If you are a fan of football and are looking to add more excitement to your experience at the biggest football event in Qatar this year, you can do so by visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and exploring its archaeological sites, pristine islands, and diverse nature within a charming Arab atmosphere.
Welcome to the land of civilization, traditional values, and future aspirations. Here, we detail some of the most memorable experiences the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has to offer.
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What to see and do in Riyadh?
The capital pulsates with history and civilization, with the city’s historical roots running deep and dazzling glimpses of its bright future. The scene in Riyadh is exceptional, with luxury hotels, restaurants, art galleries, markets and cultural facilities standing alongside museums, historical palaces, and ancient architecture.
During the winter months, the city boasts a warm and unique lifestyle. Riyadh Season is one of the largest festivals in the region and it extends throughout the capital, hosting a huge range of shows and events, providing comprehensive experiences for all tastes and ages. It’s certainly worth mentioning that the 2021 Riyadh Season had attracted 11 million visitors, and even earned its place in the Guinness Book of Records!
The month of December will also witness the return of the MDLBEAST Festival, the largest music event of its kind in the region, in its third edition featuring a group of the most talented Arab and international stars over three days of continuous rhythm!
On the other side of Riyadh, you’ll find the authenticity of the Arabian Peninsula and the Saudi heritage in the traditional market of Zal simply irresistible. The Zal market dates back more than 120 years and is surrounded by the historic Al-Masmak Palace, Al-Thumairi Street and the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque. Also, the National Museum tells the story of the land from prehistoric times to modern times through eight distinctive exhibitions.
The dining experiences here are diverse and distinctive, allowing visitors to find various international as well as Saudi cuisines. Among the restaurants worth mentioning are Sumosan Japanese Restaurant, High Joint for burger lovers, Stone Restaurant which features video games while you enjoy food, and Los Bandidos for steak lovers. For some authentic Saudi cuisine, pay a visit to Najd Village.
Where to stay in Riyadh?
At the capital, you will find options to suit your budget and aspirations. Here are some suggestions:
What to see and do in Jeddah?
About two hours flight from Doha, the Bride of the Red Sea awaits your arrival with wonderful experiences and adventures.
Renowned as one of the most important artistic and cultural centers in the Kingdom, the city of Jeddah is home to the historic Jeddah Al-Balad, an inductee of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Al Balad also serves as an open museum thanks to its authentic Hijazi architecture and ancient historical alleys.
Upon your arrival, you will notice that the historical area of Jeddah has several gates, of which the Bab Jadid is the most famous. The gate was constructed in the early 1940s and now serves as the final gate of the enclave.
Jeddah also entices visitors with other tourist attractions such as its beaches on the Red Sea coast, its rich and pristine coral reefs offering pleasant diving experiences, and the 30-kilometer-long Corniche housing beautiful entertainment and architecture sites. You can also find Bayada Island a mere 40 kilometers away from Jeddah, famous for its turquoise waters and charming white sands.
We also advise you to visit the Jeddah Yacht Club and spend some downtime in the comfort of a luxurious yacht.
Where to stay in Jeddah?
- Assila Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel
- Shangri-La Hotel
- Waldorf Astoria Hotel
- The House Hotel
- Shada Hotel
Where to eat in Jeddah?
- Abu Zaid (Saudi)
- Tuina (seafood)
- Central Fish Market (Seafood)
- Shang Palace (Chinese)
What to see and do in Al Ula?
Al Ula is hailed as both a natural wonder and an open-air museum for good reasons. From its canyons, rocks, cliffs and valleys, the region of Al Ula simply radiates an inescapable allure and charm. It is truly a place where time seems to have crawled to a halt.
Celebrate the authenticity of history and the splendor of nature through a variety of artistic and cultural events, festivals, and nature and outdoor adventures in Al Ula.
Gaze at the stars in Al-Gharamil at one of its unique rock formations smack dab in the middle of the desert. You can also live the adventure by taking on the ziplines in Jebel Al Hurra or test your mettle by climbing rocks in this charming natural destination.
Fancy observing Al Ula’s many landmarks from a bird’s eye perspective? Then you can do so by taking a helicopter ride and observing the Elephant Rock and the stone site from up above. The valley of Madakhil archaeological site also allows you to camp there for the night followed by a sand tank tour that crosses through rolling dunes and stunning mountains at daybreak.
If you’re visiting Al Ula in the month of November, the period when the football championship is in full swing in Qatar, you’ll be able to experience numerous festivals under the “Al-Ula Moments” program.
A prime example would be the Al Ula Festival for Recreation and Relaxation, which brings together wellness and recreation experts to help you rejuvenate and reconnect with your inner self. Next is the Ancient Kingdoms Festival which highlights the priceless treasures of Al Ula by way of an inspiring journey through history.
Where to stay in Al Ula?
- Canyon RV Park
- Habitas Al Ula
- Shaden Resort
- Gathering Apartments
- Banyan Tree (opening October 2022)
Where to eat in Al Ula?
- Old City of Sohail (Saudi Arabia)
- Merkaz (Saudi)
- Maraya Social (International)
- Pink Camel Pastry Boutique (International)
- Circolo (Italian)
A spiritual journey from Doha
Is there a more perfect ending to your exciting trip than by embarking on a spiritual journey to Makkah and performing the rituals of Umrah? Your Makkah journey will also be an opportunity to explore the city’s many attractions. Visit the museums and be captivated by the city’s long history as the cradle of Islam and the crossroads of travelers from all over the world.
Traveling to Saudi Arabia for the matches
Tourists wishing to visit Saudi Arabia can apply for an electronic visa, which is a one-year multiple-entry visa that allows tourists to spend up to 90 days in the country. Through the online portal, visitors from 49 eligible countries can apply for an e-Visa and discover the rich heritage, vibrant culture, and diverse landscapes of Saudi Arabia.
To further facilitate the movement of fans eager to attend the football championship this year, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced a new multi-entry visit visa to Saudi Arabia. This online visa scheme is available to holders of Hayya Card, the document required for entry to Qatar and all stadiums.
With the new visa option, attendees can now enter Saudi Arabia 10 days prior to the start of the championship. It also allows fans to stay for 60 days in the Kingdom.