Today, in this modern era, tourism is a big industry in the world. Every country spends most of its GDP (Gross domestic product) growing tourism. There are many tourist spots in every country to attract tourists to travel and visit them. In this way, Saudi Arabia has several tourist places for attracting visitors. In this case, read this topic to know more information, “Popular tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia.” This article will help you to know the authentic information about the above-mentioned title.
Saudi Arabia, or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia on the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia is the only country that has a coastline along both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and most of its territory consists of arid deserts, lowlands, plains, and mountains. The two holiest cities in Islam, Makkah and Madina, are located in this country.
Although religious pilgrimages still represent the majority of Saudi Arabia’s tourism, the leisure industry is expanding. According to a 2018 report by BMI Research, there is considerable room for expansion in both religious and non-religious tourism. Tourism is an important component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
Most popular tourist places to visit in Saudi Arabia
Every traveller should include Saudi Arabia on their bucket list because of its diverse geography, rich history, vibrant legacy, delicious cuisines, huge cultural festivals or events, and vast deserts. Saudi Arabia has plenty of numerous popular tourist destinations that offer the perfect blend of old and new.
We discuss Saudi Arabia’s most popular tourist destinations below:
Two Holy Mosques
The two holiest mosques for Muslims are Masjid Harm and Masjid Nabwi, which are situated in the 2 cities of Makkah and Madina, respectively. Masjid Harm is the biggest mosque in the world where the rush of Muslims doesn’t end.
It serves as the main site for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. While Masjid Nabwi is the second-largest mosque in the world, is home to the graves of three prominent leaders, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Abu Bakr (R.A), and Umar (R.A).
Al Balad, Jeddah
The ancient area of Jeddah is Al Balad, and it is famous for its traditional markets, narrow lanes, intricately designed mosques, and traditional houses. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once a meeting point for pilgrims to Makkah.
Masmak Fortress, Riyadh
In Saudi Arabia, the Masmak Fortress is a must-visit tourist destination and an architectural wonder. This fortress, which is located in Riyadh’s old town, was built from clay and mud bricks. According to popular belief, this fortress has great importance in the history of Saudi Arabia.
National Museum, Riyadh
The National Museum of Saudi Arabia is the most popular tourist spot in Riyadh. The museum has eight halls and presents early human life, pre-Islamic Arab kingdoms, the family, and lineage of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the birth of Islam, the importance of Hajj and two holy mosques.
Al Baqi Cemetery, Madina
The most important and historic Islamic cemetery in Madina is only Al Baqi. It is in Saudi Arabia’s Hejaz region and is very significant to Muslims because it is the resting place of many of the relatives and companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Elephant Rock, Mada’in Saleh
Elephant Rock is one of the many tourist attractions in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the most impressive geological wonders in the world and is located in the Al Ula area of Mada’in Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Edge of the World, Riyadh
Edge of the World is a geological wonder in a rocky golden desert northwest of Riyadh and one of the top tourist attractions in the country. This spectacular location offers a beautiful view of the landscape below and from the top of this escarpment offers uninterrupted, spectacular views of the endless horizon.
Riyadh Zoo, Riyadh
Riyadh Zoo is a popular place to visit with family in Riyadh. The area is spread over 55 acres with more than 1600 animals and more than 45 species of animals. The Zoological Park can be visited on a train ride. There are plenty of fun places for kids amidst the natural environment where the animals roam.
Umluj is a small coastal town on the archipelago, often referred to as the Maldives of Saudi Arabia. North of the town of Umluj, travellers can travel to more than 100 small islands known for their white sand and ancient palm trees.
King Abdullah Economic City
King Abdullah Economic City is a mega project announced in 2005 by the former King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz. It is the most popular tourist destination in Saudi Arabia.
Red Sea Mall, Jeddah
The Red Sea Mall is a shopping mall located in Jeddah’s northern suburb of Saudi Arabia. Between the Red Sea coast and King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, on the western side of King Abdul-Aziz Road, is where you will find the mall. It has a built-up area of about 242,200 square meters.
In the suburbs of Riyadh is the lovely town of Diriyah. It has become a popular tourist destination in Saudi Arabia over time. It is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Turaif District, known as the stronghold of the Al Saud royal family. The narrow lanes and mud-brick homes of Diriyah are well known.
Tabuk Castle, Tabuk
The Tabuk Castle is a historic fortress that was built in 1559 and is located in Tabuk, the regional capital of northwest Saudi Arabia. The castle has been renovated and transformed into an open-to-the-public museum.
Yanbu lake park, Yanbu
Lake Park stands out as one of the unique tourist spots where vacations can spend quality time on its banks in the historical city of Yanbu surrounded by its natural beauty. The lake was opened to the public in 2014 by the Royal Commission of Yanbu.
Rijal Almaa village, Al Asir
A village in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia, Rijal Almaa was once considered a natural route connecting Mecca, Medina, Yemen, and the Levant, thus becoming a regional trading centre. The village has about 60 multi-storied buildings constructed using wood, mud, and stone.
Neom City – Saudi Arabia’s future tourist plan
Neom is a city under construction in Tabuk province in northwestern Saudi Arabia. It is planned to incorporate smart city technologies and serve as a tourist destination. Likewise, it is located north of the Red Sea, east of Egypt across the Gulf of Aqaba, and south of Jordan. It is planned to extend 170 kilometres along the Red Sea coast, covering a total area of 26,500 square kilometres.
Saudi Arabia had planned to complete large parts of the project by 2020, with an expansion to be completed in 2025, but that is behind schedule. The estimated cost of the project is $500 billion. On 29 January 2019, Saudi Arabia announced that it had established a closed joint-stock company called Neom. The purpose of the company, which is wholly owned by the public investment fund, the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund, is to develop the Neom Economic Zone. It is intended for the project to run totally on renewable energy.
Read it: Can I cover my head during Umrah?
Things to do in Saudi Arabia
A short discussion about things to do in Saudi Arabia is below:
Hajj and Umrah
The majority of Muslims consider the Hajj as the fifth pillar of Islam and a required religious duty. While Umrah is a shorter pilgrimage to Makkah for which Muslims don’t need to wait until a special time of the year. They can do it when they want but it is not permissible during Hajj days.
Towering mountain ranges are just one of the breathtaking natural features found across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The region between Riyadh and Al Kharj offers hiking and mountain climbing opportunities for tourists.
Water sports opportunities
Saudi Arabia shares the costs associated with the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Because Saudi Arabia is a coastal nation, there are several alternatives for water activities for tourists. Swimming and fishing are safe sports to undertake anywhere, even in the Saudi Kingdom.
Eating authentic Arabian food
Travellers often focus on food, especially when they take the time to explore a destination’s cuisine. If you decide to visit Saudi Arabia, you will have to good experience when choosing breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
Before the start of Umrah 2022 after Hajj, visiting many historical and modern places and doing whatever you want was only possible for those holding a Saudi visit visa. But now this opportunity is also available for Umrah visa and Hajj visa holders. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has extended the Umrah visa for 3 months instead of 30 days. So, you need to ensure your Umrah Package 2023 or Hajj Package 2023 booking and whether your visas are included in the booked packages or not.
Saudi Arabia is very famous for its popular tourist destinations for visitors from all over the world. This country is very important for all Muslims because it is the home of the two holy mosques (Masjid Haram and Masjid Nabwi).
The Saudi government had taken many steps to grow tourism in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has numerous popular tourist destinations that offer a perfect blend of old and new. These Saudi popular tourist destinations include Masjid Haram and Masjid Nabwi, Al Balad, Elephant Rock, Red Sea Mall, and King Abdullah Economic City.