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Travel Guide: 7 of the Kingdom’s Must-Visit Destinations

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There are so many reasons why Saudi Arabia should now be on everyone’s bucket list with so many stunning places to visit, a rich heritage to get to know and fun-packed adventures.

What follows is a small travel guide featuring some of the Kingdom’s hidden gems, for those interested in seeing what the Kingdom now has to offer!

AlUla

AlUla is truly one of the most fascinating locations in Saudi Arabia, with beautiful rock formations that hold ancient history! The UNESCO World heritage site is also currently witnessing one of the most iconic winter festival ‘Winter at Tantora‘ where a number of international start are performing at the giant mirrored concert hall.

To truly experience AlUla, click here.

The Edge of the world

You might already be familiar with the place, because just recently our Instagram feed was filled with influencers and bloggers standing on what looked like the edge of the world, yep that was Saudi Arabia’s very own end of the world site! Where the views are breathtaking and you will literally be standing by the edge to witness it all.

Fifa Mountains

The Fifa mountains, which rise more than 1,800 meters above sea level, are about 100 km from the southern Saudi city of Jazan and offers an idyllic tourist destination.

It looks like a modern city with very large buildings that actually touch the clouds! With its breathtaking greenery and serene weather, the mountains are a perfect spot for adventure and nature lovers.

Sky Bridge

Not for the faint-hearted or those who suffer of acrophobia, because the Sky bridge will fly you at 180km/h to the 99th-floor, inside the Kingdom Centre. But the views from there, the highest place in Riyadh, are truly breathtaking and totally worth it.

Tip: Avoid weekends and evenings after 6pm, when it can get very crowded.

Umluj

Umluj is practically Saudi Arabia’s very own small Maldives, it is a city in the Tabuk province that spreads 150 kilometers north of Yanbu and contains 104 islands. With clear turquoise water and white silk sands, the place makes the perfect destination for couples who are seeking serenity, quality time and privacy.

It is no wonder that the city’s beaches have earned the area the description of the “Saudi Arabian Maldives,” and that it’s part of the Red Sea tourism project that is underway.

Wadi Tayeb Al-Ism

Tayeb Al-Ism is one of the magical natural wonders of the Kingdom that really stuns visitors with its incredible natural feature of Tabuk Province. It is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, just 15 kilometers north of the coastal town of Maqna.

Learn more about the stunning nature of the destination, through this link.

Jeddah Corniche

The Jeddah Corniche has plenty of international hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, places for fishing, picnic areas, a science museum, and mosques. It also overlooks the famous King Fahad Fountain, which is also known as the Jeddah Fountain that has become an iconic symbol of Jeddah.

 

 

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Travel

Saudi Airlines Resume Flights to 20 Destinations in Asia, Europe and Middle East

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As life is slowly returning back to normal and countries are trying to safely cope with the pandemic, Saudi airlines has resumed its international flights to 20 destinations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

This step comes after a suspension that lasted for seven months and a disruption that the pandemic has caused. The airline is now ready to fly again to Amman, Dubai, Tunis, Cairo, Alexandria, Khartoum, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Paris, Washington, DC, Islamabad, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.

A partial resumption for international flights started since September 15th, following a six-month strict suspension.

According to the Interior Ministry, all restrictions on air, land and sea transport will end after the first of January 2021, a specific date is yet to be announced in December. The airline normally flies to more than 85 destinations worldwide.

The General Directorate of Passports (GDP) is calling on all Saudis and expats traveling from Saudi Arabia to comply with all safety regulations and health requirements.

The directorate said that those requirements and procedures are constantly updated and without prior notice.

To learn about the travel documents’ regulations and instructions, they can visit the GDP’s official website.

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Travel

Saudi Summer: Newest Campaign to Encourage Domestic Tourism

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The Saudi Tourism Authority has launched a new campaign called ‘Saudi Summer’ to boost domestic tourism and encourage Saudis to explore the wonders of the Kingdom.

This follows the lifting of lockdown restrictions that lasted months, because of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign comes after the STA’s extensive research that showed that 57% of Saudis are still worried about traveling by plane, while 85% are still planning to spend a 10-day holiday, and 78% showed interest in exploring the country.

The summer campaign encourages residents to explore the different stunning locations of the Kingdom, and discover its historical, natural and cultural treasures.

“The campaign also contributes to enhancing efforts by the Ministry of Tourism to revive the tourism sector, which was most affected by the repercussions of the coronavirus crisis,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the STA.

The campaign just launched today and will run until September 30th, it will be promoting ten locations across the nation. including: Jeddah and KAEC; Abha; Tabuk; Khobar, Dammam and Ahsa; Al Baha; Al Taif; Yanbu, Umluj; and Riyadh.

“The tourism sector resumes its activities with a renewed spirit and great hopes for moving forward at an accelerated pace, to achieve our aspirations in harmony with Saudi Vision 2030, which seeks to pursue economic diversification, attract investments, increase revenues and create job opportunities for citizens,” the minister added.

 

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The Kingdom to Launch a $4bn Tourism Development Fund

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In another attempt to diversify the economy of the Kingdom and attract more foreign tourists, Saudi Arabia has started a fund with an initial capital of $4 billion aiming at developing the tourism industry.

The Tourism Development Fund will launch a range of equity and debt investment vehicles and has $45bn in memorandum of understandings signed with private banks, according to a statement. “Funding will be deployed to support mixed-use destinations, to address gaps in the tourism value chain, and to enable technologically-enhanced tourism,” it said.

“The launch of the fund at this time, as the tourism sector faces unprecedented global challenges, is testament to investor and private-sector confidence in the long-term outlook for tourism in Saudi Arabia,” Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said in the statement.

Just last year, the Kingdom opened its doors to welcome international travelers, by launching a new visa regime while appealing to foreign companies to invest in the sector, which it hopes will contribute more than 10% of gross domestic product by 2030, up from 3% currently.

The country expects the tourism industry to contribute more than 10% of its annual GDP and create more than one million jobs by 2030.

The launch is part of the first phase of the National Tourism Strategy, which focuses on developing and enhancing 38 sites across seven destinations by 2022.

There’s no doubt that analysts do predict a severe economic hit this year, caused by the pandemic but let’s keep our fingers crossed that this shall soon come to an end.

 

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