KSA deserts have been the dream of thousands worldwide who are looking towards living an exciting and unique tourism experience. The Saudi great desert extending from the far north to the far south and from the Arab Gulf to the Red Sea represents a very rich environment of beautiful valleys, sand dunes, clear atmospheres, mountains and plateaus. These deserts reflect the cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia. There are some activities carried out for desert lovers including spring festivals, handicraft festivals, camping activities, desert races as Hail rally, sand dunning, etc.
Tourism attraction to deserts are reflected in the practice of desert sports such as camping, sand dunning, flower & plant collection, riding horses and camels, training eagles, sand skiing and 4 wheel driving. The deep-rooted Saudi culture is noticed clearly through the daily life practices of Saudis living in the deserts, which is considered a great attraction for tourists.
Sure, the Kingdom's clear and clean shores are one of the best shores world wide. These shores extend along Red Sea in the west up to 1,800 km in the west and along the Arabian Gulf in the east up to 700 km. This is in addition to the geographical location of the Kingdom including its climate which is suitable to practice proper swimming and all other water sports around the year. The Kingdom's warm water and long day hours are attraction aspects for incoming tourists form cold northern areas. These shores may be private properties affiliated to hotel or other companies. You may investigate this locally for more information.
There are may water sports as sailing boats, waves sport, water skiing, small boats sport, motorcycles, water cycles. Some of the professionals provide required training of such sports activities.
For more information, pleas ask for required information from the hotel you stay in or from any other local sea port.
Sea tourism witnessed an important development in the recent years. The Kingdom shores became an investment field of businessmen who compete to build resorts, shale, etc., overlooking the shores in the tourist regions as Jeddah and Eastern Province, Yanbu and Jazan. These activities are great in summer time. This includes organizing shore and sea competitions including: volleyball, football, fishing, sport boats, skiing etc.
Uqair in Al Ahsa and Haqal in Tabuk are (virgin) shores and will be invested into tourism destination in the near future.
Island tourism can be easily practiced in the islands of Tiran and Sanfer at the entrance of Aqaba Gulf, Farsan islands in the Red Seas and Hana Island in the Arab Gulf. Tourists in these islands are to enjoy the natural environment of these beautiful islands as well as the local culture and heritage.
There are thousands of archeological sites in KSA containing movable and immovable monuments dating back to pre historic era up to Islamic ages; they represent the historical cultural monuments made by our ancestors; they reflect the depth of history and uniqueness of the past. Due to these facts, these sites attract national and international tourists. The most important sites are Madain Saleh, Al Faw Village, Al Rabtha, Al Rajajeel Columns and Al Madaina railway station.
There are many tourism patterns including visiting family and friends tourism, shopping, businesses, conferences, culture, heritage, sport, treatment, environment and adventures.
Sometimes you cannot decide where to spend your holidays in the Kingdom; that is because there are many tourism options offered by regional festivals in the summer. The diversity of Saudi Arabia environment is reflected in flowers of Taif, Qasseem's sweet dates, Zamzam water, Riyadh's Thumama deserts, Jeddah and Eastern Province shores...etc.
Saudi people have known tourism through their ancestors who were seamen and divers; this is what is known today as (sea tourism), moving nomads in the desert, shepherds, poets...etc. There have been farmers who loved and sang to palm trees and their harvest seasons. This is in addition to other individuals who are still practicing the handicraft business of their ancestors and they are practicing this in bazaars and summer festival.
Q- What are the potentials of the Saudi tourism?
KSA is considered from the most important countries regarding comprehensive environmental and civil heritage for tourism. In addition to its diversity of natural contours and natural atmospheres, we find diversity of archeological sites dating back to pre history and Islamic archeological sites and the contemporary architectural heritage. Kingdom provinces are rich of effective and supportive aspects for tourism; most important ones are national and regional museums, many popular markets, many cultural activities, people heritage diversity, crafts, traditional industries developed by the Saudi man through ages depending on the natural potentials of the local environment.
General statistics of Saudi tourism ingredients are:
- There are more than (12) thousand tourist natural sites (historical, natural and cultural)
- There are more than (95) thousand hotel room and (53) thousand furnished units
- There are more than (1000) travel and tourism agency
- There are more than (70) museums, (18) national park and (14) natural sanctuaries.
Shopping in Abha is fun and exciting as you can find all kinds of cologne (really from everywhere) clothes, cookware, furniture, cameras, audio equipment, jewelry, especially 24 karat gold, seafood, vegatables, and all the incense you want and many more! You can do all your shopping here.
And the ladies will enjoy it because they can get all the cosmetics they need! You can also stop by and have a drink at one of the many side cafes.
You must see the people in Ssudi Arabia. They are a very hospitable bunch of people and sometimes while I was in Starbucks if it was quiet. I would say hello to some of the woman. Some are a little shy and some do not mind talking to you at all. One day my friend Petula went to order our drinks and while I waited, I said hello to two young Saudi girls on their own. The more I talked them the more I was interested in them as people. Petula became interested too and we all chatted for quite some time about life and life in general for both expats and Saudi's (particuarly females) alike. The girls were only young and had just started their teritary education, they were sisters as we were the only four in the shop, they removed their veils and started to tell us what they were studying and how they entertained themselves in such a restrictive place.
Saudi is a melting pot filled with many different cultures and it doesn't hurt to say hello to anyone while out in the shops. One Saudi lady and I had a laugh together once in a Bookshop over this funny quote book with cute artwork. Some people can be quite rude or eye you up wanting a date handing you a little bit of paper with their phone number and name on it. It is sad but true and if you do not believe me have a read of October 2003's edition of National Geographic. I have included the link to the article below for you to read....
It is very accurate although some things are a little different in the city of Khobar but the concept is still the same!!!! Stay away from anyone wanting this kind of activity.
If you are into shopping and living i KSA, why not dive into the habit of spending hard earned cash -many of us "visitors" have a habit of doing this.
I would say that Riyadh, where I used to live, is a town with some fancy stores where you can spend money and also strike good bargain.
i have been to the eastern province 2 or 3 times perhaps on business trips, so haven't seen much nor do i know much either. but the eastern region is known to have 25% of the oil reserve in the world. i don't believe that myself,lol. anyway, it's a small region and mainly industrial and very westernised with loads of compounds and the little Aramco village in the heart of the province, and a nice tidy corniche too.
the main cities are Dammam, Khobar, Dhahran and they are very small and close to each other, connected to the outer world by their international airport, located in dammam.
The Saudi Shia are known to reside in this area and they form around 10% of the population, with their established business in that area.
the good thing i like about this area is its closeness to the international border with bahrain. the saudi-bahrain causeway serves as a runaway for saudis to chill out from time to time; and its people are known to be friendly and hospitable.
it's a nice area to work as single and young!
An akh ("brother"), a member of the Ikhwan, settled by Ibn Saud after 1912. the Ikhwan emulated the Prophet in their daily lives, and dressed distinctively, with short robes and headbands instead of the usual 'iqal'. There were many Ikhwan settlements in Najd and eastern Arabia. (Cheesman 1923 - 24).
Uyun al-Jawa, a small oasis settlement in the north of al Qasim which was unwalled unusually for a Najdi town. The circular tower, which sometimes served as a minaret also, used to be a typical feature of al-Qasim's landscape. (Leachman 1912)
The oasis and town of Marat in al-Washm, a prosperous region of Lower Najd with its chief town at Shaqra, between Riyadh and al-Qasim. A typical Najdi settlement, both town and gardens were walled. (Thesiger 1945)
Mada`in Saleh it means the Towns of Saleh,where it holds carved tombs dating to between 100 BC and 100 AD.
The tombs left behind by the Nabataeans in Petra, Jordan and in Mada’in Saleh are witness to their talents.
Ras Tanura is the home of Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery, which is the world's largest petroleum port. It is located in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ras Tanura is north of Dhahran. From Ras Tanura you can see beautiful views of the Persian Gulf. Saudi Aramco's employees are lucky enough to have access to a beautiful beach here that is equipped with picnic tables, grills, and open showers, for spraying of the sand and salt water. The conviences of having the dining hall, snack bar, and Cafe Najjar just footsteps away, is an added perk as well!
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