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THE SUN AND THE SANDS OF SAUDI

December 01, 2023
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Be it the vast rolling dunes of Rub’ Al Khali or the historic village of Ushaiger or the culturally rich Jeddah or the holy Mecca and Al Madinah or the multi-cultural capital city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has so much to offer to its people and tourists! One really feels Saudi Arabia opening its arms and enveloping you in its grandeur, its vibrance, its peace and its fervor.

The Sun and The Sand

The Vision 2030 Transformation

The country has one foot in the future and one in the past.One steeped in tradition and one aiming for tomorrow. With its Vision 2030 program, Saudi Arabia is fully focussed on its mustakbal (the Arabic word for future)-inclusive social services, business platform for all sizes and career growth, development programmes targeting all stratas and effective healthcare facilities. It indeed is a story of transformation. Ambitious yet achievable. The vision 2030 programme will advance the nation’s development which currently relies on the rich reserve of natural resources that Saudi Arabia boasts of.

The Vision 2030 Transformation

Glorious past of Saudi – Mecca and Medinah

Saudi’s hold on to a glorious past, it boasts of a rich heritage and history-since centuries now, Mecca and Medinah have been witnessing millions of devout pilgrims from across the globe coming together in praise of god, to celebrate their belief and uphold their religious practices by circumambulating the heart of Mecca, the Ka’ba. Considered to be two of the most holy places, these pilgrimages spread an aura of reverence and piety throughout Saudi Arabia.

Mecca and Medinah

Saga of Cultural History- Jeddah

Speaking further of heritage, the Jeddah festival which is held in Jeddah, celebrates the cultural history and the saga of Jeddah and its old streets. Old Jeddah welcomes one through its cobbled, old streets and a mystic scent which takes you back by years to when the streets would be full of hustle bustle of traders and locals. There are beautiful trinkets to be found in these unexplored street shops and with enough patience, one will also come across treasured vintage collections! Exploring these alleys will have you come across its ancient structures which are now marveled at as art galleries.

Saga of Cultural History- Jeddah

For adventure enthusiasts, there are motor racing and driving tracks and also the Jeddah waterfront which offers adventure activities and also a space to cool down post sunset. Jeddah also offers palatable dishes-one can relish Saudi’s popular “Kabsa” and “Matazeez” and if tourists want to add more flavors to their dining experience, there are numerous options to try from the neighboring country, Yemen like its “Saltah” and “Fahsa”.

Al Qassim Date Festival And Ushaiger

Saudi Arabia is also famous for the Al Qassim Date Festival which is the largest date festival in the world. Another portal to take one back in time is the village of Ushaiger. Ushaiger offers a magnetic glimpse of the Najdi architecture with both windows and roofs in the shape of a triangle. Its thick brick walls have stood the test of time and speak of the rich history of the village.

Al Qassim Date Festival And Ushaiger

The Haj pilgrims who pass by Ushaigar get to experience its narrow walkways, its calming breeze and the hospitality of the community of residents who have retained their ancestral houses-houses which still have the names of the families that have lived there. Needless to say, Saudi really transfixes one with both its historical abundance and its futuristic growth.

“Big Time” in Riyadh

Now that we have peeked into both the past and the future of this dynamic nation, let us explore the present Saudi which has a profusion in store for its people and tourists. As I write this, Saudi Arabia is preparing for the start of its Riyadh season with the slogan “Big Time!”.

Natural marvels of Saudi - The Asir National Park and the Red Sea

Natural marvels of Saudi - The Asir National Park and the Red Sea

For seekers of calm and quiet spaces, Saudi has alternate options which take one away from the cacophony into tranquil and soothing spaces. The Asir National Park, a diverse ecosystem has much tranquility to offer with its clear lakes, lush greenery, crisp and fresh air and a clear view of the vast landscape and wilderness. And for enthusiasts who prefer water bodies over mountains, Saudi Arabia is blessed with having the Red Sea lining one of its borders and is famous for its scuba diving to explore the unique yet diversified creatures under sea. Tourists are spoilt for choice!

Beaches of Saudi Arabia

There are plenty of other beaches to swim by-the golden glistening sands at Yam Beach, a relaxed sunbathing siesta at Kokian Beach and crystal clear waters at Praia Beach, all offer a relaxed and fun-filled day! Saudi Arabia really brings every element into perfect harmony and gives its people an experience of their lifetime!

Beaches of Saudi Arabia

Unmatched hospitability

The warm and hospitable locals help out with every little thing and further sweeten the experience. The women’s geniality and jocund nature radiates through the abayas they wear. The synergy between the place and its people makes one acknowledge and appreciate the organic tandem with which they have been living since time immemorial. Many stories of love, conquest, might, victory, kindness have been born in this land and with time, many more will be born.

Conclusion

Saudi Arabia is a pristine gem in a desert with landscapes stretching as far as the eyes can see and ambitions soaring high as far as the mind can imagine. Its sun’s rays gleam on its structures further radiating them and its moonlight graces its deserts further illuminating them. Its sun and its sands will keep glistening for admirers to keep coming from far and wide and for explorers to have a momentous experience and revere this legendary land.

Author
Disha Raut (Guest)