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Saudi Arabia- Experience The Mystical Charm of the Arabian Nights

Saudi Arabia is the largest country of the Arabian Peninsula and the leading petroleum exporter in the world. It is often called the "The Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam. This country guide would give you a virtual tour, but visiting the country yourself lets you feel the true spiritual charisma.

Saudi Arabia has a civilization that dates back to over 5000 years back when it was occupied by Egyptians and Sumerians. It became a powerful Muslim empire during the time of Prophet Muhammad. After a series of wars and partitions, Saudi Arabia became the largest oil reserve in the world and one of the most powerful economic powers in the Middle East

Popular places:
There are many interesting things to do and see in this region. In case you happens to be here in April-May, do not miss out the King's Camel Race during the national Heritage and Cultural Festival at Jenadriyah, which brings around 2000 camels and riders to this region. The coral hued Ottoman buildings of the ancient city of Jeddah, Gasaba towers, the ancient caravan city of Qaryat-al-Fau and the temple at Najran would take you to the old world Arabian charm.  The coastal mountains including Asir is home to some of the most spectacular wild life in this region. Saudi Arabia is home to the most sacred religious places of Islam including the Ka'ba, which is located within the courtyard of al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Muslims pray in the direction facing the Ka'ba. And this mysterious Black Stone was revered in Mecca from pre-Islamic times. Even today the pilgrims to Mecca kiss it while circumambulating the Ka'ba during the hajj.

Getting around:
Buses, car hire and taxis are the most popular travel options in this region. All buses would have screened off, exclusive section for female passengers. Taxis are expensive and some of them ply without meters, so it is better guide to negotiate the rates in advance.

Places of Entertainment:
Being a conservative society, Saudi Arabia has no night clubs or bars but many hotels and restaurants offer evening entertainment options and live cultural shows. Shopping is exciting and diverse in Saudi. There are many shops and market places that sell brassware, silver, ornate swords and curios. Bargaining is common.

Accommodation Options:
There is an array of accommodation options including star hotels, budget hotels and guesthouse to suit your diverse needs.

The official currency of Saudi Arabia is Saudi Riyal (SAR) and it is made up of hundred Halalah. Notes are offered for 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Riyals while coins come in various denominations like 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 Halalahs, check the news for the latest exchange rates.

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