Step Anywhere 2021 is on March


Step Anywhere 2021 is on for March 29th, 30th, and 31st, and fully online! Organized by the team behind Step Conference, The Leading Online Tech Festival For Emerging Markets will bring together over 1500 international attendees, 100 showcasing startups and global players in health tech, edtech,  fintech,  food tech, smart cities, digital media, and more.

In its first edition, Step Anywhere 2020 featured 6 tracks of live talks and panels, workshops, various startup programming, exhibition and showcasing opportunities, and live entertainment.

The 3-day event will cover the entire spectrum of tech trends today, featuring talks and panel discussions on a multitude of topics, workshops, virtual meet-ups, and more with top speakers from the ecosystem including Matthew Salloway, CEO of GSI Ventures and co-founder of SIP Global Partners, Kareem Elsirafy, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Modus, Matt Sexton, Chief Strategy Officer at Futerra, Tony Bourached, CEO at Mindshare MENA and Vanessa Tierney, CEO at Abodoo in partnership with Yonderdesk. Check the speaker announcements here!

Use the promo code here to unlock a 20% discount on tickets, and be part of Step Anywhere this March 29-31 from anywhere in the world

Additionally, Step Anywhere 2021 will provide opportunities for startups to showcase their product or service; meet investors from leading funds, attend workshops, roundtables, and mentorship sessions, and pitch online from anywhere in the world.

If you’re a startup, you can apply to showcase now!

Join in from the office, home, whilst grabbing coffee – wherever you are in the world and take your chance to witness inspirational talks and panels from thought leaders on today’s biggest challenges, get insights on the latest tech trends and connect with startups shaping the industry!

More details can be found here and stay tuned on Step’s channels for updates!


We, The Foodies


In the spirit of culinary democracy, we’ve also enlisted the palates of local bloggers to come up with a Kingdom-wide, tried and tested dining directory.

These listings are meant to cast a wider net, so you’ll never have to hear your tummy rumbling:

Morning Hauts

From Shakshouka (egg scramble) to piping hot coffee, nothing like a hearty meal to wake you up to brave the day on a cold winter day. Here is a list of the must-try restaurants from all over the kingdom.


  • Taif

Location: Dist, Darid Ibn Al Samah, Al Sadad, Taif
Instagram: bohoo_ksa

Aroma Flower Lounge
Location: King Khalid Rd, Taif 26522 
Instagram: aaroma.flower


  • Eastern Province

Location: King Fahd Road, Al Hizam Al Akhdar, Al Khobar

Location: Zaid Ibn Alkhattab St, Olaya, Al Khobar

White Mountain
Location: Prince Turkey St., Al Kurnaish, Al Khobar


  • Jeddah

Black cardamom
Location: 8212 Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz, Al Andalus, Jeddah

Location: Sari Branch Rd, Al Khalidiyyah, Jeddah

DK Cream
Location: Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz St., Al Andalus, Jeddah


  • Riyadh

Flour & Firewood
Location: Prince Sultan St. Al Sulimaniyah, Riyadh

Location: Abu Baker, Al Yasmin, Riyadh

Breakfast Room
Location: Prince Turki St., Hittin, Riyadh

34 Kitchen
Location: Prince Turki St., Al Awwal Rd., Riyadh

Location: Prince Turki St., Al Awwal Rd., Riyadh


  • Yanbu


Neda’a Breakfast

Guzel Saray Restaurant and Café
Location: Al Qad, Yanbu 46422


  • Makkah

Zaatar W Zeit
Location:  Ibrahim Al Khalil, Ash Shubaikah, Makkah 24231

Location: Ibrahim Al Juffali, Makkah 23522


  • AlUla

Blue Bakery


  • Medina

Mama Ghanoush
Location: Al-Abbas Ibn Ubadah, Al Hadiqah, Medina 42383

Liver Deira


Knead Bakery

Zayton & Teen
Instagram:  zaytonwteensa

Bloom Roastery

Single Cafe


  • Tabuk

Miss Danah Cafe

Al-Saeed Bakery and Restaurant


  • Jazan

Taste of Ghamdam


  • Abha

The Dough Source
Location: King Abdul Aziz Rd., Al Sarawat, Abha

Bouvardia Cafe
Location: Sultan Rd., Khamis Mushait

Kangaroo Cafe
Location: King Abdul Aziz Rd., Al Rabwah, Abha



Foodie Recommended All-Day Dining

  • Riyadh

Le Moulin
Location: One Square Plaza, Riyadh
Instagram: lemoulinkitchen

Le Vert
Location: Al Mohammadiyyah, Riyadh

Eric Kayser
Location: Riyadh Park, Riyadh

  • Jeddah



Eleven Art Cafe
Location: Albsaten, Jeddah 23718


  • Makkah


Taj Samarqand

Taj Samarqand

  • Medina


Location: Al Mabuth, Medina 42362


Q SmokeHouse

Taj Samarqand

The Hood




  • AlUla

Heritage Gardens
Location: Alshafa Road Al Shafa, Taif 21944 Saudi Arabia

Damascene Deserts


Hadoota Masariya

  • Yanbu


Location: King Fahad Rd., Yanbu Al Sinaiyah

Hadoota Masariya Egyptian
Location: hadotamasryaksa


Cosmo Cafe

  • Eastern Province

Cosmo Cafe

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

Shrimp Nations

Location: Zaid Ibn Alkhattab St, Olaya,Al Khobar 34447

Location:  King Saud Rd, Al Rakah Ash Shamaliyah, Dammam 34225
Instagram: tamuksa


  • Jazan

Burger Village

Chef Ahmed



  • Tabuk

Fares’ Steakhouse
Location: 3562, Tabuk 47311




  • Taif


Mila Cafe


  • Abha

Aala Bali
Location: King Abdul Aziz Rd., Al Shifa, Abha

Abu El Abed
Location: King Abdul Aziz Rd., Al Shifa, Abha

Red Rose Lounge
Location: King Fahad Rd,, Abha

Follow these bloggers for local eat-sights and recommendations:

New in Jeddah  

Rin || The Foodie Mama


Jazan Restaurants and Cafes

AlUla Restaurant Directory

Tabuk restaurants

Dee – Riyadh Blogger

Yanbu restaurants and cafes

RESTO MED | City restaurants

Medina Foodies

Soon in Makkah

Makkah Restaurants

Taif Restaurants and Cafes

Taif Restaurants and Cafes.


Destination KSA’s Saudi Dine List


Our resident gastro gnomes went on culinary adventures this year, transporting them to the countryside of Italy to the backstreet food havens of Hong Kong, we’ve dined by the beach and overlooking sierras— all within the Kingdom’s safe borders.

Despite being faced with unprecedented challenges, Saudi’s F&B scene managed to maneuver its way, with certain international outposts managing to debut strong and local concepts redefining dining standards in Saudi Arabia.

Class Acts

Upscale Restaurants bring new lessons into town

Riyadh’s Dining Blackbook
It’s no surprise that international fine dining franchises opt to plant their flags in Riyadh before expanding to other cities. These past couple of years saw the rise of noteworthy outposts:

san-carlo-copyThe Italian Job:

From fine to chic dining, restaurants are vying for the head of the table

  • Walton St. Scalini
    Location: Signature center, Hateen District Riyadh
    Instagram: waltonstscalini
  • San Carlo Cichetti
    Location: Kharijat Ibn Hudhafah, Riyadh

DKSA recommends
A revitalized menu that offers in-house made Bresaola

  • Eataly
    Location: Malik An Nasir, Al Sulimaniyah, Riyadh

screen-shot-2020-11-11-at-4-50-33-pm-copyAsian Takeover

  • Yauatcha
    Location: Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Rd, Al Olaya, Riyadh
  • Nobu
    Location: King Fahd Rd, Al Anoud Tower 2, Riyadh
  • Okku
    Location: Tahlia Street, Al Olaya, Riyadh

screen-shot-2020-11-11-at-4-48-02-pm-copyIn the Spotlight Suhail, Where Heritage Meets Hospitality


Setting up an elevated dining experience while maintaining authenticity is a tricky balancing act. More so, when you’re attempting to conquer a cuisine that the local palate knows from the inside out.

Saudi Executive Chef Rakan Al Oraifi and Sous Chef Soliman Alrefai together with the purveyors of Suhail’s dining experience took on the challenge by learning from the true masters of the cuisine— regional grandmas, moms, and celebrated home cooks from the different regions of Saudi Arabia.screen-shot-2020-11-11-at-4-53-38-pm-copy

The result? Rich flavors that stir nostalgia while your eyes feast on plating (and interiors, as well) that are becoming of a fine dining address. The menu is a tasting landscape for newcomers, discovering regional iconic dishes presented in a modern, non-cliche way.

The Kbeibah Hail is and Manto Al Medina are strong dining openers. Our editor’s must-mains include Suhail’s Saleeg (creamy savory goodness), Asir Haneeth (falls off the bones), and samak jazan. The gracious host will end your meal with complementary gahwa and lugaimat— however, if there’s room in your belly for sweets, the Suhail Kharbaz, will punctuate your experience at this house of culinary delights and authentic local hospitality.

Instagram: suhail_saudi

screen-shot-2020-11-11-at-5-05-31-pm-copyAl Khobar: 2020’s Culinary Dark Horse

Eastern Province

Maybe it’s the borders closing down, or simply being ripe for the picking— but late Al Khobar is upping its game, and with that, the promise of what would be the biggest flagship Nozomi in the world. As it is, the recent opening of Eat’sy by Chef Susy Massetti made our tummies giggle, good Italian food that isn’t in Bahrain? You bet. And we’re super stoked for the local concept outposts that have brought us some nifty eastern vibes:

  • Play games and chill at:
    The Shed


  • Get Your Vinyls and Coffee at:
    The Bohemia Art Cafe

To the Tune of Fusion:
Cultural Mash Ups at Medley


When you orchestrate the use of seasonal ingredients and find the harmony between flavors, you come out with a masterpiece of sorts. A big part of attempting modern Arabic food is finding the right combo and technique, applying them to the local recipe without diluting its essence (not necessarily being authentic). So far, Medley is whistling a happy tune, one that so far, is better than most attempts we’ve seen in recent years.

Tried: Lamb Shank Bayti, Truffle Mutabal, and Wagyu Hummusscreen-shot-2020-11-11-at-5-03-16-pm-copy

Culinary Trends Diary 2020

Prime Cut Meateries of the Year


  • Lamb Shack
    Location: King Abdulaziz Rd, Ar Rabi Dist.
    Instagram: thelambshack

DKSA recommends
It only opens 4 days a week (Wed-Saturday), for 4 hours (8 PM-12 MN) each night. Is it worth it? Yes! 4 items on the menu, all done well, this is a carnivore’s dream.

  • Marble
    Location: Turki Al Awwal Plaza

marble-copyShall we brunch?

  • Khobar

After Seven
Timings: 7am – 2pm

  • Riyadh

Timings: 7am – 3pm


The United Desserts of Arabia

Affusa, Henaini, Haisah

Delicious desserts unite the winter dinner tables of Saudi Arabia.

With the arrival of winter in Saudi Arabia comes a uniquely traditional wardrobe, wonderful aromas of Arabic coffee, and innovative date dishes. Despite the diversity of winter rituals in each region, the people of the kingdom are brought closer together through similar yet distinguished winter dishes, showcasing the richness, and diversity of Saudi Arabia. So, upon your visit to any region, keep an ear out for this phrase, “here, we call this…”.

Maraheef, Lahooh

Maraheef, Lahooh

Maraheef, Lahooh

Similar to the French crepe, Medina’s Lahooh and Qassim’s Maraheef share the same shape, ingredients. However, they differ in their preparation, as the Maraheef have a lighter batter, which results in a thinner crepe. Lahooh on the other hand, has a much thicker consistency. Both are served as layers plated on a dish, topped with powdered sugar and cardamom.

Affusa, Henaini, Haisah

Affusa, Henaini, Haisah

Date Delectables: Affusa, Henaini, Haisah

Saudi Arabia produces a few of the world’s best dates, which are incorporated in the Saudi cuisine for their high nutritional value, with delicacies like Affusa in the East, Henaini in Najd, and Haisah in the West. The dishes are soft, and served hot. They are the perfect dessert for winter.

Maasoub, Marsah

Maasoub, Marsah

Maasoub, Marsah

The simplicity of ingredients used to create this Saudi version of bread pudding has made the dish popular throughout the kingdom. Known as “Maasoub” within the Hijaz region, and “Marsah” in the south of Saudi, the dish consists of a mixture of ripe bananas and bread pieces, topped with honey and sour cream.




A traditional dish, passed on from one generation to the next in Hijaz, made of a jam-like dried fruit paste (apricots, figs, or dates) with a sprinkling of nuts. It is usually served as a breakfast staple, with bread,  and on holidays and special occasions.

Qahwat Loz

Qahwat Loz

Warm Winter Beverages

Enjoying a warm beverage on a cold winter evening is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Two very popular winter beverages in Saudi are Qahwat Loz, made with warm milk and toasted almonds, as well as Karak Tea, full of fragrant spices such as nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. Whether you’re a coffee or tea person, these two are the perfect concoctions you need to stay cozy this winter.

Karak Tea

Karak Tea




Asida is a beloved traditional dish throughout all Saudi regions, each with a special topping, but a unified preparation method: flour is cooked with water on low heat, until the mixture is thickened and turned into a dough of flakey consistency. The dough is then spread out in a round dish, and served with ghee or sweetened butter milk in its center.

Masabib, Marasee, Qatayef

Masabib, Marasee, Qatayef

Masabib, Marasee, Qatayef

As fluffy as light mini pancakes, Masabib are cooked in a hot stone oven and served warm with honey or date molasses to dip in. The savory version, Marasee, is much thicker, whereas the Hijazi Qatayef are made up of white flour, folded into crescents, and stuffed with either cream or candied nuts, before being drizzled with syrup.

Balaleet, Al Shieriyah, Sewiyah

Balaleet, Al Shieriyah, Sewiyah

Balaleet, Al Shieriyah, Sewiyah

Balaleet is a popular Najdi dish that consists of sweet vermicelli noodles, topped with an omelette, and eaten for breakfast. The dish is also popular in the Hijaz region, under the name “shieriyah helwa” (sweet noodles), and in the Eastern Province, similarly, under the name “Sewiyah”, packed with sweet and fragrant flavors of cardamom and saffron.


Explore Makkah & Medina


Have a spiritual weekend and more.

A visit to Makkah is a lifelong yearning for many. After all it is in the center of the city where you’ll find the holiest place in Islam – Masjid Al Haram. Once you have visited Masjid Al Haram and offered your prayers there you may want to explore the holy city that’s awash with historical landmarks and great food.

After completing your Umrah, here are some things you can do in Makkah

Day 1

Makkah Itinerarytwo-holy-mosques-copy

  • Exhibition of the Two Holy Mosques

The entry to this exhibition that mainly houses relics from the two holy mosques of Makkah and Medina is free. On display are rare manuscripts of the Quran, the Kiswa (cloth) of the Kaaba and a range of artifacts unearthed during excavation and expansion works carried in and around the two holy mosques.

Location: Old Makkah Jeddah Rd, Al Hamra Umm Al Jud, Makkah
Tel: +966-12-5602188

  • Aisha Al Rajhi Mosque

The sprawling Aisha Al Rajhi mosque is among the biggest mosques in the country with a total capacity of about 48,000 worshippers. Completed in 2013, the mosque is a potpourri of architectural styles from across the Muslim world.

Location: Ibrahim Al Khalil Rd, Al Naseem, Makkahal-sakkaf-palace-copy

  • Al Saggaf Palace

Though currently not open for tourists, the Al Saggaf Palace serves as a great insight into Makkah’s vivid past – from a time before the oil boom. It was built by a merchant who hailed from an eminent trading family of the city before eventually being bought by King Abdulaziz, the founder of the kingdom, who made several additions to the palace and even received foreign dignitaries here.

Location: Al Jummayzah, Makkah


  • Afandim

Afandim is one of the most popular fine dining restaurants in Makkah. The scrumptious Iskender Kebabs and sizzling meat Tajines are luxurious hits. You might want to mop them down with bread that’s drenched in the fat and juices from the grill.

Location: Al Hujoon St, Al Diyafah, Makkah
Tel: +966-12-5456664
Instagram: afandim_makkah

  • Route 66

If you’re’ craving an all American fare then this homegrown restaurant chain that serves everything American from fluffy pancakes and toothsome fajitas to juicy burgers and meaty steaks is just the place you should be heading to. The vibe is a take on symbolic American highway motels with some seating arrangements located inside replicas of vintage American muscle cars.

Location: Al Hijaz Mall, Makkah – Jeddah Highway, Makkah
Mob: +966-565672182

  • Mutabaq Abdullah Al Sindi

This hole-in-the-wall restaurant specializes in Mutabaq, a type of stuffed pan-fried bread. The restaurant has been serving Mutabaq for decades now and is arguably one of the best places in Makkah to try this quintessential Saudi street food item.

Location: Al Masjid Al Haram Rd, Al Jummayzah, Makkah

Take A Train Between Makkah to Medina

shutterstock_781648672Day 2

Medina Itinerary

Welcome to Medina! Here’s how you can wander in the City of Enlightenment.

  • Masjid An Nabawi

Known for its immense significance in Islam along with the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the mosque is a signature of the Muslim community.

Location: Al Haram, Medinaquba-square

  • Qiba Square

Along with the food stalls and kids playing on the street, Qiba Square is the place to rejoice with the community and connect with the cultural drift.

Location: Qiba Rd, Al Mughaisilah, Medinadsc00356hunt-for-motivation-blogspot-com

  • Uhud Mountain

Near the Jabal Uhud garden, Uhud Mountain offers a truly historical experience with a view.

Location: Jabal Auhud, Medina

Did you Know?
Over the years, Wadi Al Jinn has drawn attention from endless visitors due to a creepy phenomenon where cars move inexplicably.

Day 3king-fahad-park

  • King Fahd Central Park

King Fahd central park emanates old Medina vibes. Along with a theater area and a vast area to play, kids will adore this place.screen-shot-2020-11-09-at-3-56-39-pm-copy

  • Dar Al Medina Museum

Dar Al Medina is the most visited museum in Medina, helping pilgrims and travelers understand the history and structure of the city.hop-on-hop-off-bus-tour-2-copy

  • City Sightseeing on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

An affordable tour bus providing a 30 minute journey to the city’s main attractions. An excellent way to socialize, take pictures, and learn about this historical city.


Medina is well known for its diverse culinary options influenced by centuries of pilgrims and visitors sharing their culture through taste.

  • Agate
    A modern eatery that offers a wide variety of food, both local and international.
    Instagram: agate.8
  • Anast
    The best ice cream option offering a range of flavors.
    Instagram: anast.ksa
  • Porch Restaurant & Café
    An elegant option for coffee, drinks, sandwiches, and snacks.
    Instagram: theporch_med

Souvenir Hunting

Taiba Commercial Center: Close to Masjid An Nabawi, this sprawling plaza has lots of souvenirs that visitors often purchase.

  • I Love Medina
    This outlet has fine items with ‘I Love Medina’ written on them, memorable souvenirs that depict your love for Medina.
    Instagram: ilovemadiah_giftat


Intriguing Jazan


 Time for A Fresh Look.

During Winter: 23°- 32° C

The dazzling city of Jazan, located in the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia is different from the sandy image of the region. The city is a wonderful place to visit during winter, where the sun hides amongst the clouds, and the wind becomes chiller. The virgin tropical islands along its coast provide a unique refuge, a paradise for this escaping the harsh cold.tallan-museum

If you want to escape the quintessential winterland of northern Saudi try to rove on a boat against the breeze of the winter and go visit the sandy beaches of Farasan archipelago islands. These coastal gems are covered with rich, red coral reefs, crystal clear waters and get enchanted by the colourful jellyfish all over the island’s coastline and beautiful sea life along with migratory birds that give you a unique experience that is hard to find anywhere else._mg_3451-01

The island houses many wonderful sightseeing sites, so grab your camera and take a stroll at Qassar Heritage Village, located on Kabir Island, the heritage village is built and crafted using rocks and palm leaves, dating back to Roman times Alongside the village, you’ll come across, Bait Al Refaei, an architectural marvel once owned by a famous pearl trader from the region over a century ago.img_3100

Take a tour to witness the historical essence of the Ottoman Fort which is a rare sight outside of the Hijaz region that sits atop of a rigid hill with captivating scenery and restore balance with a religious, historical site that Najdi Mosque provides, which showcases the distinct Farasan’s architectural designs.

Apart from the sandy shores of the city, Jazan is known for its amazing mountains, Faifa, which is a must-visit during your adventurous exploration trip.

The mountain is covered in a green terrace that was articulated carefully by the hands of locals over the centuries to allow the enrichment of agricultural development. This mountain, with its beautiful view of the moon and its steep structure dressed in green foliage, makes it the perfect spot to hike and climb all the way to the top during the winter.

jazan_taste-of-jazan-1Indulge in Jazan’s Pick Me Up

Among the mountain-scapes, explore the vast coffee fields of Jazan in Al Dayer bain Mallik that is a 101 km away from Faifa, and warm up with the aroma of Jazan’s wide local variety of coffee beans that elevate your senses with its unique aroma. The growing number of coffee bean farms sowed with love by the local people, which will give any coffeeholic an enthralling experience.

Once you’re done with your tour, go roam in Jazan’s Heritage Village that allures its visitors with collecting all of the region’s traditions and art in one via the walk through history in mud huts and prosperous agricultural talents. Don’t forget to shop for local keepsakes.


Idyllic Yanbu

Yanbu, a rapidly developing industrial hub in Saudi Arabia, is a fantastic attraction to visitors and investors alike and has been growing in prominence in the Kingdom.

With its steady mild climate and year-round seaside activities, it’s an ideal destination for those wanting to thaw and have a unique beach outing and tranquil breezy evenings all on the same day.

During Winter: 16 °- 29 ° C

yanbu_boatFun in the Sun, and then some…

  • Boat Trip at Yanbu Al  Bahr Beach
    Enjoy one of the main attractions of Yanbu with a boat trip at Al Bahr. Take pictures in natural light and relish the cool breeze, sparkling sunshine, and crystal blue waters.120561
  • Get Lost in Yanbu’s Al Balad by Foot
    A little escape from the main city, Al Balad has a lot to offer in terms of rich heritage and diverse architecture.yanbu_old-town-1
  • Royal Commission Beach
    Grab your beach bag and enjoy a breezy sunset picnic by the sea. While you’re at it, revel in the splendid green view and connect with the locals.005
  • Yanbu Lake Park
    Yanbu Lake Park gives you the chance to immerse yourself in nature. This park gets busy in the winter evenings, when families gather around the lake to have tea and watch the sunset and skies. The weather turns colder at night but just enough for you to enjoy the warmth of heaters set up along the different local cafes and kiosks.yanbu_lakes-2

Cultural Pit Stops

  • Home of T.E Lawrence
    Restored as a museum, this coral-stone building of great historical importance is where Lawrence of Arabia once lived.home-of-t-e-lawrence
  • Mount Radwa (Yanbu Al Nakhil)
    This monumental mountain, situated on the breathtaking Al Nakhil range, exudes natural beauty inspired many people throughout history._dsc0262-nef

Did you Know?
The truly welcoming historic and modern culture of Yanbu was established before the Roman period. The coastal city was a station used by traders in their journeys to and from the Arabian Peninsula.


Focuses on bringing together the Yanbu community with a wide range of food options.

Location: King Fahad Yanbu, Al Sinaiyah
Instagram: cascadaco

• Coriver café
A sweet delight with great coffee and cold drinks.

Location: Al Taakhi, Yanbu Al Badr
Instagram: coriver_sa

• Chef Neda Ali
In mood for a home cooked meal? Neda Ali delivers the exquisite taste of Yanbu. Reach out to her on Instagram to know what’s on today’s menu.

Mob: +966-540054542
Instagram: inedaai


YNB Design business: Handmade products that are artistically pleasing portraits of Yanbu’s main attraction, the beach and its coastal spirit. This place is dedicated to depicting the Yanbu locals’ creative side.

Mob: +966-544397741
Instagram: ynbdesign1


Winter Sun, Easy Breezy Fun


At this point, you’ve surveyed Saudi Arabia’s highest peaks, experienced the crisp winter air of our deserts, and gotten yourself a bit of urban season cheers. Now we’re taking you to the places in Saudi that showcases its touristic versatility. In the Kingdom, you can experience farwa and hinaini nights in Riyadh then head to Jazan for a day at the beach– in January.

Eastern Revelry

A winter like spring! Sharqiya has it all.

The Eastern Province is the largest region in the country, it consists of a tri-city (Dammam, Khobar, and Dhahran) alongside some important industrial areas, and is considered to be one of the essential links of Saudi Arabia to the rest of the gulf.

While one can expect the temperatures to still dip low in the evenings and early mornings, most winter days feel more mild-weathered compared to other regions.

Enough so that you can indulge in waterfront activities like fishing and boat riding any time of the year.

A Tale of Three Cities

sa_0027_kirkland_2016-1King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra)

Ithra is a cultural mothership with everything from museums to art exhibitions to cinemas and an unlimited amount of knowledge to enrich your mind.

Location: Ring Rd, Gharb Al Dhahran

marjan-island_dammam_2016_aa_9Murjan Island (Dammam)

Go boating through the breeze of the winter to see this man made island with its beautiful parks.

Location: Cornish Rd, Al-Hamra’a, Dammam

King Abdullah Environmental Park (Al Hofuf)

From children’s playgrounds to interactive dancing fountains (which are some of the biggest in the world) and even a historical village, this park is a must stop while visiting Al Hofuf.

Location: Cornish Rd, Al-Hamra’a, Dammam


A section of the park showcases local food vendors, here you might be able to sample homemade traditional eastern province specialties like tharied, makbos and hassawi bread.

Location: Al Hofuf South, Al Hofuf.

taybeen-museumTaybeen Museum (AL Khobar)

Warm-up from the cold weather and take a trip back in time in this museum. Explore retro items and take a breezy walk in their beautiful park.

Location: Al Sheera, Al Khobar


  • Saaf restaurant in Al Khobar
    Location: Makkah Al Mukarramah St., Olaya, Al Khobar
    Instagram : Saaf_ep
  • Heritage Village  
    A traditional restaurant and museum.
    Location: Corniche Walk Way, Ash Shati Al Gharbi, Dammam
  • Oriya restaurant in Khobar  
    A reservation-only restaurant with an amazing sea view
    Location: Al Sahil, Al Khobar

176717A Day at Marvellous Al Ahsa

As you drive away from the charming coastal cities, you are greeted by the beautiful Oasis of Al Ahsa, which was recently conferred with a Guinness World Record for the largest self-contained oasis in the world.

This geographical marvel has canals, gardens, and historical sights that are perfect for your next trip to the east side. Al Ahsa is the largest governorate in the Eastern Province, with many natural wonders and adventures from the vast ocean of sand in the desert to horse riding and to stirring historical sights.

178146Al Qarah Hill (Al Ahsa)

Located in Al Qarah hill in the Al Ahsa, in-between At Tuwaitheer village and Al Qarah village. Formed by limestone, the mountain gives it a distinct off-white hue, along with caves, nooks, and crannies zigzag through the rocks that you must explore.

Location: Al Qarah Hill, Al Ahsa

Street side local coffee vendors can be found peppered along the routes leading to the caves.

Did you know?
Hassawi’s rare red rice is one of the most expensive grains in the world. Locals claim it has medicinal properties that help your bones. Don’t forget to try it on your trip there.

sa_0036_kirkland_2016Al Asfar Lake – The Ideal Picnic Spot!

Located about 13 km east of Al Ahsa, Al Asfar is the perfect contrast to the surrounding sands. This lake is the perfect spot to head out with your picnic basket (packed with your favorite treats) and chill next to the clear waters, which serve as an important stop for countless migratory birds during winter.

Al Ahsa Oasis

Al Ahsa Oasis is known to be one of the earliest human settlements in the peninsula. Not a surprise given its fertile topography and abundant water resources– making it an ideal habitat for prehistoric dwellers. Today, it makes up 20% of Saudi Arabia’s agricultural land, and home to the largest date palm oasis in the world. For nature lovers, who wish to travel in the footsteps of nomads, this is a must visit.

Location: Al Ahsa Oasis, Al Ahsa

109137Immerse Yourself into the local history

• Al Ahsa National Museum   
Is a perfect way to dive into the history of this region, with artifacts depicting the stories of the past narrating all that the region has to say from the Stone Age to the Assyrian Era.

Location: Prince Sultan Rd., Alolaya, Al Hofuf


• Ad Dahna Desert   
The vast desert of the east that connects Al Nufud desert in the north to Rub’ Al Khali desert in the south. The chilly breeze that carries the desert campfire makes this place a perfect destination to explore during your visit to Al Ahsa.

Location: Ad Dahna Desert, Al Ahsa


• Experience an Equestrian Adventure   
Gallop through the expansive desert while feeling the wind of the winter across your hair in this special experience in Al Ahsa Equestrian Club.

Location: Ahsa Equestrian Field, Al Ahsa


Must Try
Al Ahsa is a region dominated by palm trees, resulting in many beautiful traditional products like Sa’af and Khasoof, which you can find in Souq Al Qaisariya.


Quickfire Session


An Interview with Adventure Extraordinaire Mashael Alsolai.

Saudi Arabia is filled with natural wonders. Truly, the amount of geological and biological diversity is astounding—perhaps even overwhelming. With so many options, who better to provide the best advice than one of the Kingdom’s top adventurers: Mashael Alsolai, founder of Shamal Adventures. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to ask her all the questions you need the answers to:

How did you get into adventuring?
Since I was young, I have always had a passion for outdoor activities and adventures. As I grew up, I started joining a few family trips on a casual basis. With time, I realized that it really interests me and I started seeking these activities during my free time.cliff

What was your most memorable adventure, and with who?
Once, my husband and I were in the Tabuk region and had a flight to catch. Pressed for time, we had two options: take the normal road, which would take 2.5 hours, or take a shortcut through a rough sandy desert. Though it is advised to take at least two vehicles to cross areas like this (since phone signals are unavailable), we embarked with only one car. We had to follow a compass and the road was around 50km of cross-country desert. It was an extreme adventure with few obstacles throughout, yet we eventually made it on time.

What is your most striking camping experience?
Honestly, many adventures are memorable. However, one that strikes my attention was my trip to Al Gharameel in AlUla where I witnessed the clearest sky and stars i have ever seen.

What is your favorite destination you have traveled to?
The future city, NEOM.
It is very rich in its natural resources where it combines both sea and desert, which are both beautiful. The landscapes and valleys are breathtaking. It is a neverending natural treasure.teen

What is the first place you ever camped and with who?
In Saudi, it was Harrat Alshaggah, near Umluj in Tabuk with a couple of my friends.

If you could camp anywhere, where would it be?
That would be on a sandy island named Um Al Malik, near Umluj, Red Sea.

What favorite camp site would you recommend to anyone?
Al Sultaniya, Haql.

What’s the most unique local camping experience?
Abha, in between the valleys and waterfalls.abha

What about the best hike?
Wadi Al Disah, Tabuk

Best adventure overall?
Rappelling, diving, and paragliding, all in Saudi Arabia.

Favorite camping activity?
Cooking, stargazing, and watching the moon.jeeper-forever

What’s your next adventure?
As a Shamal Adventures founder, adventures are part of my daily job and routine. So I’m going wherever Shamal takes me! #LetsGoPlaces

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 2030, I see myself and Shamal Adventures celebrating our successes in the tourism sector along with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

What is a camping product you can’t live without, and why?
Fire, to cook, stay warm, maintain light, and offer protection.neom44

What differentiates camping here from other places?
Nature here is virgin and untouched which makes it a priceless experience.

What’s the best local camping snack?
The local fruits of the area.

How easy is it to approach random people/fellow campers/locals while camping?
Very easy, you’ll feel the connection and synergy straightaway.

What advice do you have for any inexperienced campers?
Always choose your camping spot before sunset and be aware of your surroundings. Also, make sure you leave the place as it was—or better.

What’s the one thing that anyone camping in Saudi should know?
Ensure you get the right permit before you camp from the nearest center or Coast Guard office around you.

Favorite sleeping bag?
The North Face

Favorite shoes?
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Goretex


GO WILD! Starry Nights and Camp Sites


Best sites for stargazing, sunsets and the glorious wilderness.

Winter in Saudi Arabia is unlike any other. The change of seasons provides a much-needed respite from the burning summer sun—as well as a change of pace. This winter, escape the hustle and bustle of the city and rejuvenate in peace and solitude on a nature-inspired camping trip.

Here is a list of the must-visit camping destinations all over the Kingdom for the outdoors enthusiast wanting to stargaze and explore uncharted frontiers.


Acacia Valley – Riyadh

Acacia Valley is in the heart of Jabal Fihrayn, more famously known as “The Edge of the World.” This beautiful valley, renowned for its soft sand, is located 90km away from Riyadh and is an ideal spot for an overnight camping experience. Expect to be greeted by camels on your ride up to the site as you experience what it is like to be a pioneer.

Location: King Abdullah Rd., Ar Rahmaniyyah, Riyadh


Jabal Al Lawz – Tabuk

Tabuk is one of the few places in the Kingdom that witnesses snow. Locals love to pack up their camping gear along with firewood and head up to Jabal Al Lawz, located in the northwest part of the country. Once you reach the summit of the mountain, make sure to enjoy some hot Shahi Faham—a hot tea often made on coal or firewood steeped in a traditional teapot called an Ebreeq.

Location: Jabal Al Lawz, Tabuk

dscf1419Wadi Al Disah – Tabuk

Located 80km south of the city of Tabuk, Wadi Al Disah (Al Disah Valley) is an enchanting natural wonder that consists of a lush valley floor girded by sandstone cliffs and masts. Winter, with its warm mornings and cold nights, is the best time to camp here.

Pitch your tent anywhere on the vast terrain and enjoy stargazing amongst raw, unfiltered nature.

Location: Al Disah, Tabuk

screen-shot-2021-01-10-at-1-43-16-pm-copyKharrarah National Park – Riyadh

Situated in the outskirts of the city of Riyadh, Kharrarah National Park is an ecological marvel consisting of beautiful lakes and red-hued hills. It’s one of the best spots to camp for families. The space is known for dune bashing and various other family-friendly sand activities bound to bring a smile to your face.

Location: Al Muzahmiya, Riyadh

Falcon International Camp at Khubayb Al Reem – Riyadh

Experience an authentic Bedouin camping adventure located in the west of Riyadh. The Falcon International camp at the Khubayb Al Reem allows you to sleep under the stars, as well as get up close and personal with trained falcons. Other activities available at the site include exploring the stunning desert with a camel caravan and archery amongst others.

Location: Jalan Bani Bu Hasan. About 60 km away from AL Ashkhara, 80km from Ras Al Had.

dsc_1147Deeratna  – Jeddah

Located an hour away from Jeddah city, Deertana in Dhaban offers a fantastic camping experience with everything set up for your convenience. With fun activities like riding buggies in the sand, go karting, and meandering in the beautiful sandy desert, make sure to book before embarking on the journey to the campground.

Location: Dahaban

dsc_0399Moon Valley – Jeddah

An hour from the city of Jeddah, on the outskirts of town lies the beautiful Moon Valley. It is the perfect place to set up your camp and enjoy some peace. Stare in awe at the clear skies—perfect for any astronomy enthusiast—while experiencing nature at its finest.

Location: Moon Valley, Jeddah

pic000033aAl Souda – Asir National Park – Asir

Al Souda Asir National Park is a vast natural reserve that spans 1,600 square kilometres through the beautiful Asiri terrain. With over 67 campsites all equipped with parking and toilet amenities, along with nature packed activities like hiking and exploring the tremendous Arabian wilderness, this spot is perfect for any camper.

Location: King Abdul Aziz Rd, Al Shafa, Abha

img_1368-almanahospital-com-saMakan Camp – Dammam

Makan camp is a camping ground set up in the vast desert on the outskirts of the city of Dammam with various activities like dune bashing, bonfires, and BBQ amenities set up for a perfect camping trip for you to enjoy with either friends or family.

Location: Al Waslak, Dammam

dscf2492Al Asfar Lake – Al Ahsa

Surrounded by lush greenery and nature, the Yellow Lake or the Al Asfar Lake is a perfect camping spot that can be found in the city of Al Ahsa in the eastern province. The wetland area beautifully fenced by reeds is sure to make your sunsets memorable. Make sure to pack all your camping gear in your 4×4—this location is quite far from the city but worth the trip!

Location:  Al Asfar Lake (Al Ahsa)

img_2112unique-chantika-comJabal Magnet – Medina

The mysterious Jabal Magnet Medina is located 30 mins away from the city of  Medina this camping destination will surely be making your head scratch over the scientific anomaly it is known for being a spot where water can flow uphill and that a vehicle put in neutral can travel uphill.

Location: Albaidha Public Park, Medina

Caves to explore

  • Jabal Al Qarah, Al Hofuf
  • Shuwaimis Cave, Hail
  • Heet Cave, Riyadh
  • Dharb Al Najlm, Riyadh

Tour Operators

  • Saati Adventures  
    Tel: +966-541595 303 
  • Masarat Club
    Makkah Region  
    Tel: +966-566445538 
  • Adventure Khobar   
    Tel: +966-50322 2972 

Where to buy your camping gear