Quick Getaway

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Short routes to take around the West End.


Whether you’re crossing over from the other regions for the ultimate summer run around, or simply want a breathtaking change of scenery, here are mini escapes to get you some sun, sand, and fun.

Ride or Fly?

  • Drive from Riyadh and Sharqiya or get on a SAPTCO bus to reach Jeddah. Rent-a-Car outposts are available at airports and bus stations.
  • Saudia, FlyNas, and Flyadeal offer budget seat sales. Taking red-eye flights can score your tickets for just SR 250 or less.

LOOKING FOR A LONG DRIVE?

HIGHWAY 40 will take coast to coast from Sharqiya to Jeddah and vice versa, crossing through Riyadh. There’s also the Riyadh-Jeddah route that lets you pass by old towns, like Muzahimmiyah, the Tuwaiq escarpment, and the Saja and Umm Al Ramth Wildlife Sanctuaries, cutting through Taif before reaching Jeddah.

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1. JEDDAH – KAEC – YANBU

Start your trip from Jeddah.known as the Bride of the Red Sea. and thelargest seaport.After a one-hour and forty-minute drive from Jeddah.you will find “King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)located at the crossroads between East and West.on the coast of the Red Sea.From there. head north to Saudi’s diving capital, Yanbu, to explore the dive sites and scenic” sandy shores.

High-End Experiences:
Yes.four-star hotels are available, and Jeddah is able to provide designer shops and fine dining options.

Duration: 3 – 7 days    Climate: Hot

Activities to look out for:
Watersports. snorkeling.diving.fishing, city walks, golf, dining, art, and museums.and shopping.

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2. JEDDAH – KAEC

Taking this route, you can relish everything from a back-to-basics city trip around historic Jeddah to a luxurious getaway.

Luxury: Yes     Duration: 3 – 5 days    Climate: Hot

Activities to look out for:
Watersports. snorkeling.diving,fishing.city walks. golf, dining, art, and museums, and shopping.

Alternative Routes
KAEC is one of the stops on the Haramain Railway network, which connects KAEC to Jeddah and King Atxlulaziz airport in less than thirty minutes, and Makkah and Madinah in less than sixty minutes.

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3. JEDDAH

Asits motto says, Jeddah ghair (Jeddah is different) so are the offerings by this urban summer capital. Whether you’re looking for a Saudishort break. packed with activities-perfect for keeping the family entertained, or just a bit of peace and quiet-Jeddah features pristine beaches, shops, five-star hotels, art galleries, entertainment facilities, and lots more.

Experiences:
From urban exploration, cultural deep dives, and luxurious getaways, to chilling out by the corniche, this west coast Summerland has something for everyone.

Duration: 3 – 4 days       Climate: Hot

Activities to look out for:
Snorkeling, diving, fishing, city walks, dining, art and museums, and shopping.

MUST DO
Make time to visit Jeddah’s open-air museum, with 20 iconic sculptures on the Jeddah Waterfront.

FUN FACT
Jeddah is also home to one of the oldest and most iconic locations. AL Salad, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2014.

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4. ABHA – ALBAHA – TAIF

If lush landscapes, undulating mountains, and foggy highlands are your thing, hit the road and take this route for an unforgettable mini escape. These places will keep you cool and airy despite the summer heat.

Duration: 3 – 7 days      Climate: Cool

Activities to look out for:
Nature walks, dining, art and museums, camping, cable-cars, souq walks, hiking, and trekking.

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5. ABHA – ALBAHA

If you have little time on your hands, just taking the route to Abha and AIBaha will give you a great retreat. Around a four-hour drive from each other, these two destinations are a perfect way to experience the Saudi highlands.

Duration: 3 – 5 days      Climate: Cool

Activities to look out for:
Nature walks, dining, art and museum, camping, souq walks, and hiking & trekking.

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6. ABHA

Located in the southwest of Saudi Arabia. Abha is the capital of the Asir Province and is said to have the highest mountains in the Kingdom. Abha’s mountains, standing majestically like the Alps, crown the city as the queen of the provinces. Its lush forests feature stunning views to boot.

Duration: 3 – 4 days      Climate: Cool

Activities to look out for:
Nature walks, dining, art and museums, camping, hiking, and trekking.

 

NEED TO KNOW

Abha’s Arabian Baboons are picture-ready but best take photos from your car. When taking a hike, keep things fastened; the naughty ones will run off with your snacks. Don’t feed ’em! You must resist.

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Top Summer Do’s in Riyadh

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Pack your shades and get ready to say hello to summer vibes in Riyadh!


Experience the summer months like a real Riyadhi with this ultimate list—how many will you get done before the seasons turn?

→ Head out for a hike

Take a hike to Riyadh’s very own Edge of the World, a stellar tourist spot located 96km northwest of Riyadh along with the Tuwaiq escarpment Balance along the edge of the cliff s for a jaw-­ dropping view.

Location: Shoib AIKhumrah Rd., Riyadh

Photo by virtualtourist.com

Photo by virtualtourist.com

→ Saddle up!

From novice to jockey, Riyadh has many places that offer horse riding experiences to equestrian enthusiasts. Hop on a horse and gallop down the tracks and turn into a full-fledged pro by way of riding lessons.

Dirab Golf and Country Club
Web: dirabgolf.com
Al-Aghar Equestrian Club
Web:
alagharclub.com
Twitter: alaghar_clubdsc_1098-copy

→ Unleash you free spirit at Baunce

This massive indoor trampoline park is packed with loads of activities-a perfect answer to the summer boredom. The venue gives freedom to unleash your free spirit on the trampolines and is packed with intecconnected trampolines, a dodgeball arena, slam dunk, super tramp, and lots more.

Location: 13212 Khurad Branch Rd.
Instagram: bouncemiddleeast

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→ Stroll along the lakes

While there might not be a pristine beach in the city, luckily there are lakes to lounge around next to. Here you may also find yourself sharing a spot with friendly ducks always ready to be fed. These lakes have family areas with paddling pools and play areas, plus a lot of other activities.

DKSA RECOMMENDS

  • SALAM PARK
    Location: Salam St., AISalam
  • NAMAR LAKE
    Location: Al Warad, Namar

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Sourced Photo

→ Go Bowling

Bowling can be a fun getaway with family and friends, whether you’re a skilled bowler or a gutter-shooter.

So go ahead-lace up and head for some bowling action at these spots:

1. Universal Bowling Center
2. Intercontinental Bowling Center
3. Yalla Bowling

→ Become a Creative Genius

Enroll yourself in one of the courses offered by Curios and learn from their teeming creative workshops. You master painting with oil colors and acrylics and drawing with coffee beans.

Web: curioworkshops.com
Instagram: curioworkshops

→ Desert Shenanigans (Best during Sunrise!)

Blast your way around the marvelous sandy dunes, this is a must-try out off­ road driving. Get out into the elements and enjoy the thrills, twists, turns, and spills of riding these ATVs!

DKSA RECOMMENDS
Going to the Red Sand Dunes at Thumama Desert. Too hot? Best to head out at the crack of dawn!dsc_1220-copy

→ Immerse yourself in the history of Saudi Arabia

The National Museum is a state-of-art must-visit place in Riyadh that depicts the history of the Arabian Peninsula from the earliest days of geological history. Featuring eight chronologically arranged halls with well-curated exhibits, it also provides bilingual translators to give you a tour of the museum.

Location: Al Muraba, King Abdulaziz Historical Center
Web: nationalmuseum.org.sa

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Sourced Photo

→ Survive a zombie apocalypse at Zero Latency

Team up with your friends and take on the challenge to survive a zombie apocalypse or investigate a secret military space station. Zero Latency is an immersive VR playground arcade that others wide selection games.

Location: 210 Imam Abdullah Ibn Saud Ibn Abdulaziz Rd., Ash Shuhada
Instagram: zerolatencyme
Web: zerotatencyrnt.com

→ Take a walk back In time

Feel like a royal with a tour of the Satwa Palace, the first residence of the Al Saud royal family. Located in Diriyah, the jewel of the Najd region and the home of Kings and heroes. Diriyah is where the Al-Turaif historical district sits, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Instagram: dgda_sa
Web: dgda.gov.sa

→ Discover the old Al-Dirah souk

Al-Dirah souk is a gold mine of vintage pieces and a popular tourist destination for traditional. Offering an authentic Naidi shopping experience, the features winding corridors filled with everything from farwa and bisht, Iranian carpets, relics, and antique books.

Location: Souq Al Zal, Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Street, Ad Dirah

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Sourced Photo

→ Experience Riyadh’s best urban panorama

Situated on the 99th noor of the iconic Kingdom Tower, the Skybridge gives you a spectacular view of the Riyadh skyline and the bustling city below. To get there. enter the Kingdom Center and hop on the elevator that takes you to rho 77th floor, from where another high-speed elevator whizzes the visitors to the Skybridge.

Location: Al Olaya, King Fahad St.

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Sourced Photo

→ Get In the action at 1st Paintball

Paintball is the place for the adventurous, sprinting, wild yet fun souls of Riyadh. The arena is professionally designed and offers outfits and other necessities for the game. If you’re looking for unmatched fun. 1st Paintball is the go-to activity with your friends.

Location: Al-Rimal, Al-NajahStreet
Web: 1stpaintball.com

→ Book an Escape Room

The outdoors can be pretty cruel to a lot of us with its biting cold. To fulfill the needs of your adventurous soul.you should totally try out one or many of the escape roomsscattered throughout the country. You could be Mr. Holmes for a day and solve the killer puzzles with your team.

DKSA RECOMMENDS

→ Visit the Saqr Al Jazira Aviation Museum

The Saqr Al Jazira Aviation Museum Caters to aircraft models, military aviation, and space exhibits that space the history of aviation in the Kingdom. On the grounds of the museum, one can almost see the evolution of such lines
of planes like the Dakota DC3, which is the first civil aircraft that flew King Abdulaziz.

Location: EasternRing Rd., King Abdullah St.
Web: mod.gov.sa

→ Bring out the bookworm in you

The aesthetically-pleasing King Fahad National Library holds a wealth of knowledge, from local to international manuscripts, paperback, and countless literary classics to histories, as well as a collection of rare photos.

Location: King Fahd Rd., Al Olaya

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The City in the Clouds

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Saudi Arabia’s unofficial summer capital is a sight to behold.


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→ GETTING THERE

Local flight:
Saudia, Flydeal, FlyNas

Flight duration:
Riyadh – Taif (1.5 hours)
Jeddah – Taif (30 minutes)

By Car:
Jeddah – Taif (2 hours)
Riyadh – Taif (8 hours)

By Bus:
Buses are available but will take longer.

DID YOU KNOW?
Daka Mountain is between 2,500 and 2,900m above sea level.

Known as the city of Roses, Taif promises cool weather amidst the summer, charming nature, and an authentic cultural experience.


→ DO

1. Al Rudat Park

Spend a day at Al Rudat Park, a large natural park in the south of Taif, where trees stand amidst magnificent weathered granite rocks. The park is a perfect spot for families as it has a small zoo and playgrounds. You’ll also find a large lake that covers an area of 13,000m2 with fountains and 750 water cannons. Enjoy a variety “of restaurants, food stalls, and small coffee shops. Outside, you can enjoy camels and horses rides as well as quad bike rides.

Photo by @rameezmanama

Photo by @rameezmanama

2. Visit a Rose Plantation

Whether you’re in Taif during the rose festival or not, the rose plantation is not to be missed. The fields of small fragrant pink Damask roses are known for their deep and intense fragrance, are usually picked at dawn then distilled to be used to produce the best rose water and rose oil. These are then used in the production of exquisite perfumes made by the likes of G1venchy, Estee Lauder, Valentino, and Guerlain.ghadeer-attallah-taif-copy

3. Drive and Hike to the Al Wahba Crater

A remarkable natural volcanic crater and a great hiking spot to enjoy nature in its true essence. While there’s much speculation regarding the origins of the crater, geologists agree that it came from an eruption that caused groundwater to come into contact with hot lava. Being a good 250km away from Taif, this destination will be a memorable road trip. Take a journey in the daylight and enjoy the hike around the top to see all the unique rock formations. It takes around an hour to get to the bottom of the crater, as it’s 250m deep.

Photo by saudigazette.com.sa

Photo by saudigazette.com.sa

4. Explore Al Shala

This small village in the Sarawat mountains is a perfect site for nature lovers, with its cool temperature and rich cultural heritage. Farms and orchards make it a beautiful area to explore. It also hosts the Daka mountain, which is the highest mountain in the region and the second in the kingdom, offering a stunning view over the local mountain range amongst the clouds.

Location: 25km southwest of Taif
Coordinates: 21° 6’ 0”N, 40° 17’ 0” E

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Sourced Photo

5. Ride the Cable Car

A recommended attraction for the whole family, with captivating scenery surrounding you. You start the ride within the Hada Resort and end at the Atkar theme park. This cable car is considered the longest in the Middle East You can take lodging at Hada Resort high on the tip of Al Hada mountain and enjoy the several restaurants and cafe options plus small shops.

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Photo by lifeinsaudiarabia.com

6. Visit Shubra Palace

The regional museum of Taif occupies a beautiful building that was built in 1905 the palace is an excellent example of old Taif architecture with an attractive exterior of latticework windows and balconies, the museum with its Carrara marble hosts a brief exhibit of the Saudi royal history.

Location: Shubra Street, Shubra, Taif 26522
Tel: +966-503715949
Web: shubra.business.site

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Fact:
King Abdul Aziz and King Faisal used to stay in Shubra palace while visiting Taif.

7. A bargain at the Taif Old Souq

Tastefully renovated with beautiful little squares and a dancing fountain in the historic center of Taif-this is a great place to buy traditional local products such as Bedouin jewelry, handicrafts, and carpets as well as local honey and rose water.

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Tip:
Shopkeepers are honest and friendly yet we highly recommend bargaining!

8. Take a Hike

Taif offers a variety of hiking experiences while enjoying nature and landscapes especially in Al Shalfa and Al Hada mountains.

Photo by @rameezmanama

Photo by @rameezmanama

Taif Hiking Group
Tel: +966 596940442
Web: hikingtaif.com

DKSA RECOMMENDS
Hiking Taif group offer excursions and hiking guide for all skill levels.


→ SEE

1. Kaki Palace

Built-in 1943 in Roman and Ottoman styles, the palace is among Taif’s finest buildings, containing 40 rooms, 6 kitchens, and a Turkish bath.

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2. The Nature Reserve

At the top of Al Hada mountain, this is a tranquil spot to catch the sunset.

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3. Turkish Fort

The fort is located near Taifs infamous ancient rock carvings. Legend has it that Lawrence of Arabia fought here in 1917.

4. Camel Race Track

Visit the Camel arena and you might get lucky to catch a race or just get to see the finest camels in Saudi Arabia and the world.

Photo by Abdullah Mahi

Photo by Abdullah Mahi

5. Souq Okada

An open-air market, near Taif in Saudi Arabia. It was the largest and best-known souq in pre-Islamic times. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destination Saudi.

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6. Al Ta’sheer (Fire Dance)

You will be lucky to witness this unique local dance which is performed by a highly skilled performer(s) with along gun filled with blank ammunition aimed to the ground and fired midair as they jump.

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7. Jabra Palace

Also known as Abdullah Al Suleiman Palace is a must-visit historic site, built over 1326 years ago and located in northeast Taif.

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THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T LEAVE TAIF WITHOUT

  • Local honey
  • Rosewater and rose oil
  • Taif local cheese from the old souq
  • Fresh fruits for the road (pomegranate, figs, and grapes)
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Sourced Photo


→ EAT

  • Try the must-have, Taif-famed saleeg at Aldakah Restaurant or Harman Restaurant.
    Location: Hassan Ibn Thabit, Al Sharqiya, Taif 26513
    Tel: 920020028
    Web: harman.com.sa
  • Try authentic Taifi local food of stir-fried meat and liver at Al Alam Alakhdar Restaurant (Green Flag) the chef and his son’s cooks and serves the food for generations.
    Location: Hassan Ibn Thabit, Huwayaash Shamaliyyah, Taif 26513
  • Old Taif’s Kitchen
    Location: N S Rail Line, Al Aziziyyah, Taif 26522
    Tel: +966-12-7372444
  • Ice cream lovers should try the oldest local ice cream shop: Alsharqiya
    Location: Okaz Street 26523
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DON’T MISS
Street food and tea stalls with fresh mint tea or Arabic coffee at Taif Old Souq.


→ STAY

InterContinental Taif Hotel
Location: Airport Rd. Hawiyah St.
Tel: +966-12-7505050

Awaliv International Hotel
Location: Shobra, Abu Baker As Siddiq St.
Tel: +966-12-7375555

Iridium Hotel
Location: Ashuhada Al Janubiwah.Wadi Waj Rd.
Tel: +966-12-73386666

Ramada by Wyndham Al Hada
Location: AlHada. Teleferique Station Ring Rd.
Tel: +966-12-7545558

Le Meridien Al Hada
Location: Al Hada Ring Rd.
Tel: +966-12-7541400

Bhadur Al Kaela Hotel
Location: Al Hada Ring Rd.
Tel: +966-12-7544440

Casablanca Hotel Taif
Location: King Saud St next toSaudi Telecom
Tel: +966-12-7370081

OYO Hotels Taif
Web: oyorooms.com/sa

Al Barraq Hotel
Location: Salamah Dist. Shehara St.
Tel: +966-12-7360610

Remaj Hotel
Location: wadi Waj Rd.
Tel: 920020069

TOUR GUIDE

Ahmad Fahad Aljuaed
Tel: +966-504265634
Email: darfhd@gmail.com

Abdulrahman Aldgelbi
Tel: +966-590050540

Global Destinations Tours
Web: saudigd.com

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Travel Advisories

Photo by Bondai

Quick Reminders for a Stress-Free Saudi Vacation.


Enhance your experience and ensure your safety by only traveling with Licensed Tour Guides and  Operators. Here’s a recommended list from the Ministry of Tourism to get you started:

 

  • Zahid Travel
    Tel: +966-568043474
    Web: gozahid.com
    Email: gozahid@zahidtravel.com
    Instagram: gozahid

 

 

 

  • Palm Land Tours
    Tel: +966-500503998
    Web: pltksa.com
    Email: info@PLTKSA.com
    Instagram: pltksa
    Recommended Trips:
    Jeddah City Tour
    Taif City Tour Cable Car
    Jeddah Yacht Trips

 

  • Tistahel
    Tel: 920022509
    Web: Tistahel.sa
    Email: ginfo@tistahel.com
    Instagram: tistahel
    TRIPS: Al Ula & Tabuk 3 days

 

  • The Roads of Arabia
    Web: roadsofarabia.sa
    Email: ROA@scth.gov.sa
    Instagram: roadsofarabia
    Recommended Trips:
    Exhibition of the Saudi
    Archeological Masterpieces
    Across Time

 

 

  • Masarat
    Tel: +966-566445538
    Private Tours
    Tel: +966-566899984
    Web: masaratclub.com
    Email: info@masaratclub.com

 

  • Al Syahi
    Tel: 920004424
    Web: alsyahi.com
    Email: tours@alsyahi.com
    Instagram: alsyahi_travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAR RENTALS

 

 

LOCAL DRESS CODE

While wearing the abaya is the everyday dress code for residents, it isn’t mandatory for female tourists. To respect local values and customs of Saudi Arabia, and adhere to the Public Decency Code, please refrain from the following:

FEMALE: Revealing or short/above the knees.
MALE: Revealing or short/above the knees

– Adhere to modest OOTD for both women and men
– It’s prohibited to wear shirts with offensive or nude artwork.

TAKING PICTURES
You’re generally allowed to take photos in public spaces. However, as a courtesy to others, ask for permission if you’re photographing people.

 

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The Majestic Views of Abha

RIJAL ALMAA VILLAGE
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Saudi Arabia’s Summer Capital.


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→ GETTING THERE

Local flight:
Saudia, Flyadeal, FlyNas

Flight duration:
Riyadh – Abha (1.40 hours)
Jeddah – Abha (1.20 hours)

By Car:
Riyadh – Abha (9.5 hours)
Jeddah – Abha (7.5 hours)

By Bus:
SAPTCO buses are available but will definitely take longer.

Perched on the edge of the Sarawat mountain range in the Asir region, the cool highlands of Abha offers breathtaking vistas and thrilling adventures.

DID YOU KNOW?
Abha is known as the City of Fog, and rightfully so, situated 2,270 above sea level in Saudi.


→ DO

1. Ride a cable car, there are four varying start-end stations to choose from, so keep the following in mind: If you want to go to Habala HangingVillage, which was historically only accessible by rope, you’ll need to ride a cable car. For most people, the best views are on the Al Soodah Cab e Car Station to Rijal Almaa, it’s the longest, but with that, the Al Soudah station is also the farthest to reach. Well, worth it if you want to experience riding above the clouds and having the highest bird’s eye panoramic view of Abha.

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2. Explore the cultural villages of Rjjjal Almaa, Habala, and AlMuftaha that takes you to the old days of Arabia. You’ll be sure to learn about the unique Asiri architecture, from the indigenous construction to the colorful door and facade patterns.

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3. Take a hike at Jabal Al Soudah (Black Mountain) or discover unique flora and fauna through trials running across the Asir National Park.

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TIP:
It’s best a local tour guide when exploring the forests and going deep into Al Soudah, check out the list of official tour guides in the directory.

4. Souq Althulata or Tuesday Market is a must-visit if you’re lucky to find yourself in Abha on this day.  Merchants, artisans, and street sellers gather to offer the best local delicacies, homemade goods, crafts, incense, and more. Every now and then, you might happen upon some artworks from local artists.

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MUST BUY
Colorful, locally hand weaved bags from the Basket Market.

5. Paragliding and adventure other sports over the mountain ranges of Abha is becoming a sought- out thrill in the reg on. Be sure to connect with local operators before braving the clouds:

  • Aviation Training instituteAd Darb, Abha
    Tel: +966-554743567
  • Abila Paraglider ZoneAISouda, Abha
    Tel: +966-500900101
  • Sport Flying SchoolAbdulbari AIAbdullah, Abha
    Tel: +966-530250000
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→ EAT

1. Make sure to get Abha’s famous Asir honey.
2. Get in-season fresh pickings and produce at the local souqs.
3. Sip the horizon and sunset with your Shai on the Green Mountain (which really is a hill).

BABOONS AT THE ASIR NATIONAL PARK Sourced Photo

BABOONS AT THE ASIR NATIONAL PARK
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HASSLE-FREE TRIP?
These licensed tour operators will have you exploring the skies and highs of Abha:

RIJAL ALMAA VILLAGE Sourced Photo

RIJAL ALMAA VILLAGE
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→ STAY

1. Intercontinental Hotel
Location: Al Soudaf, Abha
Tel: +966-17-2247777

2. Oyo Hotels Abha 0AlShamsan, AlBasra Dist.
Location: Al Shamsan, Al Basra Dist.
Tel: 8008146590

3. Boudl Abha
Location: 6455 King AbdtulAziz Rd., As Sharafiyah, Abha
Tel: +966-17-2322222

4. Ewaa Hotel
Location:  62521 King Abdulaziz Rd, As Sadd, Abha
Tel: +966-17-2388826

HABALA HANGING VILLAGE Sourced Photo

HABALA HANGING VILLAGE
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KHAMIS MUSHAIT

1. Bayat Hotels
Location:  King Faysal Rd.
Tel: +966-17-2266666

2. Mercure Hotels
Location: Al Muntaz.ah
Tel: +966-17-2233466

ALMUFTAHA VILLAGE Sourced Photo

ALMUFTAHA VILLAGE
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What’s the Hook of Tabuk?

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A visit to one of Saudi’s most culturally rich cities.


screen-shot-2020-07-31-at-1-44-00-am Located in northern Saudi Arabia, Tabuk’s position on the map made it an important stopover for Muslims who are performing the Hajj pilgrimage from Egypt and Syria. The influence of these pilgrims, as well as the Ottomans who controlled this route, is deeply ingrained in the city’s rich culture today. Tabuk can easily be reached by air via the Tabuk Airport. It is a must-visit destination for any history enthusiast.

 

 

→ SEE

WADI DISAH

Photo by @anad2005ok

1. Wadi Disah

Wadi Disah is a 180km drive that is worth taking to reach one of the western region’s untouched oases. This spectacular site is filled with greenery, palm trees, and streams surrounded by rouge, orange, and deep-toned mountains. It’s complex and intertwining wadis (valleys), as well as hidden springs.

TABUK CASTLE

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2. Tabuk Castle

Located in the city’s center, Tabuk Castle dates back to the 1500s and was built during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The castle has two floors filled with interesting artifacts from the Ottoman empire, as well as displays that educate visitors on important figures and events from Tabuk’s history. Outside, the castle’s courtyard has a well that holds water from a spring, known as “Ain Al Sukkar.”

HEJAZ RAILWAY STATION

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3. Hejaz Railway Station

The Hejaz Railway Station in Tabuk was one of the few stations located between Syria, Makkah, and Madina. Built-in the 1900s, the station was destroyed during the Second World War. Now restored, the station houses an old train and artifacts that belong to pilgrims of centuries past. Make sure to read the information boards on the walls, which chronicle the detailed history of the Hejaz Railway.


→ DO

Photo by @niklaskal

Photo by @niklaska

1. Road-Tripping to the Georgios G. Shipwreck

If you can spare the time, a trip to see the Georgios G. Shipwreck is well worth it. Located in Al Haql, a seaside town that borders Jordan, the shipwreck is clearly visible from the shore. The trip these consists of a two-hour drive by highway, and you’ll be able to take in views of untouched beaches as well as beautifully eroded rock formations on your way.

DID YOU KNOW?
Georgios G. is known to locals as the Saudi Titanic. It was a cargo vessel carrying flour back in 1978 when it got stuck on a narrow mountain edge rising from the sea and caught fire.

Photo by aleqt.com

Photo by aleqt.com

2. Prophet Shuaib’s Ancient Town

For those in the mood to experience history, the town of Prophet Shuaib, home to the Midianites, is the perfect destination. Situated within Al Bad, 170km from the city, the ancient dwelling is a striking site of hand-carved pink sandstone and elaborate ornamentation.

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Sourced Photo

3. Visiting Tabuk Museum

To get a good insight into the extensive history of Tabuk, a trip to the Tabuk Museum is a must. Located in the same place as the Hejaz Railway Station, the museum highlights Tabuk’s heritage, showcasing displays of artifacts from the Stone Age and the Nabatean Kingdom, to the Ottoman Empire and the founding of Saudi Arabia.


→ EAT

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If you want a taste of Tabuk’s local cuisine, visit Al Qariah Al Turathiah. This is the place to go to if you want to enjoy authentic food in authentic food in an authentic environment. The restaurant offers a wide array of local dishes, all served the traditional way: on the ground, in separate traditionally-decorated rooms per group.

Location: King Khalid Road, Al Faisaliyah Ashamaliyah, Al Salihiyyah, Tabuk 47913

WONDER PITSTOPS

SIGHTS TO SEE IN DUBA

  • THE OLD CITY: This section of the city overlooks the Duba Gulf, and is filled with old brick-and-plaster buildings adorned with beautiful wooden windows.
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    Sourced Photo

  • KING ABDUL AZIZ CASTLE: Built following King Abdul Aziz’s conquest of the city, the limestone castle is situated on top of a plateau.

THINGS TO DO IN AL WAJH

  • VISIT NEARBY ISLANDS: Take a boat from the port and visit the nearby Brim, Umm Rawmah, and the Marikhah Islands to wonder at their unique natural features.
  • GO SWIMMING: Al Hashrah Beach is a great place for visitors wanting a swim.
  • RELAX AT THE PARK: Al Wajh’s Corniche Park stretches along the coast, offering visitors great views of the Red Sea as well as benches and spots for picnics.
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    Sourced Photo


→ STAY

  • Hilton Garden Inn
    Location: Al Salam, 7701 Prince Sultan Road, Tabuk
    Tel: +966-14-4226116
  • Swiss Inn
    Location: Prince Sultan Rd, Al Salam, Tabuk
    Tel: +966-14-4231770

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Jeddah Private Beaches Access

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Access to the private beaches in Jeddah.


MO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED

1. Movenpick Resort Al Nawras Jeddah

The location of Movenpick Resort Al Nawras is what sets it apart-on an island in the northern Corniche of Jeddah with stunning views of the Red Sea, with great proximity to shopping areas and Jeddah’s center. It is only 15 minutes from the ty center and 10 minutes from the airport. Each villa has a private garden and a swimming pool to enjoy complete privacy.

Location: North Cornish Road Beside Al Nawras Square
Tel: +966-12-6555550
Instagram: movenpickatnwrs

2. Durrah Beach

This humble abode is a part of the Durrat AlArus, an integrated tourist city popular among locals. Amenities include units, bungalows, and suites, health club, equestrian club, and a riding Academy. This is a good place if you’re in a group with a certain budget.

Location: Dahban
Tel: 92oooa211
Instagram: durrah_beach_resot
Web: durrahbeach.com

3. Naxos Bay Beach

Naxos Bay Beach is a unique women-only beach. They have spa services by the beach. Tan and get a massage!

Location: Obhur Al-Shamaliyah Dist.
Tel: +966-531130456
Instagram: naxosbaybeach

4. Makarem Annakheel Village

Famly-friendly stay by the sea with spacious hotel rooms, a private beach, an outdoor pool, and two restaurants.

Location: Prince Abdul ah Al Faisal Brancl\.Obh
Tel: +966-12-6562101

5. Narcissus Resort and Spa

Tucked away in North Obhur, Narcissus Resort and Spa offers spectacular views of the Red Sea. The resort provides a haven of serenity, peace, and relaxation one of the best beachfront locations in the city.

Location: Prince Abdullah AlFaisal St. Obhur
Instagram: narcissushotel
Web: narcissusobhur.com

6. Al Murjan Beach Resort

Beachfront accommodation is popular for cycling and fishing.

Location: Obhur Al-Shamaliyah Dist
Tel: +966-12-6560033

7. FAL Resort & Beach

This great beach has cute chalets ample space, and coral reefs perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving.

Location: Prince Abdullah AlFaisal St Obhur
Tel: +966-544544569
Web: falbeach.com


MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED

1. Oia Resort

This Greek-style modern boutique beach ctub with its Mediterranean architecture, dazzling stone houses with white walls, blue domes, and wooden doors, sits overlooking the shimmering Obhur beach and azure sea.

Location: Prince Alldullah Al Faisal St.
Tel: +966-12-2133336

TIP
Requires a minimum membership of 3 months.

2. Indigo

Indigo is sure to give you the perfect retreat with its luxury holiday apartments and villas harboring glorious sea views. This beach resort gives you the feeling of being in Bali with its lavish ambiance, waterfalls, infinity pools, and spas. Water sports are also available on site.

Location: Al Zumorrud Prince Al Faisal St.
Tel: +966-12-2344624

3. Boho Beach

Boho Beach is where freedom, peace, and happiness are in abundance. You can find a plethora of villas, one-bedroom apartments, studios, and locker memberships. They also host a number of ticketed events that grant you day or night access.

Location: 7754 Abhar, Az Zomorod
Web: bohothebeach.com

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Summer Lovin; Beach Turfin’

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Head to the Red Sea coastline around the Kingdom on a sunny day, and be pleasantly surprised by the sensational stretches of sand, stunning shorelines, and pristine beaches.


Up & Down
The West Coast

Public Beaches

1. Umluj Beach, UMLUJ
This white sand beach is also well-known for being the home of dolphins. Take a boat ride and spot do dolphins skipping through the waves: they make for some great photo ops too.

2. ThuwalBeach, JEDDAH
Just an 8Okm ride from Jeddah, Thuwal Beach is a perfect Saudi seaside setting, with beach huts, sandcastle real estate, and barefoot walks along the big blue.

3. HaqlBeach, HAQL
Just 55km south of Haqlcity.this beach is known for its turquoise sea, which harbors the wreck of a cargo ship. With breathtaking views and the majestic mountains that outline the Haq! Beach makes it a pristine destination to visit.

4. Yanbu Waterfront, YANBU
An enormous sandy stretch, pretty beaches, and of course, marine life: Yanbu has the perfect combo. Yanbu’s Waterfront is a perfect place to roll your trousers up, splash through the shallows.and have some epic beachside fun.

5. Farasan Islands, JIZAN
The Farasan Islands are known for their clear seas, dreamlike beaches and coral reefs. From diving hotspots to peaceful coves, this destination is a true Saudi gem.

NEED TO KNOW?
Hop on to the Farasan ferry that takes you to the Farasan Island; offering two to three trips per day from Jizan to Farasan. Boat trips are also available.

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Food Trippin’

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One way of learning about Saudi Arabia is through its hearty cuisine, with each region bringing their own flavor to the table.


Khamir – Jazan

This southern delight is a type of bread that is made from ground corn grains. It is made by kneading the dough and leaving it overnight, then baking in an oven. It pairs with almost any dish or curry.

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Haneeth – Aseer

This meat dish is the golden jewel of Aseer’s cuisine. Haneeth is made by broiling chopped mutton into medium-sized pieces and placing it in a traditional oven made from stone (muhannath) that is then covered by sand for a few hours.

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Bakila – Jouf

To make Bakila, the seeds of the opophytum plant are soaked, ground, then mixed with dates.

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Mansaf – Northern Borders

Heavily inspired by the Levant region. Mansaf is a traditional Bedouin dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce called Jameed, made of fermented dried yogurt. It is served with rice and a type of thin bread called shark and topped with nuts.

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Matazeez – Qassim

This famous dish from Qassimis made by cutting the dough into small pieces, which are then flattened and put in a pot that contains a meat broth. Sometimes local truffle and ghee are added in the mixture as well.

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Thireed – Hail

Traditionally.bread has been more popular in Arabia when compared to rice. Thireed is made by grilling the dough on fire or charcoal, which is later mixed with onions and ghee.

Kibdah – Madinah

This famous Saudi dish is a staple for residents of Madinah. Kibdah is prepared by stir-frying lamb liver with onions, tomatoes, and various herbs and spices.

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Ragash – Najran

Ragash is a unique delicacy in Saudi Arabia. Famous in the northern region of Najran, the dish is reminiscent of North African tagine. Laying on a bed of homemade flatbread, meat (usually lamb) cooked slowly with sauce and vegetables in a stone pot. The meal is hearty, delicious, and necessarily made with love.

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Saleeq -Makkah

Saleeq is prepared by boiling meat with various spices. Rice added to the broth when fully cooked milk is added. Ghee or butter is added right at the very end before serving.

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Jereesh – Riyadh

Jereeshis a classic dish that is a regular feature in many households in the central region. It is made by mixing groats and meat with milk and cooked at low temperature resulting in a concoction of texture and taste.

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Mafrookah – Tabuk

Mafrookahis a traditional dish of Tabuk made with saj/bread (unleavened Arabic flatbread) by crumbling it with ghee, dates, or honey.

Traditional Mafrooka is made by hand using only three ingredients. Also this sweet is healthiest and most delightful when the ghee is made at home.

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Ariekah – AlBaha

Ariekah is considered the pride of AlBaha’s people. It is still traditionally made with dough using only whole wheat flour and water. After baking it, the disk is crumbled and kneaded and placed in a dish. Dates are then arranged around the edge, and a hole is made in the center to place radifah-wheat flour roasted with a special stone heated with buttermilk and butter to give it a distinct flavor.

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Muhammar – Eastern Province

Popular over the other side of the coast in neighboring Bahrain as well, Muhammar is a sweet rice dish that is imbued with assorted spices and date palm. Relish this with grilled fish.

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DKSA RECOMMENDS

  • For the best Mandi in Al Baha try: Teluob Musaed Restaurant
    Location: 65586 Doos Al Aiash
    Tel: +966-507770636
  • For the best Haneeth in Abha try:
    Al Atlal Kitchen
    Location: Abha City
    Tel: +966-07-2661738
  • For the best local traditional seafood from Al Wajh, try:
    Zaeem Al Asmak
    Location: Al Aziziyah
    Tel: +966-556348180

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The Pristine Paradise of Umluj

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Your guide on a trip to the Maldives of Saudi Arabia.


screen-shot-2020-07-31-at-1-44-10-am Located about 150km away from Yanbu, Umluj is a small seaside town of exceptional beauty. It is no wonder that it has been frequently dubbed the “Maldives of Saudi Arabia.” With its pristine beaches, clear waters, and rich biodiversity, Umluj has everything you’d want from a beach getaway, and then some. Here are a few things you can see, do, and eat in Umluj.

 

 

 

→ GETTING THERE

Local flight:
Saudia, Flyadeal, FlyNas

Flight duration:
Riyadh – Umluj (2 hours)
Jeddah – Umluj (1.5 hours)

By Car:
Riyadh – Umluj (12.5 hours)
Jeddah – Umluj (5 hours)


→ SEE

1. Beaches and Corniches

Umluj has no shortage of beautiful beaches and corniches, all giving visitors the opportunity to take some beautiful Red Sea views. Corniches include the two-kilometer Umluj Corniche, located to the south of Umluj, with shaded areas that provide relief from the sun. There are also numerous beaches, such as Al-Daqam Beach and Park, that are well­ equipped for children; sections of this beach are soft and sandy, shaded with beautiful palm trees, and filled with playgrounds.

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2. Umluj Castle

This castle was built during the Ottoman Era in the 1500s and has been restored many times. Constructed mainly of limestone, the building has two floors and provides awonderful took into Ottoman-age architecture.

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3. The Old City

If you want to get a feel of the rich history of Umluj, head to the old city. With a great view of the beach, visitors will also be able to see the old architecture of the city-consisting of buildings made from stone bricks, and wooden windows and doors-and wander through an old market.


→ DO

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1. Swimming and Diving

Umlujis surrounded by clear, shallow waters and thriving, colorful coral reefs, making it a fantastic place to go swimming and diving.   Visit Sharm AlHassa, located about 15km south, for a good place to swim and dive. You can get your diving equipment at the Umtuj Diving Center, which also offers diving tours and courses.

Umluj Diving Center Details:
Location: Umluj  Diver Center; Bilal Ibn Rabah, Al Batha, Umluj 48312
Tel: +966-547022488
Email: Mohammad.moustafa445@gmail.com
Twitter: mohamed28651467

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Sourced Photo

2. Birdwatching

Located on the route of many migratory birds, Umluj is a great place for any birdwatching enthusiast. One notable place to visit is Hassan Mountain Island,  located about 30km from the Umluj coast. Due to its environment. it is a breeding ground for many migratory birds, and as a result, provides rich opportunity for any birdwatcher.

Photo by @abeerbajandouh

Photo by @abeerbajandouh

3. Boat Rides

There are a large number of unique natural islands in Umtlj-about 104 of them in total. Each island is beautiful, covered in soft white sand, and surrounded by turquoise waters. The best way to experience these islands is to head to the Umluj Port, organize a boat ride with one of the operators there, and spend about half a day touring the waters around the islands. Be sure to peer into the water-you’ll see colorful coral reefs and a diverse array of fish.


→ EAT

1.Seafood

With its proximity to the Red Sea, it is unsurprising that Umluj offers some of the best seafood options. Head to one of the many local seafood restaurants in the town and indulge in some of the freshest fish you’ll ever have.

2. Mangos

For some locally grown fruit, head to the mango farms located in eastern Umluj.In addition to having the opportunity to sample some freshly picked mangoes, the farms themselves are beautiful and quite an interesting place to tour.


→ STAY

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Royal Tours Pennanent Camp

This tented camp offers visitors an authentic Bedouin experience, from tented accommodations to campfires. The camp also arranges tours, including boat trips and excursions to nearby dormant volcanoes. Rooms can be easily booked online on sites such as Booking.com and Tripadvisor.

Royal Tours Permanent Camp Details:
Location: 5th Street, Umluj
Web: royal-tours-permanent-camp.hatels-saudi-arabia.com

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