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How to Holiday in Saudi Arabia

3 min read
How to Holiday in Saudi Arabia
Holiday in Saudi Arabia

This Middle Eastern country lays claim to many impressive features that make Saudi Arabia a worthy holiday option, like King Fahd International, the biggest airport in the world. And even though the country is home to the largest continuous sandy desert in the world, the Ar-Rub Al-Khali section of the Arabian Desert, there is so much more to this destination than sand. Here’s everything you need to know for a wonderful holiday in Saudi Arabia.

Reasons to Visit Saudi

Variety of activities

How to Holiday in Saudi Arabia

Contrary to popular belief, Saudi does not only offer desert camping and high-end shopping (although there is plenty of that, too)! The country has such a broad range of things to do, you’ll need more time than you think. From museums and old towns to beaches and entertainment for all ages, there is something for everyone.


Holiday in Saudi Arabia

If you’re a fan of Middle Eastern food, this is the spot for you. Mealtimes consist of a vast array of tasty dishes to share, including hummus, freshly baked flatbreads, roasted meats, dips and salsas, dates and coffee with saffron. Note: Saudi is a dry country.

Natural beauty

Holiday in Saudi Arabia

Saudi has some dramatic landscapes! Once you get out of the city, you’ll find mountains, beaches with turquoise waters, ancient rock formations and almost everything in between.

Things to Do

Riyadh Season, Riyadh

Riyadh Season is an annual entertainment festival between October and March, hosted in the country’s capital. Think Disney World meets Times Square, but make it better.

Book flights to Riyadh.

Diriyah, Riyadh

This beautiful section of the city was the home of the first Saudi royal families and has been left untouched for centuries. Walk through the clay houses and learn more about the fascinating history at the Diriyah Museum.

Corniche and King Fahd’s Fountain, Jeddah

Stroll along the promenade to enjoy ocean views where you can buy ice cream along the way. Then, make sure you visit the famous fountain nearby, which shoots water up to 312 m high.

Al Balad, Jeddah

This old-town village is simply stunning, with ancient homes, a variety of shops and several historic sites. Explore house museums and art galleries, shop spices, perfumes and fabrics, or grab a drink and soak up the lively atmosphere.


Believe it or not, Saudi offers splendid hiking trails. Mountainous regions such as Abha are great for rock scrambling, camping and even multi-day hikes. Always go with a registered guide when hiking.

Desert Camping

The brochures don’t lie. The country’s vast desert spaces make for beautiful camping (or should we say “glamping”?) backdrops. What better way to get in touch with nature than watching sunsets, sitting around a fire and star gazing before bed?

Top Travel Tips

Respect the Dress Code

Non-Muslims should respect the country’s religious laws by dressing modestly. Always cover your legs and preferably most of your arms, too. That’s also a great way to avoid sunburn! Women do not have to cover their hair.

Get a Tour Guide

Booking your trip through a tour operator or travel agency would be a good idea, especially if you can get a local tour guide who understands the culture and speaks the language. This will ensure you get the most out of your time in Saudi. It’s also recommended to book a chauffeur or taxi service in advance to get around, as public transport is not readily available.

Search packages here.

Know the Exchange Rate

The country’s currency is the Saudi Riyal, and the exchange rate is roughly 5 Rand to 1 Riyal as of January 2024. Do some research and plan your budget before you go, as the country is relatively expensive.

Remember your e-Visa

Travel admin? Easy-peasy! Just apply for your e-Visa online. All you need is a valid passport, a visa photo, accommodation details and a credit card. The cost is roughly R2,400 ($129) and you have access for 90 days on a tourist visa.

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