Saudi Arabia Luxury Travel Vacation Guide

Saudi Arabia is an enchanted land of deserts and oasis. Here you will find the oil sheiks and people dressed in long flowing robes. The country consists of four main regions and many of the cities are considered to be holy cities of Islam. Entrance to these cities may be restricted to Muslims only.

City of  Riyadh

Riyadh is the capital city and features many scenic and historic sites. See the spearhead embedded in the door of the Musmat Fort, believed to be the one that killed the Turkish governor in 1902. The National Museum houses 10 galleries, a courtyard and a section where you will see fancy cars and other things associated with the founding King of the country. Old Dir'aiyah is the site of the old city of Riyadh and there are restored walls, houses and palaces, which will give you a glimpse of what Saudi Arabia was like in the past.

The Masmark Citadel looks like a giant sandcastle. This renovated 19th century mud castle contains many different costumes, handicrafts and a sitting room to give you a look of the past lives of some of the people. The Saudi Arabia Zoo is the largest in the country with more than 40 different species of animals. Either the mother or father can accompany the children, but whole families are not permitted to enter together.

 Hasa

This part of Saudi Arabia is located in the Eastern Region and is home to the Shia minority. Here you will find the scenic beauty of fertile lowlands where the people dive for pearls and earn their living by fishing and farming. Most of the foreign oil workers also live in this area. This is the site of many picturesque villages where you can visit many different historic sites.

Visit Hofuf, an oasis, where you will find a large camel market. At Jebel- al-Qura, the elaborate pottery has been worked by 8 generations of the same family. There is a 5000 year old salt mine in Abqaig and buy some dates at the markets.

Travel to Saudi Arabia

There are three major airports in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and there are direct flights to and from these airports to major cities all over the world. For traveling around the country, you should have prior arrangements for a car to pick you up at the airport, but there are rental car agencies at the airport with reasonable prices. There is also rail service between Riyadh and the larger cities within the country.

Saudi Arabia Food and Drinks

The local food is often liberally flavoured with spices. Pita bread accompanies every meal and rice, cracked wheat, lentils and chick peas are commonly used foods. Lamb and chicken are the main meats, because pork is prohibited and beef is very rare. The main meal of the day is at lunchtime and kebabs are often the preferred food.

In the larger towns, you may be able to find restaurants with foreign foods on the menus, but they are few and far between.

There are no bars or nightclubs in the country, except in the hotels. You cannot buy alcoholic drinks because it is forbidden under Muslim law. The main drinks are fruit juices and Arabic coffee.

Saudi Arabia Language

Arabic is the main language. English is mainly used in business circles but some of the larger hotels in Riyadh have staff that can speak English.

Visas

Visas are required for all visitors to Saudi Arabia, latest info should be verified.. In genera you have to apply for the visa in your home country and when you arrive you have to go through customs. In order to gain entry into the country, you must have a letter of invitation for either business or employment.

Along with the visa, you also need a valid passport and a money order for $108.00 for business or $15 for employment made out to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. For business reasons, you can stay in the country for up to 3 months and for employment, you must be 22 years of age or older. A person working in Saudi Arabia can bring his/her family for a visit. The family has to have an invitation and each person needs a passport and the money order for $108.00.

Visitors are not permitted to bring alcohol, firearms, foods containing pork, religious items or pornographic materials with them when they enter the country. Any prescription drugs must be in their original containers.

Saudi Arabia Shopping and Safety

Because of the increased terrorist attacks in larger centers, such as Riyadh, there has been some concern about the safety of visitors to Saudi Arabia. With the events in the world as they are today, this country is just as safe as any other country in the Middle East.

Shopping in Saudi Arabia means visiting the souks (markets). Here you can buy just about anything you want or need, jewelery, elaborate swords and even brass chests. Bargaining is an expected part of the buying process.
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