Sights of Saudi Arabia

The historical region of the Arabian Peninsula, which Saudi Arabia occupies today, is generalized to call Hijaz. From the first century, several kingdoms existed in these lands, and in 632 the Arab Caliphate was founded with the capital in Mecca, which was expanded to the IX century to the limits of the entire Middle East, Persia, Central Asia, Transcaucasia, North Africa and Southern Europe. In the XVI century, Khalifat fell under the blows of the Turks, and this earth fell under the control of the Ottoman Empire. In the 18th century, the Union of Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Saud and Islamic preacher Muhammad Abdel-Wahhaba laid the beginning of the Saudi dynasty to this day. Almost three centuries, the Saudita with varying success fought for the formation of the Arab state, while in the 20s of the 20th century, Abdel Aziz Al-Saud, with the support of the British, did not establish final control over Hijaz and Nadezhd (the central part of the country around the modern er-Riyadh), becoming the first King of Saudi Arabia. In March 1938, colossal oil fields were opened in Saudi Arabia, which became the source of wealth and prosperity of the state.

Nowadays, Saudi Arabia is a fairly closed state, the tourist potential of which is the unique nature of the desert, a fantastic combination of ancient traditions and a modern economy, as well as numerous religious places of the Islamic world (they are the reason for entering the country more than 94% of foreign citizens).


Central Region

The Central Region of the Kingdom includes ER Riyadh and many other important cities lying north and west of the capital. This is the geographical and historical center of the country, known as Nadezh, the most traditional and conservative part of it, where all the norms of Wahhabism are still strictly complied with, and foreigners, if not take into account the capital, as rare how rain.

Modern city Er-Riyad, or Riyad that can approximately be translated as "Gardens", Based on the site of the first city captured by Ibn Saud.

Diraya (30 km from the capital) – the first capital of the kingdom and the most popular archaeological site of the country, was founded in 1446, reached the vertices of power at the end of the XVIII century and was destroyed in 1818. Now among the intensively recoverable ruins, you can see several palaces, mosques and an old urban wall.

Eastern area

Lying along the coast of the Persian Gulf and around the cities of Daharan (Ez-Zaran), El Khubar, Damma, El Hufuf (Hufuf) and El Jubil, the eastern region of the country is precisely the place where oil was first discovered for the first time. Before the start of the oil boom of the city of Damma and El-Khubar were tiny fishing villages, and the prosperous now dached was not at all.

Damma – Administrative center of the region and the end station of the only Lamma railway in the country – Er-Riyadh. Its attractions are considered a modern business center and an impressive coastline rock, which is here called just Kornish ("cornice"). El Hubar Also owes its advent of oil (until 1923, it was just a Bedouin camp next to the ARAMCO Geological Exploration Base), and now is a large industrial city from which the famous 25-kilometer bridge King Fahad-Kaziu, connecting Saudi Arabia with Bahrain. Dachran Also built by Aramco and consists of a business district, an airport, an American consulate and University named after King Fahada (how easy it is to guess, geologists and oil workers are preparing here). And 13 km north of the Damma lies the city El Catiff, grew up on the site of the oldest city and port in the field of the bay – some archaeologists include its foundation by 3500 BC. NS., And in the early European maps, the Persian Bay itself is called the Catia Sea.

Nearby Isles Tarut and Darin, on which the ancient port facilities were located, are considered among the most interesting historical sites in the kingdom – even the old forts are even preserved here, the exact date of the construction of which no one can definitely name. V Jebel al-Kara There are ceramic workshops whose goods are known across the country, and near the city Abkayk (Bukayk) You can see the salt copy developed by almost five thousand years.

90 km north of the Damma lies the city El Jubil, Until the mid-1970s, also formerly fishing villages. Now together with the city YUBU It forms a huge industrial complex of petrochemical plants, metallurgical enterprises and trading companies, plus here is the main marine base of the country. Next to El Jubaile in the mid-1980s, the ruins of the Mysterious Christian Church of Jubil Cherch, belonging to the estimates of specialists to IV in. N. NS., What makes them older than any of the European temple complexes. And the south of El-Khubara stretches the intensively developing tourist region of Half Moon-Bay, focused on a beach holiday (here is the longest sandy beach in the kingdom, which has excellent facilities and infrastructure).

Town El Hofuf (Hufuf) – the center of the huge oasis of El Ahas (al-Ahs), which is considered one of the world’s largest. The city has survived the old fort and one of the most interesting markets in the kingdom, which specializes, among other things, on products of decorative and applied crafts and camels – without exaggeration of religious animals of the region. Due to the magnitude of the oasis, the abundance of the greenery and painting of local villages, this region is considered one of the most interesting places in such a saturated industrial enterprise regions.

Western Oblast

The western part of Saudi Arabia, also known as Hijaz, is a historical, religious and cultural center not only Saudi Arabia, but also the whole Muslim world. Here are the main shrines of Islam, many archaeological complexes of the pre-Islamic period, a number of biblical places and the most famous architectural and historical facilities of the region.

The spiritual center and the sacred city for all Muslims of the planet, one of three (along with Medina and Jerusalem) of the sacred cities of Islam, Mecca Lies on the slopes of the mountain system of El Saravat in the central part of the west coast of the country. In the mountains above Mecca, at an altitude of about 2,000 meters above sea level, lies the summer capital of the country – Et-Taif (Access for non-Musulman Free).

Medina ("enlightened" or "Shining city", 490 km northeast of Mecca and 950 km west of Er-Riyadh) – the second holy city of Islam and the first that followed the Tests of the Prophet.

The most important shopping, industrial and political center of the Western region, the main port of the Red Sea and the gate for thousands and thousands of pilgrims, Jedda – The most cosmopolitan city of the kingdom. 50 km north of Jeddah, in Obhor (Obhor), there is a good water resort, and the resort complexes Durrat Al-Arus, Crystal Resort, Al Nakheel Village, Sands and Sheraton Abhur are known not only to their high level, but also a significant contribution to Preservation of flora and fauna of the Red Sea, first of all – nearby coral reefs. Red Sea in itself – a real paradise for water recreation. Here is one of the largest coral reef systems in the world (about 200 varieties of corals), and they experience much less pressure from divers than those lying on the opposite seashore. Egypt resorts. In jeddes and resort towns of the coast, all elements of the rest infrastructure, many shopping points and hotels are developed.


The southwest of the Kingdom is known as the Asian region, which received its name named local mountains. Asira, or Hijaz, is part of the East African fault zone and therefore represents a very interesting geological formation with many high enough mountains (here, near the capital of the region, the city of Abha is located the highest point of the South-West – Jabel-Saud Mountain, 3133 m) , deep tectonic boilinglines and gorges, as well as with a sufficiently large number of greenery, which is a lot of facilitates a slightly lower temperature, and more falling precipitation. These edges are already mentioned in the Roman Chronicles of the Aelus Gallus (25 g. to N. NS.) as Ladan’s land, which, by the way, did not manage to capture, and these edges themselves became part of Saudi Arabia in 1922, remaining before the period independent kingdom. Due to the proximity to Yemen, these edges differ significantly from the rest of the country and in the customs of people, and in the architecture (the most characteristic detail of local buildings – a cornice, which prevents the rain to blur the global walls of houses – for dry and anhydrous Saudi Arabia, such an element is simply unthinkable).

Abha – Capital Asira and the coolest city. Majestic mountains with abundance of greens and beautiful landscapes make it a popular resort and a favorite venue for the weekend. The city has survived the palace of the palace, built in 1927 as the residence of King Abdel Aziza (being restored, the palace was re-opened in 1987 as a regional museum working on Saturday to Thursday from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 16.00 to 19.00, admission is free).

In 45 km south-east of the city, the fascinating landscapes of al-soda begins – huge breakfasts, narrow gorges, sheer mountains, marine hot air and the greens of vertices against the background of turquoise water. And the lands of the Asyr National Park of the National Park are south – one of the best in the kingdom.

Sights of Saudi Arabia

280 km south-east of Abha lies one of the most interesting and least visited cities of the Kingdom – Nazzran.

40 km west of the city of Jizan, on the southwest of the country, is a group of islands Farasman. The extensive archipelago of 84 coral and low-lying sandy islands is one of the natural sections of reproduction of seabirds (about 87 species), Gazelle (the largest population in the country), Digo (together with the Ethiopian Islands Dakhlak – the last population in the region) and sea turtles, therefore Almost entirely part of the National Park of the same name. The largest (66 x 8 km) and the highest (72 m) Island of the Archipelago – Farasan Kabir (Farasan-El Kabir) is known and as a point of the biggest biological diversity in the water area of ​​the Red Sea.

Northern Oblast

The deserted and inflexible area along the northern borders of the country is almost unknown to travelers. However, it is here that under the endless sands hid ancient cities, many of which are mentioned in biblical texts.

330 km north of Medina lies uninhabited city Madine Salih – The most famous and most exciting archaeological site of Saudi Arabia. At the turn of the old and new era, the city was the second most important in Nabotee after Petra and the most important point of the caravan trail from the areas of South Arabia in Syria, Egypt, Byzantium and Europe. Huge stone graves, which brought fame Madine Salih, were built between I in. to N. NS. and I B. N. NS., Yes, and the city itself due to the hardness of the local stone has been preserved somewhat better than Peter (Jordan). The biggest burial of the ancient city – Kasr Farid was carved in a lonely residual grief, and nearby CASS El Bint form a whole group of rock tomb. In Islamic period, the main route from Damascus to Mecca also passed through Madine Salih.

In the north-east of the country lies one of the little-known "precious stones" Kingdom – Modest City Domat El Jandal. Here are two unique historical complexes – almost completely destroyed by the Nabatoy fortress of the CASS Marid and one of the oldest mosque Masdzhid-Omar (VII in.), which is still used in direct appointment. Regional Museum Jof (YOF) – the best place to explore the history and nature of the northeastern part of the country.


Traditional sport of all residents of the Arabian Peninsula – Camel Runs. This is a sport, and business, and a method of encouraging to their history, so everything is connected with these "Ship desert", here erected in the rank of cult. In the capital or in the most distant Bedouin camp, at any time of the year you can see running, dressage and various team games with the participation of these animals. No less popular equestrian sport – the famous Arabic breed went from these places and still all that is connected with horses is for the Saudis in incredible value. Therefore, various equestrian and camel tours are popular according to the most picturesque places of the country (primarily in Asira and Hijaz region), as well as all sorts of competitions held in almost every region.

Scuba diving in the water area of ​​the Red Sea – Actively developing view of the rest in Saudi Arabia. Both Saudi Cases themselves, and foreign tourists rated intactness and species diversity of the Eastern coast of this sea, and today more and more coastal resort hotels include this view of their holidays. The best places for diving is the coast around Jeddah, which has long turned into a recognized water sports center Archipelago Faras, Wild Islands of Shaibar and El Hassani. An important help for divers is the fact that the Saudi coast is not overwhelmed by tourists, like many adjacent water, and therefore local reefs have retained much more features of their relict.

Century traditions of shipbuilding and navigation contribute to the rapid development of yacht sports. Unfortunately, many ancient skills are gradually inferior to an ultramodern boat, but certain measures are being taken to preserve the culture of the construction of traditional vessels "Huri", "sambuk" and "DOU" ("DHOU"), still implemented without drawings and new-fashioned technologies. Therefore, excursions on these boats, on which the ancient Arab seeds crossed the sea, having traveled to India, Japan and even to the west coast of Africa, are extremely popular until now. But modern vessels are not forgotten – many of them, equipped with air conditioning and modern cabins with all imaginable household amenities, are the local analogue of large cruise ships and a very popular view of the rest.

Deepive fishing is gaining increasing popularity both in the waters of the bay and on the Red Sea. Despite the fact that the fish stocks of the waters in recent years have been significantly undermined, the Saudi government is undertaking increased measures to preserve sea flora and fauna. Ancient fishing methods used here are extremely original and quite capable of competing with modern fashion methods, so fishing tours are well-known.

Sights of Saudi Arabia

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