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Exploring Saudi Arabia: Hidden gem of Middle East

November 29, 2023
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Introduction

Saudi Arabia is known as the land of rich cultural history and heritage. It has been the spiritual home for Muslim pilgrims from time immemorial. This beautiful nation, where culture and tradition blend, has recently opened its doors to travelers worldwide. This country is home to some of the world's hidden gems, and with Saudi opening its doors, you can visit these remarkable destinations.

hidden gem of middle east

The Vision 2030 Transformation

Initiated by the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision Plan of 2030 focuses on diversifying the country’s economy. The most significant aspect of this plan is the development of the tourism sector. The country has upgraded and developed tourism-related infrastructure to attract international and domestic tourists. Luxury resorts, entertainment complexes, and transportation networks have all been constructed to provide seamless travel.

Historical and Cultural Riches

Historical and Cultural Riches

Deep cultural and historical heritage sets Saudi Arabia apart from all the other nations worldwide. The country is home to several UNESCO world heritage sites, such as the rock art of the Hail Region and the historic city of Diriyah, the birthplace of the Saudi state. You can delve deep into the history of the Arabian Peninsula and explore ancient ruins, museums, and archaeological sites.

The Lost City of Al-Ula

The Lost City of Al-Ula

Al-Ula is a historical gem located in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia. The archaeological site of Madain Saleh, which is often addressed as “Second Petra” due to its striking similarity to the famous Jordanian city, is its most famous attraction. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and features well-preserved tombs that were carved into rose cliffs, which are a testament to the brilliant architectural proficiency of the Nabatean civilization. Exploring the Al-Ula region is like stepping back in time and discovering an untold story of the Arabian Peninsula.

Natural Wonders

Natural Wonders

Saudi Arabia's diverse landscapes are a testament to its natural beauty. From the fiery deserts of the Empty Quarter (Rub' al Khali) to the lush valleys of Asir, the country offers a wide range of outdoor experiences. Due to its crystal-clear waters and exotic marine life, the coastline of Red Sea is mecca for divers and sports enthusiasts. You will get to enjoy the fun camel safaris and experience breathtaking sunsets over the perfect desert backdrop.

Riyadh, Jeddah, and Beyond

Riyadh, Jeddah, and Beyond

Metropolis of Riyadh and Jeddah are places where tradition meets innovation. Home to the National Museum, Riyadh is one of the most stunning cities in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah is home to the historic Al-Balad district, which has captivating traditional architecture and bustling markets. Besides these cities, Saudi Arabia offers many experiences, from hiking in the Asir Mountains to exploring the serene oases of the Eastern Province. The list is never-ending.

Hospitality and Cuisine

Hospitality and Cuisine

Saudi Arabian hospitality is renowned worldwide, and tourists can experience this warm welcome in traditional Bedouin camps, luxurious hotels, and local homes. The cuisine is a blend of flavors influenced by Arabian, Persian, Indian, and African cultures. Delight your taste buds with dishes like Kabsa (spiced rice with meat), Mutabbaq (savory pastry), and refreshing mint tea.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite its enormous potential, Saudi Arabia faces several challenges in developing its tourism industry, including infrastructure development, cultural barriers, and marketing efforts. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted global tourism. However, its indomitable spirit and commitment to Vision 2030 suggest a promising future for tourism in Saudi Arabia.

Conclusion

Saudi Arabia's emergence as a tourist destination offers a unique opportunity to explore its vast history and culture and enjoy its natural beauty. Explore its hidden treasures and experience the warmth of Saudi Arabian hospitality. Whether you seek adventure, history, or relaxation, Saudi Arabia promises a journey.

Author
Suresh Sharma (Guest)