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Travel Directory / Middle East / Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Travel Guide

Saudi Arabia is best known as the birthplace of Islam rather than a tourist destination. That was the case until the Prince realized that his sand-filled country can also be hot spot for travellers not only during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Now, Saudi Arabia has been developed as a place that would definitely attract millions and millions of travellers around the world.

The temperature is very humid so it is best to wear your coolest clothes and bring a lot of sunscreen lotion. It sometimes hits a very hot temperature of 115 degrees. However, this has never been an advantage to Saudi tourism. Visiting Saudi with this weather would make you want to explore the Red Sea beaches scattered in the country possessing water with turquoise color. Red Sea is now included in the top ten list of diving destinations all over the world and it is the greatest natural asset of Jeddah. It caters the best barely touched 200 different kinds of coral reefs in varied colors. Most divers say that the reefs of Jeddah are one of the healthiest reefs they have seen. Cruising and diving at the Red Sea beaches can be the most amazing diving experience you'll ever have. This is an aquatic paradise without the crowded diving boats and divers.

Saudi Arabia is also rich in archeological, historical sites and especially places they consider sacred. There are a lot of spectacular tombs and mosques spread all over the country. The world's most sacred mosque called Al-Haram Mosque is situated in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This is where the annual Hajj pilgrimage ends and can accommodate at least 800,000 pilgrims during Hajj. There are also those rock-carved tombs made by the Nabateans located in Madain Sahreha. Although history made this a cursed land for Muslims, the tombs in Madain Sahreha has always been a tourist destination for explorers.

This is also the perfect destination for those who love to burn their tongues with hot flaming spicy foods. Most local foods are strongly spiced and flavoured. Meat lovers would definitely appreciate the taste of lamb, chicken and beef cooked in diverse course. However, don't expect to have pork in the menu as it is a forbidden meat for Islam. In every dish they serve, it is always accompanied by pitta bread. The most ordered dish in Saudi Arabia is the Kultra (skewed chicken or lamb) and of course the spicy Kebabs which is usually served with vegetables and soup. Drinking alcoholic beverage is not allowed in Saudi Arabia, however, there are a lot of alternatives such as fruit drinks, special Arabic coffee flavoured in Cardamon and you are lucky enough if you are in a hotel where they serve alcohol-free cocktails and beers.

As for shopping, jewelries are the best sellers. They have a wide range of gold and silver accessories and all are relatively authentic and inexpensive. Don't be surprised though, as there are rarely sales ladies but salesmen even for boutiques that sell females blouses, makeup and lingerie. They are well-trained though. And after a few hours of shopping you'll finally get used to it.


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