Holidays in Saudi Arabia have been attracting tourists from all over the world for decades. But for a long time, tours to Saudi Arabia were not available to travelers from many countries. More recently, this eastern country has opened its treasures for connoisseurs of luxurious sights and excellent beach holidays.
A beach holiday in Arabia is distinguished by a certain modesty and sedateness: the beaches here are divided into “family” and for bachelors. Since Sharia law is strictly observed in the country, tourists from all countries should behave accordingly. But even a certain modesty of entertainment cannot reduce the brightness of impressions from visiting the cradle of the entire Islamic East!
Currency: Saudi rial
Language: Arabic, English widely spoken
Flight: Qatar Airways via Doha, Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, Emirates via Dubai, Egyptian Airways via Cairo, Royal Jordanian Airlines via Amman
VISA: Arabia requires a visa. Only transit, student, work, business and guest visas are issued, as well as group visas for those who perform the Hajj (Umrah). Tourist visas are still being issued for the Winter in Tantora festival. But the authorities of the Kingdom promise to soon open the issuance of visas to tourists.
According to cheeroutdoor, AL-ULA is an open-air museum located in the northwest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For millennia, the northwest of Saudi Arabia has attracted people with rich resources and fertile oases. Al-Ula was one of them – the crossroads of important trade routes from South Arabia north to Egypt. In the oases of Al-Ula, weary travelers met other wanderers, replenished their water supplies and recuperated. From the 9th century BC, Al-Ula was the capital of the kingdoms of Dedan and Lihyan, which controlled the trade routes. Currently, on the territory of Al-Ula, you can see monumental tombs, sandy canyons, historical buildings and monuments created millennia ago. Tourists can visit the four main attractions of Al-Ula – Hegru, Dedan, Jabal Ikma and the old city of Al-Ula. Hegra, the city of the Nabataean kingdom, founded in the 1st century BC, to this day impresses with its historic tombs. It is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Saudi Arabia. Dedan is considered one of the most developed cities of the 1st millennium BC in the Arabian Peninsula. Jabal Iqma is often referred to as the “open-air library” where over 500 ancient stones can be seen with inscriptions relating to ancient beliefs, rituals and daily life practices. And the old city of Al-Ula is an ancient fortress, which for many centuries was at the crossroads of great civilizations. It is important to note that Al-Ula is not only historical monuments. Due to its location at the foot of the Hijaz Mountains and stunning scenery, tourists are in for a real adventure in the desert. They will be able to ride a buggy on the dunes,
“WINTER ON TANTOR”
The Royal Commission on the affairs of Al-Ula, the ancient city of the Arabian Peninsula, announced a large-scale festival “Zima on Tantora” (Winter at Tantora). The festival runs from December to March. Guests from all over the world are waiting for 11 weeks of celebration of music, history, culture and art. A mirrored concert hall was built in the desert, which reflects the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The festival takes place on the grounds of the mesmerizing UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the ancient city of Saudi Arabia, Al-Ula. The organizers are preparing a rich program for connoisseurs of music, culture and history, as well as for lovers of sports and extreme activities. The Winters on Tantora space combines traditional bazaars and stylish pop-up corners of world brands. Besides, excursions are planned for guests using modern AR technologies that will take them to the world of antiquities with more than 2000 years of history. To everyone who buys a ticket to the festival, the organizers promise assistance in obtaining visas.
CLIMATE: The climate is extremely arid. The average temperature in January is 8 to 20 degrees in the cities in the desert area and 20 to 30 degrees on the Red Sea coast. In summer, the temperature in the shade ranges from 35 to 43 degrees. At night in the desert, you can sometimes encounter temperatures close to 0 degrees, as the sand quickly gives off the heat accumulated during the night. In the center and east of the country, it rains exclusively in late winter and spring, while in the west it rains only in winter.
THE STATE OF SAUDI ARABIA is the largest state on the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait in the north, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the east, Oman in the southeast and Yemen in the south. It is washed by the Persian Gulf in the northeast and the Red Sea in the west. Saudi Arabia is often referred to as the “Land of the Two Mosques”, referring to Mecca and Medina, the two main holy cities of Islam. The country, with its colossal oil reserves, is the core state of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.