Saudi Arabia

 

Saudi ArabiaOver half of Saudi Arabia is a desert, with large areas of sand dunes, like a big yellow sea. It has two natural borders: the Red sea and the Persian Gulf.

In order to keep its religious purity, Saudi Arabia has isolated for decades from the Occident. The number of foreign visitors is limited even nowadays. Only those who have an official invitation are allowed to cross the border, generally business men and diplomats. Tourists can enter the country in organized groups and they must be sensitive to the Islamic traditions and show respect for the religious laws.

There are no night clubs and alcohol in Saudi Arabia. Foreign women must obey the same rules imposed to the Arab women. When going out they should wear a “abayah”- a black cloth covering the whole body.

Interesting Places near Mecca

On the glooming fields near Hasa Coast, Al Huduf, a crowded oasis with camel markets and Tarut Island, a nice fisherman village, are essential pit stops along the trip of any traveler. Other  places recommended for visitation are Hejaz railway station and ruins in Mada’in Salih.

A Trip to the Most Impressive Dunes in the World

It is said that when God divided the world into 2 parts: land and water, the Arabic Peninsula was left empty. According to the Bedouin legends , Rub al Khali desert is the dry poor quarter forever burning in the hot sun, forgotten at a time when the ocean had covered half of the world and the other quarter had turned into populated areas on the edges of the Arabic Peninsula. There are many trips organized for tourists in Rub al Khali. The most spectacular one starts in Riyadh, goes through Layla to Najran, towards the Yemen border, passing by infinite dunes of sand, strange volcanic landscapes and stoned forests.

Riyadh

At the end of the XVIIIth century Riyadh was part of Wahhabi state. Its capital was Dariyah. After the ottomans robbed and destroyed Dariyah in 1818, Riyadh became the new capital, and the capital of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Today this city is an occidental metropolis. A landmark of Riyadh is Kingdom Center, the highest building in Saudi Arabia. Dira Souk and Masmak fort are impressive buildings reminders  of the authentic Arabic culture. Qasr al-Hukum Neighborhood hosts many historic buildings as well, such as the Al –Masmak Palace and the Governor’s Palace, the last one being also a cultural and commercial modern center in Riyadh.

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