Saudi Arabia is the most important and most sacred country for all muslims in the world. It has two of the most sacred places for muslims, first is the Kabah where muslims go to perform the annual pilgrimage and the other is Masjid-e-Nabawi the mosque built by prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Saudi Arabia is located in the Arabian Peninsula and it is a desert country.
There are two main reasons for Saudi Arabia’s importance one it is considered the birthplace of Islam so in that context it has enormous historical importance and secondly this region has been the most oil rich region in the world.
Here are ten things one must do while their trip to Saudi Arabia.
10. Sky Bridge at Kingdom Center
Located in Riyadh the Kingdom center is a 302.3 meter (992 feet) high, 41 storey building and it is the third largest skyscraper in the country. It is also the third largest building in the world with a hole after World Financial Center in China and Tuntex Sky tower. This building has a 56 meter (184 feet) high sky bridge.
If you are ever in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia you should must visit the sky bridge as it will give you the best view of the city especially at night time. The entrance to the elevator that takes you to the sky bridge is at the Kingdom Mall and the elevator takes just 90 seconds to reach to the top.
9. Al Masmak Fort
Built by the prince of Riyadh Abdulrahman ibn Sulaiman ibn Dabaan in 1856 the Al Masmak Fort is built out of clay and mud brick. It has four thick walls and four watchtowers and it is founded on stone blocks which were lying in the old quarter of Riyadh.
This is an important building in recent history of Saudi Arabia as this is the location where Ibn Saud recaptured Riyadh on 14 January 1902. The fort was renovated in the 1980’s and became a part of the King Abdulaziz Historical center.
8. Edge of the World
This place is a famous picnic spot especially when it rains and it has a thick line of green trees along the Acacia Valley. After the rains the valley is full of flowering shrubs, flowers, butterflies, lizards and birds.
If you want to have the most amazing and spectacular view in the entire country you should experience it from the Edge of the world. It is part of the 800 km long Jebel Tuwaiq Escarpment. If you look at the horizon while standing on the edge it looks like the plains continue endlessly.
7. Tabuk Castle
The Tabuk Castle was refurbished in 1950 and then in 1992 it was completely restored but it dates back to the 1500’s. It has now been turned into a museum with a room dedicated to video presentations. The museum has a large collection of historical artifacts and some of these artifacts date back to the time of prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The castle has two mosques one at the ground floor and the second at the upper storey near the watchtowers. Outside the walls of the Tabuk Castle are the reservoirs for water that capture spring water.
The capital of Najran province, Najran is a historical city near the border of Yemen and shares a lot of cultural and historical ties with Yemen. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Saudi Arabia. According to local tradition the name Najran was derived from the very first person who settled in this area, his name was Najran ibn Zaydan ibn Saba ibn Yahjub ibn Yarub ibn Qahtan.
The city of Najran has a lot of historical value as it was the center of Yemeni cloth marketing and the cover Kabah was made here. It was also an importing stop on the Incense Route.
5. Najd Village
The Najd Village is a very popular restaurant in Riyadh and is famous for its authentic and tasty arabic cuisine. It is also very popular among expats who can really learn about the traditional Saudi architecture, lifestyle and food.
It is located opposite to the Prince Sultan University on Abu Bakr Road and it is constructed in traditional Najdi mud house style. If you are Riyadh for the first time you should visit the Najd Village restaurant.
4. Al Soudah
Al Soudah is the highest mountain peak in Saudi Arabia with the height of 2,995 meters (10,848) and it is a part of the Asir mountain ranges. It is the most coolest and vegetated area of Saudi Arabia. Al Soudah when translate to English means the black one, this name given due to the black clouds that surround it.
The best way to enjoy the mesmerising views of Al Soudah is by riding the cable car which starts from Abha and drops down to the Reja Al-maa a traditional mud brick village. The view is amazing consisting of Juniper forests, terraced fields and stone villages.
3. Empty Quarter
Known in Arabic as Rub Al Khali the Empty Quarter is full of wildlife, silence, beauty and tranquility. It is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world and it encircles most of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.
The desert is spread across an area of 650,000 square kilometers and it also spreads across parts of Oman, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The Empty Quarter is inhibited by a few Bedouin tribes like the Banu Yam and Banu Hamdan.
2. Mada’in Saleh
Also known as Al-Hijr or Hegra Mada’in Saleh is Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. This site is located within the Al Madinah region in the Al-Ula sector. The Quran says that the residents of this place were punished because of idol worship so many people think that this place is cursed but Saudi government is trying to establish this area as a major tourist destination.
Mada’in Saleh offers out of this world scenery, archeological sites and tombs with beautifully ornamented exteriors of Nabatean kingdom which makes this place a must visit for tourists and explorers.
1. Masjid Al Haram
The Masjid Al Haram is not only the largest mosque in the world it is also the most sacred and holiest of place for all the muslims around the world because it houses the Kabah. Muslims all across the world turn towards Kabah when they pray and a pilgrimage to Kabah is mandatory for every able muslim.
Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter but for muslims there is no place more important to visit then the city of Mecca and Masjid Al Haram. It has been expanded constantly and currently it is spread across an area of 356,800 square meters.