Saudi opens to tourists - so what is there to see?

Saudi Arabia tourism: So what is there to see?

10/13/2019 3:23:00 AM

Saudi Arabia tourism: So what is there to see?

The BBC's Frank Gardner, a visitor to the kingdom for decades, shares his tips for places to see.

Asir MountainsThere are expatriates who have lived in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade yet never visited this gem down in the far south-west corner of the country, next to Yemen. They are missing a treat. The landscape can be lush and verdant, even in high summer and I have even seen a juniper forest turn white after a sudden hailstorm.

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Image copyrightImage captionGazing out over the misty Asir Mountains, where paragliding and rock climbing are being developedAn estimated 500,000 wild Hamadryas baboons inhabit the mountains, along with hornbills, eagles and dazzling blue agamid lizards. The landscape is dotted with basalt stone watch towers, a legacy of the tribal fighting that used to take place here a century ago.

In recent years the region has opened up to domestic tourism, with a cable car descending from the lofty heights to a picturesque hillside village called Rijal al-Ma'.Image copyrightFrank GardnerImage captionFortress architecture in the village of Rijal Al-Ma’, reached by cable car from the mountain top

In a canyon called Wadi Habala, named after the rope that used to lower provisions down the cliff face to the villagers who lived on its slopes, there are breathtaking views over the hazy mountain ridges that descend towards the Red Sea.Mada'in Saleh

The ancient Nabataean ruins in the far northwest of the country are remarkable, not just for their preserved carvings reminiscent of Petra in Jordan to the north, but also for their stark and beautiful desert setting.This is the Hijaz, the historic western edge of the Arabian Peninsula, where TE Lawrence fought the Turkish army in the Arab revolt of 1917 and where remnants of the old Hijaz railway can still be seen.

Image copyrightImage captionMada'in Saleh is a Unesco World Heritage siteFor years the Saudi authorities largely kept quiet about Mada'in Saleh as the religious fundamentalists were less than keen on promoting something dating from a pre-Islamic civilisation, known in Arabic as"the Age of Ignorance".

Under the new, multi-billion dollar tourism promotion scheme, it will be very much on the map.Al-HofufThe date palm oasis of al-Hofuf covers a vast area of eastern Saudi Arabia, said to be the largest of its kind in the world, and creates a lush green world of streams and gardens.

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But the really spectacular attraction here is the ghostly cave complex inside al-Qarah Mountain, registered in 2018 as a Unesco cultural heritage site.The natural caves, carved by wind and water erosion, take a bit of climbing to get into but are well worth the effort, especially as they are significantly cooler than the heat outside.

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Saudi has lot of attraction for visitors like diverse ways of beheading, stoning people to death, and throwing off LGBT people from top of building. It's indeed a wonder and pride of humanity. 🙄🙄🙄 Floggings, public execution, cutting journalists into little pieces... Wtf Who cares what there is to see? I think anyone choosing to spend their tourist dollars in a place like that should have a word with themselves.

Public execution by beheading. Stoning, beheadings, amputation for thrives, all the good stuff you don’t get in a western democracy 🙄 Sand, desert, palm trees and camels. Nowt You couldn't pay me enough to go there. Saudi Tourism That's like British Cuisine! Pass Nothing if you’re a woman... I understand they do public beheadings in big public squares. No tickets required

It’s funny how they are so homophobic yet most of the Saudi men are GAY 😅😅😅 Nothing, I've been , it's a featureless cultural vacuum full of miserable people who'd, frankly , rather be somewhere else. Not a chance! Don’t need to see women covered in black mourning cloth (indicating the death of their freedom!)

Sand dunes Some excellent places to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Muslims Sands and men in robes, no sign of women. No funny ideas like wearing shorts in temperatures of 40+ degrees. Hangings at dawn Beheadings? Would not go if it was for free. I imagine Saudi Arabia?! Being as that's where you would be!

Their cultural attitudes and degradation towards women, numerous human rights abuses, and racist views and treatment of others, to name a few. Beheadings... fun evening out with the kids Beheadings? Public flogging and beheadings. Stonings, floggings, hangings, executions and bombings. Can’t wait to go! 🤥

Mecca public stoning event perhaps 🤭 Public floggings, stonings and beheading anybody? SaudiArabia Crusifications of heretics and homosexuals What a load of BS from FrankRGardner. Don’t risk your lives by visiting this barbaric country. Their sponsorship system is slavery in disguise, and one wrong move could cost a tourist his/her life.

Greavesy92 public execution season I’ll stick to the Canary Islands thanks. ☀️🏖🍻 The future of Europe. Hard sell this one. Tip One: do not enter a Saudi Embassy. Burkas y impresentables I was there in the 1980’s, beautiful yet disturbing on so many levels. Worked there. Sh--hole Well there is the ' beheadings ' for a start!

Two thefts per person...right then left hand... Iraq is a far superior holiday destination. Public floggings and beheadings. More burkas. Scary. Saudi Arabian tourism...hmmmm my thoughts? ...well, I'd say kidnapping is high on the list. Anything brutal will follow that really. Yeah, I'd say this isn't for people who are clearly open minded & not offended by alcohol, the English.. and partly naked sunbathers nothanks

Mass-Decapitation on ChopChop Place, f.e. . The Wahabbit SaudiArabia does NOT belong to the circle of civilised nations. Sand cheminahsayang Maybe i'd visit n see why they disallow women to drive there.. 🤔🤔🤔 No thanks barbaric regime stuck in the Middle Ages only reason anyone bothers with them is oil

Sand. Mecca? Or is that off-limits I’m sure a lot of women will go and fall for the rich Dirty Arab man I would sooner nail my toes to a plank of wood with 9 inch screws than go to this country No thank you. I am a woman who values her freedom and the right to say what I want, speak to men, wear what I like and drink what I like when I like. I don’t travel anywhere that I understand to have serious human rights abuse issues.

Women being treated like second class citizens? But the BBC is OK with that as long as it’s not white British people being sexist. The inside of a suitcase Oil refiners You would have to be crazy to want to holiday in Saudi Arabia. It would be far too easy for a casual Westerner to fall foul of their antiquated legal system.

the inside of a cell Are the executions still on in Deera 'Chop Chop' square Fridays? SAND! Sand Nothing, because your eyes will gouged out for jaywalking. Whatever that is. Head will roll if the Saudi tourist board see all these tweets..🗡 Never been on my holiday destination radar, never will be. Beheading

I’m sure it’s a gorgeous country but I’ll tell you what you won’t see for sure: human rights, freedom of press and expression Quite a bit of US military hardware? The crucible and epicentre of a trough of corruption and greed that spreads around the globe? I'll pass. Oppressed women. Bound to see them ✔ Hypocrisy 🍷🍻🥂🍾🍸 ✔ Human rights issues- beatings, stonings✔ Plenty to see ...

The sooner these backward countries run out of oil & their riches the better. Perhaps then they will start to realise they need to drag themselves into the modern age & treat human beings with dignity & respect. For a start, you can see human rights abuses wherever you turn. Beheading. Hand chopping. Sand. Whisky Factory. Oh, wait..

Lots of men holding hands? If Thomas Cook was still here ........ 🤔 Sand......and probably more sand.... 😂😂😂🤣🤣😂😂 Gross misuse of Money Why are you promoting visiting Saudi? cheminahsayang i mean ppl go to USA even UNHumanRights warned that there's no guarantee u r not gonna get shot anywhere anytime. it's a guarantee u r not gonna get shot anywhere anytime in Saudi Arabia

Cranes Lot of bloody sand! I worked there, it’s a fucking hell hole. You’ll love the religious police, show an ankle and get a public beating. Public amputations? Nothing keep away, thank you🤪 Conservative = strict out of dated. I would never ever go to a place like that a lot!, lived there for 5 years and its a beautiful country!

Shithole, why anyone would want to go here🤦🏻‍♂️ Bullshit and nothing is their it is very backward country worse than North Korea 🇰🇵, And Syria 🇸🇾 and Afghanistan 🇦🇫. Anyone visit Saudi for tourism he is insane and crazy. A future destination for hen and stag weekends Sand! Go to Yemen instead to study the effectiveness of Saudi Arabian demolition work. BoycottSaudiArabia

If you’re a woman not much. Public beheadings Lots of sand You will see foreigners with Slave documents called IQAMA. Foreigners not allowed to buy any property nor given citizenship even if born there. Home slave women from Indonesia bought ,beaten, raped .Passport colour is dominant religion There's plenty to see; floggings in the square, stoneing of women, beheadings and crucifictions (134 this year alone) and maybe Bone Saw Mohammad will show us Mr Khasoggi's head that was flown back to him from Turkey.

Stoning of women... If you're really lucky you might see fighter jets setting off to indiscriminately bomb Yemen with bombs loaded by British engineers. Now that's teamwork!! Public beheading perhaps. No thanks Heads will roll No thank you. Don’t agree with their treatment of women. Not going to help fund them

Erm, no thanks. Why is the BBConservative pushing these fascists Public executions. i recommend the beheadings As well as the public execution photo premier package, I’ve booked a day excursion to Yemen to see the ruins and a live demonstration of UK weapons being used! Welcome to Saudi Arabia, tourists! If you're a woman, cover up, shut up, and enjoy being treated like property. Don't forget to bring your male keeper when you go out. Watch Saudi censorship in action. Dissidents are dismembered.🖕No thanks, Mr. Bone Saw. JustSayNoToSaudiTourism

Beheadings, Human Rights Abuses, Torture, Extremism, Bigotry, Intolerance, Misogyny, Slavery, Inequality, Assassination, Political Imprisonment, Dictatorship... So much to see, so little time to see it all. The 12th century? a funeral its literally one of the worst places in the world to live and you could be killed there for anything at all. nope.

A country that highly disrespects women. So not really interested in what's there. Good luck with that! Oil fields American armed forces, doing the equivalent of changing of the guard, always a tourist winner 😂 Crucifixions Beheadings Beatings You guys can frankly stop after the first paragraph. Stoning. Female beheadings for public descent?

Loads of 18 year old american lads who will have been sent there by a bloated orange president who's trying to distract from russian influence, ukranian influence, epstein influence, and lest we forget the 40 odd sexual assaults. Human Rights abuses but Liz Truss is fine with that. You can check here : Turki_alalshikh RiyadhSeason 🇸🇦🇸🇦🇸🇦🇸🇦🇸🇦🇸🇦

Plenty of sand and the latest new models in Camels transportation. Public beheadings , Oppressed Women , a totalitarian state run oppressive shit show? Woman in Chains. Oh wait, that’s a tearsforfears song (from an excellent album, btw). Still, guardianship holds women down in dark corners. Men are both ruthless and childish in Saudi Arabia. Wow, women are now allowed to drive a car 🙄 I mean, come on!

Death traps? 🇸🇦👏😍👏🇸🇦😍🇸🇦👏👏 so excitiiiiing!! Letterboxes Public stonings of homosexuals? Jamal Kashoggi’s murders Medieval rights Conservatives. There's a Bitter Lake. A country which represses women, encourages an extreme form of radial Islam, has a murderer for a leader. Those are just some of the enticing offereings.

Iranian oil tanker on fire after blast near Saudi port city - ISNAAn Iranian oil tanker has reportedly caught fire after an explosion near Jeddah OMG! Desperate act by the Iranian. Now they are destroying the Saudi coast and the source of Saudi desalination water. Iran is desperate to get the world attention. Cleaning the oil spill from the Saudi coast will cost Saudi Arabia a lot. Saudi port in Jeddah must assist the Iranian tanker. An investigation needs to be made as to who attacked the tanker. JZarif IMOHQ KSAmofaEN AlArabiya_KSA Saudi ought to put a group together around the Red Sea, with Egypt etc & ensure area is safe for merchant shipping.

Iranian tanker 'on fire off Saudi coast'Reports say oil is spilling into the Red Sea following an explosion on the tanker. Tosk must accept a measure of responsibility for this. Tosk was hiding on the Tanker when the Hunters located him. The Hunters do not respect private property. unmanned mmmmm

Iranian oil tanker 'is hit by two MISSILES' in attack off Saudi ArabiaThe National Iran Oil Company said a supertanker called Sinopa was hit by two missiles around 60 miles from the Saudi port of Jeddah Friday morning, leaving it badly damaged. A 3rd force is stirring the hornet's nest in the Middle East region. Saudi and Iran ,dont be pushed into War and unnecessary destroy your economies. CIA? إذا كانت المملكة العربية السعودية متورطة في انفجار الناقلة الإيرانية ، يمكنك الاحتفال بنهاية آل سعود الآن.

Iranian oil tanker explodes off the coast of Saudi Arabia in shock attack in regionAN explosion has struck an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Saudi Arabia, according to local media.

Iranian oil tanker 'hit by explosion’ near Saudi Arabia sparking ‘terror attack’ fears, reports claimAN Iranian oil tanker was today hit by an explosion in a suspected “terrorist act”, according to reports. The huge blast was on board a vessel belonging to the National Iranian Oil Comp… Here is the ship in question in your article confidently goes to port

Trump sends thousands of extra troops to Saudi Arabia after Iran oil attackTHE US is sending thousands more troops to protect Saudi Arabia against the threat of Iran after last month’s attack on major oil plants. Donald Trump approved the deployment of 3,000 extra troops … Deingirl American troops will soon be used as mercenaries