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Saudi Arabia Has Opened Its Doors to Global Tourists! Here’s What M’sians Should Know Before Visiting


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Source: Pick A Trip & wu.tingting

Back in 2019, Saudi Arabia opened its doors to international tourists for the first time ever! Before that, visits to Saudi were mostly for visiting relatives, business trips or performing Umrah and Hajj. But now that the country is finally welcoming tourists, there is a whole new world of ancient history, exciting culture and scenic nature to be discovered.

Curious to know more about the exquisite Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? We’ll tell you all that you need to know!

Makkah Mecca


1. What’s there to do in Saudi? 

Saudi is brimming with rich history and culture as well as show-stopping scenery. There are tons of unexplored lands and heritage that are just waiting to be discovered! Here are a few places that you might want to check out:

Visit Saudi’s capital city, Riyadh

Riyadh Saudi Arabia

At Riyadh, you can find stunning modern infrastructure and ancient monuments that date back to over 1,000 years ago all in one city! Here’s what you can do:

  • Shop till you drop at Deerah Souq (market) which is famous for gold and antiques. Afterwards, go sightseeing at the historic Al Masmak Fort nearby.
  • View Riyadh from above by visiting the Sky Bridge at Kingdom Tower, the third tallest skyscraper in Riyadh!
  • Take a day tour to visit the Edge of the World, where you can climb atop the 300-meter cliffs to find a breathtaking view of the horizon!
1 Edge Of The World

Enjoy an uninterrupted view at the edge of the world.


Discover the rich history of the country’s six UNESCO heritage sites

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The majestic site of madain saleh or hegra.

These six UNESCO heritage sites are deemed to have ‘outstanding universal value’. You can visit them to discover more about ancient Muslim civilisation in the country and how it progressed with time. The six sites are:

  • Hegra, Al Madinah
  • At-Turaif District, Riyadh
  • Historic Jeddah, Al Balad
  • Al Ahsa Oasis, Al Ahsa
  • Rock Art, Hail
  • Hima Cultural Area, Najran
1 Old City Jeddah

The old city of historic jeddah.


Join the Red Sea Cruise to explore unspoiled islands and beaches

1 Red Sea

Join the Red Sea Cruise with a three-day or four-day cruise along the magnificent Red Sea. Enjoy fine dining and entertaining shows aboard the cruise. You’ll also stop at unspoiled islands and beaches where various watersports are offered. It’s perfect for relaxing and exploring!


2. What kind of food can you expect?

Close Up Arab Food

Saudi’s cuisine is known to be flavourful, fragrant and super delicious! Make sure to try out these authentic Middle Eastern dishes that will have you craving more:

  • Kabsa – A rice dish with meat and vegetables, topped with dried fruits and nuts. This is considered the country’s national dish!
  • Muttabaq – Yes, this is where our ‘murtabak‘ comes from! The Saudi version is made from a thin dough stuffed with minced meat, eggs, leeks and scallions.
  • Ful wa Tameez – A warm breakfast dish consisting of thick bread dipped in mashed beans dish.
  • Jareesh – Recently announced as Saudi’s national dish, this dish is made of cracked wheat and slow-cooked with vegetables, tomato sauce and meat.
  • Maamoul – These are traditional date-filled cookies that are usually served with tea or coffee.


3. Make sure to remain sensitive towards their local culture

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Since Saudi is a Muslim country, there are a few local practices that you should be mindful of when you’re in the country, such as:

  • Dress modestly in clothes that cover the shoulders and go below the knees.
  • Don’t take pictures of locals (unless you ask for consent first).
  • Alcohol is completely prohibited.
  • Never point at people and always use polite hand gestures.
  • Remove your shoes at the entrance before entering a home.

Do read up on their customs before visiting and always be mindful of your behaviour when you’re there, okay!


4. You’ll need an eVisa to visit this country 

When Saudi became open to tourists, they also introduced the eVisa, a travel visa that allows international tourists to visit the country. The visa is available for everyone, including non-Muslim tourists, as long as you’re from any of the 49 eligible countries (spoiler alert, Malaysia is included, of course!).

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The eVisa is a multiple-entry visa that is valid for one year from the date of issue. This means that you can visit the country more than once within that year but your trip should not exceed 90 days for each visit and you’re only allowed a total of 180 days of stay within the visa’s validity.


5. Interested? Here’s how to apply for the eVisa!

Since Malaysia is eligible to visit Saudi, the process to apply for the eVisa is super easy! It would only take around 30 minutes when you apply online. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the Saudi eVisa website and fill up the visa application. Prepare your passport, a personal photo, email and a valid debit/credit card.
  2. Pay the visa fee which would cost around SAR300 (RM353). This fee includes a full health insurance for your stay in Saudi.
  3. After 24 hours of processing, your visa will be emailed to you once it’s ready! Easy peasy~

Got your eVisa ready? Now, it’s time to plan your holiday in Saudi! ? One fuss-free way that we’d recommend for this part is to pre-book your travelling plans through Pick A Trip travel app!

Pick A Trip is your one-stop platform where you can book all your travelling needs such as flight tickets, accommodation and attractions!

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Stroll Across The Bridge Leading Toward The Ruins Of At Turaif

Here’s why you need to plan your next trip with the Pick A Trip app:

  • Conveniently plan and manage all of your travel bookings on-the-go in just one app.
  • Enjoy exclusive offers and discounts for Visa cardholders when you book through the app!
  • There are Muslim-friendly travel packages that offer a worry-free holiday for Muslim travellers.
  • The app features a user-friendly interface that’s simple and easy to navigate.

Close Up Hand Holding Smartphone 2

We don’t know about you guys, but planning a trip to a foreign destination can sometimes be puzzling. This is why apps, like Pick A Trip, will make things so much easier! And if you’re interested in visiting Saudi but not sure what to plan, you can find various flights and hotel deals along with cool activities or attractions to check out in Saudi on the Pick A Trip app!

Interested? Don’t wait around and make sure to make your bookings soon! For more information, you can visit the Pick A Trip website here or better yet, download the app from the App Store or Google Play.


Source: freepik
Source: 123RF
Source: wu.tingting
Source: freepik

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