The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has witnessed a fantastic improvement in the last few years. There is growth in the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia. Tourism in Saudi Arabia has grown to be a worthy resource for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Although most tourists still visit Saudi Arabia for religious pilgrimages, Saudi Arabia is the second biggest tourist destination in the Middle East.
Many tourists visit Saudi Arabia to see the historical places and its Museums. In addition to archeological places in Saudi Arabia, there are many modern places you can visit and enjoy.
Interest in tourism comes with Saudi Vision 2030 that Saudi Arabia will be an international tourist destination with over 20 million tourists.
In this article, we will give you all that you want to know about Saudi Arabia. We will focus on the tourism sector.
Information about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the biggest country in the Arabian Peninsula. It has a land area of about 2,150,000 km2 with a population of 35.01 million people. Riyadh city is the capital of Saudi Arabia.
The two holiest places in Islam in Saudi Arabia are Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina.
The primary language in Saudi Arabia is Arabic, and the dialects vary among the towns of the Kingdom. There also are overseas citizens who communicate in distinctive languages. The primary currency of the Kingdom is the Saudi riyal. There are 25 ministries in Saudi Arabia and 13 international airports.
History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was unified in 1932 through King Abdulaziz Al Saud. The rulers of Saudi Arabia are Al Saud and they are from Najd.
King Abdul Aziz started to unify the country in 1902. First, he recovered Riyadh city. After that, he continued to unify the whole of Najd. After that, King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz took the throne.
And then King Khalid bin Abdulaziz, who quickly grew and evolved in the course of his reign. Then King Fahd bin Abdulaziz took power and established the Shura Council in 1992.
Income Resources for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The main income resource for Saudi Arabia is oil. The economy of Saudi Arabia is one of the top twenty economies in the world. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest producer of oil.
There are many other resources for the Saudi economy. Such as the E-commerce and tourism sectors.
Saudi Arabia Cities
As Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula, there are many cities and villages in it. Let us answer the question, How many cities are in Saudi Arabia?
There are 20 main cities I Saudi Arabia as listed below:
- Makkah AL-Mukkaramah
- AL-Madinah Al-Munawarah
- Al Qaseem
- Al Baha
Tourism in Saudi Arabia
Tourism in Saudi Arabia is one of the rising sectors with a speedy increase. Many tourists from all around the globe visit Saudi Arabia to visit Saudi sightseeing and enjoy stunning landscapes.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is well-known for its historical places and its ancient museums which made it a travel vacation spot.
There are many modern places, you can visit in Saudi Arabia. Beautiful sightseeing will encourage you to visit it.
Importance of Tourism in Saudi Arabia
Tourism in Saudi Arabia plays an important role in the growth and economic development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination, the most important of which are:
1- The presence of historical and heritage monuments and ancient monuments
2- The presence of religious sanctities such as the Grand Mosque Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina. , which attracts millions of Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah.
3- The presence of scenic tourist places such as Abha, Taif, and other tourist cities in Saudi Arabia
4- Organizing exhibitions and festivals, such as the Janadriyah Festival, which is held every year and gathers many visitors.
5- The presence of entertainment events, especially in recent years, where many theaters and entertainment cities have been established, and there has been a Saudi season for tourism and entertainment
6- Allowing most countries and nationalities to obtain a visa to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
7- The electronic visa system that made it easier for expatriates or tourists to enter Saudi Arabia
8- The regulations and facilities set by the government to take care of expatriates and take care of security and safety, especially after the spread of the Corona Covid 19 epidemic.
9- Tourism in Saudi Arabia contributed to increasing Saudi economic income through the establishment of many tourism projects
Elements of tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is characterized by the presence of many elements of tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which make it a source of strength and interest for many visitors.
One of the components of tourism in the Kingdom is the presence of green areas in Saudi Arabia, and there are many monuments and heritage and cultural sites in the Kingdom, which were mentioned in ancient Arab poetry.
Also, many regions of the Kingdom and their locations are mentioned in the biography of the Prophet in the stories of the invasions and the stories of the Companions, which are considered among the religious components of tourism in Saudi Arabia.
Pros of tourism in Saudi Arabia
If you want to visit Saudi Arabia, you will get many advantages during your visit to Saudi Arabia, the most important of which are:
1- Performing Hajj and Umrah if you are interested in performing religious rites and are interested in religious tourism
2- Learn about the landmarks and heritage of the ancient Islamic civilization
3- Visiting the birthplace of the Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, and visit his tomb located in Medina
4- Enjoying landscapes in Saudi Arabia
5- If you are interested in the desert and desert areas, you will listen during your visit to the Kingdom
6- Getting to know some large factories such as oil and petroleum factories located in the industrial area in Jubail
The impact of tourism on the Saudi economy
Tourism in Saudi Arabia contributed to the Saudi economic growth and the increase in domestic products. As Saudi Arabia’s revenues from the tourism sector reached $5 billion in 2020.
Tourism in Saudi Arabia has a great impact on creating job opportunities for many Saudi youths through the establishment of many tourist facilities and small commercial projects to meet the requirements of tourists and arrivals to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tourism in Saudi Arabia has also contributed to promoting sustainable and social development. The Kingdom’s vision and future aspirations are among the reasons for the interest in tourism to increase economic income.
Tourist places in Saudi Arabia
1- Historical and Archeological Places
They are the historical monuments in the Kingdom, which back thousands of years. There are many historical places in the Kingdom. As we mentioned earlier, Saudi Arabia is the cradle of civilizations and the cradle of Islam and religions. Let’s get acquainted with the most important historical and religious places in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is considered one of the oldest archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia which are:
v King Abdulaziz Historical Center (National Museum)
- Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca
- Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina.
- Rijal Almaa
- Madaien Saleh
- Jubba Paleolithic Kingdom
- Al Ula
- Al Masmak Fort
- Edge of the world
- Elephant Rock
- Modern Places
Modern places are the new and developed places in Saudi Arabia, which the Saudi government has established to become tourist destinations for visitors to Saudi Arabia, and one of the most prominent modern tourist attractions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Modern Places such as:
Al Rahma Mosque
World Sights Park
King Fahd’s Fountain
King Abdullah Park
Tourism in Saudi Arabia and the Vision 2030
Tourism in Saudi Arabia is one of the goals of Vision 2030, in which it is expected to receive 100 million visits to the Kingdom annually. There are many government efforts to develop the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia to become compatible with Vision 2030 and achieve its goals, the most important of which is increasing the domestic product to more than 10% and making the Kingdom one of the 5 most welcoming countries for tourists.
With the vision of the Kingdom 2030, Saudi Arabia has provided many job opportunities to employ Saudi youth and contribute to the development of the Kingdom, especially in the tourism sector, through the establishment of many tourism and entertainment projects in the Kingdom to attract the largest number of tourists.
Kingdom’s efforts in the tourism sector
Despite the challenges that the Kingdom faced from the spread of the Coronavirus, high competition, and old customs and traditions, the government made great efforts to continue and keep pace with developments and outperform competitors in many areas, especially in the tourism sector.
The efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in tourism came within the framework of Vision 2030. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has completed many projects that support tourism in Saudi Arabia, the most important of which are:
1- Developing tourist destinations and areas to be ready to receive tourists and provide them with comfort and safety
2- Develop a plan to build the city of NEOM, which is the city of the future, so that tourism in NEOM will become the most important tourist destination in Saudi Arabia. We will learn in future articles about the city of NEOM and where NEOM is located in Saudi Arabia
3- Increasing the capacity of the airports, as the airports can accommodate 150 million passengers annually
4- The Ministry of Entertainment has contributed to the establishment of many entertainment projects, especially near the vicinity of the Red Sea
5- Increasing the number of hotels and tourist resorts to receive tourists
6- Creating an electronic tourist visa that allows citizens of 49 countries to obtain it
7- Establishing a Tourism Development Fund to encourage tourism investments in Saudi Arabia
8- Paying attention to the infrastructure of the Kingdom and transforming the desert into vast green spaces with stunning and beautiful views
9- Paying attention to construction projects and building many towers, hotels, restaurants, and other tourist facilities
10- Providing many jobs in the tourism sector
11- Qualifying women within specialized training programs and integrating women into the tourism sector
12- The government’s efforts in coordinating international cooperation in the field of tourism
The return of tourism in Saudi Arabia in 2020
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was affected by the presence of the Corona pandemic in 2019, especially since all sectors were affected by Covid 19, but the tourism sector had the largest share.
Tourism in Saudi Arabia has been affected as a result of the spread of Covid 19, as the closure of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque was one of the reasons why tourists or visitors did not come to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In particular, the closure of airports in some countries and countries had a significant impact on the decline in tourism in Saudi Arabia.
But the Kingdom quickly recovered from this impact, as it prepared the “Summer Breathing” campaign while adhering to all precautionary measures and measures to protect tourists and visitors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Tourism has created opportunities to encourage domestic tourism, entertain citizens, and encourage foreign tourism as well.
Tourism statistics in Saudi Arabia
Statistics indicate that the number of tourists coming to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2017 was 16.1 million, and in 2018, the number of visitors to the Kingdom was 15.3 million. Statistics indicate a decrease in the number of tourists coming to Saudi Arabia from 2017 to 2018.
In the year 2019, the number of Saudi tourists was 19.8 million. This means that there is an increase in the number of visitors to the Kingdom by 16.9% from 2018 to 2019. The Saudi Ministry of Tourism announced in September 2019 that domestic tourism witnessed a significant increase in the number of travelers. This indicates the importance of the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia and the government’s interest in the tourism sector.
The future of tourism in Saudi Arabia
Based on the statistics in the previous paragraph, we note that tourism in Saudi Arabia has a promising future. As we mentioned earlier the Kingdom’s efforts and achievements in the tourism sector, which support the Kingdom’s vision of 2030. The Saudi Minister of Tourism indicated that Saudi Arabia aims to attract new tourism investments by 2023. Statistics for the year 2025 also indicate that the number of arrivals to the Kingdom is expected to increase Saudi Arabia reached 22.1 million, and it is expected that the number of visitors to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and Umrah will reach 30 million.
It is worth noting that all the ministries of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the Ministry of Tourism, to the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Ministry of Economy agree and join hands to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and to ensure the future of tourism in Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is interested in hotels, as it has attracted many international and national hotel chains, due to the growth and increasing demand for the hotel sector in recent years. Statistics indicate that the number of hotel users in Saudi Arabia will increase to 9.1 million users by 2026.
Objectives of the Supreme Commission for Tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities was established in 2001 as there was a trend toward tourism in Saudi Arabia. The Supreme Commission for Tourism in Saudi Arabia has developed future plans for Saudi tourism. It also developed 5-year operational plans for each region of the Kingdom. The employees of the Tourism Authority, the Heritage Authority, and the Saudi Antiquities Authority worked on paying attention to tourism and antiquities, which are among the most important resources of the Kingdom and a source of attracting visitors and tourists to the country.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and the Saudi Antiquities Authority have taken care of the tourism sector in the Kingdom through the establishment of many centers to support the national economy and contribute to the development of tourism in Saudi Arabia.
Among the most important programs and activities of the Supreme Commission for Tourism in the Kingdom:
1- Establishment of the National Center for Architectural Heritage
2- Establishing a national program for handicrafts
3- Establishment of the Saudi Bureau for Exhibitions and Conferences
4- Establishing a program for the care of historical mosques
5- Development of the Farasan Islands
6- Reconstruction of heritage buildings in the Al-Ahsa region
7- Rehabilitation of the historic city center
Tourism companies in Saudi Arabia
If you want to visit Saudi Arabia and enjoy the beautiful landscapes and visit tourist places. Or if you want to perform Hajj or Umrah. There are many tourism companies in Saudi Arabia that can help you and provide you with all the necessary information for you and can help you obtain a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia. These companies also work to provide you with a tourist guide and provide a tourism program for a tour around the Kingdom, and these companies can provide transportation and other travel requirements. Let’s get acquainted with the most famous tourism companies in Saudi Arabia:
1- Khalaf Travel and Tourism Company
2- Sada Al Motamayez Company
3- Elaf travel and tourism group
4- Saudi World Tourism Company
5- Global Leadership Company
6- Shams Saudi Trip Company
7- Al Sarh Tourism Company
8- Al Tayyar Travel Group
9- Al-Rajhi Aviation Company
10- Elaf travel and tourism group
11- Lamar International Company for Tourism and Travel
12- We are at all times for travel and tourism
13- Happy Life Travel & Tourism Agency
14- Forsan Travel and Tourism Company
15- Rexon Network Tourism Company
How can I visit Saudi Arabia?
In order to be able to enter Saudi Arabia as a visitor or tourist, you must obtain a Saudi entry visa. You can also obtain a Saudi tourist visa online. You can learn about the details of obtaining a Saudi tourist visa and a Saudi tourist visa through the link
My country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, witnessed only one civilization, the Islamic civilization. In this article, we learned about tourism in Saudi Arabia and mentioned the tourist cities in Saudi Arabia. We also mentioned the role of the Supreme Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in developing tourism.
Because of the importance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the abundance of information about it, you can, dear reader, create a report on tourism in Saudi Arabia or scientific research on tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
If you are interested in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and want to visit it to enjoy the Saudi summer and the beautiful Saudi scenery, there are many tourist areas that you must visit. You can also watch Saudi programs to learn more about the Kingdom and the landmarks of my country.