When you see it, you won't believe your eyes. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East. It has a wide variety of landscapes, from the ruins of the Nabatean Kingdom in Al-'Ula to the Rub' al Khali desert to the opulent beach resorts of Jeddah to the rose-covered mountains of Taif, where groves of the world's most prized dates grow. Riyadh, the capital, is an intriguing mix of historic souks, modern skyscrapers, and natural treasures like the cliffs of Edge of the World park on the city's outskirts.
Consider that almost a third of the locals here are immigrants from other parts of the world and that the rest of the population is just as diverse and hails from various places and cultures. You will see it for yourself if you go on a trip across the kingdom.
Pre-Islamic sites in Saudi Arabia are fascinating, and new finds there will alter your understanding of the region's past. The 9,000-year-old Al-Magar site in the southern region, a human footprint dating back 85,000 years, and the puzzling Phironic inscription of Ramses III in the northern part all raise questions. Hail province's pre-Islamic rock art spans a remarkable 10,000 years, and Mada'in Saleh's 111 colossal tombs are a must-see for any traveler. The grandeur of the tombs and the quality of the craftsmanship are enough to confuse anyone.
Historic sites in Saudi Arabia range from those associated with local rulers, such as the Barzan area in Hail and the Shubra palace in Taif, to those associated with Islam's great empires, such as the Umayyad dam, the Abbasid Darb Zubayada, and the Ottoman citadel at Tabuk.
The natural landscape of Saudi Arabia is quite varied.
Nature, history, and photography enthusiasts will find paradise in the western and southern mountains.
While most people think of Saudi Arabia as a desert, photos of the landscape in and around mountain communities like Taif, Baha, and Tabuk (where it snows!) are a stark contrast.
Brief History of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia, land of the sands, where once nomadic tribes roamed now stands as a symbol of wealth and modernity. Saudi Arabia, a kingdom shrouded in mystique, has a rich and captivating history, where the past meets the present, and the future awaits with bated breath.
Before the advent of Islam, this area was a cultural crossroads where people from all over the world traversed through the Arabian Peninsula for its desert beauty. It was a land of exchange of commodities and services as well as a meeting point for various mythology and tales. Equestrian pursuits, camel caravans, surveillance by birds like falcons, and tent-living lifestyles were all staples of the dominant Bedouin culture.
Islam's expansion, however, is what truly put Saudi Arabia on the world map. Mecca was the place where Islam's Prophet, Muhammad, was born and raised in the 6th century. This was the focal point of all the Islamic followers to regard Saudi Arabia as the most divine and religious place. One of the reasons why Muslims from all over the world wanted to travel to Mecca was to visit the Kaaba. Kaaba is a modest stone mausoleum traditionally designated to the Prophet Ibrahim.
Saudi Arabia witnessed numerous struggles and conquests over the years, with the Hashemites, the Ottomans, and the Saudis vying for dominance. The discovery of oil in the 1930s transformed the nation's economy and marked a new era in its history. The desert began to yield black gold, and with it came wealth, infrastructure, and modernization. It is a land that evokes curiosity and wonder, where history and culture intersect, and where the sands of time continue to shift and shape the nation's destiny.
FAQs : Explore Saudi Arabia
Q. What are the top tourist attractions in Saudi Arabia in 2023?
The top attractions of Saudi Arabia are:
- The Holy City of Mecca
- Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Madinah
- Al-Ula ruins
- Riyadh - Masmak fortress, Diriyah
- Jeddah Corniche
- Taif rose factory
- The Edge of the World, Riyadh
Q. What is the best time to visit Saudi Arabia?
Visit Saudi Arabia during winter months from November to March, when the temperatures are milder and more pleasant for outdoor activities.
Q. What is the currency used in Saudi Arabia?
The currency of the country is Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR).
Q. What is the prettiest town in Saudi Arabia?
Prettiest town in Saudi Arabia is Al-Ula.
Q. How many days do you need to explore Saudi Arabia?
You need 12 days to explore the country.
Q. What is the best way to explore Saudi Arabia?
There are various tour packages offered by the tourism centers there which include city tours, nature exploration, cultural tours, sporting events, and trying out local cuisine.Saudi Arabia is a conservative country with stringent regulations. If you want your vacation to go smoothly, you should learn about the local laws and customs ahead of time.