Exploring the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, a nation with impeccable oil wealth has opened its doors wide for International tourism. This Arabic Kingdom has beaches, hotels, theme parks and even sites with historical value. It is now issuing electronic visas for visitors coming from over 49 countries. Saudi Arabia has undertaken a reform program called ‘Vision 2030’ which aims to shift country’s recognition as a oil nation to other attractions and tourist entertainments. Approximately a 13 hour drive from Dubai to Riyadh, Saudi is now counted as a fun road trip destination from the emirate. Let’s get that itinerary right! Here are must-visit spots for all tourists visiting Saudi.

1. Umluj
The Maldives of Saudi Arabia, Umluj has become a domestic hotspot for the residents. An island experience in the desert, this place is surrounded by clear waters, local hotels and adventure activities. Overlooking the inactive volcanoes and mountains, this island is ideal for relaxation and sometime off-the-grid.

2. The ancient city of Mada’in Saleh 
The first in Saudi Arabia to be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An archeological site with the remains from the Nabatean Kingdom. All of you who love history, this place is a must-visit.

3. Tantora Festival
If you are planning your trip towards the end of the year, make sure to squeeze Tantora Festival into your itineraries! It is an annual cultural festival held in the old town of Al-Ula. With world-class musicians running a series of weekend concerts along with other events and entertainment.

4. Al Wahbah Volcanic Crater
About 250 kilometers away from Ta’if, this site is Saudi Arabia’s most dramatic natural wonders. There are group tours that take you to this location to witness some breathtaking views of this white crystal land. A great spot for hikers to explore this Arab land. 

5. The Edge of the World
A series of 300 meter high cliffs risen from the desert to create a startling escarpment. You can arrive at the gates and from there Edge of the World is another 15 kilometers drive. Beautiful sunsets and a valley that runs by your side. 

Are you excited to discover this exciting new face of Saudi Arabia?

(Contributed by Safia Mansoor)

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