Closed to non-religious tourists until 2019, Saudi Arabia is now developing tourism and opening up its five UNESCO sites for visitors. This oil-rich nation is home to vast sand dunes, ancient cities and fertile mountains as well as having kilometres of coastline on the Red and Arabian Seas.

The Arabian Peninsular has history stretching back millennia, home to ancient civillisations and on vital trade routes including the Frankincense Trail. Traders passing through and citizens left their mark with rock art scattered across the country showing pictorial details of life at the time. Near Al Ula, the great Nabateans had their second city in Mada’in Saleh and epic rock cut tombs still litter the desert rising up from the sand on giant rock outcrops.

The birth of Islam has shaped the more recent history of the country as well as the architecture and now dictates everyday life. The holy cities of Medina and Mecca are haram to non-Muslims but there are still plenty of religious sights to visit as well as the cities of Jeddah and Riyadh. The Empty Quarter, or Rub al Khalili is the largest sand desert on the planet and occupies a third of the Arabian Peninsula.

As with so many countries, the image we see in our media is rarely representative of the lives of everyday people, by visiting Saudi we hope to be able to look behind the stereotypes, engage in conversation with different people, learn about life and exchange ideas and hopes for the future.

Holiday Ideas

At Regent Holidays we offer a personal service and use our expert knowledge of destinations to ensure you have an unforgettable experience. From booking to travelling, our Travel Specialists will be with you every step of the way and are on hand to answer any questions you may have.


Marianne Grimshaw

Marianne Grimshaw
Saudi Arabia Travel Specialist
My first trip to Saudi Arabia last year didn't disappoint me - the country is huge and there is a lot of travel involved (through a lot of desert!) but visiting the sights I had read so much about was worth it. The Nabatean city of Hegra was the tour highlight with the stunning tombs cut into towering rocks in to the desert. The beautiful heritage villages dotted around the country, a reminder of the Kingdom's recent past were delightful and seeing worshippers flocking in to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina quite beautiful. As a huge fan of Middle Eastern food I was in my element at meal times as well.

Marianne's Tips
1
Learning about the culture before you travel is always a good idea, but especially so with Saudi Arabia, the dress code, etiquette and laws will be new to most travellers.
2
As anyone who has experienced the Middle East before, local food is fresh, plentiful and delicious. From exotic fruit juices to delicate spiced meals flavoured with the spices the region is known for and rich Arabic coffee served with a variety of sweets. Saudis like fast food which means plenty of shawarma and falafel are on offer.
3
Saudi Arabia has only been welcoming leisure tourists for a couple of years, they are still settling in to their way of doing things and visitors should be aware that tourism doesn't function quite like it does in other destinations. It is a fantastic chance to see a country in its true light.


Why Regent Holidays?

Regent Holidays has been pioneering travel experiences to a wide range of unique and off-the-beaten track destinations since 1970. Our award-winning team of experts will offer you unparalleled advice when it comes to finding your perfect holiday and take you to places that other tour operators can’t. Read more about us
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For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office check www.gov.uk/travelaware
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