The territory of modern Saudi Arabia in the Middle Ages was part of a huge empire – the Arab Caliphate. Until now, places of worship for Muslims have been preserved in Saudi Arabia. Now, thanks to its huge oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world. Many cities in this country are closed to foreigners. However, in Saudi Arabia there are many other interesting places for tourists, as well as beach resorts on the Red Sea coast.
Saudi Arabia is located in Western Asia, on the Arabian Peninsula. In the north, Saudi Arabia borders on Iraq and Jordan, in the northeast – on Kuwait, in the southeast – on Yemen, in the northeast – on the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. In the west, Saudi Arabia is washed by the waters of the warm Red Sea, and in the northeast it is bounded by the Persian Gulf. The total territory of this country is 2,149,000 sq. km, and the total length of the state border is 4,431 km.
Most of the territory of Saudi Arabia is occupied by semi-deserts and deserts. There are mountains in the southwest and west of the country. The highest peak of the country is Mount Sauda, whose height reaches 3,133 m.
There are practically no rivers and lakes in Saudi Arabia, but there are numerous oases.
According to itypemba.com, the capital of Saudi Arabia is the city of Riyadh, which is now home to about 5 million people. People on the territory of modern Riyadh lived already 4 thousand years ago.
In Saudi Arabia, the official language is Arabic, belonging to the Semitic group of the Afroasian language family.
About 97% of the population of Saudi Arabia is Muslim. Of these, about 90% are Sunni Muslims belonging to the Wahhabis, and the rest are Shiite Muslims.
According to equzhou.net, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy with the King as head of state. Power is inherited. The king must observe the religious Muslim law “Sharia”.
It is not surprising that there are no political parties in Saudi Arabia, because all power belongs to the King, who rules the country with the help of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Saudi Arabia consists of 13 provinces (mintaqats).
Climate and weather
The climate in Saudi Arabia is desert, with very high daytime temperatures and cool nights. Only in the southwestern province of Asir is the climate more temperate (monsoons from the Indian Ocean and mountains). The average annual air temperature is +25.3C. The highest average air temperature in Saudi Arabia is observed in July and August – +45C, and the lowest – in January and December (+3C). The average annual rainfall is 106.5 mm per year.
In the west, Saudi Arabia is washed by the waters of the warm Red Sea (1,760 km), and in the northeast it is bounded by the Persian Gulf (560 km). The total coastline is 2,320 km.
The entire culture of Saudi Arabia is permeated with Islam. The only non-religious holiday in this country is the Jinadriya folklore festival, during which camel racing takes place. All other holidays in Saudi Arabia are religious in nature – Ramadan, Hajj, Eid al-Fitr, etc.
During the Hajj, millions of pilgrims from around the world come to Mecca. Pilgrims visit iconic mosques, Mount Arafat and the Mina Valley.
Cuisine in Saudi Arabia is traditional for the Arab countries. Traditional food products are rice, halal meat, dairy products, fish. Traditional dishes in Saudi Arabia: kebab skewers, shawarma, fried lamb meshui, stuffed peppers, dajaj (chicken stew in tomato sauce), haris (chicken casserole), duck with rice and vegetables , pies “sambusa” with fillings (meat, vegetables, cheese).
Various soups and broths, pilaf, vegetable salads are popular in Saudi Arabia. The people of Saudi Arabia like to season all dishes with spices, olives, onions, garlic, cinnamon, honey.
The most popular sweets in Saudi Arabia are pistachio and raisin rice pudding, Turkish delight, baklava, honey donuts, and candied fruits.
Traditional soft drinks in Saudi Arabia are coffee (often with cardamom) and tea (usually with herbs).
In Saudi Arabia, there are sacred places for Muslims and mosques. In this country there are ruins of ancient fortresses, forts, mosques and even Christian temples, as well as salt mines, rock tombs, palaces. Those. tourists have something to see in this country. The top ten attractions in Saudi Arabia, in our opinion, include the following:
- Al Quba Mosque near Medina
- Al-Masjid Mosque in Medina
- Musmak fortress in Riyadh
- Archaeological site of Al-Hijr
- Shada Palace in Abha
- Fort Qasr Marid in Domat el-Jandal
- Rock Tombs at Madain Salih
- Masjid-Oma Mosque in Domat El-Jandal
- Royal Museum in Riyadh
- Ancient fort in Al Hofuf
Cities and resorts
The largest cities in Saudi Arabia are Mecca, Medina, Jeddah, and, of course, Riyadh.
Most tourists come to Saudi Arabia during Ramadan to visit Mecca. However, in Saudi Arabia there are several excellent resorts on the Red Sea. The beaches in Saudi Arabia are long and sandy. By the way, the longest sandy beach in Saudi Arabia is located in the Half Moon Bay region near Al Khobar. Another popular local beach resort is Obir. Also, do not forget about Jeddah, the largest Saudi city on the Red Sea. In the coastal waters of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, scientists have counted more than 20 species of coral.
Tourists from Saudi Arabia usually bring handicrafts, jewelry, pearls, carpets, prayer rugs, traditional shoes of the inhabitants of this country, key chains and figurines in the form of Aladdin’s lamp, silk, rosary beads, Arabic perfumes, hookahs, dried dates.
Banks: Sat-Wed: 09:00-12:00 Some banks are open in the afternoon.
Official opening hours, including shops, from 10:00 to 15:00. However, most shops are open later. All shops, restaurants, etc. during the day they are closed four times for 30 minutes for prayer.
A visa is required to enter Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Riyal is the official currency in Oman. Its international designation is SAR. One Saudi riyal = 100 halalam. Larger hotels, restaurants and shops accept all major credit cards.
You can import foreign currency into Saudi Arabia without any restrictions, but the amount over 16 thousand dollars must be included in the declaration (also when exporting foreign currency). But the local currency cannot be imported and exported to Saudi Arabia. Also, you can not import the currency of Israel.
It is forbidden to bring into Saudi Arabia alcohol, religious books, pets (there are exceptions), and any goods made in Israel.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Ukraine:
Index: 03035, Kyiv, Krasnodonskaya, 1-3
Tel: (044) 520-51-70
Email: [email protected]
Address of the Ukrainian Embassy in Saudi Arabia:
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 11693, POBox 94010 Riyadh
Tel: (8 10 9661) 450 85 36
Email mail: [email protected]
997 – Ambulance
998 – Fire Department
999 – Position
The difference with Ukrainian time is +1 hour. Those. if in Riyadh, for example, it is 09:00, then in Kyiv it is 08:00.
Tipping in Saudi Arabia is 10-15% of the bill. Porters at the hotel leave 1-2 dollars (equivalent) for one bag.
Tourists who want to visit Saudi Arabia do not need to have mandatory vaccinations. But doctors recommend vaccinating against typhoid, malaria, rabies, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B before traveling to this country.
Travelers should remember that Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, which is governed by Sharia law. The vast majority of the inhabitants of this country are Wahhabis who do not like Christians very much. It is very hot in Saudi Arabia, so tourists there should always have sunglasses, panama hats and a supply of water with them.