Saudi Arabia:Where Natural Beauty Meets Sophisticated Cityscapes

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Saudi Arabia:Where Natural Beauty Meets Sophisticated Cityscapes:table of contents

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign state situated in Western Asia. Being the fifth largest state in Asia, Saudi Arabia has a lot of cultural and natural attractions to offer for those who wish to go sightseeing. Saudi Arabia is also the birthplace of Islam, hence the abundance of spiritual attraction. Here are are some of the best places in Saudi Arabia to go sightseeing.

1. Masmak Fort (Riyadh)

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The Masmak Fort is a fort constructed with clay and mud-brick. The fort contains four watchtowers and thick walls, based on stone blocks. Construction of the Masmak Fort began in 1865 by Abdulrahman ibn Sulaiman ibn Dabaan, prince of Riyadh. At present, a few palm trees surround the area. The fort also houses a museum which displays national costumes, vintage artifacts, and a whole lot more. The Masmak Fort is open for all those who wish to go sightseeing in the place. However, the fort is closed every Friday morning.

2. Diriyah Ruins (Riyadh)

Located in the Riyadh region, the Diriyah Ruins used to be the home of the royal family of Saudi. the Diriyah Ruins lay on the narrow valley called Wadi Hanifa. Its structure is made up of mud-brick. The ruins are divided into three: Ghussaibah, Al-Mulaybeed, and Turaif. The Turaif district, which is the highest among the three districts, was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. The three districts are set on top of a hill overlooking the valley. Several attractions are present in the Diriyah Ruins. They are the Salwa Palace, and the Mosim Park, among others.

3. Kingdom Centre (Riyadh)

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The Kingdom Centre is a towering skyscraper located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Alternately called as Riyadh City Centre, the Kingdom Centre is a 99-storey structure making it the third tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom Centre contains several establishments including a shopping mall, and the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and apartments. A sky bridge is stationed on top of the skyscraper. Construction began in 1999, with Richard Tenguerian serving as the architectural model maker of the Kingdom Centre. When sightseeing in Saudi Arabia, it would be inevitable not to see the Kingdom Centre due to its height.

4. Masjid Al-Nabi (Medina)

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Situated in the historic city of Medina, Saudi Arabia, the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi -- or the Prophet's Mosque -- is a mosque originally constructed by Mumammad, the Islamic prophet. The Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is one of the largest and oldest mosques in Saudi Arabia, and in the world. It is also regarded as the second holiest place for the Islamic community. A dome was added into the mosque in 1818. Subsequently, it was painted green in 1837, hence it was called as the Green Dome. At present, the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is always open to all devotees.

5. Madain Saleh (Medina)

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The Madain Saleh, also known as the Cities of Saleh, is an increasingly popular tourist site located in the province of Al-Madinah. This large archeological site is found at the foot of a basalt plateau, which forms a segment of the Hijaz Mountain. In 2008, the Madain Saleh was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its well-preserved and elaborate ruins. If you wish to go sightseeing inside the Madain Saleh, a permit is necessary to get in. Being a sacred place to the Muslims, only a few can enter the place.

6. Rock Art of Jubbah (Jubbah)

Otherwise known as the Rock Art in the Ha'il Region, the rock art is situated in the desert regions in the city of Jubbah, specifically in the Om Sinman Mountain. The art images found in Jubbah are deeply cut into the stones. Intricately designed and formed, the rock art might have taken a long time to finish. There are several petroglyphs in Jubbah, many of which portray the lifestyle of humans during the earlier times. Even social status and hunting practices were intricately carved on the rock. The rock art has been included as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2015.

7. King Fahd's Fountain (Jeddah)

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Also known as the Jeddah Fountain, the King Fahd's Fountain is a fountain located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The King Fahd's Fountain is the largest and tallest of its type in the whole world. Construction began in 1980. The fountain was launched in 1985. Such fountain was donated by King Fahd, hence the name. Recognized by some as the world's tallest fountain, the King Fahd's fountain can be seen all throughout the city of Jeddah. The fountain utilizes water from the Red Sea. When sightseeing at Saudi Arabia especially at night, it would be inevitable not to see such attraction due to the spotlights which illuminate the fountain at night.

8. King Fahd Causeway

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The King Fahd Causeway is a set of causeways and bridges that connect the countries Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It allows motor vehicles to cross the Gulf of Bahrain to reach either of the two countries. Construction of the King Fahd Causeway started in 1981, but it was not until 1986 when it was opened for public use. The idea of bridging the two kingdoms sparked from King Saud's wish to nurture the bond between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The causeway is named after King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and maintained by the King Fahd Causeway Authority.

9. Al Ula Old Town (Al Madinah)

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The Al Ula Old Town is situated in the Al Madinah region of Saudi Arabia.The ancient town is located in what used to be the Incense Route in northwestern Saudi Arabia. Al Ula is widely regarded for its archeological structures that still stand in the city today, many of which are over 2000 years old. The stone ruins blend with the desert surrounding the ghost town. The prophet Muhammad also stayed in the old town, before allegedly engaging with Byzantine forces at the Battle of Tabuk. The town was a major center for commerce and shelter, but it was later on abandoned due to the modernization of the nearby places.

10. Camel Trail (Riyadh)

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When visiting Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, you should really try visiting the Camel Trail. It is one of the best attractions when sightseeing in Saudi Arabia since you get to witness a fascinating view of the surrounding place. The Camel Trail is a short trail found on the outskirts of the city. It forms zigzags that leads tourists to the desert floor. When at the Camel Trail, you can witness a beautiful sunset against the dusty desert floor. The trail is easy to walk down, and getting down will not take most of your time. For the best view for sightseeing, you can go to Camel Trail early morning or late afternoon.

◎ Closing

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia houses several interesting attractions for sightseeing. From old towns to mosques, these attractions will allow you to know more about the rich history of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, attractions such as the Kingdom Centre will allow you to gauge the progress and modernization that the country has gone through all these years. Hence, Saudi Arabia is a recommended country for sightseeing.

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