There was a time when KSA was closed off for most travellers but then, the year 2019 changed everything with the initiation of e-visa for the tourists. Since then, it is making a big push to rebrand itself as one of the premier holiday destinations in the Middle East. With its steady development of massive leisure and hospitality projects as well as the improved visa policies, Saudi Arabia has geared up to become the new tourism force in the Middle East region. With the cities like Riyadh and Jeddah that flaunt glitzy modernity, the country has gained recognition among the young and solo travellers. What’s more? The diverse topography, majestic mountain-views, cities soaked in history, culture and traditions, vibrant festivals and vast desert stretches are some of the remarkable attributes of the country that do not deserve to be missed. TravelScapes presents here a few experiences that come with a definite ‘do not miss’ warning!
Riyadh: An Assortment of Modernity and Culture
Beguiling, historic and millennial-friendly Riyadh has a culturally rich essence and a facade that is ultra-modern. This capital is among few of the world’s cities that have transformed rapidly, growing from a small, fortified desert village into a modern metropolis. While the city’s age-old history and architectural wonders have been attracting traditional fanatics, the high rise buildings, contemporary art and food scenes have made the city loved by young travellers for many reasons.
Al Ula: The Uncharted Marvel
Ever felt like a true explorer charting the undiscovered gem in land having the richest history? Well, if you are a history buff, visiting Al Ula will be a sheer delight! Recently rediscovered by the world, Al Ula, one of the oldest cities, offers a sense of vastness when it comes to its dramatic golden rock formations, ancient tombs and sand-swept dunes. Despite its architectural wonder and a plethora of adventure sports options, Al Ula still remains a little off the global tourism radar, thereby maintaining its exclusivity as a destination.
Jeddah: The Buzzing Cosmopolitan Hub
Uniquely termed as ‘gloriously different’ or ‘Jeddah ghair’, Jeddah is the second-largest city in the country and by far the most progressive as well. It is home to around 4 million residents and is also the gateway to Mecca-bound pilgrims. It is here that the tourists can learn about the history dating back to medieval days while also indulge in new-age entertainment options and chill out at chic cafes.
Dammam: Experience its Versatility
One of the growing metropolises in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dammam is modern and thriving. Apart from its cultural sights and museums, what make it an interesting destination to visit are the endless views of the tranquil Arabian Gulf and windswept waterfronts. The city has some entertainment parks like the Dolphin Village and Al Marjan Island that are ideal for family visits and also an array of high-end hotels and restaurants is adding to its growing appeal.
Empty Quarter: A Wildlife site like no other
Empty Quarter or the ‘Abode of Silence’ this place covers almost 655,000 sq km. The Empty Quarter is called Rub’al Khali which is an interesting place, whether you come for a camel safari or drive 4*4 through the dunes. The dunes are known to move up to 30m a year and are abode to an astounding amount of wildlife. The wildlife includes the Arabian wolf, red fox, cape hare, sand cat, desert lynx and spiny-tailed lizard. It surely is one of the most unrelenting places on the earth.