Say Hala Wadi Lujab, as you’re going to visit one of the top tourist spots, being one of nature’s many wonders, a fissure in the eastern part of mountain Alqahar Zawan. Explore Wadi Lajab in a way you’ve never done before, with an exceptional trip that highlights the convergence of peace, serenity, and sea activities, you’re sure to have a top-quality time.
A Run Through Some of The Most Amazing Places …
Have you ever taken a walk through Jabal Alaswad Mountain? Faifa Mountain? Or Adayer Mountain? Now is your chance to try all of them out! Perhaps you should also take a swing by the Beans Farm, to grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee & to enjoy the scenery.
Paragliding Your Way Through Wadi Lujab …
Once you are off the ground, flying in the air and watching the world from above, you get no time to think about anything else. Your stress level decreases as you have to keep complete focus and attention on the ride for maximum fun. All your worries and distractions take a backseat as you live in the present, soaking nature’s beauty and getting awestruck.
Skydive Your Stresses Away …
There’s rushing wind, the blueness of the sky, the blueness of the ocean. The view and the sensation are so consuming, you will forget entirely about the parachute, barely remembering that you’re 1700 meters in the sky and falling. Everything will feel both beautifully close and breathtakingly far. It’s also incredibly radiant — bright white fluffy clouds below, brilliant ocean intensifying toward the horizon. Your gaze seems to extend forever.
Have you noticed today that Riyadh is brighter than usual?
Have you been wondering why it’s so?
The reason behind this brightness is that Riyadh and its people are going to have a splendidly artistic festival, more than 60 artists from 20 countries around the world are to celebrate the light, exposing many different artistic ways that catch the sense of the audience.
If you want to experience the beauty of light and a fan of sky-gazing, along with other various light sources, then this festival is going to bring a great experience that will light up all your senses & emotions.
Noor Riyadh Festival will start from March 18 to April 10 as part of Riyadh’s Art program, one of the most impressive projects that started in 2019. Turning Riyadh to an open art gallery, combining modernity & cultural traditions.
Since you’re in Riyadh, have a read at this: click here
Riyadh Romps Around With Lights
In Noor Riyadh Festival, famous Saudi artists are going to participate, representing about 40% of the participants including popular names such as Maha Malluh, Ayman Zeidan, Lulwah Al-Homoud, and others. In addition to the Saudi artists, international artists from 20 countries around the world are going to participate representing 60%. Those artists include Daniel Buren, Ilya, and Emilia Kabakov, among others.
Noor Riyadh Festival will have a variety of activities including panel discussions, workshops, guided tours, art exhibitions, movies, and various celebrations starting its first event under “Elham Riyadh” title.
Light Upon Light Exhibition
“Light Upon Light” is one of the most prominent exhibitions that include great artistic works divided into four parts, based on the concept of light:
With the title of “Under One Sky”, Light Upon Light Exhibition aims to represent the concept of unity, gathering of people around the light, and charming flames that brighten their hearts and gathers them under the light of love especially with COVID-19 separating all of us.
The exhibition also includes “Arts of Light, from the 60s”. Providing the visitors with the experience of cognitive & sensational touchings.
Riyadh Brings The Stars to Right Where You Are:
As singing brightens our existence, the festival also includes the best concerts, the biggest & most original singing stars, such as Ray of Solskin, that are sure to brighten up the spring of 2021.
Many Exciting Activities & Exhibitions such as:
Museums and community participation in Saudi Arabia.
Ligh, carving, and painting by James Clara and Iván Navarro
Light and courage
Light and communication
Changing of Views
Guiding tours like:
King Abdullah Financial District
King Abdulaziz Historical City
“Light Upon Light” Exhibition
Light and sensations
Women’s guiding tours
Noor Riyadh X MDLBeast
Noor Riyadh X MDLBeast (Hat Claps)
Noor Riyadh for music
A Vision From Light – Light Writing
Scales – Light Writing
Culture and the future of cities
Artistic works in public places
Power of nature
One sky gathers us all – light and universe art
A panel discussion with Saudi art guiders
Interactive environment-light and technology art
Journey to light and darkness
Electronic music and light art
Journey to contemporary art
Culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia
Light and hope
Tales of lights
Light and creativity
Light is the vision
That’s not just it, other events will also brighten Riyadh and show the effort of Saudi Arabia in increasing the level of engagement and excitement.
We hope you have a killer time at Noor Riyadh Festival!
Download Hala Yalla Super App and book the best entertainment, tourism, and sports experiences.
A fascinating city with great history and culture, diverse and kind population, rural and modern scenes, further making it appealing to all kinds of tastes and interests. Get ready for a trip to the past and for a wondrous experience, all at Historic Jeddah.
For a fascinating look into Jeddah’s long and cosmopolitan past, take a trip to the Tayebat Museum for an amazingly curated representation of the city’s 2,500-year history. Located in the Al Faisaliyah district, the museum is housed in a complex with many rooms that re-create the traditional Hijazi architecture of the old city.
The museum’s four-floor collection has displays ranging from pre-Islamic artifacts, ancient Islamic manuscripts, old coins and weaponry to furniture, pottery and traditional Saudi dresses.
Al Balad region
Get a sense of the city’s extensive history by exploring Al Balad, the oldest part of Jeddah, where the city began. Though Al-Balad’s original city walls came down in the 1940s, its unique architecture and charm are preserved to this day. With the old city gates, historic mosques, a variety of traditional souqs (markets), and a museum, there’s plenty to see and do in the Al-Balad section of Jeddah.
The mosque doesn’t actually float but is built on the stilts surrounded by serene waters of Historic Jeddah. The city comes alive during the day and at night as the beaches and fountains are illuminated.
The mosque is open at all times but you can find many entertainment and accommodation options around it, such as the Movenpick Resorts, Radisson Blu Hotel or the Sheraton.
You gotta admit, nothing beats the scenic beauty and charm of Jeddah beaches in Saudi Arabia. Where you feel the sea breeze, with a hot cup of coffee and families mingling about.
Have you ever went kite surfing in the Red Sea? Book now!
A sweep visit to Jeddah’s Durrat Al Arus, the first established private beach, consisting of more than 1000 rentable beach villas, a marina, a diving school, and an amusement park. We’re absolutely sure you will enjoy your time there.
Historic Jeddah Souqs
From the alleyways of souq Al Badu and souq Al Alawi to other cultural souqs that are over 140 years old, offering a wide range of antiques and treasures. From fabric stores, incense, bakeries, to all types of valuables.
It’s proven to be difficult to not spend a fortune at those souqs. Make sure you come prepared with a money-filled pocket & wit, as you’re going to be doing a great deal of purchasing & bargaining.
If you’re a shopping enthusiast then you’ve picked the perfect city in Saudi Arabia. Not only is it popular for being the country’s financial center and a rich source of history and heritage, but is also an excellent place for a fun night out and overall entertainment. With its unstable weather conditions, ranging from extremely hot and dusty to bone-chilling cold and windy, its inhabitants had no choice but to seek out other means of entertainment that can be enjoyed indoors. And this is why we chose to make a list of the Top 5 Most Popular Shopping Malls in Riyadh.
And among its highly celebrated forms of entertainment are shopping malls. It may look baffling coming across so many shopping malls and having to pick between them. But that’s what Hala Yalla is here for. Make sure to clear up your plans for the weekend.
Top 5 Most Popular Shopping Malls in Riyadh
Although being relatively new, it hasn’t taken Riyadh Park long to gain popularity and recognition among people in Riyadh and other cities, as it’s right in the center of the capital. The mall is spacious and holds one of the most fascinating architectural designs. Not just that, Riyadh Park also houses many of the biggest and popular international brands, in addition to having a wide variety of restaurants and coffee shops to choose from, such as The Cheesecake Factory and Salt. If you have kids, then treat them to some of the fun rides at Magic Planet, while you enjoy your time with the most experience immersive and tech-advanced cinema in the kingdom, Vox Cinema.
Address: Northern Ring Road, Al Aqiq. Website: Click
Panorama Mall is pretty well known for housing multiple brands. It may not be the largest but that makes up for easier navigation and reduced anxiety by giving you too many choices and options. It holds a diverse network of amazing restaurants, one of which is Piato, the Italian masterpiece. They’ve got two of the coziest coffee shops in the city, Papparoti, and Ferzatche.
Address: Al Takhaussi Street, Al Mathar Ash Shamali. Website: Click
This shopping mall will present you with numerous top-quality brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, COACH, Roberto Cavalli, Beverly Hills, Polo Club, Fred Perry, and many more. There’s also an amazing selection of restaurants and coffee shops. You can enjoy an elegant breakfast at the french cafe: Paul. If you’re a fan of Turkish delicacies then check out Simit Sarayı. Pay a visit to Sparky’s on the 2nd floor, it has options for mechanical adventure games, modern computer games, and three-dimensional cinema, open to all ages. Try out some, or perhaps all of them!
Address: Imam Saud Bin Abdulaziz, Exist 9. Website: Click
Having recently been expanded, providing greater space along with greater plans of adding more entertainment venues and shopping outlets. The brands in Granada mall vary with a great selection and an attractive mix of local and international brands that are meant to satisfy the desires of all family members and age groups. On the first floor, you’ll find a wide choice of restaurants and candy shops which are some of the best in the city. There is also a kids’ area on the same floor, you get to enjoy a delicious meal while watching your bundles of joy having the best time of their lives.
Address: Eastern Ring Road, Al Shuhada. Website: Click
Last but not the least, is one of the most visited tourist spots in Riyadh, the Kingdom Center. It houses a glamourous shopping mall, the Four Seasons hotel, and on the 99th floor lies the Sky Bridge, providing you with a panoramic view of the beautiful city of Riyadh from 300 meters above! The entrance fee is 63 SAR, it’s open from 12 PM – 11 PM on Saturday to Thursday, 4 PM to 11 PM on Fridays. A visit to the Kingdom Center also offers an opportunity to check out highly popular brands, jewelry, and other merchandise. At the basement level, there’s a food court, along with a Caribou Coffee nearby the parking lot, and the biggest in the world: Al Masaa Cafe, talk about an unforgettable experience.
Address: King Fahad Road, Al Olaya. Website: Click
Unfortunately, due to the on-going circumstances of the pandemic, temporary precautionary measures have been taken, which include: Closing down cinemas, indoors gaming and entertainment centers, dining services in restaurants and cafes (External requests are available). We tend to be extra careful with our beloved Hala Yalla users, so don’t forget to always follow preventive and precautionary measures.
Experiences are best enjoyed with the company of others. Pick your favorite people, and join us at Hala Yalla, the largest digital community in the Middle East.
Download your SUPER app for more Shopping Malls in Riyadh, and to stay updated about exclusive news of ultimate experiences and venues in the Kingdom.
Welcome to one of the wealthiest countries in the world. A perfect blend of medieval and millennial is found in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. Once a walled trading route, you can envision the bold future this city holds in its architecture, souqs, cuisines, and culture as a whole. One of the most fascinating histories can be traced back to these top tourist places in Riyadh. So pack your bags, get your camera ready and start your tour at these fantastic places in the city.
Globe Experience – Faisaliah Center
If you’ve been in central Riyadh for even a few hours, you may have spotted the enormous towers standing tall among the skyline. One of those has a giant globe at its top and that’s what we’re talking about here.
The Globe Experience is a spectacular viewing platform inside an enormous glass ball that’s 24m in diameter, made of 655 glass panels, and suspended just below the top of Al Faisaliah Tower. There’s a restaurant inside the globe that you can book a reservation for and through the doors, you get an entire 360-view of the city. The tower is located off Olaya street.
Sky Bridge – Kingdom Center
Another famous tower dotting Riyadh’s skyline is the Kingdom Center. Not for the faint-hearted or those suffering from vertigo, here, high-speed lifts fly you at 180km/h to the 99th-floor Sky Bridge.
As the tower is shaped like a can opener, the Sky Bridge is suspended 300 meters above the city, offering spectacular views across the Riyadh skyline and beyond, and is a must-do experience for tourists passing through the capital.
The most famous desert trek from Riyadh is definitely the Edge of the World. Aptly named, this spectacular spot offers uninterrupted views across the barren valley floor and to the horizon, from the edge. These dramatic views earned the site its nickname, and have helped turn it into one of Riyadh’s most popular tourist destinations.
It’s roughly a 90-minute drive from the capital city, located 90km far. It forms part of the vast Tuwaiq cliffs, which stretch over more than 600km through central Saudi. It typically takes between 15 and 30 minutes to reach the cliff edge, however, there are plenty of opportunities along the way to stop and enjoy the view.
Ever wondered what’s it like to swim, scuba or snorkel in crystal-clear waters, right in the middle of the desert? Because you can do just that at Ain Heet Cave on the outskirts of Riyadh. Bask in unfiltered waters in one of Saudi Arabia’s most easily accessible wild caves.
Once you near the fragile entrance, you’d notice why this natural wonder is also called Ain Heet. ‘Ain’ means eye in Arabic, and the 20-meter wide entrance has almost the same shape.
While the cave starts narrowing down to approx. 5 meters, carefully watch how you step on the unstable rocks, as the boulders aren’t fixed to the ground. While heading towards Al-Kharj, there’s an exit to Al Heet, about 40 km from Riyadh’s city center.
Which visit to a city is ever complete without a trip to its museum? Where decades and centuries-old history can be traced by locals and tourists alike. Such is the charm of the National Museum of Riyadh, part of King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre, and one of the most visited places in the city.
Encased within modernist architecture, its two floors contain eight well-designed and informative galleries covering Arabian prehistory, history, culture, and art. They include audio-visual installments, virtual visits to historical sites, and other excellent interactive displays.
If you’re looking for the best and most exciting tourist places in Riyadh, Hala Yalla is your one-stop guide to the city. Discover hidden gems in food, entertainment, culture, tourism and more as Hala Yalla has all the bookings available for you.
The capital city of Saudi Arabia has grown from a mud-bricked trading hub in the middle of nowhere with barely any visitors to being one of the busiest and wealthiest cities in the world. Despite the well-reserved and traditional social upbringing that many of its inhabitants have had, they are among the most welcoming, generous, and kind people you’ll ever come across. As Saudi Arabia continues to focus on growing its tourism sector through the means of attracting international visitors, as well as its local people, one can expect to see a lot of historically rich places being open to the public. So if you’re looking for the most-visited historical places in Riyadh, you’ve come to the right place!
Al Masmak Fort:
Built-in 1865 and located in the central part of Riyadh. It’s home to a museum that’s rated as one of the most visited tourist destinations in the city. The word “Masmak ” stands for high and forfeited, and it has served multiple functions throughout its existence. From being a warehouse for weapons and ammo to turning into a prison and later overseen and maintained by King Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz who was responsible for establishing Al Masmak Historical Museum in 1995 AD. The SCTH launched an app for a virtual tour through 3D images of Al Masmak Fort to chronologically display the history of modern Saudi Arabia. The museum houses a wide variety of historical artifacts and is an excellent place for those who want to learn about the country’s heritage. The entrance is free.
Not so far from Al Masmak Fort lies quite a noteworthy shopping center, immensely popular for the gold shops that some people call it the Deerah Gold Souq. It has a plethora of small shops selling carpets, traditional clothes, and many eye-catching antiques and handcrafts. And what makes it so special is the existence of a wide variety of options selling the same commodity but with slight differences that only an expert such as yourself would be able to notice, so it’s an excellent opportunity for bargaining (most of the shop owners speak English) and comparing merchandise in order to end up with the best deal possible.
Built-in 1938 as a governmental facility for hosting official meetings and conferences, it was here where the convention of opening the country for oil inspection was signed. And it was also King Abdul Aziz’s personal residence, a spacious and comfortable place to accommodate the King’s family. The Murabba Palace houses many historical artifacts and photos about the country’s creation, as well as personal belongings and gifts that the King had received.
The National Museum:
Part of King Abdul Aziz Historical Center, it was established in 1999 as a historical and cultural center while being the Kingdom’s biggest museum. The museum consists of 8 exhibitions walking the visitors through different periods of time in chronologically correct order: Man and the Universe, Arabian Kingdoms, The Pre-Islamic Era, Prophet Mohammad’s Mission, Islam and the Arabian Peninsula, First and the Second Saudi States, The Unification, and The Hajj and the Two Holy Mosques. It’s a charming scenery for those who seek to learn more about the history and heritage of the Arab Peninsula.
How can we finish an article on the most-visited historical places in Riyadh without talking about the home of the Saudi Royal family and the first Saudi capital, the city of Diriyah. It’s among the 5 Saudi historical sites identified by the UNESCO List of World Heritage. One of the largest Arabian Peninsula cities before it was later destroyed in 1818 by the Ottoman armies, the city is now one of the most sought-after places worldwide, a bright and shining cultural, historical, and tourist attraction spot.
Under the cool January breezes, we welcomed the New Year full of hope, happiness and FUN. Quite many things might change this year, except our mission at Hala Yalla – to find the best ways to keep you happy, especially in this beautiful season with our amazing destinations for winter in Saudi Arabia.
Here we have some exciting winter experiences and adventures you can easily book to give your New Year a special start.
Top Places to Enjoy Winter in Saudi Arabia
Open Skies & Campfires at Rawdat Tinhat⛺
See a different side to Arabia at Rawdat Tinhat. Located adjacent to the Rawdat Khuraim nature reserve and park – also known as the King’s Forest – take an overnight trip during these cool winter months to watch the desert transform into a beautiful green oasis.
Boasting endless views of the tranquil Arabian Gulf, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is your ultimate arts, sports and entertainment destination. Dip into science and innovation at SCITECH, dive deep into Saudi’s history at Ithra or enjoy scenic views at the beachfront. There’s so much to do!
Visit the most exciting display of more than a dozen tombs at Al Ula’s historic city of Dadan. Built meticulously from stone between the late 9th and early 8th century, you can view ancient inscriptions, rock sculptures and statues among the ruins of the city.
Visit this beautiful and historic landmark that offers a wonderful sight of the northern city. Perched on top of a mountain, A’arif Fortress was built in order to guard the city against possible enemies and still stands as a majestic tourist spot.
Tayeb Al-Ism – also known as The Valley of Moses – is one of the magical natural wonders of Saudi Arabia that’ll take you by surprise. This incredible canyon of Tabuk Province is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, just 15 kilometers north of the coastal town of Maqna.
A luxurious and private space awaits you at the Aseel Resort in the heart of Diriyah. Enjoy a peaceful ambiance on the other side of the bustling capital city, shaded under palm trees and amazing food.
There you have it! Hala Yalla is your first window to explore every beautiful experience in Saudi Arabia. To book more experiences for winter in Saudi Arabia, and discover an unlimited world of entertainment, sports and tourism experiences, download the Hala Yalla super app today😍
We live, laugh, and learn together from the people in our communities. And communities come to our rescue in trying times like these. Hala Yalla app groups are here to do just that.
As humans, we feel a strong need to belong. To one another, to our friends and families, to our culture and country. This is because belonging is primal, fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being.
We’re dependable creatures and need to be part of something. Being in a group, belonging to a community, feeling part of a club, a team or a movement helps us to live better.
At Hala Yalla app groups, we give you a place to share, organize, host, join and do so much more with like-minded people. Read on to find the top 10 public groups you must be part of…
One of the oldest cities in the Kingdom, Jeddah is the historic crossroads between ancient and new, traditional and modern. From its enormous Red Sea coastline to spacious architecture, Jeddah is fast-paced and a little rough around the edges.
If your heart belongs in this cultural gateway and you’d like to meet fellow Jeddah-lovers, join the group today!
All About KAEC
Know everything about this next-gen city in KAEC’s group on Hala Yalla. Live a modern and healthy lifestyle, with immense business and development opportunities in King Abdullah Economic City.
Expand to meet your business aspirations, take your career to new heights, or just visit for a weekend getaway – KAEC is Saudi’s future.
Join the group today and stay up to date with all things KAEC!
All Things Apple
If you’re a true, ardent Apple fan whose faith in the brand is unshakable, then this is the perfect group for you.
Obsess over the newest, greatest updates with other iOS lovers, fawn over recent gadgets and get support for all things Apple.
Ecommerce apps are changing how you interact with your consumers, it’s a retail outlet in their pocket. When it comes to UX and design of these eCommerce apps, it’s important to understand user behavior and psychology that make your app stand out from the rest.
Join some of the brightest UX minds to transform Ecommerce in Saudi by being a part of this group.
Hala Yalla Football Group
Football is played, broadcasted, and loved all over Saudi Arabia. It’s the Kingdom’s pulse that binds and connects people from all regions. A sport that brings folks together with feelings of belonging, loyalty, and passion. Everyone can be a part of a football community.
Join the largest football group on Hala Yalla to host, organize, or be part of community matches as well as large-scale tournaments. Cheer for your favorite club as the field calls you, join Hala Yalla’s football group today!
Adrenaline Adventure Team
Explore the world outside your comfort zone, whether it’s mountain biking, desert safaris, snorkeling or any other adventurous sport. Nurture your wild spirit and join the group of adventurous explorers on Hala Yalla.
Sports play a crucial role in building communities and connecting people in a society. As part of our nation’s Vision 2030 goals, we’d like to facilitate mass participation in sports and physical activities among people.
Join the sports group with enthusiastic members on Hala Yalla, find the best sporting activities around you and bond over your favorite games.
Nutrition and Health
Good nutrition has a direct effect on the overall wellbeing of a community. The combination of changes in food patterns and sedentary lifestyles among people in the Kingdom has contributed to various health hazards.
Join the Health and Nutrition group on Hala Yalla to get the perfect support on your fitness journey.
Whether you have thousands of miles logged in the forest or you’re a newbie interested in learning more about the benefits of hiking, joining a hiking group will help you expand your horizons and get outdoors more often.
Meet avid hikers in Arab Hiking’s group on Hala Yalla and scale the tallest peaks of our magnificent desert. Join the group today!
Dive Point Divers
Diving is a team sport. Even though you believe this activity is your solitary, personal chance to connect with the world below the surface, it can get a bit lonely down there, with only fishes for company.
If you feel like you’re not getting in the water that often, or need your crew to expand, join Saudi’s top divers & explore the deepest parts of the ocean. Join the Dive Point Divers group on Hala Yalla today.
There you have it! If you’re part of an existing thriving community, reach out to a wider audience through multiple community features on Hala Yalla Super App.
Let’s come together, the time is now.
Experiences at Hala Yalla are best enjoyed with friends. Share this awesome news with them and help us create the largest digital community in the Middle East.
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Visit these 5 Saudi World Heritage Sites by UNESCO
History leaves its mark in the form of architecture, culture, and arts. Each of these forms asks for preservation. But one thing that still remains even after centuries is the art. Preserved in the form of these 5 Saudi World Heritage Sites.
Saudi Arabia is a relatively young country when it comes to history. Its history starts from the 1700s but history in Saudi Arabia dates back to 125,000 years.
The places, architecture, Saudi heritage, and ruins of history are well preserved and well maintained so that the stories of the past could be passed on from one generation to the next, in its perfect form.
There are many historic and pre-historic places in Saudi Arabia. UN acknowledges 5 of these places and lists them in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Read about these 5 gems in Saudi Arabia…
1. Al- Hijr Archeological Site (Madain Saleh)
In 2008, Al- Hijr Archeological Site was the first Saudi destination to make the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located in the Hejaz region, Madain Saleh’s monumental tombs with decorated facades tell stories dating back to the 1st century BC. It features 111 tombs and water wells. 94 of the tombs have inscriptions and cave drawings.
The ancient name of the site was Hegra. Nabataean Kingdom was the first inhabitants who lived from 1st BC- 1st CE.
2. At- Turaif District (Ad Diriyah)
Right in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, Ad- Diriyah is the oldest city of modern Saudi Arabia. It was the first capital of the first Saudi dynasty (1744 to 1818).
In 2010, the site was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the old Najdi architectural style buildings and forts, which is specific to this site only. The site also includes the remains of many ancient palaces on the outskirts of Riyadh- the current capital of Saudi Arabia.
The site has mud-brick structures from the 15th century that are still intact. These places include Salwa Palace, Saad bin Saud Palace, and Imam Mohammad bin Saud Mosque.
Read about mysterious and unique places in Saudi Arabia here
3. Historic Jeddah
The city dates back to the pre-Islamic era as an important place across different civilizations. The gateway to Makkah, Historic Jeddah served as a major port with several trade routes, welcoming pilgrims.
Located on the eastern shore of the Red Sea, the history of these buildings date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Some notable buildings are Roshan tower houses and Ribats.
The Old Jeddah Wall is the most distinctive structure in Historic Jeddah. The wall was built to protect the city from external threats.
Historic Jeddah was added to the UNESCO list in 2014.
4. Rock Art in Hail
In the Hail province, two sites are archeological assets of the Kingdom.
The rock art of the Hail region is located at the Jebel Umm Sinman hill range. The site has large sandstones that have carvings and inscriptions on the faces of the rocks. There are human figures and animals drawing on the stones.
According to UNESCO, these drawings were made using stone hammers by the ancestors of today’s Arab population.
In 2015 this rock art became the fourth site from Saudi Arabia to make it to the list of World Heritage Sites.
5. Al- Ahsa Oasis
Al- Ahsa Oasis is the largest oasis in the world for its 3 million trees.
The oasis has a number of gardens, canals, springs, wells, and a drainage lake. In addition to these natural resources, the site also has historical buildings and archeological sites.
It’s the largest governorate in east Saudi Arabia representing 20% of the Kingdom’s area.
The strategic, geographical, and historical location of Al- Ahsa oasis made it one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2018. This site also serves as a connection between ancient and modern Arab civilizations.
Sites on UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ Tentative List:
These are the Saudi places the UN is considering nominating for the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
1. Al-Faw Pre-Islamic City in Central Arabia
On the outskirts of the Empty Quarters, this site has strategic importance. It exists on the ancient trade route heading from south of the Arabian Peninsula to the Arabian Gulf.
2. Darb Zubayda
To visit the Islamic Holy Sites, people from all over the world came to Makkah through this route. Darb Zubayda was the most important ancient travel and trade route.
3. The Farasan Islands
The Farasan Islands consists of over 170 islands and islets of coral reefs. It’s 40- 90 km offshore the south-eastern coast of the Kingdom.
4. Hejaz Railway
During Ottoman rule, Hejaz Railway was built for travel and trade. It was built by Sultan Abdulhameed II in 1909. The purpose of the construction was to provide better transportation to the people visiting Islamic Holy Sites. A number of stations are located in the Kingdom but the most prominent stations are in Tabuk, Madain Saleh, and Madinah.
5. Bir Hima- a rock art site in Najran
Bir Hima is a rock art site in Southwest Saudi Arabia. The stone carving belongs to the stone age period (2500- 1000 BC). The area is known for ancient diverse rock art on the faces of the mountains and ancient writings in the Arabian Musnad script.
In addition to the above-stated sites, ‘Uruq Bani Mu’arid Protected Area’, ‘Dumat Al-Jandal Historical Oasis in Al- Jawf Region’, ‘Egyptian Hajj Road’, ‘Rijal Almaa Heritage Village in Asir Region’ and ‘Syrian Hajj Road’ are also in the tentative list.
Saudi Arabia is a historical country with modern infrastructure and technology. It offers you a fusion of the 21st century and the 1st millennium in one place.
Visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and experience history with a twist of modernity with Hala Yalla. Stay updated with the local community, book experiences, events and be part of Saudi culture.
“We must never fail to affirm that we are indeed one nation under God”
Saudi Arabia is a fledgling country, covering most of the North and Central Peninsula. It is heir to a prosperous history. The Hejaz, the cradle of Islam, and the site of this religion’s holiest cities, Makkah and Madinah, are situated along the Red Sea, in its western highlands. An area is known as Najd, the country’s geographical heartland, had been inhabited, until recently, by the nomadic tribes. To the east, along the Persian Gulf, there is an abundance of oil fields that, since the 1960s, have correlated Saudi Arabia with their oil wealth. All three — culture, tribalism, and vast wealth — have fueled the country’s subsequent development.
The Arabian Peninsula has been supporting agriculture, herding, and hunting for thousands of years. Numerous civilizations, including those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantine, India, Persia, and China, have reached the ancestor of Arabia through important ancient trade routes. In the western Arab cities of Makkah and Madinah around 610 A.D., the Qur’an, the Holy Book of Islam, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The emergence of Islam is one of the most important events in history.
The Saudi National Day
The Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz was a dual monarchy made up of a multitude of dominions and tribes. In the early 1900s, the ruler of Nejd, King Abdul Aziz, reclaimed his family’s ancestral hometown of Riyadh and began nearly three decades of territorial expansion in the region. By 1932, his forces were able to take control over most of central Arabia, and he changed the name of his kingdom to the name of his family, the House of Saud. The Saudi National Day celebrates the passing of that royal decree and is now a public holiday in the Kingdom. The Saudi National Day is enthusiastically celebrated in all major cities of the Kingdom with ethnic dances, local festivals, and other cultural activities.
National Anthem, Emblem, Flag of Saudi Arabia and its history
Saudi Arabia did not have an anthem in 1947, so when King Abdulaziz visited Egypt that year, he approached Abdul Rahman Al-Khateeb, an Egyptian composer, to develop an anthem, and “Aash Al Maleek” was created. The rhythm, a style of Arabic fanfare, is similar to those in the vicinity of other Arab states. Mohammed Talat composed the first set of lyrics for the anthem in 1958, but they were not often heard. It was in 1984 that King Fahd instructed the poet Ibrahim Al Khafaji to write new lyrics that have become the official lyrics of today. The instrumental version of the anthem is called the Royal Salute.
Adopted in 1950, Saudi Arabia’s emblem consists of two swords below a palm tree (honoring the Hijaz and Nejd kingdoms), that represent vitality and development, and two crossed swords that symbolize justice and strength. The Emblem appears on government documents, diplomatic missions, as well as several Saudi Arabian flags. It is emblazoned in gold on the flag of the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia (which is also the Kingdom’s war ensign), and on the lower hoist of the Royal flag.
A green flag with white Arabic inscriptions and a sword is the Saudi Arabian flag that was officially adopted on March 15, 1973. The inscriptions on the flag are the Islamic declaration of faith, “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad (saw) is the messenger of Allah. Ibn Saud’s victories are symbolized by the sword on the flag.
National Animal of Saudi Arabia
It makes sense that Saudi Arabia’s national animal is the camel pertaining to its vast desert regions. Often known as the “ship of the desert “, the animal has been used for millennia as a means of transportation by nomads. Having a life span of 40-50 years, camels can withstand desert heat and survive with minimal food and water.
Hard to believe, but these animals can be found in parts of KSA!!!
Hamadryas Baboon: The hamadryas baboon is a species of baboon from the Old World monkey family. They are a very common sight near the cities of Taif and Abha.
Nubian Ibex: This is a desert-dwelling goat species. The NCWCD (National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development) has established special ibex reserves to save the diminishing population of the Nubian Ibex in Saudi Arabia.
White-tailed Mongoose: This is the Mongoose family’s largest species and is located in the country’s southwestern region. It is a nocturnal species with a lifestyle close to that of the Desert Hedgehog, living in a burrow in the daytime and stalking at night.
Caracal: It is a species of wild cat that is known for its long black tufts on the back of its ears, they are found in the western part of Saudi Arabia.
Striped hyena: The Striped Hyena follows the nomadic lifestyle, on the move constantly. It’s a popular feature of folklore in the Middle East
National Tree and Flower
The date palm tree is the national tree of Saudi Arabia, as a desert tree, it thrives in bright, full sun locations, and is also quite drought-tolerant, as its deep roots will travel far to seek water.” The Royal jasmine happens to be the official national flower of the kingdom.
Falcon is the national bird of Saudi Arabia. They are commonly known as “Hunting Dogs of the Sky.” Falcon is by far the most powerful, huge and majestic bird of all species of birds.
Sports in Saudi Arabia is an essential part of its culture and the country participates in many international sporting competitions. Although the traditional sport is Camel-racing the national game happens to be Football.
The National Dance is the Sword Dance, known as the “Ardha”. Men carrying swords stand in two lines or a circle, with a poet singing in their midst, performing the traditional Sword Dance. The term ‘Ardha’ is derived from the Arabic verb ‘ard’, meaning ‘to show’ or ‘to parade’. The Ardha dance recalls the battles, wars, and victories led by King Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia. It is also considered as a symbol of the re-pledging of allegiance to the King.
Traditional attire and jewelry
In general, Saudis wear modern adaptations of traditional designs. The loose, flowing traditional clothing is practical for the warm, wind-swept climate of the Kingdom, at the same time symbolizing the Islamic ideal of modesty.
Men wear a wool/cotton ankle-long shirt called a thawb. They wear a large square of cotton (ghutra) on the head, which is folded over a skullcap (Taqiyyah), and secured in one place with a cord (igaal). The flowing, full-length outer cloak (Bisht), generally made of wool/camel hair, completes the outfit. Women usually wear a black outer cloak (abaya) over their clothing, which may well be modern in style even in today’s society. Traditionally, Saudi women wear a black Shayla over their heads, a belt tied over their heads. Traditional dress is often richly decorated with coins, sequins or brightly colored fabrics.
Jewelry has been an essential part of Arab fashion for decades. This reflects a social and economic rank rather than a mere decoration. It was a convenient form of wealth and security for the Bedouins. Modern Saudi women wear ornaments with a blend of traditional and contemporary diamond designs and a variety of precious metals.
Traditional staple foods include dates; goat, camel, and cow’s milk; ghee, cheese, and other dairy products; bread and other foods from wheat, millet, and barley; squash, eggplant, okra, pumpkins, beans, leeks, onions, and a few other vegetables; mint, coriander, parsley, and cumin; and occasionally mutton, goat, or camel meat and, on the coasts, fish. Elderly people remember the food of the past as simple but adequate, with no morsel wasted. Meals today are eaten later, and the foods are more copious and elaborate.
The arrival of a guest at one’s home is an event that leads to a special meal in honor of the visitor. Traditional etiquette requires that sheep, goats, or camels be sacrificially slaughtered for a meal, and this is still often done. The meat is boiled in large pots, and part of the soup is passed between the guests, and the rest is poured over large trays of rice and on top of which the cooked meat is placed.
Culture and Traditions
Saudi Arabia’s culture is characterized by its Islamic heritage, its historic position as an ancient commercial center, and its Bedouin traditions. The Saudi culture has evolved over the years, changing with modernization Saudi Arabia’s cultural dimension is represented as follows:
Depth of its civilization that dates back to more than one million years, which is confirmed by the archaeological evidence and the heritage prevalent in this country
Its distinguished geographical location made it a point of intersection of international trade routes through all the ages
Being the cradle of Islam and the country of The Two Holy Mosques.
Being a bridge for cultural communication
A number of organizations have been set up across the country to protect the cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia. One of the largest of them is the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Ministry of Culture, which supports a wide range of cultural activities, including literature and theater groups, storytelling workshops, museum festivals, arts and crafts, and science projects. Many clubs offer Saudis the opportunity to cultivate different artistic talents. The Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts; and The King Fahd Cultural Center, play a key role in the artistic life of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi traditions are embedded in Muslim teachings and Arab rituals. The crest of the year is the holy month of Ramadan, followed by Eid ul Fitr and the season of Hajj (Pilgrimage), followed by Eid ul Adha and the other national holidays. Arab traditions also have an important role to play in Saudi life. Over the millennia, these age-old traditions have evolved and are highly respected. These include kindness and hospitality provided to strangers, friends, and relatives by every Saudi individual. Arabic coffee is known as “Gahwa” is the simplest form of hospitality–its preparation alone is a sophisticated cultural tradition, and it is often served with dates and sweets in small cups. The burning of incense (oud) to welcome guests is another gesture of hospitality.
Folk Music, Dance, and Poetry
The annual Jenadriyah National Cultural and Heritage Festival is a recognition of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage. “Al Ardha,” the kingdom’s national dance, is one of Saudi Arabia’s convincing traditions. It is an ancient Bedouin practice that is based on this sword dance: drummers beat rhythms and poets recite verses as shield-carrying men walk shoulder to shoulder, swaying. The festivals also feature the reading of poetry by established poets.
The hollow-drum is also an important instrument in traditional and tribal practices. “Samri,” in particular in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, is a popular traditional music and dance form in which poetry is sung. In Arab cultural life, poetry is particularly important and has long been considered to be one of the most important forms of literary art. This is a way to preserve the history, customs, and social values of the nomadic days of the Bedouins. Poetry remains popular with the Saudis even today.
Festivities in Saudi Arabia.
The Jenadriyah Heritage and Cultural Festival
It plays a crucial role in preserving Saudi national heritage, coordinated by the National Guard under the direction of the Crown Prince. The festival opens with a traditional camel race and intends to cover all facets of Saudi Arabia’s traditions and culture. A highlight of the festival is the performance by folklore troupes of traditional music by musicians from across the Kingdom and national dances. The festival runs every year for two weeks, with more than one million Saudis participating.
Riyadh Festival for Shopping and Leisure
This festival is held every year in the month of July. Visitors can shop all types of things right from garments, accessories, and electronic goods.
Riyadh Food Festival
Among the most popular festivals and events in Riyadh, the Saudi Food Festival is one of the longest established food exhibitions in Saudi Arabia. It is a bi-annual event and it is a great opening to introduce new products, innovations, and machinery to the leading food production companies.
Buraidah Date festival
In accordance with the ubiquity of this gift of nature, there is an annual festival devoted to dates, held in the agricultural heartland of Saudi Arabia, Buraidah, in Qassim province. It’s the largest festival of dates in the world.
There is something very intriguing about exploring culture, there is always more than meets the eye. Don’t look at it, try and actually see it. Once you see it, you will understand it too.
“Travel to regulate the imagination of reality, and instead of dreaming about how things can be, just see them as they are”