozens of islets. Some of the best beaches in Saudi Arabia are here off the coast of Jizan.
9. Mada\'in Saleh
Do you want to know the Nabataean civilization without enduring the great bustles of Petra in Jordan? Well, then you must visit Mada\'in Saleh, a complex with 111 monumental tombs and 94 decorated stone facades dating from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. It is the best-preserved site of this ancient Ismaili village.
10. Rub 'al Khali
This place, also famous as the empty quarter, is the largest continuous sand desert in the world, covering just over 400,000 square kilometres and occupying most of the southern third of the Arabian peninsula. Excursions are possible, but you have to take into account that the average temperature is 50 degrees. To the daring to point out that its dunes expand, sway and shape as a result of the wind as if it were a vast sea of sand.
11. Sightseeings near Riad
Two of the best sights in Saudi Arabia are not far from Riad. On the one hand, there is a breathtaking canyon with the wonderful name Edge of the World, on the other hand, it is the old settlement of Diriyah on Wadi Hanifa, today an open-air museum with striking adobe buildings. You can explore both highlights from the Riad with a rental car. Caution: You will exclusively need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get to the Edge of the World.
12. Mecca & Medina
These two cities are the centres of Islam religion and the most important places for the pilgrimage. Certain places remain closed to most tourists. For example, non-Muslim travellers cannot visit the Muslim sites of Mecca and Medina.
Saudi Arabians are welcoming; especially if you show humility, the population is eager to know what one thinks of the Kingdom abroad. Relationships are all the same faster to forge with your work contacts than with the average Saudi Arabian you would meet in town. The practice of English is essential even if not all speak it.
Saudi Riyal (SAR) is an official currency. It has a fixed exchange rate peg to the US dollar. Even the smallest amounts can be paid with common credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and Mastercard. Cash can be withdrawn from ATMs using debit and credit cards. Anyone who thinks a trip to Saudi Arabia is an expensive proposition is wrong. You can also travel to the country on your own with a small budget.
15. Best time to go to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is one of the hottest and driest countries in the world. Therefore, you should plan your trip and even a stopover well and choose the time of year wisely. In the desert climate of Saudi Arabia, inland temperatures of over 50 ° C are reached in summer. In the higher regions in the north, however, temperatures in winter can drop to freezing point. The best travel time for Saudi Arabia is between November and February. Then the temperatures are usually pleasant between 23° C and 27° C.
The selection of hotels and other accommodation options is very good in Saudi Arabia. Especially in the big cities of Riad, Jeddah, and Dammam, there are a large number of good hotels, often with a high standard and good prices. New hotels from the big hotel chains are springing up like mushrooms, from Hilton to Pullman and InterContinental to The Ritz-Carlton. No question about it, the hotel landscape in Saudi Arabia is sure to boom in the coming years.
Shamil is from Azerbaijan. During his childhood he was interested in geography and knew the world map by heart. Now, he is a young student and likes to travel and explore about the places. His biggest dream is to visit extraordinary but less known destinations and make these popular among all.