Saudi Arabia Overview
The Monarchy of Saudi Arabia was first established in 1932 by Ibn Saud. This entailed conquering and unification of four distinct regions of Hejaz, Asir, Al-Ahsa and Najd. The current kingdom is the 2nd largest Islamic state and the 5th largest country in the Asian continent. Saudi Arabia has the unique feature of having both the Red Sea and a Persian Gulf coastline. The land is mostly arid and barren desert, with some of the world’s largest deposits of crude oil and natural gas. Your Saudi Arabia travel guide may include visiting Mecca and Medina, two of the holiest sites of the Islamic religion.
Visa Procedures for Entry into Saudi Arabia
The citizens of Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE are exempted from Saudi Arabia visa requirements for visiting the country. Otherwise, travelers from all other countries require pre-approved visas for entering Saudi Arabia. All applicants must possess a valid passport for 6 months after departure date from the country. The female members must be accompanied by males for acceptance in the country.
Best Period of the Year for visiting Saudi Arabia
The predominantly desert country has scorching high temperatures during the day and much cooler temperatures at night. During the summer season from mid-April to October, the average temperatures regularly top 40°C in the day with high humidity in the coastal regions. So, the winter months between the middle of November to February are the best time to visit Saudi Arabia. The areas around Asir Mountains and Taif are much cooler all throughout the year.
Top Travel Destinations in Saudi Arabia
Visiting the Asir Coastal Wildlife Forests, the only natural forest in the country is one of the top things to do in Saudi Arabia. These coastal mountain ranges are home to leopards, baboons and gazelles among other animals. You may also witness the famous King’s Cup Camel Race in the spring season, which starts from Riyadh city. The holy Islamic cities of Mecca and Medina are the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia where you will be able to witness Muslims from all over the world traveling here for completing the ‘Haj’ rite. The Ohir Creek by the Red Sea also offers great sea-side experiences in Saudi Arabia.
Transportation Mediums in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) provides regular and comfortable travel by bus to all corners of the country. There is also railway service between Riyadh and several major cities. The country is predominantly flat and the roads connecting the major cities are in excellent condition. So, hiring a private vehicle after traveling in public transport to the nearest bus or rail stations may be the best solution to the issue of how to reach Saudi Arabia tourist destinations.
Local Food and Places to Board in Saudi Arabia
‘Shawarma’ is meat grilled on a coal spit and consumed with tomato, cucumber, hummus and other local side dishes. ‘Falafel’ is a deep-fried vegetable dish made from beans and chickpeas. All the major luxury hotel chains of the world have a presence in Saudi Arabia. The Ritz-Carlton or the Four Seasons Hotels are two of the best accommodations the country has on offer for tourists.
You will remember your trip to Saudi Arabia for the unique blend of religion, tradition and modernity in this country.