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Largely unexplored by international leisure visitors, Saudi is the true home of Arabia – a land rich in culture, heritage, mystique and romance. From Al Jouf in the north to Jazan in the south, travelers will find arid deserts and lush valleys, clear seas and rugged mountains, ancient archaeological sites and modern architecture, haute cuisine and street food. 


It is a country of natural beauty, great diversity, and hidden treasures. Saudi’s tourism offering focuses on delivering authentically Arabian adventure, culture and heritage underpinned by remarkable hospitality. It is the Kingdom’s unique natural attributes and its authenticity as the home of Arabia that will attract and enthrall travelers. 


Learn more about Saudi Arabia with our latest campaign to get ready to offer something very authentic, unique, and fun to your clients!

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ADVENTURE IN SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi offers awe-inspiring natural phenomena and exciting, unique ways to explore its diverse terrain, making the kingdom worthy of a spot on any outdoor enthusiast’s bucket list. The kingdom boasts quite an itinerary, from desert and water adventures to camping and hiking through caves and craters.

Desert Adventures: Part of what’s special about the Arabian Peninsula — and specifically Saudi — is its desert. In fact, Saudi Arabia is home to the largest sand desert on earth. From adrenaline-packed excursions like dune bashing and sandboarding to more serene, history-inspired activities such as camel riding and Arabian camping, the desert in Saudi serves as a canvas for more than just adventure travelers.

Saudi culture is as rich as it is diverse. Explore the different regions to experience the multicultural variety of foods, lifestyles and customs. And, for a taste of modern Saudi, don’t miss the urban districts and entertainment centers where people meet to shop, dine or just spend time with friends. 

From traditional dances and handicrafts to gleaming skyscrapers and thriving cities, Saudi is a destination in which history and modernity are inextricably linked and endlessly beguiling.

Mosques and Spirituality: While Saudi is home to the holy cities of Makkah and Medina, a pilgrimage route around the country doesn’t have to stop there. Travelers can venture to other holy — and less crowded — spots to enjoy the mosques’ calm atmosphere or pray in peace and to check out other sites of historical significance. Makkah and parts of Medina are accessible only to Muslims; however, other architecturally noteworthy mosques and historic sites across the country are accessible and can provide a firsthand glimpse into the intriguing spiritual  roots of Saudi.
Museums and History: With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that Saudi is home to a plethora of museums, castles and cultural institutions around the country. Visitors can immerse themselves in exhibitions and displays that not only highlight the ancient past but also bring to light more contemporary works by local and international artists. 

Souqs and Shopping: From old-world souqs to modern malls to boutique concept stores, Saudi has a wealth of shopping options, offering everything from traditional wares to designer items to creative collections and offbeat décor.



CULTURAL


HERITAGE

Visitors can experience a land where the past comes to life. From the labyrinthine streets of ancient cities, to the intricate rock carvings of early civilizations, the kingdom’s rich history is written large across the landscape. 

When a traveler explores the ancient ruins and rock-carven tombs of Nabatean Hegra or walk the narrow winding streets of Al-Turaif, surrounded by beautiful Najd architecture, they are opening a doorway into Saudi’s rich and fascinating history. 

Today, there are more than 11,000 archaeological sites throughout the Kingdom, telling the story of the civilizations that lived over the years. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is proud to have five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

NATURE

Whether travelers are sailing the crystalline waters of the Saudi Red Sea, exploring one the country’s many national parks or hiking through the green hills of Al Baha, Saudi will surprise and delight the visitors with a wealth of natural treasures.

From seas teeming with exotic fish, rare marine animals and thriving corals to lush oases, verdant farmlands and even desert areas that are rich with life and raw natural beauty, Saudi is a kaleidoscope of unique natural experiences.


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Welcome to Arabia: 

A land of adventure and unique experiences

Traditional Saudi cuisines use fragrant spices and the freshest of local ingredients inspired by the trading heritage of the country. 

The different types of food are largely tied to the terrain, with many traditional dishes reflecting the ancient trade caravans and nomadic lifestyles of desert dwellers. 

To this day, while dates and aromatic coffee are central to the culture of hospitality, there is a diversity and richness to cuisines across different regions to be explored.

FOOD

MEDINA

Medina is Islam’s second holiest city, making it a key destination for millions of pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah. The city is centered around Al Masjid an Nabawi, also known as the Prophet’s Mosque, which was constructed by the Prophet himself and is also where he is buried. 

Al Masjid an Nabawi (The Prophet’s Mosque): The final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad is in this stunning -10minaret mosque, which can accommodate 1 million visitors and is open 24 hours. The Prophet’s tomb is located under the mosque’s only green dome, in its south-eastern corner. 

Quba Mosque: On the migration from Makkah to Medina in 622, the prophet Muhammad and his followers stopped in the village of Quba and put down the foundation stone of the world’s first mosque. Worshippers have gathered here ever since, though the current building is a more recent construction.

Saudi Arabia is home to the holy cities of Makkah and Medina, but a pilgrimage route around the country doesn’t have to stop there. Travelers can venture to other holy — and less crowded — spots to enjoy the mosques’ calm atmosphere or pray in peace and to check out other sites of historical significance. 

Makkah and parts of Medina are accessible only to Muslims; however, other architecturally noteworthy mosques and historic sites across the country are accessible and can provide a firsthand glimpse into the intriguing spiritual  roots of Saudi Arabia. 

Jawatha Mosque in Al Ahsa: Constructed in the early days of Islam, the ancient Jawatha Mosque was built nearly 1,400 years ago, and it is thought to be the oldest mosque in the eastern Arabian Peninsula. The Bani Abd Al Qays tribe founded the mosque, and the first Friday prayers outside of Medina were held here. 

With plain, sand-colored mudbrick walls, Jawatha Mosque is surrounded by squat towers topped with rounded crenellations and appears at first glance more like a fortress, perhaps a smaller-scale model of the Masmak Fort in Riyadh. 

Al Rajhi Grand Mosque in Riyadh: Riyadh’s largest mosque, the monumental Al Rajhi Grand Mosque, is one of the capital city’s most important Islamic institutions. The Grand Mosque is used as a place of worship, with an 18,000-person capacity in the men’s hall and a 2,500-person capacity in the women’s area, as well as a spot for community events. 

Al Rajhi Mosque in Ha’il: Rajhi Mosque on the edge of Ha’il is a striking structure. Accented by four 80-meter-high, pencil-thin minarets, this mosque opened in 2010. Its cascading series of 50 vermillion red domes sits atop a calm, cream-colored interior, which contains one of the largest chandeliers in the world. 

Inside, the mosque can accommodate 4,000 worshippers and an additional 3,000 outside in the peaceful courtyard. 

Al Rahma Mosque in Jeddah (aka the Floating Mosque): Nicknamed the Floating Mosque, Al Rahma is uniquely perched atop a stack of white concrete stilts on the Red Sea, the first mosque in the world to be built over water. 

As the gateway to Makkah and Medina, Jeddah is often where Muslims begin their pilgrimage journeys, making the Floating Mosque a common stop before undertaking Hajj or Umrah. 

The mosque is constructed from gleaming white marble, and inside, a giant turquoise dome is ringed with 56 colorful windows and encircled with Quranic verses written in swirling Arabic script.

4 STUNNING MOSQUES IN SAUDI

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INSPIRATION 


MAKKAH

For many Muslims around the world, an opportunity to visit Makkah is the ultimate blessing.

This is the holiest city in Islam: the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the city where the Quran was first revealed to him. 

It’s also a fixture in observant Muslims’ daily lives, as they orient themselves toward Makkah to pray five times a day. The annual Hajj pilgrimage to the city is one of the five pillars of the faith, but millions of people journey to the city year-round to perform the shorter Umrah pilgrimage as well. 

Holy sites in the city include the sacred Ka’aba, located in the heart of the Masjid al-Haram, or Grand Mosque, while the circling mountains house the historic Cave of Thawr, where the Prophet sought refuge from the Quraysh tribe, and the revered Jabal Rahmah, where he delivered his last sermon. 

Since the vast majority of the visitors are pilgrims—non-Muslims aren’t permitted to enter the city—most travelers spend as much time as possible within the opulent complex of the Grand Mosque, which is a lively hive of activity at all hours of the day. 

But if you have time to spare once you’ve completed the required steps of the Umrah, the historic city has much to offer to complement your understanding of the region and the faith itself, from museums to landmarks that were backdrops to some of the most pivotal moments of Islam’s earliest days.



SOUQ AL QAISARIYA´S HIDDEN GEMS

Although widely believed to have been built in 1822, some historians — not to mention insistent Al Ahsa locals — claim the souq is referenced in historical documents that date as far back as 600 years. While its exact beginnings are disputed, what can’t be argued is that Souq Al Qaisariya is one of Arabia’s oldest markets, with history on show in every nook of its 7,000sqm space. 

Textiles and clothing: Hundreds of abayas and dresses hang from the high souq walls, while handmade leather shoes, sandals, branded sunglasses and watches are scattered throughout. The market’s range of custom-made bishts make it a popular visit for men ahead of special occasions, seeing as the traditional cloak is commonly worn for weddings and Eid celebrations. 

Scented stalls: Traditional incense burners known as mabkhara not only add to the aromatic atmosphere of the souq but also make an inexpensive souvenir to bring home. Available in a variety of decorative styles and sizes to fit any suitcase, traders will be only too happy to let you sample the wide variety of incense — each with their own distinctive scents and purposes. 

Food and spices: Hulking bags of flour and rice, and baskets of dried limes jostle for display outside, presenting a streetside rainbow of grains and cereals. But don’t hesitate to delve inside food stalls too, where a trove of smaller items promise to grab your attention, including saffron, tamarind, rose water, cardamom and pomegranate sour sauce. 

Antiques and trades: Throughout the souq you’ll see plenty of colorfully decorated teapots, clay pots and chests, the likes of which are on display at several of the heritage restaurants in Al Hofuf. But a short walk around the perimeter of the souq will further reward keen antique hunters.


Al Jouf is the Kingdom’s crossroad of ancient civilizations, with its spectacular natural landscapes, rich fertile lands, and desert climate. Located at the northernmost region of the Kingdom, Al Jouf is home to several archaeological sites and landmarks stretching over a long historical period from the Stone and Copper Ages to the Modern Age. 

The Columns of Rajajil: A tour of the enigmatic Rajajil columns is a fascinating journey into the mysteries of ancient Arabia. Often called the Stonehenge of Arabia, Rajajil is a collection of more than 50groups of standing monoliths carved from ochre sandstone. Originally thought to have astrological functions, the ancient stones are now known to be burial sites. 

Excavations have unearthed a vast funerary complex along with tools and materials that date the site to the fifth or sixth millennium B.C.


EXPLORE SAUDI´S AL JOUF REGION

ACTIVITIES  

Make sure to book from our selected 25% off activities to complete your itineraries.

Diriyah City and Edge of the World

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Riyadh City Tour

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Edge of the World

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Saudi Villages Culture

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Jeddah City Tour

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PLT Yacht Trips

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Learn all the unique selling points about Saudi Arabia with this Visitors Guide 

Saudi Arabia´s Q&A sheet for all the questions you might have

SAUDI ARABIA IS WELCOMING BACK VISITORS STARTING MAY 17TH!

The health and safety of the visitors, residents and citizens is the top priority for Saudi Arabia. 

Saudi Arabia has introduced proactive measures to help contain the virus globally, including temporary restrictions on travel.

Saudi Arabia continues to share relevant updates in the link below to ensure that visitors who are planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, and those currently in the country, remain informed about the latest developments.


Click here for more info

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