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7 Reasons Why This Is The Fastest Growing Tourism Destination In The World  

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Travelers are increasingly seeking new and off path destinations to satisfy their desire for unusual and unexpected travel experiences.  

And while this country is breaking all tourism records it is still relatively undiscovered by American travelers.  

7 Reasons Why This Is The Fastest Growing Tourism Destination In The World

Compared to 2019 an incredible 56% more tourists arrived here in 2023. This means that the destination has topped the UN Tourism’s ranking for the growth of international arrivals.  

Here are 7 reasons why this is the fastest-growing tourism destination in the world:  

A New Destination To Explore  

Saudi Arabia didn’t open its borders to tourists until September 2019.

Given that the world shut down due to the pandemic just a few months later, that means that Saudi Arabia is a relatively new country to the international tourism stage.  

Streets of the old city Diriyah near Ar Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Travelers who think they’ve been everywhere and seen everything are unlikely to have been to Saudi Arabia, and that makes it an incredibly appealing destination for seasoned explorers.  

Saudi Arabia is a hidden gem, and that it was hidden for so long only makes it more interesting. It’s a treasure trove of rich cultural experiences alongside breathtaking landscapes and an exciting destination to explore.  

Outdoor Adventures 

Stretching across Saudi Arabia, you will find the Rub’ al Khali desert, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

As well as being a beautiful attraction in its own right where you can enjoy fascinating sand dunes and mirages, this is a great spot for outdoor adventurers.  

camel in liwa desert saudi arabia

Popular with hikers, you can walk or ride through the desert. You can also meet with and even share a meal with the local Bedouin people who call the desert home as part of a fascinating organized tour.  

Desert quad biking and camel riding safaris are also popular here for adrenaline junkies looking to try something new amongst these breathtaking landscapes.  

Historically Significant 

Saudi Arabia is a historically significant destination and you’ll find important archeological sites showing off ancient history throughout the country.  

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Al Ula shouldn’t be missed. Here, you’ll find a fascinating blend of ancient tombs, old inscriptions, and surreal rock formations. 

The Elephant Rock - Ola - Saudi Arabia

The ancient civilization of Nabateans is well represented and can be explored in Hegra. Here you’ll find well-preserved Nabatean tombs and more breathtakingly beautiful rock formations.  

Head to Jubbah, where you’ll find rock paintings and carvings that depict human and animal figures and scenes that date back to 6000 BCE.

The dry climate in Saudi Arabia means that these sites of ancient importance are incredibly well preserved and there are fewer countries that have as many ancient examples to explore.  

Beautiful Landscapes 

The landscapes of Saudi Arabia are more diverse than you might think. While they are dominated by dry and arid deserts you will also find golden canyons, valleys filled with green palms, and modern cityscapes too.  

Explore the futuristic city of Neom. Take a jeep ride through Wadi Tayeb al Ism. Climb in the Hijaz mountain range. There is something to appeal to everyone here.

An Incredible Diving Spot  

Saudi Arabia has a Red Sea coastline, which means you’ll have access to some of the best and most diverse diving in the world. Many travelers visit Saudi Arabia for the quality of the diving alone.  

Scuba diving coral reef Saudi Arabia

Exquisite marine life, such as sharks and turtles, as well as the chance to spot an ancient shipwreck, all await.  

Jeddah and Yanbu are the two biggest cities that attract divers and both have excellent diving facilities.

As an added bonus it is possible to dive along the Saudi Arabian coast year-round, so there’s never a bad time to visit.  

Welcoming People 

Some destinations are so overrun with tourists that they treat them with utter contempt (yes, I'm thinking about you Paris!), but because tourism is relatively new and travelers are novel in Saudi Arabia you can be sure of a warm welcome.  

Arabic Traditional Hospitality (Saudi Arabia). Bedouin lifestyle People.

Local people show an incredibly generous level of hospitality to their foreign visitors. You will be treated with kindness and respect regardless of whether you are traveling alone or as part of a group.  

It is one of the sacred duties of Muslims to show generosity to guests, and this is definitely reflected in the way that travelers are treated in Saudi Arabia. Whether you are arriving in a hotel or in a local market, you will be greeted warmly.  

As an added bonus, most people working in the tourism industry in Saudi Arabia speak excellent English, so the language barrier is less of an obstacle than many people might think.  

A Spiritual Spot 

It would be remiss not to mention that religious tourism is one of the main reasons many travelers choose to visit Saudi Arabia. Mecca and Medina, two of Islam’s holiest cities, are both located in Saudi Arabia.  

Mecca aerial view

It’s important to note that non-Muslims are prohibited from entering both the city of Mecca as well as the central district of Medina. So incorporating these sites into your trip is only worthwhile if you’re Muslim and are hoping to make a religious pilgrimage.  

But if this is your faith, then these are important and significant locations that make visiting Saudi Arabia all the more valuable.  

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