Saudi Arabia has always been mentioned in various news as a mysterious country where only Islamic followers used to go for Hajj and Umrah for their religious duties. Now in this age, these stereotypes are beginning to disappear after opening tourism opportunities.
But so far it is only providing opportunities through visit visas to 49 countries. No one can stay more than 90 days on a tourist visa. Therefore, these 90 days are not enough to discover a state full of ancient cultures and ancient sites.
Saudi Arabia indeed has a large Muslim population and a small non-Muslim population. Therefore, the topic of the most attractive tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia covers all the places that belong to Muslims and non-Muslims.
Tourist Destinations in Saudi Arabia:
- The ruins of Al Ula
- Saudi Arabia’s Maldives
- Asir Region
- Edge of the world
- Land of the future
- Al Wahbah volcanic crater
- Al-Masjid Al Nabawi – Al-Madīnah
The ruins of Al Ula
Al Ula is one of the world’s diamond gems because it is also listed in UNESCO World heritages. It has also known as Al Hijr and Mada’in Saleh. Now Saudi officials expect Al-Ula to be an attractive destination for millions of Muslims and non-Muslims.
This destination’s history is 2000 years old, so many stories relate to this. People frequently avoid visiting this site due to the residence of many malevolent spirits and Jinn. The eradication of such conservative thinking has begun with the opening of this site for tourism.
Holy Quran mentions this place by happening an incident.
Allah says in Quran “And you carve out of the mountains, homes, with skill“. (26:149)
“And don’t touch her(camel) with harm, lest you be seized by the punishment of a terrible day. But they hamstrung her and so became regretful. And the punishment seized them. Indeed, that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers.” (26:156-158)
Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said about it: “Don’t enter the ruined dwellings of those who were unjust to themselves unless (you enter) weeping, lest you should suffer the same punishment as was inflicted upon them.’ (Al Bukhari 3381)
Above Hadith and Quranic verses are taken from this htps://lifeinsaudiarabia.net/6-things-you-must-know-about-madain
These are two aspects for Muslims and non-Muslim tourists about Al Ula.
Saudi Arabia’s Maldives
There is no Maldives in Saudi Arabia. Shallow turquoise waters and coral reefs are the identities of the Maldives. But the same view can be examined by those islands that are located at the Red Sea near the towns Umluj and Al Wajh are called Saudi Arabia’s Maldives. If an unfamiliar person visits this tourist spot the first time then believing for him is a little bit hard that he is in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Government has a plan to develop this spot by a better infrastructure for tourism. Because the area of this Red sea is surrounded by more than 100 islands. Here different shaped coral reefs and crystal clear waters have become a major tourist destination in Saudi.
To see the beauty of this destination, it is best to hire a local boatman. People mostly come here to see dolphins and rocks. In simple words, people here try to bring themselves closer to nature. Women should wear modest clothes but it is forbidden to walk on this beach in bikinis.
Note: During Hajj and Umrah, women are free to wear special dresses like Ihram. Get a proper guide by clicking on “How to perform Umrah step by step“.
When Saudi Arabia is mentioned anywhere we have only one point about this geographically. This country has a desert climate where most time weather is dry and hot. But there is a region of the South whose environment negates our views. Here summer storms bring greenery to spectacular mountain views instead of dust. Here locals wear flower crowns. This region is called Asir. Popular activities about this Saudi destination is sightseeing and excursions to the historic village of Rijal Alma.
Edge of the world
This tourist destination is known for hiking and splendour views. The Edge of the World or Jebel Fihrayn is a dramatic geological marvel in the rocky desert northwest of Riyadh. Jebel Fihrayn is part of such a mountain system that drops down 1,000 feet into a dried sea. Standing on top of the escarpment, you can enjoy the uninterrupted view of the horizon. And this scene will present it as if the sky is melting in the earth.
Land of the future
Saudi Vision 2030 aims to shift the kingdom’s sources of income from the petroleum industry to tourism. To implement this vision, Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to include the northwestern corner of Saudi Arabia in a $500 billion megaproject called “Neum“. But a report by analysts shows that investors are a bit sceptical. Tabuk falls in the northwest corner, which is full of natural wonders. The government is planning to improve it for adventure enthusiasts as it is considered a popular tourist destination for locals.
Along with Tabuk, there is also a beautiful valley called Taib valley. It is a narrow valley between two mountains. The locals believe that this is the place where the Prophet Moses encamped after crossing the sea from Egypt.
Al Wahbah volcanic crater
Al Wahbah is 4km wide and 250 meters deep volcano crater is one of Kingdom’s dramatic natural wonder. The exact location of this crater is around 4 hours’ drive from Jeddah. The beauty of this magnificent pit will be revealed to you when you descend into the heart of this hole. Once you get to the centre of it, you’ll find sparkling crystals that are not diamonds but sodium phosphate crystals. This salty bed turns into a lake full of pearls whenever rain collects in this hollow. For adventure seekers, this destination is perfect for camping and hiking.
Al-Masjid Al Nabawi – Al-Madiah
There are many mosques in the world that are famous for their structure, history and importance. However, the mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. Therefore, Islamic teachings identify only three mosques in the world in terms of importance which are Al-Haram, Al-Nabawi and Al-Aqsa respectively. But the purpose of going to every mosque is the same. Al-Haram and Al-Nabawi mosques are located in different places in Saudi Arabia.
Millions of Muslims visit both mosques during Hajj and Umrah. Non-Muslims cannot enter Makkah but they can enter Madinah. It is forbidden for all non-Muslims to cross the boundaries of the Al Nabawi If anyone tries, he will be fined.
Why is this mosque important for Muslims?
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his two companions are resting there. That house also comes in the area of the mosque where Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to live after his migration. Muslims believe that there is an area which is one of the gardens of Paradise and it is called Riaz ul Jannah. Praying here is like praying in heaven.
In the old days, foreign Muslims could not go anywhere in Saudi Arabia except Mecca and Medina. They used to get Hajj or Umrah visas to perform their religious duties. But now the ministry has allowed every Muslim to go to other areas. Muslims from 49 countries can also perform Umrah on a tourist visa. Travel agencies from these specific countries often offer a variety of Umrah packages, including tourist or Umrah visas.
Saudi Arabia does not consist of the above-mentioned places or destinations. But in the beginning, as we have already said, Saudi is a Home of Gems, which means that there are also more destinations and our 90 days is not enough there. Therefore, tourists can visit this country on a visit visa as it is valid for 12 months. But a one-time stay is only 90 days. So travellers will have to leave this mysterious land again to spend the next 90 days.