Yes, of course. There are direct flights from the UK to Saudi Arabia and back. These direct flights are operated by Saudia Airlines and British Airways. Direct flights are operated between the cities of Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and London and Manchester in the UK. These flights are only 7 hours in duration.
The best time to visit Saudi Arabia is in between the months of November and March. Saudi Arabia is known for its hot and dry weather. Fortunately, if the traveller arrives in the country during the winter, the climate of Saudi Arabia mimics the June weather of a tropical destination. The country can be a great escape from the European frigid winters. During the November to March period, the average temperatures remain below 30°C with little to no rain, making this perfect time for a little bit of exploration and discovery.
The May to August timeframe is the cheapest time to be in Saudi Arabia. The weather report of the hot desert country keeps the over-thinking tourists waiting for cooler months. Much to their surprise, Saudi Arabia is a very modern and advanced country. Apart from getting in and out of your vehicle, you would not feel the heat of the summer in Saudi Arabia. Air conditioners blow nonstop in cars, malls, restaurants, hotels, motel and even some bazaars in Saudi Arabia, keeping the tourists and the locals cool. The low airfares and cheap accommodations during the summer months makes this time a treat for those who want to keep their credit card payments inline.
There are seven international airports in Saudi Arabia. Out of these seven, the top three busiest international airports are as follows:
- Being close to Mecca, the King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) at Jeddah is the busiest international airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Along with the Madinah Airport, this airport is one of the two international airports that are allowed to process Hajj pilgrims. King Abdulaziz International Airport was able to handle about 30 million passengers in 2017. It is only 17 kilometres from Jeddah city centre and 107 kilometres from Mecca. The ride to Mecca is only an hour long by car.
- King Khalid International Airport (RUH) is located in the city of Riyadh. Being the airport serving the capital of the kingdom, considerable investment has been done on the airport’s infrastructure that has helped in the transport of 25 million passengers in 2017. King Khalid International is a key economic and logistical installation of Saudi Arabia and has a special terminal for the Saudi Royal Family as well. The airport is located 35 kilometres from Riyadh’s dazzling commercial centre.
- King Fahd International Airport (DMM) is the third busiest international airport in Saudi Arabia. The airport has handled about 10 million passengers last year and there are plans to further expand the capacity of the airport and provide additional services. King Fahd International is only 20 kilometres away from Dammam city centre and serves the entire Dammam Metropolitan Area.
In order to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the British traveller is required to obtain a visa before entering the country. Please visit the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London to apply for a visit visa. Please also make sure that your passport is valid for another six months from the date of your arrival in Saudi Arabia. Please be advised that the authorities can prevent you from entering into the country or boarding a plane to Saudi Arabia during the Hajj season if the British traveller does not possess a Hajj visa. This rule is in place to regulate the number of expatriates in the Kingdom during the Hajj high season.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has had a long history. The current government of Saudi Arabia has been investing heavily and plans to provide more entertainment opportunities to its citizens and visiting tourists. There are a lot of tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia that would be enjoyed by people coming from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures.
- The Ruins of the Mada’in Saleh is an archaeological site, inside the Madinah Region and it is a must go. The ruins are of the Nabatean Kingdom that was once bustling with people in 100 BC. The carved out rock and the beautifully preserved buildings of this UNESCO site bring the visitors back to a time when trade between Arabia and Syria used to run through the town. Pots and carved bas-reliefs found in these ruins indicate the exchange of goods like Myrrh, incense and spices. The Quran also mentions the township and indicates that a prophet named Saleh was sent to the “Thamudis”. Visit the ruins of the Nabateans and wonder at the creativity that existed all those centuries ago.
- King Fahd’s Fountain is a landmark of Saudi Arabia in the city of Jeddah. The fountain jets seawater into the air and the mist from the fountain, as it reaches the peak, flutters and spreads around the Jeddah Harbour. About 500 spotlights illuminate the colossal fountain and it is visible from all corners of the city. At any given time, there is almost 16 tons of water gushing into the air. The electric motors squirt out the jet of seawater at 375 kilometres per hour.
- The Al Shallal Theme Park is built in Jeddah. The theme park has it all, from joy rides to a gaming arcade. If you accompany young travellers or even are a child at heart, you would love the visit to Al Shallal Theme Park. The theme park is loaded with activities and gaming joints. The Amazon Ride is a fan favourite, which is a jungle complete with life-size animals, thrilling lights and sound effects. The ice skating rink at the park also gathers a lot of visitors. The park also has a separate building to host parties and private events and has seven restaurants each celebrating a different cuisine and flavour.
Being a predominantly Muslim country, Islam dictates most of the events and festivals that are celebrated in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi people are very hospitable and encourage the participation of tourists in their festivities. Islam follows the lunar calendar which means that exact dates of the festivals cannot be marked on the Gregorian calendar. However, the Islamic calendar first celebrates the birth of Prophet Muhammad in the month known as Rabi-ul-Awal. Special sweet dishes made from milk and dates are cooked during the festival and children cover their homes and streets with colourful flags and fairy lights. The Eid ul Fitr Festival is celebrated after the month of Ramadan. People who fast during the holy month rejoice on this Eid and distribute mouth-watering delights. The Eid ul Adha Festival is celebrated as the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca nears to completion. The smell of barbeques fills the air as succulent meats are shared at parties, with friends and family members.
With the continuous supply of petrodollars, Saudi Arabian transportation facilities are top notch and one of the best in the world. There is no need of expensive metro systems in any city of Saudi Arabia because the government has been laying an extensive road network across the country and a litre of petrol is cheaper than a litre bottled water. All you need is a car. The best and most reliable option is the taxi. For a small price, these air-conditioned taxis can take you anywhere in the city or across the country, if you so choose. Cars for hire are also available and you can travel economically in a mini Sedan or in style, in a Mustang – you are the boss.
There are many five star hotels in Saudi Arabia that can yield to your heart’s desire. From gold plated bathroom sinks to luxury cars, all you need to do is indicate your wish to the hotel’s staff and it will come true.
- Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski
- Narcissus Hotel & Residence, Riyadh
- Movenpick Hotel Riyadh
- Bay La Sun Hotel & Marina, Jeddah
- Rosewood Jeddah