One of Saudi Arabia’s main goals is to reduce their reliance on oil by 2030, and one of their areas of focus is in the tourism industry. The country has changed its conservative nature to attract more visitors dramatically over the past few years. Tourists from all parts of the world can now visit most of its attractions. There have been reforms in policies to make the environment welcoming to people from different cultures and religions. A good example is the recent change of laws to allow couples to share a room without proof of marriage, as long as they are foreign visitors. Saudi Arabia is rich in cultural and religious sites, amazing city architecture and much more to offer for those who visit. Below, are some of the best areas to visit in Saudi Arabia.
The Wealthy Architecture
Saudi Arabia is unique with some of the most amazing buildings, such as the Kingdom Centre and the Abraj Al-Bait Towers. You can easily enjoy the city while using the comfortable open-top double-decker tour buses available in the city. Access to the kingdom center Tower’s Bridge in the evening allows you to have a bird view of Riyadh City. Find time to visit the world’s 2nd tallest building under construction in Jeddah. The Jeddah Tower’s height is 1 km into the sky and will surpass the world’s tallest building by 200 meters when completed!
This area under the Tabuk region is best known for its picturesque islands and sandy beaches, also known as the Saudi Maldives. Umluj is also home to critical archaeological features such as inactive volcanoes around the Penn Islands. The best way to tour Umluj is by boat and enjoy the colorful fish spotted beneath, as well as the dolphins that emerge at the beginning of the summer season. The coast of Umluj is also full of activities such as bird watching, swimming, diving and other recreational activities.
This area in the Kingdom’s northwest is rich in historical sites and is the first UNESCO Heritage site in Saudi Arabia. Here you will find remains of ancient kingdoms. One of the most famous ruins, is the Mada’in Saleh that is home to Nabatean tombs dating over 2000 years old. The area also has a unique rocky landscape and soft sand that will make you feel like you are on Mars!
Riyadh is the capital city of Saudi Arabia and is full of world-class shopping malls and skyscrapers mostly concentrated at the Grand King Fahd Road. The largest building in the city is the Kingdom Centre building that takes the shape of a bottle opener. There is a bridge at the top where tourists can have a birds view of the city.
The city of Mecca is a popular destination for pilgrims from all over the World. You can easily access makeup by car or bus from Jeddah, but there is also a metro line that mainly operates during the peak season to provide safe transport and reduce congestion for pilgrims. Being the holy city, one has to show proof of being Muslim, and non-Muslims are not allowed.
The Edge Of The World
The edge of the World is part of the Jebel Tuwaiq escarpment. The escarpment is 800 kilometers long and is only a 2-hour drive away from Riyadh. The area is perfect for hiking due to the spectacular views and inspiring silence!
There so many fantastic destination that Saudi Arabia can offer, and the list is projected to grow as the country focus more on improving its tourism! To achieve this, the government has a plan to develop systems such as providing electronic visas that will help foreign visitors to access the Kingdom easily.