Major Tourist Attractions: Kaaba, Masjid al-Haram, Abraj Al Bait, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Black Stone
Traveling to Saudi Arabia can be daunting, especially if you are a woman. It’s the birthplace of Islam, and the rules are incredibly strict. But, if you can abide by them, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most memorable travel experiences. As the birthplace of the Islam, it’s no surprise that religion plays the most important role in local culture, one that extends to foreign visitors. If you are visiting during a holiday period like Ramadan, even foreigners are expected to follow the restrictions of fasting month: no eating, drinking, or smoking during the day, at least in public.
Saudi Arabia is comprised of four distinct areas: Hejaz, Najd, parts of Eastern Arabia, and Southern Arabia. The Kingdom was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud, who united these four regions into the one state. The discovery of oil in the 1930’s has led to Saudi Arabia becoming one of the world’s largest oil producers and exporters. Muslims are well acquainted with cities like Mecca and Medina, which are among the most sacred destinations in the world, and impossible to visit unless you have proof you’re a Muslim.
For women looking to travel to Saudi Arabia, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with all the laws – everything from not being allowed to enter the country without a male escort to the need to wear traditional dress, or an abaya, when in public. There is strict segregation of men and women, a ban on alcohol, and more – with religious police who patrol the streets ensuring there are no violations, and ensuring that residents attend prayer five times a day.
Only in Saudi Arabia can you:
- Eat the national Saudi Arabian dish of Kabsa.
- Visit the Souq Al Alawi, the most extensive market in the country.
- Explore Tabuk Castle, a museum that dates back to 1559.
- Learn about the old coral houses in Jeddah.
- Scuba dive in the famed Red Sea.
- Check out the famed Lion Tomb carvings at Jebel Khuraibah.
Address: Abdullah Ibn Hudhafah As Sahmi,
Safarat, Riyadh 11693, Saudi Arabia