To assist you prepare for your Saudi Arabia vacation and help you make the most of your visit, Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC has prepared a list of 25 frequently asked questions concerning travel related issues and our ground handling services in Saudi Arabia.
Why use Tetrapylon as a destination management company in Saudi Arabia?
We are fairly confident in claiming that when it comes to delivering quality, excellence and ideas that you’ll find Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia to be the most reliable, and quite possibly also the best, destination management company in Saudi Arabia.
Our inbound team in Riyadh has extensive international experience and is also highly responsive and extremely efficient – making working with us an easy and enjoyable prospect that will yield results. The twin pillars on which our destination management services in Saudi Arabia have been built is our half century of experience in meeting the needs of the international traveller in the Middle East, and a unique ‘black book’ of contacts, that we use to ensure that your clients’ experience in the kingdom is second to none.
When contacting Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC you’ll quickly notice the difference we provide. Try us and see! Tetrapylon’s business model is built on eight key pylons (pillars).
Understanding your Needs: We are detail orientated and believe in the benefits of synergy. Through pooling our collective knowledge and experience we are able to jointly develop market leading products
Branding & Quality: We provide white labelled bespoke ground services for tour operators. Having a single point of contact across our destinations ensures consistency of standards and delivery.
Personalised Service: All our partners are assigned dedicated and approachable account managers so that every trip has a personal touch.
Creativity & Knowledge: Our enthusiastic teams are continually developing fresh ideas to ensure your products stay ahead of the curve.
Branding & Quality: We provide white labelled bespoke ground services for tour operators. Having a single point of contact across our destinations ensures consistency of standards and delivery.
Authentic Experiences: We want your clients to see their destination through local eyes. Tetrapylon believes in responsible tourism and partnering with local communities to deliver unique experiences.
Local Contacts: Tetrapylon has longstanding relationships with local suppliers that enables us to open closed doors and ensure that your clients benefit from the finest of services.
Peace of Mind: Our staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and responsive and available round the clock to give you complete peace of mind.
Do I need a visa to enter Saudi Arabia?
Yes. Everyone wishing to visit Saudi Arabia is required to obtain a Saudi visa with the exception of citizens from The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf countries.
Saudi Arabia has launched an easy to use on-line eVisa for the citizens of 49 eligible countries. The eVisa is valid of one year and permits multiple entries into Saudi Arabia up to a maximum of 90 days in the country. The eVisa covers tourism related activities and Umrah (excluding Hajj season).
More information about Saudi visas together with a link to the e-visa application process can be found at www.visa.visitsaudi.com
Does Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC work directly with the public?
No. Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC is a B2B provider working in partnership with many of the world’s most respected travel companies to deliver quality travel services within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
We welcome direct enquiries for MICE events but do not work directly with members of the public (B2C) for other travel services.
If you aren’t in the travel industry and are interested in visiting Saudi Arabia as part of a group tour or on a private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
What are the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia?
It’s highly subjective. Saudi Arabia is the 12th largest country on the planet and encompasses a vast variety of landscapes ranging from stunning deserts, to beautiful coastlines, enormous oases of date palms, chains of volcanoes, and lofty mountain ranges.
Within this huge country you’ll find cultural attractions that are as varied as the landscape and include: The Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina; the wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hegra – the southern ‘Petra’; towering fortress-like rocky villages that cling to the hillside; and the ruins of ancient cities on the caravan routes of old.
Sportsmen and women will be drawn to visit Saudi Arabia by its potential for scuba diving and snorkelling in the pristine waters of the Red Sea. Deep-Sea fishing is another possibility. When it comes to the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia the choice is almost endless!
To give a quick snapshot of some of the kingdom’s key attractions, Aisha from Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh office has listed her favourite places and experiences.
Edge of the World – A ‘must see’ at sunset!
Umluj – a boat excursion through paradise.
Jeddah’s old town of Al Balad – shop for spices and incense.
Wadi Al Disah – my favourite canyon in Saudi.
Saudi cuisine – Visit a traditional Saudi restaurant for a memorable feast.
Rijal Almaa village – arrive by cable-car through the green mountains
Hegra – discover the 2,000-year-old tombs carved by the Nabataeans
Winter at Tantora – attend the kingdom’s fabulous annual festival.
Buraydah Date Festival – an amazing immersion into Saudi culture.
Dune Buggy ride in Al UIa – just “wow”!!
What is the best time of year to visit Saudi Arabia?
As a rule of thumb the cooler months (mid-October to March) are generally considered to be the best time to visit most of Saudi Arabia. Travel is also possible in the ‘shoulder season’ a month either side of the peak travel months – but expect it to be ‘warm’ in the central and eastern parts of the country.
Tabuk and Al Jawf provinces in the far north of the country can be cold in January and early February – so you’ll be to bring some warm clothes if visiting at that time. These provinces have more of a Mediterranean climate and remain pleasant in September, April and May.
In the south of Saudi Arabia, the mountains of Asir and Al Baha are often cloaked in thick fog in January and February. Saudis flock to the mountains of the south over the summer months (June, July, August) to enjoy the cool mountain climes. Visitors should expect to find clear skies and good weather in Asir and Al Bahah from September to December and from March until June.
It is also worth noting that Saudi Arabia holds a number of colourful and vibrant annual festivals that can provide an additional element of excitement and cultural immersion to your Saudi Arabia vacation. Festivals range from the two week Al Jendiriayh cultural and heritage festival near Riyadh, to Ta’if rose festival, and the world’s largest date festival in Buraidah.
Is there any time of year that I should avoid visiting Saudi Arabia?
Yes. The summer months (May to mid-September) can be unpleasantly hot throughout the central, eastern, and much of the northern parts of Saudi Arabia and are best avoided at this time– but this period is a very pleasant time to visit Saudi Arabia’s ‘green’ mountains and fortress-like villages in Asir and Al Bahah where the temperature will be in the high 20s degrees Centigrade.
Should you want to swim/snorkel in the northern part of the Red Sea (Umluj/NEOM region), it’s important to be aware that the air temperature can be cool in January and early February.
When planning your Saudi Arabia trip it is important to take note of the dates for the (movable) Islamic month of Ramadan. During this period Muslims fast from dawn until dusk, service can be erratic, offices work on shorter hours and some sites may be closed without notice. The ten-day period of the annual Hajj pilgrimage that follows Ramadan is another time that visitors should avoid as the kingdom receives almost 2.5 million pilgrims at this time and is exceptionally crowed.
Two other periods that we recommend international visitors to avoid are the feasts and major holiday periods of Eid Al Adha and Eid Al Fitr when many Saudis travel within the kingdom to visit family members and travel services are in high demand.
Is it too hot to visit Saudi Arabia in Summer?
No – not in our opinion if you choose carefully. It may come as a surprise to learn that Saudi Arabia can be a year round destination! The size of the country combined with its varied terrain creates significantly different climatic conditions.
Over the Summer months (May to September) when much of northern, central and eastern Saudi Arabia bakes; Abha, the capital of Saudi Arabia’s mountainous Asir Province, enjoys temperate climes that hover in the high 20s Celsius. Mountainous Al Bahah to the north is also a popular and cool mountain retreat for Saudis in summer, as is the resort of Ta’if in the mountains above Mecca.
Therefore, a tour of Saudi Arabia that visits Asir and Al Bahah’s beautiful villages and mountains is a very really possibility in summer.
Ask us about our suggested tours to Asir and Al Bahah.
How many days should I spend in Saudi Arabia?
How many days do you have? Saudi Arabia is huge - the 12th largest country on the planet - with an area of 2.15 million square kilometres. Planning a trip to Saudi Arabia should be undertaken in the same way as you might approach putting together travels in Europe, North America, Australia or China. There is a huge amount to do and see in the kingdom and the distances are considerable.
Unlike when travelling to some smaller countries, it is impossible to see everything in Saudi Arabia on a single visit. As a guideline, we have listed below what you might be able to achieve within Saudi Arabia in a certain timeframe. Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia has developed a series of suggested itineraries of differing durations that cover all sites of interest in the kingdom. Contact us for details!
One Week: An classic introductory tour that includes several key highlights.
Eg. Riyadh, Ha’il, Al Ula, Jeddah.
Two Weeks: Explore three or four of the county’s 13 provinces.
Eg. Riyadh, Ha’il, Sakaka, Tabuk, Al Ula, Umluj Jeddah.
Three Weeks: With three weeks (or more) to spare you might be able to cover most of the northern part of the country or the south.
Eg. Riyadh, Buraidah, Ha’il, Sakaka, Tabuk, Al Ula, Umluj Jeddah, Dammam, Al Hofuf.
What are the best festivals in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia has a rich selection of annual festivals that offer the enticing prospect of an immersion into the country’s vibrant culture. Tetraplyon Saudi Arabia DMC has cherry-picked the cultural high-points from Saudi’s festival calendar.
Al Jenadriyah National Festival (Riyadh): Held annually over a period of two weeks (normally in February or March) on the outskirts of Riyadh, the Al Jenadriyah National Festival is Saudi Arabia’s preeminent cultural and heritage event. Founded by King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, the Al Jenadriyah Festival has become one of the largest cultural festivals in the Arab world and showcases the heritage of the Arabian Peninsula as well as all of the distinct regions of Saudi Arabia. During the period of the Al Jenadriyah Festival, pavilions representing the architectural styles of their regions are erected, poetry evenings are held, local dances are performed and regional food can be sampled. Camel racing and horse endurance races add to the excitement.
Abdulaziz Camel Beauty Festival (Riyadh): In one of the world’s more unusual beauty contests judges look for shiny hair, a long neck, and a large symmetrical hump. Every January, tens of thousands of camels and hundreds of thousands of spectators converge on the desert outside Riyadh to witness the camel beauty pageant – the high watermark of a month long festival. During the contest hundreds of camels flutter their eye lashes and strut their humps before a panel of discerning judges. The competition is fierce, and with the most beautiful camels fetching up to 1 million riyals, some owners have resorted to cheating. The use of botox famously led to 12 camels being disqualified from the contest in 2018.
Winter at Tantora (Al Ula): Held amongst the spectacular scenery and cultural landscape of Al Ula, the annual Winter at Tantora festival marks the high-water mark of Saudi Arabia’s cultural calendar. Every weekend, over a twelve-week period, this luxury celebration showcases the very best in music, dance, theatre and culture and has live acts by international superstars. Accompanying the cultural performances are a host of special activities and excursions that include hikes through the unworldly desert, visits to the UNESCO site of Hegra – the southern Petra, desert polo, and the spectacle of endurance horse-racing. During the excursions guests are welcomed by storytellers and invited to take part in an immersive experience through which the past is brought to life through augmented reality and imaging technology. Adding a magical culinary dimension to the Winter at Tantora experience are the pop-up restaurants that represent some of the world’s leading restaurants.
Hala Jeddah Festival (Jeddah): An annual festival that celebrates the culture and heritage of Jeddah that is usually held just after Ramadan. Over the years the Hala Jeddah Festival and become one of the largest entertainment extravaganzas in the Middle East and has a line-up of some 200 events. Some of the must-do experiences during the period of the Hala Jeddah Festival include sampling home-cooked food, watching the fireworks display from the Corniche, and buying local handicrafts. Visitors who come to Jeddah during the period of the festival will certainly enjoy themselves and experience the city at its most vibrant.
Rose Festival (Taif): The rose harvest season is THE time to visit the mountain resort of Taif - just two hours’ drive from Jeddah. Every spring the ‘City of Roses’ blooms pink and red as its 900 rose farms produce more than 300 million flowers. Once harvested the roses are then distilled into some of the world’s most expensive rose oil (attar) as well as rose water that is mixed into the perfumes of luxury brands such as Jimmy Choo and Givenchy. During the period of the Rose Festival, visitors can combine a visit to Taif’s rose producers and rose factories with the city’s Taif’s Al Rudaf Park which carpeted with flowers and hosts dances performances and exhibitions that are devoted to roses alongside the displays of the rose farmers and producers.
Al Qassim Date Festival (Buraidah): The largest date festival in the world is held annually in the central Saudi Arabian city of Buraidah. Lasting for 35 days from early August, the Al Qassim Date Festival sees thousands of farms and dealers congregate as some 45 varieties of Qassimi dates – the produce of some 8 million palm trees – are traded amidst an atmosphere of great excitement. The most popular variety of date by far is the famous yellow sukkary date. This economic carnival is taken very seriously and is highly organised. During the period of the Al Qassim Date Festival, quality control officials patrol and monitor proceedings and there is even a special guide office to help customers find the finest quality of dates.
Saudi National Day (across Saudi Arabia): Celebrated across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia annually on the 23 September, Saudi National Day commemorates the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Abdulaziz Ibn Saud in 1932. The only non-religious national holiday in Saudi Arabia, is marked in different ways throughout the country. The green coloured national flag is ubiquitous on Saudi National Day. Similarly, buildings, streets, cars and citizens throughout Saudi Arabia are all decked in green. In larger cities Saudi National Day is also often marked by art exhibits, parades, special discounts at shopping malls, and impressive light displays.
What standard of hotels can I expect in Saudi Arabia?
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in the process of commissioning some spectacular hotels that, when open, will rank among the most desirable in the world. These stunning architectural creations will become available in the next few years.
At the present time, the standard of accommodation available within Saudi Arabia is varied and character and boutique hotels are extremely limited. Luxury chain hotels currently exist in the key centres of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Al Ula. Good four and five-star chain-hotel hotels are also available in these locations as well as in the provincial capitals.
Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC’s suggested tours are usually based at properties of a four and five-star standard. Within this category of hotel, you can expect all modern comforts including: ensuite bathrooms, satellite television, air-conditioning, and at least one restaurant. Dining in the luxury hotels is usually excellent – but generally much less inspiring in the regional four star properties.
Many four and five star hotels have leisure facilities that include swimming-pools, gyms, and a spa – but it is important to be aware that these facilities are almost always reserved for the use of male guests. Some of the larger five-star hotels have separate leisure facilities for women – but please be aware that this is far from standard.
If you have requested a budget tour, we will typically use three-star hotels. These properties serve the needs of the local business community and have comfortable guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi etc… but usually lack character and have limited or no leisure facilities. The locations of the three star hotels in Saudi Arabia is often uninspiring – such as near a motorway or in an isolated location on the edge of town. Dining is typically available in a single restaurant/coffee-shop.
In rare instances your tour routing might require you to overnight in an out of the way location where the best available hotel is a basic aparthotel of a type that is found all over the kingdom. These simple properties are similar to (or a notch down from) entry level motels in the United States.
What languages do guides speak in Saudi Arabia?
We can arrange for guiding in a number of languages for your group tour in Saudi Arabia or private journey.
English and Arabic are the most widely available languages spoken by guides in Saudi Arabia. We can also provide Saudi Arabia tours in German, French and Spanish. A very limited number of Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese and Russian speaking guides are also available within the kingdom.
Is there a dress code for foreigners visiting Saudi Arabia?
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a very conservative country by Western standards. The country’s dress code is governed by Sharia law and is quite strict but has recently started to be relaxed. The requirement that formerly applied to female visitors to wear an abaya and headscarf when in public has now been dropped (at non-religious sites), but visitors of both sexes are still requested to dress modestly and not expose too much skin.
It is relatively simple matter for foreigners to meet the Saudi dress code without too much trouble so long as you are aware in advance of what to wear, as well as what not to wear, while travelling in the kingdom. Take fabrics that are cool – but which are also opaque - so as not to reveal the silhouette of your bodies.
The dress code laws for foreigner ladies visiting Saudi Arabia has started to relax and now allows for more western-style clothing to be worn, but it is important to note that women can’t dress in western-style clothing that exposes the skin. This includes shorter skirts and dresses as well as loose tops.
At religious sites women are required to wear an abaya (a loose black figure enveloping cloak) over normal clothes, but this is not a requirement for foreigners at places of no religious significance. Wearing a headscarf is now optional, although as laws and attitudes don’t always align, when travelling in more conservative areas we would recommend wearing one. If in doubt, ask your guide, or look around you to see what other women are wearing.
Skirts below the knee are technically permissible, however to avoid any problems, we would suggest wearing loose fitting trousers or a long skirt made from an opaque material that does not permit light to reveal an outline of your body. Jeans can be worn, but if doing so, you should ensure that you have a long top that covers your behind. Rather than risk causing offence it might be easiest to wear an abaya or long kaftan over your normal clothes when in public.
Men should dress modestly at all times when in Saudi Arabia but are not subject to many restrictions and are not required to wear Saudi dress.
When in public men need to ensure that their legs and shoulders are fully covered. Skinny jeans and clothes that are too tight should not be worn. Shorts and vests are not allowed except when by a swimming-pool, on a private beach, or when taking a boating excursion in a resort area such as Umluj or Yanbu.
Jewellery should be kept to a minimum: a wrist watch and wedding ring (if married).
Does Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia provide Umrah & Hajj travel service?
Yes to Umrah. No to Hajj.
Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC has considerable experience in providing can providing ground services for Umrah, but does not offer Hajj packages. Please contact us for details of our Umrah packages.
We are a B2B operator. If you aren’t a recognised member of the travel industry and are interested in visiting Saudi Arabia for Umrah as part of a group tour or private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
Does Tetrapylon arrange Cruise Excursions Packages in Saudi Arabia?
Yes! Tetrapylon has a specialist division dedicated to fulfilling the requirements of our Saudi Arabia cruise excursion packages.
We understand the importance of detailed planning, precise timing, reliability and finely tuned coordination in delivering successful shore excursion packages. From liaising with port authorities, suppling quality transportation, catering to your client’s special needs, and delivering the best guides, we are here to ensure that your cruise excursions are hassle-free and delivered seamlessly.
Our dedicated shore excursion team has specialist knowledge and understanding of the ports we service, and will work with you to create exciting immersive excursions: including area highlights, flightseeing, and water sports.
Whether it is a group coach excursion, a customised special event, or a bespoke tailor-made tour, our shore excursions will give your clients a real flavour of the history, culture and customs of each port. We’ll also provide shopping tips and much more…
Saudi Arabia Cruise Excursion Ports:
Does Tetrapylon arrange Self-Drive tours in Saudi Arabia?
Yes! Saudi Arabia with its excellent network of roads, stunning sites, and varied landscapes comes ready made for a superb road trip. Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC has developed two styles of self-drive tours so that you can enjoy the freedom of the road and discover the kingdom largely at your own pace. Contact us for further details.
Self-Drive (Private): On our private Saudi self-drive tours in Saudi Arabia, you can look forward to exploring the kingdom in a 4WD vehicle such as a Toyota Landcruiser. To maximise your opportunities when travelling, our self-drive tours are a hybrid between a privately guided tour and a fly drive and include the services of English speaking guides who will join you at key points during your trip. We also include added frills such as private airport transfers, the delivery of your SUV rental car to your hotel, and the provision of a local mobile phone that will connect you directly to our Saudi staff.
Self-Drive (Convoy): Our self-drive convoy tours are group experiences led by an experienced guide that follow a predetermined route. The convoy experience is fun and social enabling you to meet like-minded travellers. It also enables you to leave the signposts and tarmac behind you as you travel off-road through some amazing landscapes to see some of the most pristine desert panoramas on the planet. Being led by a local guide and having other cars with you is the secret to this formula, as you retain the fun of driving yourself through the desert and are able to visit places that only locals know about - but don’t ever need to worry about getting lost. If you get stuck there is always another car to provide assistance!
We are a B2B operator. If you aren’t a member of the travel industry and are interested in a self-drive tour of Saudi Arabia as part of a group tour or on a private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
Is there good scuba diving in Saudi Arabia?
Yes! Saudi Arabia’s 1,200-mile-long Red Sea coast is almost completely untouched which makes it a magical destination for scuba divers.
Considered by some to be the last frontier for divers, it is possible to scuba dive on Saudi Arabia’s pristine Red Sea reefs throughout the year. Divers can expect to enjoy sensational visibility, impressive schools of reef fish, and barracuda, eels, sharks as well as several wrecks. Unlike on the opposite side of the Red Sea, in Saudi Arabia it’s highly likely you’ll have the dive sites completely to yourselves.
Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia can arrange for scuba diving trips from Jeddah and Yanbu – 300km to the north which is known for being the dive capital of Saudi Arabia. Both are year round destinations but late autumn and early winter offer the absolute best conditions for divers. Water temperatures generally hover between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius.
We can also arrange for liveaboards in Saudi Arabia if you would like to go off the radar and experience some of the finest diving in the Red Sea and visit untouched reefs that are inaccessible on day trips. Scuba diving in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea can be an option to add on to a tour of the kingdom’s scenic and cultural treasures or it can be offered as a dedicated diving holiday.
Some of Saudi Arabia’s dive sites include:
Seven Sisters (Yanbu): One of the most visually stunning dive destinations in Saudi Arabia, the Seven Sisters coral reef chain is known for its hammerhead shark sightings. Marker 32 tantalises divers with its soft coral and is a photographer’s paradise.
Abu Galawa (Yanbu): This coral grotto is famous for its wreck of a Chinese tugboat that sank here in 1947 and is now entirely covered by soft and hard corals. Abu Galawa is part of the Seven Sisters reef and dazzles with its colourful corals, plentiful exotic fish, and different species of Red Sea sharks.
Ann Ann Wreck (Jeddah): The biggest and most challenging wreck in Jeddah, the Ann Ann Wreck is fixed to the 26-Mile Reef in depths of 27m at the stern to just below the surface at the bow. The cargo rooms are empty and experienced divers can investigate the captain’s cabin, the galley and an electric room.
Redmah Wall (Jeddah): The Redmah Wall is held to be the best soft coral wall in Saudi Arabia. Across this 150m section of wall there is hardly a metre that doesn’t have beautiful corals of some description. As the wall is near a deep channel, divers can sometimes enjoy the site of pelagic fish as well as several species of shark.
Farasan Banks (Jeddah): The Farasan Banks offer world class wall diving off a vast number of small reefs and several tiny islets. In places the wall can descend as deep as 500m. The reef life is abundant and colourful with many soft corals. Green turtles are spotted on most dives. The Whale Shark season is between March and June.
We are a B2B operator. If you aren’t a member of the travel industry and are interested in scuba diving in Saudi Arabia as part of a group tour or on a private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
Can I book a beach holiday in Saudi Arabia?
Yes! Saudi Arabia has over 1,200 miles of pristine coastline on the Red Sea as well as vast stretches of golden sand along its Gulf Coast. The country’s location in the subtropics gives it a wonderfully warm and sunny winter climate. As a consequence, the country has a great number of both public and private beaches where Saudis flock to enjoy their idyllic coastline.
The short answer to the question, is that of course it is possible to have a beach holiday in Saudi Arabia, but the beach holiday will be different from one on the Mediterranean or in Dubai. While the kingdom’s dress code has been relaxed, it still prevents ladies from sunbathing and swimming in a bikini on public beaches. That having been said, there are now a number of private beaches where mixed bathing is permitted and bikinis can be worn.
Within Saudi Arabia you’ll beach hotels that have been built to enable Muslim families to enjoy a holiday by the sea. These beach resorts often provide accommodation in villas to give their guests privacy and beach access where families can splash in the waves and relax on the beach. The more luxurious beach hotels in Saudi Arabia come with private swimming-pools and face the sea so that you can enjoy the beautiful setting without having to leave your room. An alternative solution should you wish to relax by the sea at the end of tour of Saudi Arabia is a beach hotel that offers separate male and female beach facilities.
Taking a boat trip is another way to enjoy a beach holiday in Saudi Arabia. The atolls off-shore from Umluj have been dubbed the ‘Maldives of Saudi Arabia’ and offer gin-coloured sea, beautiful coral reefs and a multitude of colourful marine life that invite guests to dive in and explore. An advantage of a private boat excursion is that it affords both sexes privacy and enables bathing in European-style swimwear. Both Yanbu and Jeddah offer opportunities for boat trips to secluded off-shore islands where you can enjoy the beach in private and warm waters of the Red Sea.
If a beach holiday in Saudi Arabia isn’t what you are looking for, why not combine your Saudi vacation with a visit to Oman, Dubai or Bahrain – all of which have excellent beach hotels and relaxed dress codes?
We are a B2B operator. If you aren’t a member of the travel industry and are interested in a beach holiday in Saudi Arabia as part of a group tour or on a private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
What are Saudi Arabia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites?
At present Saudi Arabia currently has five sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Saudi Arabia’s history may not be well known, but that belies that fact that this ancient land is rich in history and culture and is filled with heritage sites that will be of great interest to the cultural enthusiast.
Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madain Saleh):
Al Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape:
Rock Art in the Hail region:
Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah:
At-Turaif District in Ad Diriyah:
In addition to the official sites there are eleven sites within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that are on the tentative list for nomination for World Heritage status.
Darb Zubayda (Pilgrim road from Kuffa to Makkah)
Syrian Hajj Road
Egyptian Hajj Road
Al-Faw Pre-Islamic City in central Arabia
Rijal Almaa Heritage Village in Asir province
Zee Ain Heritage Village in Al Baha region
Hima A rock art site in Najran region
Domat Al Jandal Historical oasis in Al Jawf region
Uruq Ban Muarid Protected area
Can Tetraplyon arrange VIP travel in Saudi Arabia?
Yes! Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC has a specialist division dedicated to fulfilling the requirements of our VVIP and High Net Worth clients.
We understand the unique needs of highly successful business people and family offices and can develop programmes that have all the whistles and bells.
Furthermore, we have the contacts to secure permissions and access unique sites. Our High Net Worth team thrives on the most challenging itineraries and seeks to provide intimate authentic travel experiences that will connect your clients more deeply with the destination.
Whether it’s opening closed doors, providing unique introductions, building a private camp in a magical location, or doing something no one has done before; the Tetrapylon HNW division will assist you to develop, plan, and then deliver the dream in Saudi Arabia.
We are a B2B operator. If you aren’t a member of the travel industry and are interested in a VIP travel in Saudi Arabia as part of a group tour or on a private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
Does Tetrapylon arrange budget tours in Saudi Arabia?
Yes! As an inbound ground handler in Saudi Arabia, Tetrapylon works with a broad spectrum of clients and differing budgets.
Travel in Saudi Arabia isn’t cheap, but we have created several attractively priced budget tours in Saudi Arabia that will appeal to the cost conscious. Our budget tours in Saudi Arabia are aimed at the group market where we can offer clients the benefits of our buying power.
We are a B2B operator. If you aren’t a member of the travel industry and are interested in a budget tour of Saudi Arabia as part of a group tour or on a private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
Where should I start my tour of Saudi Arabia?
There is no real right or wrong answer to this question.
Saudi Arabia has four major international airports: Riyadh (RUH) in the centre of the country, Jeddah (JED) on the Red Sea coast is used for visiting Mecca, Dammam (DMM) on the Gulf Coast, and the holy city of Madinah (MED). A fifth airport that can also be useful when planning a vacation in Saudi Arabia is Bahrain International Airport (BAH) which is located just a short drive across the King Fahd Causeway from Al Khobar in eastern Saudi Arabia.
In addition to these major entry points to the kingdom, it is worth bearing in mind that other cities in Saudi Arabia offer regional connections within the Middle East. Tabuk (TUU) in northern Saudi Arabia, Abha (AHB) the capital of Asir in the southwest corner of the country, Qassim/Buraidah Airport (ELQ), and Ha’il (HAS) all have international services that might be used if your journey starts in a neighbouring country and you wish to avoid backtracking. Dubai and Sharjah airports both provide particularly good services into Saudi Arabia’s regional airports.
The majority of guests will find themselves starting their Saudi Arabia vacation in either Riyadh or Jeddah. For most journeys it doesn’t really matter whether you start your journey in the former or latter city. Choose the point of entry that offers the best connections (and price!) from your home airport. That having been said, it’s important to discuss your proposed trip with your travel agent or tour operator before buying your international flights. They might have a trick (or two) up their sleeves.
Can I visit Mecca on my tour of Saudi Arabia?
It depends… The Holy Cities of Mecca (Makkah) and Medina (Madinah) are open for visits by Muslim guests only. Non-Muslim visitors can travel to Medina but are not permitted to enter the city’s central ‘haram’ area. Access to Mecca is strictly prohibited to all non-Muslims.
Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia have developed some suggested programmes for Muslim guests who wish to combine a visit to the Haramain with other parts of Saudi Arabia outside of the holy month of Ramadan. If you are interested, please ask us for details!
We are a B2B operator. If you aren’t a member of the travel industry and are interested in a visit to Mecca on your tour of Saudi Arabia as part of a group tour or on a private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
What countries can I combine with a visit to Saudi Arabia?
There is more than enough to see and do within Saudi Arabia to enable you to dedicate at least a full trip to exploring the kingdom. That having been said, should you wish to visit Saudi Arabia as part of a greater Middle Eastern journey it is certainly possible. Some of the more popular combination options that might be of interest are listed below.
Saudi Arabia & Jordan: Travel in the footsteps of the ancient Nabataeans and combine a visit to Hegra with Petra. Another themed route could have you follow the route of Moses through the wilderness of the Midian and then into Jordan ending at Mt. Nebo. A third possibility that will appeal to fans of T E Lawrence is to use the Hijaz railway as your line of travel between Medina and Amman.
Saudi Arabia & Oman: Over the centuries the histories of the Sultanate of Oman and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have overlapped. Some guests are motivated to follow the ancient incense route from its source in the mountains of Dhofar in southern Oman, up through the ancient Saudi Arabian trade routes to Petra in Jordan. A more indulgent inspiration for a combined Saudi Arabia and Oman tour is the prospect of having a beach holiday and chilled beer at the end of your journey!
Saudi Arabia & Bahrain: Pearling and trade has linked the islands of Bahrain with Saudi Arabia for centuries. Bahrain International Airport is a good entry point to the Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province just across the King Fahd Causeway. Visitors wishing to trace the ancient Arabian caravan routes might like to start or end their Saudi Arabia tour in Bahrain. Exploring the diverse architecture of the Arabian Peninsula might be another theme. Bahrain’s liberal outlook makes the island a pleasant place to wind up with some days at leisure.
Saudi Arabia & Dubai: Travelling to Saudi Arabia via Dubai, the Middle East’s transportation hub, is a distinct probability for some visitors considering a visit to the kingdom. Rather than connect straight though to Riyadh (or elsewhere) you might like to break your journey in Dubai and adjust to the local time zone to ensure that you arrive in Saudi Arabia bright eyed and bushy tailed. Dubai is another destination that has the potential to offer a beach holiday and some R&R following your tour of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia & Egypt: Maybe not the most obvious combination, but Cairo and the land of the Pharaohs is only just over an hour’s flight from Jeddah. If you are planning a visit to Egypt and want to do something extraordinary and lateral afterwards, why not consider extending your trip to discover Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia & Jerusalem: Muslim pilgrims visiting the Haramain may be attracted by the prospect of turning their journey to Saudi Arabia into a greater Middle Easter Odyssey that will take you north through the lands of the prophets to visit Petra in Jordan before the trip concludes at the Jerusalem’s Haram Ash-Sharif.
Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia DMC has partner offices in Jordan, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates and can provide a one-stop solution for a visiting the Middle East.
Are Christian and Jewish tours permitted in Saudi Arabia?
Yes! It is certainly possible to visit sites of Jewish and Christian interest in Saudi Arabia.
Jewish tribes have a long history in what is now Saudi Arabia and traces of their settlement can be found at many sites in the northern part of the kingdom – particularly in Tayma and Khaybar. Both Jewish and Christian visitors might be interested in travelling through the biblical land of Midian – modern Tabuk province – when in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Local tradition in Tabuk province holds that Moses landed at Wadi Tayyib Al Ism in Saudi Arabia after crossing the Red Sea and escaping the armies of Egypt. It is also said, that the old testament prophet then spent time in Magna, where the Springs of Moses after named after him, and at Al Bada – the ancient city of Midian – before proceeding northwards towards the promised land.
Some biblical scholars claim (the majority refute the argument) that Saudi Arabia’s Jabal Lawz is the location of the ‘real’ Mt. Sinai and have identified the spots where the Altar of the Golden Calf may have stood as well as the Rock of Horeb. Whether Moses visited these exact locations or not, exploring the ancient land of the Midianites is extremely interesting and a highly rewarding experience.
Tetrapylon Saudi Arabia can make arrangements for Christian and Jewish tours in Saudi Arabia. It must however be noted that Islamic law is strictly enforced in the kingdom. The public practice of any religion other than Islam is illegal; as is the intention to convert others. The Saudi authorities do however accept the private practice of religions other than Islam, and you may bring a religious text into the country so long as it is for your own use.
We are a B2B operator. If you aren’t a member of the travel industry and are interested in a Christian or Jewish tour of Saudi Arabia as part of a group tour or on a private journey we can introduce you to one of our specialist overseas partners so that they can assist you with your travel needs.
Can I visit Saudi Arabia with an Israeli passport stamp?
Yes! Having an Israeli stamp in your passport is not a problem if you wish to visit Saudi Arabia. Apply for your Saudi Arabia visa in advance of travel as normal. At the time of writing Saudi Arabian visas are not available for citizens of Israeli.