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Why Saudi Arabia?
 

​​​​​​​​​​​From the modernist skyline of Riyadh to the archaeological riches of Al Ula, the unspoiled corals of the Red Sea to the empty expanse of the Rub Al Khali, Saudi Arabia offers a stunningly wide range of things to do and see. And with tourist visas being re-introduced, the Kingdom is likely to become a must-visit destination for the discerning traveler. This comes at a time when the country is undergoing a rapid economic transformation, with tourism one of the key sectors in which the Kingdom is investing – including the building of a Red Sea resort which will encompass 50 islands on the country’s pristine west coast, and an extra 30,000 hotel rooms coming on line this year alone.


 Friendly and hospitable

The Saudi people are renowned for their generosity and hospitality – traits that have been embedded since ancient times, when travelers encountering a desert encampment could expect the generosity of his host. That spirit of hospitality is central to Saudi society and guides the Kingdom’s tourism industry. Wherever you go in the Kingdom – from the modern metropolitan hotels to remote desert camps – you will be treated with the utmost courtesy, given every assistance and welcomed with open arms. 

 

 Health and Safety

Saudi Arabia is among the most stable and secure countries in the world to visit, with a modern transport and tourist infrastructure to make your visit comfortable, convenient and safe. Towns and cities are clean and accessible, with modern public transport systems being developed throughout the country. Saudi Arabia has outstanding hospitals and medical staff and efficient medical emergency services that operate 24 hours a day.

 History and heritage

Saudi Arabia has a wealth of historic sites from the Nabatean era tombs of Madain Saleh in the north, to historical Dirriyah, the capital of the First Saudi State on the edge of Riyadh – two of the nation’s four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first migrations of early mankind out of Africa were to Arabia, and ever since the Stone Age successive civilizations have made their homes here, leaving their mark on the landscape with a trove of archaeological sites, historic monuments, and a wealth of ancient rock art.

 UNESCO sites

Saudi Arabia’s pivotal role in world history is illustrated by its five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Dirriyah, Old Jeddah, Madain Saleh, Hail petroglyphs and Al-Ahsa Oasis.
 

 The natural world

Saudi Arabia truly is a land of captivating contrasts, rich culture and breathtaking scenery. This vast land includes craggy mountain peaks and arid deserts, rich plantations and farms, coniferous forests and coral seas. The climate is generally dry and hot – but you can see snow-covered mountains in the winter. Over vast areas little vegetation grows – but parts are lush and fertile, and gardens and farms abound.

 Beaches and islands

Saudi Arabia boasts a coastline of more than 3,400 km on the Red Sea to the west, and the Arabian Gulf to the east. Thousands of islands line these shores, most notably the coral archipelago of the Farasan Islands in the south, now a protected maritime park, which offers some of the most unspoiled diving in the world. Whether it’s a relaxing beach holiday, watersports, fishing or diving, the Kingdom’s coasts and islands have got everything you need for a spectacular holiday.
 

 Festivals and events

There’s always something going on somewhere in Saudi Arabia, with a full calendar of festivals, exhibitions and events to cater for all tastes. Among the most popular are the annual Janadriya Festival of culture and heritage held each Jan-Feb in Riyadh, and Souq Okaz, the open-air market and festival in Tai’f held since pre-Islamic times. 
For more about Saudi’s festival and events, call Saudi Tourism on 19988.


 

 Adventure sports

With such a rugged and extreme landscape, it’s no surprise that there’s a whole lot of ‘extreme’ or adventure sports on offer, from sand-skiing in the desert, mountaineering in the mountains, sports fishing in the ocean, and much more besides. Whether its caving, paragliding or diving you like – or simply camping in the desert, Saudi Arabia has something for even the most ardent adventurer.


 Accommodation

Saudi Arabia has long been welcoming visitors for decades, and can offer an exceptional choice of secure, comfortable accommodation for all visits. The main cities offer a range of four and five-star hotels, while furnished hotel apartments, beach resorts, rural motels and youth hostels provide alternative options to suit all budgets.
 

 Communications

You shouldn’t have difficulty finding your way around or being understood, with English understood by most people in the larger cities, and the ‘lingua franca’ of the tourism industry. The majority of traffic signs, restaurant menus and hotel information is available in English, and all accredited tourist guides are proficient in English.
 

 Cuisine

All main towns and cities offer a range of cuisines to suit all tastes and budgets, from fine dining to fast food, international fare to traditional dishes that reflect the desert origins of Saudi cuisine. Whether you want the familiarity of a familiar brand, the adventure of authentic cooking or the glamor of a five-star restaurant, Saudi Arabia has something for every palette. 
 

 Shopping

From traditional souks to the hundreds of modern shopping malls scattered throughout the country, shoppers will have no trouble finding everything from traditional arts and crafts to haute couture and international brands. With no sales tax or VAT, shoppers are always guaranteed attractive prices in Saudi Arabia.
 

 Art and culture

The choice of art and cultural activities in Saudi Arabia is getting wider and wider, with a diverse range of literary, poetry, folk art and lectures on offer throughout the country, especially in the major cities. And now, with the opening of public cinemas throughout the country, and an increasing number of international events and entertainers visiting the country, there has never been more to do and experience for the Kingdom’s visitors.

 Getting around

Traveling to and around Saudi Arabia couldn’t be easier. At the crossroads between East and West, it is served by several international airlines and has a network of international, regional and local airports and seaports. The Saudi road network is modern and convenient, taxis and car hires are readily available, and a new passenger train network is being developed​.​


 

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