Aerial view of Elephant Rock (Jabal AlFil). From afar, this rock looks like an elephant with a ground-bound trunk.
Elephant Rock in AlUla is named for its distinc...
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The Birthplace of Islam

Saudi Arabia Vacations

Exploring the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While mostly known as the birthplace of Islam and one of the geopolitical powers of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is ready to emerge on the world stage as a tourism hub and one of the most appealing destinations in the region. It’s the largest nation in the region and due to Vision 2030, which mandated large modernization, economic diversification, and inclusivity initiatives across the nation, it’s also one of the most rapidly changing nations in the world. While in the past, Saudi Arabia was restricted to religious travellers and business workers in the resource sector, Vision 2030 has opened up the nation to most international visitors, who can explore its historic landmarks and experience its cultural traditions for themselves.

On a trip to Saudi Arabia, travellers can go shopping at the many malls and souks of the ultramodern capital Riyadh or learn about the history of the nation at the National Museum or nearby Diriyah. Tabuk provides historic ruins, breathtaking desert valleys, and insight into pre-modern Arabia in the north, while Jeddah acts as the gateway to Makkah (Mecca) in the south, and a comfortable base along the Red Sea. Madinah is the site of the Prophet Muhammad’s first mosque and the only holy city open to non-Muslim visitors. Of course, most international travellers will want to go beyond the cities to the sandstone treasures of AlUla, where the Nabataean rock-hewn settlements of Hegra provide Saudi Arabia with its own answer to Petra.

With a strong economy, rapidly diversifying infrastructure, and wealth of historic sites, luxury accommodations, and museums and attractions, Saudi Arabia is sure to grow into one of the leading destinations in the Middle East.

At a Glance
CurrencySaudi Riyal (SAR)
Places To Go

Handcrafted Journeys to our Most Popular Places in Saudi Arabia.

"Elevated view Al-Ula centuries-old mudbrick heritage site, lush green date palm groves, and sandstone rock formations "
Seashore view and colors of Jeddah Corniche, a 30 km coastal resort area of the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Riyadh skline featuring Kingdom Centre, a 99-story skyscraper in the al-Olaya district of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
04Tabuk (City)
Wadi al Disah Canyon, one of six sandstone canyon-like valleys in Saudi Arabi
05Red Sea
Orange Bay Beach with crystal clear azure water and white beach
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Discover one of the cultural centres of the Middle East

Saudi Arabia is one of the largest countries in the Middle East and an emerging destination on the world stage. As the birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia has untold religious significance for over a billion practicing Muslims worldwide. It’s also a country with a rich ethnic and geographic history. Travellers looking to engage with the treasures of the past and learn about the promise of the future will discover a world to explore in Saudi Arabia.

Man photographing iconic Tomb of Lihyan, Son of Kuza, burial chamber cut into rock formation in Al Madinah Region

Saudi Arabia is largely a traditional nation defined by its ethnic and religious roots. It’s the birthplace of Islam, which is the official religion, so Islamic law and custom shapes every aspect of legal and cultural interaction in Saudi Arabia, even for non-Muslim visitors. For instance, many shops and restaurants close briefly to observe the five calls to prayer throughout the day. In the month of Ramadan, further restrictions are observed. As well, alcohol and drugs, which are prohibited in Islam, are illegal.

But the nation’s customs run older than even the emergence of Islam and are defined by Arab hospitality and modesty. Saudi Arabia is an overwhelmingly polite nation, with strong forms of social etiquette and an emphasis on social decorum. In Saudi Arabia, you’re encouraged to be discrete, quiet, and not draw attention to yourself. Public displays of affection, cursing, and religious iconography is banned in public. There is a national dress code, which enforces modesty. Men are expected to always wear a shirt and pants or long shorts, while women need to cover up their legs and arms. It’s also expected (although not legally required) for women to wear a head covering such as an abaya or hijab, although it is required to gain entry to mosques and other holy sites. However, the coastal city of Jeddah and the northern oasis city of AlUla have more relaxed dress codes, which conforms to more Western norms. So long as you’re polite and follow the local customs, you’ll be overwhelmed by the hospitality of your hosts.

Travel Stories

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