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Travel Notes: Middle East: Saudi Arabia Travel Notes

Saudi Arabia Travel Notes

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Saudi Arabia Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Find Saudi Arabia Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Saudi Arabia.

About Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is by far the largest of the Gulf States. More than half of the country is covered in sand though; making it something of an almost empty desert.

On 26th September, 2017 Saudi Arabia announced in a royal decree that women would be allowed to drive in the Kingdom - from 24th June, 2018.

Largest of The Gulf States

Countries neighbouring Saudi Arabia are: Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Yemen.

Map of Saudi Arabia

Weather in the Middle East:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around the Middle East.


Alexander the Great's plans to conquer Arabia were cut short by his death.

By the 5th century AD Mecca had gained in stature over the Nabataean city of Petra, in present-day Jordan.


Balad - The Soul of Jeddah:
Travel back in time to the land of Arabian Nights.


The prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca, in 570, but had to move to Medina when his teachings angered local residents.

When he was 60, the prophet Muhammad returned to Mecca with his followers, and conquered the city.

His founding of Islam changed the course of history, and eventually turned Mecca into an important place of pilgrimage for Muslims.

The Hajj:
Some 2 million Muslims make the annual Pilgrimage to Mecca.


Medina is also an important holy city, as Muhammad's tomb is in the Mosque of the Prophet.

Le Meridien: Medina.

Official Website:
Le Meridien Medina.

The magnificent Le Meridien Medina is tastefully designed with modern sophistication and furnished in varying shades of Italian marble.

The spacious yet intimate lobby ushers you into perfect blend of contemporary elegance with a touch of traditional hospitality. Its distinctive style continues in every one of the 189 immaculately appointed rooms and executive and Royal Suites.

The only first class hotel outside the holy Haram area, Le Meridien Medina caters for both Muslims and other religious groups. Its location is only a minute away from the Fahad Quran Printing Press, where millions of holy Quran are printed and distributed throughout the world.


The Wahhabi and Saudis suffered many setbacks, but founded Riyadh as their capital in 1818, and then set out to reconquer the earlier lands they lost.

On arrival of the Ottomans, the dynasty was divided by civil war; and the defeated Saudis had to lie low and lick their wounds in Kuwait.

Abdul Aziz ibn Saud returned from Kuwait with an army to retake Riyadh in 1902.

By 1906 the Saudi forces controlled the Najd region again, and went on to capture the Hasa region in 1913; the Jebel Shammar in 1921; Mecca and Medina around 1924; and Asir in 1926.

Satisfied with these accumulative victories, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud declared himself king of Al Hijaz, made Mecca the religious capital, and gave his immense domain the name of Saudi Arabia.

Embassies in Riyadh

British Embassy in Riyadh:
In 1985 the Diplomatic Community moved from Jeddah to the Diplomatic Quarter; a purpose built suburb of Riyadh which houses the majority of foreign embassies and delegations in Riyadh.

US Embassy in Riyadh:
P.O. Box 94309, Riyadh 11693.
Telephone: 9661-4883800
Saturday to Wednesday 8:00-17:00 (except holidays).

Saud Dynasty

Muhammad ibn Saud founded the Saud dynasty, near present-day Riyadh, during the 15th century.

The Wahhabi fundamentalist sect was formed by the religious leader Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the mid-18th century.

With the support of the Saudi armies, the movement spread to form a nationalist Arab state in the Najd.

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