The Best Mysterious and Unique Places in Saudi Arabia

List of Beautiful Places in Saudi Arabia

“Take chances, explore and find new adventures because no matter where you end up, it will always be exactly how it was meant to be, trust me, it will be worth it and you will feel it, and if you don’t, then your journey isn’t over yet

                                                                    – Enaya-

The contrasting images of the modern city and the cultural heritage & architecture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will take you on an incredible journey into the majestic ancient era. The magical azure waters of the Red Sea call out to the soul and effortlessly your mind aligns with the rhythm of the universe. There is an air of mystery in the golden sands of the deserts, the enchanting winds whisper to you the stories of a magnificent past. You can witness unbelievable mountain sceneries and spectacular heritage villages. Why Saudi Arabia? Well, It’s not just culture, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not just traditions, it’s value. I try and write so that I can encompass, even if just a speck of the glorious features of the kingdom and I try to justify its beauty, but all boundaries simply cease to exist. I am left with a never-ending desire to capture and present the Arabian wonders and all I can say is that there is always more than meets the eye!

Al-Bahah (city) & Baljureshi

Just imagine! Taking in a breath of fresh and cold air in the midst of peaceful silence where it’s only you and the melody of nature, would Arabia ever be the first thought to cross your mind? To walk in the midst of clouds is a dream for many, it’s real for those who visit here!

Along the impressively high cliffs of the Sarawat mountains, Al-Bahah and Baljureshi will offer stunning viewpoints on the cliffs of Al-Bahah Province, historical and traditional sites, and satisfying green parks. The city of Al-Bahah will welcome you to a marvelous sight of its finely detailed and picturesque old villages. Although these traditional buildings are now unoccupied, the local residents are proud to see that the visitors are keen on acknowledging skilled carpentry and their glorious ancestral past.

Al Bahah
evening in Al Bahah
  • Al-Bahah Souk: If you are lucky, you will get the chance to see the largest traditional market that is set-up in the city

This souk distinguishes itself as most vendors are locals from the Tihama coastline. All the goods and crafts sold in the souk have been developed by local suppliers and include items such as basil, household items, textiles, livestock and so much more

  • Al-Bahah Museum for Antiquities and National Heritage: This is most definitely a very intriguing place. Located in the city, the museum, which was established by the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH), highlights the cultural and historical dimensions and covers the long history of Al-Bahah province

Baljureshi presents one of Al-Bahahah’s most intense views. In fact, from the park located on the base of the majestic rock formation of Jabel Heznah, the panoramic view of the scarp that separates the Mountains of Sawarat from the Tihama plain is simply breathtaking. If you are adventurous in your approach, a climb to the top of the majestic Jabel Heznah will be the perfect activity for you at the end of which you will be rewarded by the highest viewpoint of the entire province.

  • Jabal Mussala Ibrahim – Sheda: Does Arabia = heat, dust, desert and sand dunes? You will be surprised! The Jabal Mussala Ibrahim presents from a distance its resplendent silhouette with its sharp granite peak pointing to the sky, the view is nothing less than monumental. When you get close, a small road leads you to the hidden treasure that the place actually holds: a village perched halfway to the top, called Sheda. There are other charming sights on your way to this village in the sky, not an exaggeration! It happens to be 1600 meters above sea level! You will experience a dramatic change in the weather, especially during summers, as it will get much cooler as you arrive closer to this destination.
Jabal Mussala Ibrahim
Jabal Mussala Ibrahim
  • Zee Al-Ayn historical village: This enchanting historical village will take you by surprise. The striking contrast of the white structure against the darker shades of the Sarawat mountain backgrounds is a delightful sight and a nearby natural spring that provides water to a lush oasis surrounding the bottom of the hill completes this iconic view. This historical village is an interesting example of traditional human settlements that were well suited to their climate and to their social and financial statuses.

Al-Jawf Province

  • The Dumat Al-Jandal: This oasis is located in the heart of Al-Jawf province. Visit the local palm grove provides tourists with an enjoyable and tranquil experience; green fields and plants are distributed with apparent anarchy that reveals the area’s natural lushness. Palm trees provide the most exquisite dates. A definite place to visit for an exclusive and tranquil experience.
  • Nefud Al-Kebir: A characteristic feature of the Nefud Al-Kebir is its sand’s plethora of colors ranging from not only the regular beige to red, but also from yellow to white on its edges. Another interesting feature is the shape of the hilly yet scalable dunes. However, the most fascinating part is that it hosts some of the world’s most brilliant rock art. This place has to be on your list!
Nefud Al-Kebir rock art
Nefud Al-Kebir rock art
  • Rajajil is a mysterious ancient site located on a sandstone terrace, south of Sakakah. The conundrum of the site’s standing stones has attracted widespread interpretations and among them, tales of fear and superstition also go around. Archeological excavations have revealed that Rajajil is actually a burial site. It is possible to identify more than 50 burial sites, ranging from single trench tombs to structures of funerary chambers. A place that will definitely enlighten your historic spirit.
  • Za’abal Castle: Za’abal castle sits on a mountaintop in the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia. It is a mud and stone castle situated on top of a functioning well system, which has been operating throughout the city of Sakakah for years. The castle is believed to have been built about 200 years ago, consisting of a wall guarded with four watchtowers and a water reservoir. Archeological evidence, however, shows that there have been several structures on this site since the first century AD. This impressive location, at the highest point in the region, offers it a spectacular view of the city.
Za’abal Castle
Za’abal Castle

Aseer Province

  • Abha is the largest city at a high altitude. It is about 2,200 meters above sea level, BUT the skies fall here! Among the most attractive features is the display of tremendous traditional architecture. Jabal Al-Akhdar- The Green Mountain provides one of the best views of the entire city and its surrounding mountains, as far as the tip of the mighty Sarawat Ranges. The Al-Basta district is one of the oldest villages in the Abha valley where you will find beautiful and vibrant conventional architecture and enjoy its quaint streets.
  • The Ottomans constructed many landmarks in the region, including the Al-Basta Bridge and the Shamsan Fort which overlooks the northern part of Abha at the beginning of the 16th century (BC). The fort is a 91 meter long and 25-meter wide rectangle with three towers and a gate on the southwest wall. Several rooms and services open onto the inner courtyard of the castle.
  • Dhahran Al-Janub’s old village is a beautiful testament to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ancient traditional mud-brick buildings. There are still panels along the old street with inscriptions that surround you in an aura of the past, and even though the village is no longer populated, tourists can still experience the atmosphere that enlivened these streets not so long ago.
Dhahran Al-Janub's old village
Dhahran Al-Janub’s old village
  • The road leading from Abha to Jabal Sawdah, which is the highest point in the kingdom, runs through Moshebah’s hilly landscapes. These sights smash all prejudices about Saudi Arabia as the scenery here is all about mountains and greenery, the absolute opposite of typical sand dune landscapes.
  • The first picture that comes to your mind with regard to Saudi architecture is the artistic and dynamic Rijal Alma’s buildings. The landscape surrounding Rijal Alma ‘ is made up of steep hills overlooking a sinuous path that once carried spices and incense fruits into the Arabian Peninsula’s interior and a valley running towards the Tihama plain. It offers stunning sights and is a must-visit destination. 
Rijal Alma's buildings.
Rijal Alma’s buildings.

Hail Province

  • White Volcanoes (The lava fields of the Harrat Khaybar): This is also referred to as the volcanic wonder of Arabia. The jewel of the Harrat Khaybar lies at the center, where there is a very rare type of volcano made of silica-rich magma which gives it a white color. The two largest volcanoes are the Jabal Abiadh and the Jabal Bayda, whose grandiose majesty is stunning. 
  • Shuwaymis: This world-famous site contains some of the earliest and most impressive carvings and rock art of the Arabian Peninsula. The sequence that emerges from an evaluation of the hunting scenes divides rock art into an exclusive hunting period, a herding period and a later period of camel depictions. This is a fascinating place to be.
Rock art in Hail
Rock art in Hail

Jizan Province

  • Farasan Islands: It consists of 84 islands made up of coral reefs located approximately 40 kilometers offshore from the town of Jizan. With its beaches, its crystal clear waters, and its rich land and underwater wildlife. The uninhabited islands serve as breeding grounds for a large number of birds. Farasan waters also host many kinds of dugongs, sea turtles, lobsters, manta rays, lionfish, eels, etc. It is particularly famous for its parrot-fish (hareed). The land reserve has a very special feature with the Farasan Islands Gazelle, whose graceful silhouettes can be seen shyly in the bushes of the main island.
  • Wadi Lajab: Wadi Lajab’s most impressive attribute is that it provides fresh water more frequently than any other wadi in Saudi Arabia. The stream flowing at the bottom of the canyon creates mid-sized waterfalls and multiple ponds that are deep enough for visitors to enjoy a dip!
Wadi Lajab
Wadi Lajab
  • Fayfa is Jizan Province’s diamond in the sky. It provides spectacular and breathtaking views over the lush green mountains with its peaks reaching about 2,600 meters above sea level. Another beautiful feature of Fayfa mountains is the terraces that were built over the centuries in order to allow agriculture to develop in this humid and fertile but steep land.

Madinah Province

  • Wadi Jinn: The interesting part about this mysterious place is that be it a vehicle (left at neutral) or plain simple water poured onto the ground, it all moves in the uphill direction instead of the usual down the slope movement. People over the course of time have come up with all sorts of theories with the superstitious one being that the valley is occupied by supernatural beings while a scientific theory suggests that it might just be some magnetic field reaction. What do you believe?
Wadi Jinn
Wadi Jinn
  • Lion Tombs of Dedan: Some remains of these brilliant kingdoms have been excavated, including an astonishing necropolis whose tombs were dug on both sides of Jabal Dedan, which overlooks the city to the east. These tombs are square-shaped holes, cut off at different heights from the side of the mountain, with cavities about two meters deep. These lion sculptures, which are an outstanding example of the Mesopotamian influence, are proud iconic figures. An interesting fact, not for the faint of heart, is that remains of bones, shrouds and pieces of coffin wood have been found in these graves.
  • Jabal Al Rukkab: Jabal Al-Rukkab’s most impressive rock formations are three incredibly high natural pillars standing in the middle of a wide wadi and at the bottom of a huge sandbank offering a perfect view of an out-of-this-world scenery. The rocks ‘ silhouette is rather striking and the locals have nicknamed them “the three dancers.”
Jabal Al-Rukkab's rock formations
Jabal Al-Rukkab’s rock formations

Makkah Province

  • Al Wahbah Crater: The Al Wahbah Crater is located in the middle of a barren desert, but the reason that it is an amazing natural wonder is that it has a huge source of salt contained at its base. The giant crater was presumed to have formed due to an ancient meteor collision, but ultimately it was discovered to have resulted due to volcanic activity.
  • Taif (Rose festival): Taif is famous for its roses. Its most attractive rose is an oil-rich 30-petal damask rose, the perfume of which has a robust, spicy, and dizzyingly complex scent. Every year in the months of March-April Taif’s Rose Festival is hosted at King Faisal Park in Qadeera. A flowering tapestry arranged like a carpet, by the Taif Municipality spread over 750 m2, comprising more than 15,000 species of all-color blooming roses, is one of the major highlights of the festival. The festival hosts several pavilions for traditional food items, art and craft, folk dances, and cultural competitions for kids.
Rose festival in Taif
Rose festival in Taif
  • Jeddah: Jeddah presents a quite different image via the seaport city which has an extensive history of exchanges with the world. Having the natural virtue of its location along the Red Sea coast and vibrant coral reefs and the white sand beaches, it has earned its nickname “bride of the red sea.” Obhur on the north of Jeddah is renowned for its resorts with private beaches and dive center. Red Sea marvels are celebrated in the Fakieh Aquarium, where more than 200 species are displayed, including Sharks, Groupies, Napoleon Wrasse, Sea Horses, etc.

One of the most famous attractions here is the fish market located on the west of the Corniche and offers at least 50 species of freshly caught sea creatures from the Red Sea, ranging from hammerhead sharks to groupers, shrimps, parrotfish, and squids. Besides the seafront is the beating heart of the city.

Ancient Jeddah people used to build their homes with coral stones collected from the coastal reef along the shores of the Red Sea, while purified clay from the depths of the two Al-Mangabi and Al-Arbaean lakes were used to cement coral stones. The clay was also used to protect the soils and roofs and lower coral walls. There is also some very old traditional architecture in Balad.

Al Rahma Mosque
Al Rahma Mosque
  • The Haunted House of Jeddah: Jeddah’s haunted house sits on the North Corniche hundred meters or so from the seafront. Among the communities in Jeddah, it is well known and people avoid going close to this house. People around say it’s a magnet for the youth (shabab). Approximately 16 people have entered this house and have never returned, confirms a news report. The outside world has no idea as to where they have gone, there is no trace of them still today.

Najran Province

Najran city is famous for its two palaces, Emarah and Al-Aan, which are inevitable landmarks and brilliant examples of the province’s traditional architecture. The old streets of  Najran traditional villages like Abu As-Su’ud is a delightful experience that will take you back in time. Another artistic feature of Najran’s traditional houses is the sleek crenellations on the top of the walls, which gives the silhouette of these rectangular buildings a strong impression of lightness. It is truly an aesthetically pleasing sight.

Najran province
Najran province

Qassim Province

The province of Qassim is home to some of the most symbolic attributes of the Arabian cultural heritage, not only with its iconic date festival but also with many other festivities, rural villages, and museums that have kept Arab customs and lifestyles intact.

  • Al- Shinanah Tower: This is an extraordinary architectural feature that can be found in the southwest of Al-Rass in the province of Qassim. The slender silhouette of the watchtower is located on the top of a small hill where the desert begins. This classic 27-meter-high tower is a brilliant example of Qassim’s classic architectural heritage, which has been preserved to this day. 
Al- Shinanah Tower
Al- Shinanah Tower
  • Uyun Al-Jiwa: Uyun Al-Jiwa’s name refers to the governorate as well as its main city. The term translates literally into “the pond valley” and is derived from the water ponds that used to surround the area. Classical Arab poetry attests to the reputation of loyalty, honesty, and hard work of the people of Uyun Al-Jiwa and the historical importance of the oasis.

Riyadh Province

  • Ushaiger heritage village: Ushaiger, which literally means “blonde”, is a heritage village located 200 kilometers northwest of Riyadh in the heart of the Najd. Although it’s built of red rock, locals say that the Arabic word for red was also used for blonde in the past.
Ushaiger heritage village
Ushaiger heritage village
  • Al Ghat Heritage village (One of the largest traditional villages of Saudi Arabia): The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has an incredibly rich architectural heritage with dozens of styles across the country. It is situated 250 kilometers from the capital city of Riyadh and adjacent to the province of Qassim, Al-Ghat is one of the most well preserved traditional villages in Saudi Arabia.
  • Musayqirah rock is one of the very rare known sites in the province of Riyadh where water-buffalo carvings can be found, attesting to the Arab Peninsula’s previous humid climate. They are on the eastern side of the main rock. Particularly notable is the large panel on the western side of Musayqirah given a large number of carvings and a variety of representations it carries. Ostriches, ibexes, dogs, lions, camels as well as hunters, warriors, a human skeleton, horsemen, and even Thamudic inscriptions have been found. A very interesting sight and should definitely make it to your list!
Musayqirah rock art
Musayqirah rock art
  • Edge of the world: The Edge of the World is part of the Tuwaiq Escarpments, which runs through the central region. The splendid view of the cliffs and the endless panoramic view of the plains below make it an enthralling tourist attraction. As the cliffs face westward, they also give spectacular sunset views over the Saudi Arabian desert to tourists who camp there overnight.

Tabuk Province

  • Jabal Al Lawz: Jabal Al-Lawz, which in Arabic means the almond mount, is one of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most mystical ranges with its height at 2,549 meters above sea level, rendering it the tallest mountain in the province of Tabuk. This is the only place in Saudi Arabia where snow falls almost every year. As shocking as it is, owing to its many mountains reaching heights of over 2 500 meters, Saudi Arabia does witness regular snowfalls. It is believed that Mount Sinai is also located in this region where Prophet Musa (as) received the word of Allah.
Jabal Al Lawz
Jabal Al Lawz
  • Al Shaq: Al-Shaq means the tear (or rip) since it seems that the tectonic forces have literally torn the earth apart. This is why this place is also known as the Great Canyon of Saudi Arabia. Elegant sandstone formations can be seen everywhere in that area. This is a very captivating place and you should definitely make time for this one!
  • Mahajah: Natural arches that are present in many parts of the country are among its enigmatic characteristics, however, Mahajah hosts the most remarkable ones. Wind and rain erosion sculpted a formation of sandstone into three striking arches, the highest reaching up to 40 meters. There is a natural rock wall, more than 160 meters long, adorned with thousands of carvings depicting life-size camels, horsemen, goats, buffaloes, geometric figures, and even a boat!

Owing to its hard, rocky terrain, it is a very remote area with soft sand fields that dictate slow progress. It’s also full of dead ends, so it’s just for experienced drivers! It is strongly recommended that you go with a guide who knows the way!

Natural arches in Mahajah
Natural arches in Mahajah
  • Ras Al-Mashee – Safinat Haql: The Gulf of Aqabah offers stunning views along its magnificent stretch of 170 kilometers from Ras Al-Sheikh Hameed in the south to the city of Aqabah in the north. Turquoise waters on both sides are home to vivid marine life, variegated corals, and white sandy beaches at the foot of astounding mountains. An unintended manmade characteristic lies on the coral reef near the beach-a shipwreck, part of the hull jutting out of the water. The shipwreck of ‘Georgios G’, known as’ Safinat Haql’ which stands for ‘boat of Haql’ by the locals. It remains unclear what caused its unfortunate fate.
  • Tayeb Ism (The valley of Musa {as}): This is a destination that will most definitely take you by surprise. While approaching the road that runs along the azure waters and white beaches, the first thing to grab your attention is the reverence of the 600-meter-high granite massif, whose indentations fall into the Gulf of Aqabah. The visitors will see another enticing wonder from the bridge, a stream of crystal clear water that runs through the gravel throughout the year. As a result, the wadi hosts numerous palm trees and reeds that create small valleys overlooked by the canyon’s vertiginous sides.

Another interesting fact is that Madyan is the land where, after fleeing from Egypt, Prophet Musa (as) spent ten years in voluntary exile. It is also believed that they reached the land of Madyan at Tayeb Al-Ism when he brought the people out of Egypt through the Red Sea, which is the reason why it is also called the Valley of Musa.

Tayeb Ism
Tayeb Ism
  • Wadi Qaraqir (Wadi Dissah):  The first distinctive feature of this wadi is its dimensions: the side cliffs are already higher than 100 meters at the eastern end of the canyon, but at the western entrance the distance between the wadi’s base and the highest cliffs reaches as high as 500 meters! It is there that one can enjoy the most breathtaking landscape of this magical place, from the huge granite peaks, standing on both sides of the canyon.

A mystical aura escapes through the sands which reflect the hue of the sun and brings forth destinations that smash stereotypes of Arabia simply being a desert landscape! This list of mysterious, unique, and interesting places will definitely broaden the horizon of your imagination.  Saudi Arabia – truly a magical place, a diamond in the rough!

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All about Saudi Arabia

Learn everything about Saudi Arabia

“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.

Saudi flag on pole
Saudi flag on pole

National Anthem, Emblem, Flag of Saudi Arabia and its history

 Anthem – English  translation
Anthem – English  translation

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.

Saudi flag
Saudi 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.

Camels in desert
Camels in desert

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.
Wild cat
Wild cat
  • 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.

date tree
date palm tree-National tree

National Bird

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.

falcon
falcon-National bird

National Sport

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.

Traditional Dance

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.

men dancing in ethnic clothing
men dancing in ethnic clothing

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.

Arabic Cuisine

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.

Chicken on rice.
Chicken on rice.

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.

men in congregational prayer
men in congregational prayer

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. 

men playing instruments
men playing instruments

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”

Download the Hala Yalla app and stay updated.

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Observe Self-Care During Quarantine

Don’t Ignore Self-Care in Quarantine

COVID-19 has left us no choice but to observe absolute social distancing and stay in quarantine. In the time of this global pandemic, our civic responsibility is to give unconditional support to the government and do as we’re told!

We must stay at home and keep ourselves and the people around us safe.

Yes, it can get boring. Even after watching the news, scrolling through social media, and eating, there remains a lot of time to kill.

Why not invest this time in ourselves? It’s a good time to observe self-care.

Here’s a list of things we can do to get rid of our boredom in a productive way.

1. Exercise

If you’ve always wanted to get into the habit of exercising daily, use this time to establish that habit.

Start with light exercises like going for a walk (remember to maintain social distance). Or indulge in high-intensity exercises like weight lifting, cycling, or swimming. Whatever mode of exercise you pick for yourself, it’ll be beneficial for you in every way.

Exercising will help you pass time and benefit your mind, body, and soul.

Man cycling
Get on the wheels!

2. Eat healthily

You certainly can’t go out to dine. Grab this opportunity and establish the habit of eating healthy.

  • Avoid junk and fast food
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that boost the immune system
  • Avoid cold water and other cold drinks
  • Drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated!
  • Quit smoking!
Vegetables on a surface
Eat those veggies

3. Think

There’s a fine line between thinking and overthinking. It’s healthy for the mind to not cross that line.

You’ve got a lot of time. Sit somewhere quiet and meditate about what’s working fine in your life and what needs to be resettled.

Think about the questions we normally avoid. Reflect on your future, career, family, and friends. 

Thinking will help you to define and organize experiences, lay out a plan, reflect and create. 

You won’t get this time again, think about things that matter!

man standing facing window
Think, reflect, and take a deep breath

4. Read in Quarantine

Reading is the ultimate escape for most of us. Make use of this time and invest your time in reading. 

Read the book that’s been on your shelf for a long time. It looks like quarantine got you plenty of time. 

Start reading, it’s the perfect time for solitude!

Open book.
Have you seen my glasses?

5. Binge-watch 

Even if you claim you’ve watched every season of a show, there’ll be still something left to watch.

Ask for suggestions from friends or lookup online. Surely, you’ll find your new favorites in the process.

Man watching television.
Don’t forget to grab some popcorn

6. Learn a skill

Since you got a handful of days, you might as well learn something new.

Spend this time learning productive skills. Learn how to knit, sew, draw, paint, sketch, cook, bake and the list goes on.

Select a thing that interests you most and learn. Consider this quarantine a blessing in disguise and help yourself grow in the meantime.

women knitting
Mind the needle

7. Play online games

Use technology in a productive way! Find a game online to play and join tournaments to win cash prizes.

Kafu Games, by Hala Yalla, is the best Esports hub in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region. It has a place for everybody, from amateurs to professionals and gamers to organizers. 

It’s organizing the tournaments that you can join to combat your boredom. Take part in popular game tournaments like PUBG, FIFA, Fortnite, Overwatch and more to win the prize money. 

https://kafugames.com/en/

Kafu FIFA banner
Your ultimate esports platform – Kafu Games

Make the best use of this time, observe self-care, and invest in your wellbeing. This is going to be the only time when you’re told to stay at home and do nothing!

Hala Yalla is offering live stream classes to help you lead a healthy quarantine. Meet a fitness instructor, get a beauty consultation, learn to dance, or play the guitar. Join the classes of your choice through the app to enjoy a discount.

Get the app on Android or iOS

Stay home, stay safe!

How To Not Get Bored during Quarantine!

Make the best use of your time during COVID-19

Staying at home during quarantine is the wisest thing we can do at the moment!

But, it’s getting somewhat boring.

To kill the time, think about everything you thought you’d do when you’ll get time. Now is a perfect time to do that.

But, if you don’t know what to do during this crisis, here’s a list of things that you can do without putting yourself and others around you at risk.

1. Cook together

Since you can’t dine out, bond with your family by helping them in the kitchen and other house chores.

Host your own cooking show from home and film it for fun (make sure your whole family participates in one or the other way). Surely, you’ll have a few good laughs while filming and watching it later will make you smile!

People cutting vegetables together
Have a flour-throwing competition!

2. Reading club at home

Make your own reading club at home!

Ask every member of your family to start reading a book. Race to see who finishes it the quickest. After everybody has finished reading, sit down, and discuss the theme and story plot with your fam.

Or ask your friends to read a book and discuss it with them online.

Open book in lap
You can never run out of books to read

3. Movie Night

Plan to watch a movie alone or ask your family to join you!

No matter how many movies you’ve watched, there’ll still be movies that you don’t know about.

Grab plenty of popcorn and snacks and start watching new movies, or rewatch the ones you can’t get over!

burning candle and open laptop
Classics never get old

4. Make a Family Scrapbook

Compile the family pictures that make you nostalgic and paste them on the scrapbook. 

Write your thoughts, relive those moments. Fill your scrapbook with happy memories!

journal and pens.
Remember that time you fell in the tub?

5. Self Care

Since you’ve got all the time you ever needed, make use of this self-isolation by taking self-care. Ask your family to join you.

Set a routine and follow it regularly. Practice yoga, meditate and keep on exercising. By the time quarantine will end, you’ll get into the habit of self-care.

Man doing yoga
Inhale. Exhale

6. Dinner Party

When you can’t go out and nobody can come in, plan a dinner party with your family.

Set candle lights, turn on the fairy lights, and enjoy the quarantined dinner party.

Burning candles on dinner table
Make sure the curtains don’t catch fire

7. Paint

Express yourself through painting. Get creative on the canvas and paint your mind out.

If you don’t know how to paint, learn from YouTube tutorials and recreate it till you’re able to create!

Man painting.
Hello Picasso

8. Redecorate your home

Considering the amount of time you have on your hands, might as well change the setting of the house.

Redecorate, wash the curtains, paint the walls, be your own designer here!

decorated room.
decorated room

9. Play games

Since everyone’s home, play the games you used to play before you grew up.

Play hide and seek, hide behind the door, under the bed or in the cupboard, and make sure to scare them good!

Play cards or board games. There are plenty of games that we can play inside while keeping ourselves and others safe.

Old man playing cards.
The cards have been dealt

10. Play Esports and Join Tournaments

In this era of advanced technology, it’s impossible not to find anything online.

Keep practicing the games you’re good at. Keep playing!

Kafu Games, by Hala Yalla, brings you the hottest most popular sports tournaments for the biggest titles on every device. Participate in PUBG, FIFA, Fortnite, Overwatch, COD, and more to win the prize money. 

https://kafugames.com/en/

Kafu FIFA banner
Your ultimate esports platform

Make the best use of this time and spend time with your family. This is going to be the only time when you’re told to stay at home and do nothing!

Download the Hala Yalla app for live-streaming classes on cooking, sports, health, arts, and more!

Get the app on Android or iOS

Stay home, stay safe!

List of international achievements in Sports by Saudis

Achievements in sports that every Saudi should be proud of!

We may play sports just for entertainment and fun, but the benefits of sports go beyond that. It’s much more than a pastime!

Sports play a multi-dimensional role in the development of a country. It has grown into a  business that’s helping a country financially by generating income.

Through the sponsoring of sports teams and events, the world’s biggest brands demonstrate the power they exercise in the sports business throughout the world. 

Active participation in mega-sport events also improves infrastructure, generates employment, and increases the influx of foreign capital in the country.

Saudi Arabia recognized the global economic impact of the sports industry and established the ‘General Presidency for Youth Welfare’ in 1974. Its purpose was to organize and manage sporting events in the country.

Since then, Saudi players are participating in international events including the Olympic Games, the Asian Games, and the Arab Pan Games

The hard work has started to bear fruits. 

Medals won by Saudis

Here’s a list of recent medals won by male Saudi national teams: 

  1. Saudi Arabia has qualified for four of the last five FIFA World Cups.
  2. The Saudis have won 25 gold medals, 13 silver medals and 23 bronze medals in Asian Games. 
  3. Saudi teenager Mosaad Aldossary won $250,000 in the global FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final.
  4. In the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, Hadi Al-Somaily won the silver medal for ‘Men’s 400-meter hurdles. 
  5. In Equestrian, Khaled Al Eid won a bronze medal for Individual show jumping in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
  6. Ramzy Al Duhami, Abdullah Al Saud, Kamal Bahamdan and Abdullah Sharbatly won the bronze medals in the Equestrian team jumping in the 2012 London Olympics. 
Men playing soccer
Men playing soccer

Now let’s talk about the other half of the population. 

2010 marked the slight easing of Saudi women’s participation in sports, and since then, sportswomen have only continued to climb the ladders of success.

The hockey players are seeking a license from the Saudi GSA to register themselves as the first Saudi hockey team to represent the country at international levels.

Accomplishments of Saudi Sportswomen

Here’s a list of accomplishments by female Saudi national teams:

  1. A Saudi woman fencer won a gold medal at the sixth GCC Women’s Games in Kuwait.
  2. In the épée fencing, a Saudi lady won a bronze medal at the GCC Women’s Games.
  3. The Saudi bowling team finished its competition in fifth place at GCC games. 
  4. Sarah Attar and Judoka Wojdan Shaherkani were the first two female athletes to ever represent Saudi Arabia in the Olympics (London 2012).
First Saudi women running in Olympics
First Saudi women running in Olympics

Acknowledging the sports sector as a business opportunity, Saudi’s Vision 2030 intends to excel in sports and be among the leaders of the sports industry regionally and globally.

With this vision, Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify the economy and further improve its financial resources and economic stability.

For this purpose, they’re hosting global level sporting events in the country. These sporting events will encourage Saudis to participate in sports and win for Saudi Arabia in International events.

International sports events in KSA

  1. In 2018, Saudi Arabia hosted the first motorsport event in Diriyah. This formula E race was an event of global significance.
  2. Jeddah invited international boxers for the Greatest Royal Rumble in 2018. The event was the first of its kind to happen in the Kingdom.
  3. Drone Racing League in Jeddah was the first professional league to happen in the country in 2018. 
  4. GSA hosted the first Riyadh International Marathon in Feb 2018. 
  5. Saudi Arabia hosted its first WWE women’s wrestling match in Oct 2019. 
  6. Clash on the Dunes was the first-ever World Heavyweight Title fight in the Kingdom. The fight happened as a part of the Diriyah season in Dec 2019.
  7. The first professional tennis tournament was staged in Diriyah in Dec 2019.
  8. The Kingdom is planning to host the Saudi Arabia Snookers Masters in Riyadh in October 2020.
Person riding a horse.
A person riding a horse.

Saudi Arabia wants to increase the number of accomplishments in every game. Hence, GSA is hosting these events, to showcase and enhance Saudi talent and potential. 

In the past year, the number of sports being played in the Kingdom has risen dramatically. The increasing number of sporting events is increasing, and so is the excitement in Saudis.

For tech assistance and event management, GSA partners with Hala Yalla. Together they’re trying to encourage a healthy lifestyle with fun and entertainment.

Download the Hala Yalla app to enjoy healthy living.

Get the app on Android or iOS

 

Visit these 7 Best Beaches in Saudi Arabia to enjoy the sun and sand

Who says KSA is just a desert land? Read about beautiful beaches in Saudi Arabia

Sound of waves with the warm wind caressing your cheeks. What could be a better combination than this? It’s all found here, on the beaches of Saudi Arabia!

To enjoy this duo of wind and sand, visit Saudi Arabia and experience the serenity of its beaches. Our Kingdom is surrounded by three bodies of water – the Gulf of Aqaba, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea. Naturally, there are more beaches than you think!

On the coastal line of more than 2500 km, there are many private and public beaches that you can visit to enjoy with your friends and family.

Feel the sky above, sand below, and peace within with these top 7 beaches in Saudi Arabia:

1. Al Fanateer beaches

Coastline of Al Fanateer Cornish

Located in Jubail, Al Fanateer Beach is popular among tourists and locals alike.

Walk on the beach to feel the white sand under your bare feet or sit with your family and friends in green lawns. The beach also has a children’s playground. 

There’s a mall nearby that provides lip-smacking food and a shopping area for pre and post-beach trips.

Stroll on the paved walking paths shaded by palm trees, or sail a boat across the sea.

2. Durrat Al Arus

Durrat Al Arus.

Located in “Dahaban” -the old village of Jeddah-  Durrat Al Arus is an artificial island constructed in 1996. This beach started the trend of private beach resorts in Saudi Arabia.

The beach has 1000 villas, a diving school, a golf course, and a theme park. Tourists can rent the villas and relax.

The island has a world of its own. There are mosques, commercial centers, coffee shops, a golf club, an equestrian club theme park, and a yacht marina. It has high privacy residential units equipped with mobile networks, satellite TV, hospitals and everything you’ll need.

Since the villas are very popular, they are booked ahead of time. If you’re planning to go, be sure to get an advance booking.

3. Silver Sands

Silver sands

In the bright sunlight, spend a lazy day on the silver sands. Ward off all your tiredness with a relaxed afternoon on the shore.

The beach offers fun activities like open water swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, and a small island for other activities.

The island is privately owned, so there’s an entrance fee. The island is strictly for families, to make sure everyone has a great time! 

4. Farasan Beaches 

Farasan Al Kabir Beach.

Farasan Al Kabir is the largest island in the Farasan Islands. Located some 50 km away from Jizan, the islands are rich in underwater wildlife.

The beach is famous for diving. Dive in the crystal blue azure water to discover the coral reefs and different sea species. 

Besides diving, you can also relax on the sand or stroll on the beach while waves massage your feet. Or, you can ride a ferry and make memories for a lifetime. 

5. Half Moon Beach 

Half Moon Beach in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a perfect family picnic spot in Al Khobar, Half Moon Beach is the place for you.

Naturally shaped like a half-moon, the beach has nice and clean sand. Enjoy car drifting, horse riding, and swimming in the sea. 

Mosques fenced private seating, and shower areas are also provided for beach lovers.

Pack your picnic baskets for a visit to the half-moon beach.

Read about 7 Natural Landscapes in Saudi Arabia that’ll leave you in awe!

6. Haql beach

Haql beach.

On the Gulf of Aqaba, lies the Haql beach in the province of Tabuk. 

A shipwreck is left at the mercy of nature on this beach, which gives its other name ‘the Shipwreck beach’. 

The beach exists in its most natural form. You’ll be left with nature alone to enjoy the sound of waves and wind. On the beach, you’ll be mesmerized by the view of Sinai mountains over the far end. 

7. OIA  Beach

OIA  Beach.

Inspired by Greek islands, the OIA beach is a white stoned hotel featuring a minimalist vibe. 

Located 12 km away from the Jeddah highway, the beach hotel has 1 & 2 bedroom apartments. The villas have terraces from where you can enjoy the heavenly view of the seashore.

There are casual Greek themed white painted walls, lounge and restaurants, International cuisines, sushi cafes, pools, a gym, kids clubs, and a female-only indoor pool. Water sports such as sailing, kayaking, and a floating water park are also available for adventure lovers.

Every beach has its unique smell and feel. Experience the feel of Saudi beaches, feel the combination of three S, ‘sun, sea, and sand’ on the heavenly beaches of Saudi Arabia.

Discover many more fun places and experiences on Hala Yalla Super App. Download the app now on Android or iOS

 

Top 5 Restaurants serving Best Mandi in Riyadh

Try these top 5 restaurants to enjoy the best mandi in Riyadh

Mandi is popular throughout the world for its use of rice and meat with a perfect blend of spices and sauces. Saudi Arabia has carefully nourished various mandi flavors in its land, and the taste and popularity of foreign cuisine couldn’t sideline this traditional and local food. If you’re looking for the best mandi in Riyadh, you’ve come to the right place!

Arabic restaurants are equally popular for their warm ambiance, unique seating arrangement, and mouthwatering aroma. So here’s our list of restaurants that serve the best mandi in Riyadh, ones you should definitely try:

1. Al Nafoura

Al Nafourah's kebab

The Lebanese restaurant Al Nafoura is one of the most famous Arabic restaurants in Saudi Arabia.

This restaurant offers authentic traditional Arab taste to food lovers throughout the Middle East. Originally famed for its seafood, you can order all types of Mandi and Kabsa here too.

Al Nafoura operates various branches in the country. You’ll find at least 10 of them right here in Riyadh.

For reservations: 011 215 8888; https://www.nafora.com.sa/

2. Al Romansiah

Al-Romansiah-branch

In the year 1418 AH, Romansiah opened its first branch in Riyadh. Since then, Romansiah is busy catering to the needs and wants of their customers, one special mandi at a time.

The love for Romansiah is evident from the fact that they’ve opened up 30 branches in the regions of Riyadh, Al-Kharj, Al-Qassim, Al-Ahsa, Dammam, Jeddah, Medinah. They have also exported the Saudi taste in the Kingdom of Bahrain. 

They pay attention to every detail of quality and taste. The restaurant chain is known to be the ‘branches of romance’ which provide a relaxing atmosphere with luxury and sophistication. 

Apart from mandi, you can order desserts, barbeque, kebabs and Spanish food here. For the love of food, enjoy the romance in Romansiah!

For reservations: 9200 00144; https://alromansiah.com/ 

Read about other traditional restaurants here

3. Najd Village Restaurant

Najd Village seating area

Enjoy the most art of taste in the most traditional way possible. 

Located right in the middle of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Najd region holds traditional and historic importance. 

Najd Village restaurant is popular for its delicious mandi dishes and traditional architecture. People gravitate back to it for its combination of simplicity, privacy, and taste. 

Besides the main course, they also offer special village bakery made products and various lamb specialties.

For reservations: +966920033511; https://najdvillage.com/

4. Bait Shawaya

Grilled chicken.

Bait Shawaya is a local restaurant chain for traditional food. The first branch was opened in 1425 AH, now there are more than 90 restaurants throughout the country.

They have a special focus on the hygiene and quality of the products used.

Popular for its grilled meat and rice, Shawaya also serves various delicious combinations of mandi and Kabsa. 

For reservations: 9200 33336; https://www.shawayahouse.com.sa/

5. Rise

Mandi dish.

On the Makkah highway, this restaurant is worth a try.

In the traditional seating arrangement, the restaurant offers a warm and relaxed environment to devour delicious mandi.

For reservations: +966555028290; http://www.mathamrise.com/

It’s a part of Saudi culture to have mandi every week. Have you had yours this week?

Let us know which restaurants you’ve visited and which mandi appealed the most to you!

Download the Hala Yalla Super app to book the best restaurant, culture and community experiences in Saudi Arabia.

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Learn how playing sports impacts your life. Top 7 benefits

Sports not only provide entertainment. Learn the top 7 benefits of sports

Just like reading is necessary for mental health, playing sports is important for physical health.

It doesn’t only act as a pastime, but it also helps in the establishment of healthy habits and routines.

There is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence on the positive effects of sport and physical activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s list down what active sports do for us.

1. Mental health 

The physical activity involved in sports stimulates hormones that help to sharpen focus, increase self-esteem, improve memory and boost mood. It also reduces the chances of depression and anxiety. 

How?

Physical activeness forces you to engage yourself fully in the task at hand, leaving behind thoughts and worries you may have had beforehand. Active sport stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural happy chemicals.

Staying active is the easiest way to stay happy!

Happy kids playing together
Happy kids playing together

2. Physical health

A physically active body leads to better physical health. It enhances the immune system and reduces the chances of getting sick.

The chances of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are lower in an active person. The physical activity involved in sports improves the overall health of the cardiovascular system and prevents hypertension. 

Are you trying to lose weight? Join a team and start playing active sports. It burns calories, reduces body fat and improves metabolism as well.

Cycling
Man doing tricks with cycle.

3. Psychological benefits of Sports 

Playing sports helps us psychologically, both in the short and long term. 

Active sports stimulate happy hormones that keep us away from depression and sadness. It allows us to challenge ourselves, set goals, and motivates to be better than yesterday.  

Long term psychological benefits come from communal experience. In a team, we learn to trust others, depend on our teammates, learn to give and accept help, and work together towards a common goal.

Playing sports also instills leadership qualities in players which they can apply in all dimensions of their life. 

Man tying child's shoelaces
Man tying child’s shoelaces

4. Muscular strength

Active sports can help us improve muscular strength and endurance. It improves joint flexibility and aids the building of dense and strong bones. Also, players have fewer chances of osteoporosis and serious injuries and have improved stamina and concentration.

Participation in aerobic activities -such as running, cycling- improves blood circulation and effective transportation of oxygen in the body.

Researchers have also observed improved reflex responses in athletes.

Man in a gym
Man in a gym

5. Improves the sleep cycle

Sports also help in the improvement of the sleep cycle. Tiredness makes us fall asleep faster and we also enjoy deep sleep. 

Exercise during active sports increases body temperature. The drop in temperature after an exercise stimulates the sleep cycle. It also reduces insomnia, anxiety and depressive symptoms and helps you fall asleep quicker.

However, it’s recommended not to play late in the day. It’ll leave you too energized to sleep. 

Man sleeping with his dog
Man sleeping with his dog

6. Sports teaches failure

It’s the most long term benefit that impacts the player’s personality and changes their outlook on life. 

Sports allow the players to learn to live the highs and lows of both winning and losing. 

These setbacks build resilience and make them strong. 

They go through the experience of coming to terms with defeat and learn from their mistakes. It helps them to cope with their social, academic and physical hurdles with ease. 

Hands joined together
Hands joined together

7. Having fun

Alongside every benefit we get from playing sports, the best of all is fun.

Sports bring entertainment, enjoyment, strength, reason to hang out with friends, and motivation to stay active!

Play with your friends, start active living and enjoy the fun and excitement it brings!

Two boys in soccer field
Two boys in a soccer field

To achieve Saudi Vision 2030, GSA is organizing many sporting events in the Kingdom. Stay updated on these events with the Hala Yalla app and make an active and healthy community around you. Download the app now on Android or iOS