Why is Saudi Arabia a tourist destination?

by Alice

Saudi Arabia, renowned for its historical significance, natural beauty, architectural wonders, and rich cultural heritage, has emerged as a captivating tourist destination in recent years. With its diverse landscapes, ancient cities, and modern developments, the Kingdom offers a plethora of unique travel experiences, culinary delights, and seamless accessibility. In this essay, we delve into the multifaceted allure of Saudi Arabia, uncovering the reasons behind its growing appeal among travelers worldwide.

Historical Significance:

Saudi Arabia stands as the birthplace of Islam, a fact that lends it profound historical significance. The holy cities of Mecca and Medina draw millions of pilgrims annually, seeking spiritual enlightenment and fulfillment of religious duties. Mecca, the holiest city in Islam, is home to the Kaaba, the focal point of the Hajj pilgrimage. Its ancient origins and religious significance imbue it with a sense of reverence and awe. Meanwhile, Medina, the second holiest city, boasts the Prophet’s Mosque, a revered site of pilgrimage and prayer.


Beyond the religious landmarks, Saudi Arabia is steeped in ancient history, with archaeological sites such as Al-Ula and Diriyah offering glimpses into its storied past. Al-Ula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features remarkable Nabatean tombs and rock formations dating back thousands of years. Diriyah, the historic birthplace of the Saudi state, showcases traditional mud-brick architecture and offers insights into the country’s founding.


Natural Beauty and Scenery:

Contrary to common perception, Saudi Arabia is not just a vast desert expanse but also encompasses diverse natural landscapes. From the towering peaks of the Asir Mountains to the pristine beaches along the Red Sea coast, the country boasts a wealth of natural beauty and scenic vistas.


The Asir Mountains, located in the southwestern region, are a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. With their lush terraces, verdant valleys, and cool climate, the mountains offer respite from the desert heat and a chance to explore picturesque hiking trails and vibrant local markets.

Along the Red Sea coast, destinations like Jeddah and Yanbu beckon visitors with their azure waters, coral reefs, and thriving marine life. Snorkeling, diving, and beachside relaxation are popular activities, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the region’s underwater wonders and coastal charm.

Architectural Wonders:

Saudi Arabia boasts a blend of ancient and modern architectural marvels, reflecting its rich heritage and rapid urbanization. In cities like Riyadh and Jeddah, soaring skyscrapers and futuristic landmarks coexist with historic palaces, mosques, and forts, creating a captivating juxtaposition of old and new.

The iconic Kingdom Centre Tower in Riyadh, with its distinctive design and panoramic views, stands as a symbol of the city’s modernity and progress. Meanwhile, the historic district of Al-Balad in Jeddah showcases traditional coral-stone architecture and ornate wooden balconies, offering a glimpse into the city’s past as a thriving trade hub.

One of the most awe-inspiring architectural feats in Saudi Arabia is the UNESCO-listed Mada’in Saleh, an ancient Nabatean city reminiscent of Petra in neighboring Jordan. Carved into the sandstone cliffs, the site features intricately decorated tombs, temples, and dwellings, providing a window into the ancient civilization that once thrived in the region.

Unique Travel Experiences:

Saudi Arabia offers travelers a myriad of unique experiences that cater to diverse interests and preferences. Whether exploring bustling souks, embarking on desert safaris, or indulging in traditional rituals and festivities, visitors are bound to find something memorable and enriching during their stay.

A visit to the bustling souks of Riyadh or Jeddah offers a glimpse into Saudi Arabia’s vibrant cultural tapestry, where fragrant spices, intricate textiles, and gleaming gold jewelry vie for attention amid the hustle and bustle of daily life. Bargaining with local merchants and sampling exotic delicacies are all part of the immersive experience.

For those seeking adventure and adrenaline, the vast desert landscapes of Saudi Arabia present endless opportunities for exploration and excitement. Desert safaris, camel rides, and overnight camping expeditions allow travelers to witness the stark beauty of the dunes and the mesmerizing spectacle of a desert sunset.

Local Cuisine and Gastronomic Scene:

Saudi Arabian cuisine is a reflection of its diverse cultural influences, blending flavors and ingredients from the Arabian Peninsula, Levant, and beyond. From aromatic rice dishes and succulent grilled meats to fragrant spice blends and sweet pastries, the culinary scene offers a tantalizing array of flavors and textures to delight the senses.

One cannot visit Saudi Arabia without sampling its national dish, Kabsa, a flavorful rice dish typically served with tender meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices. Other popular delicacies include Mandi, a slow-cooked meat and rice dish, and Samboosa, savory pastries filled with meat or vegetables.

In addition to traditional fare, Saudi Arabia boasts a burgeoning cafe culture, with modern establishments serving specialty coffees, teas, and decadent desserts. Riyadh, in particular, has seen a proliferation of trendy cafes and eateries, where locals and expatriates alike gather to socialize and savor gourmet delights.

Accessibility and Infrastructure:

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in tourism infrastructure and accessibility, making it easier for travelers to explore the kingdom’s attractions and destinations. The expansion of airports, development of new hotels and resorts, and implementation of tourist-friendly policies have all contributed to the growth of the tourism sector.

The King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh serve as major gateways for international travelers, offering numerous flights to destinations around the world. Domestic transportation options, including high-speed trains and modern highways, provide efficient connectivity between cities and regions.

Moreover, the Saudi government’s efforts to streamline the visa process and introduce electronic visas for tourists from eligible countries have further facilitated travel to the kingdom. With the introduction of the Saudi tourist visa, visitors can now explore the country’s attractions with greater ease and convenience.

Excursion Suggestions and Tips:

For travelers planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, there are several must-visit destinations and experiences that should not be missed. Some excursion suggestions and tips include:

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Visit iconic sites such as Al-Ula, Mada’in Saleh, and At-Turaif in Diriyah to discover the kingdom’s rich cultural heritage and ancient history.

Experience the Desert: Embark on a desert safari or camping expedition in the Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter) or the Al-Nafud Desert to witness the breathtaking beauty of the dunes and experience traditional Bedouin hospitality.

Visit the Holy Cities: Take a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina to perform Umrah or Hajj and immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of Islam’s holiest sites.

Explore the Red Sea Coast: Spend time in coastal cities like Jeddah, Yanbu, or Al Khobar to enjoy water sports, beachside relaxation, and fresh seafood cuisine.

Discover Modern Riyadh: Explore the vibrant capital city of Riyadh, where modern skyscrapers, cultural attractions, and shopping malls abound, offering a glimpse into Saudi Arabia’s contemporary lifestyle.

Sample Local Cuisine: Indulge in traditional Saudi dishes such as Kabsa, Mandi, and Shawarma at local restaurants and street stalls to savor the authentic flavors of the kingdom.

Respect Local Customs: Familiarize yourself with Saudi customs and etiquette, including dress codes, prayer times, and cultural sensitivities, to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience during your visit.

In Conclusion

Saudi Arabia’s allure as a tourist destination lies in its rich tapestry of history, natural beauty, architectural wonders, unique experiences, culinary delights, and modern infrastructure. Whether seeking spiritual enlightenment, adventure, or cultural immersion, travelers are sure to find something captivating and memorable in the Kingdom. As Saudi Arabia continues to open its doors to the world, it stands poised to become a leading destination for global travelers seeking authentic and enriching experiences.



Funplacetotravel is a travel portal. The main columns include North America, Europe, Asia, Central America, South America, Africa, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023