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Unique Tourist Attractions you may not haven heard of in Saudi Arabia & Egypt

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Will the Coronavirus pandemic prevent us from traveling and enjoying the world’s beautiful attractions? Speaking of which, our talk today is about a group of wonderful tourist attractions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, places that you may not have heard of before, and that certainly make us more eager to see and enjoy them due to their historical and cultural dimensions.

The Coronavirus situarion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

In fact, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia puts the health and safety of its visitors, residents, and citizens a top priority. So the Kingdom follows proactive measures to help contain the Coronavirus and protect everyone from any danger. This is why travel procedures to the Kingdom have been updated with the relevant precautionary rules to ensure that visitors and tourists who plan to take a trip to Saudi Arabia, and those currently in the country are aware of the latest developments and are 100% safe from any health risks.

Great Tourist Attractions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has an interesting mix of attractive deserts, spiritual symbols, and coral architecture with the invaluable presence of the mysterious Red Sea. The Kingdom offers a set of unique experiences to its visitors, as the city of Makkah, Tabuk, Adventure Island Tiran, the old Masmak Fort, and more. Now, here is a closer look on some of the attractions you not have known about:

1. Al Ula ruins

Al Ula is the most famous destination in Saudi Arabia for a lot of good reasons. The stunning region in the northwest of the kingdom spreads golden rock formations, lush citrus plantations, and remnants of many ancient kingdoms. The most famous monument is ‘Madain Saleh’, which contains collections of 2,000-year-old Nabataean graves.

2. The Saudi Maldives

You can discover the shallow turquoise waters and coral reefs around the islands near the city of Umluj and Al Wajh in Tabuk. You can also ask a local sailor to help you explore the area that is called the ‘Saudi Maldives’, and if you do so in the winter, you can even spot dolphins.

The infrastructure in the area is simple, but the local hospitality is second to none. With fresh fish, you can book a simple excursion tour if you are one of those less adventurous, or bring scuba gear if you are an full-on adventurer.

For women seeking to travel alone, it is worth noting that the kingdom’s efforts to ease social restrictions – such as allowing women to drive and travel abroad without permission from a male guardian – continue to evolve.

3. Southern Mountains

The Asir region in southern Saudi Arabia is a world away from the capital, Riyadh. Summer rainstorms bring greenery and dramatic mountain scenery, and popular activities include hiking and touring the historic Rijal Alma Village.

It is worth noting that visitors should check the security situation before going on a visit there. Abha, “the main city in the region,” is about 115 kilometers from the Yemeni border, where the Saudi-led coalition is waging a war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. However, the recent festival in the region attracts crowds of local and foreign tourists who have managed to enjoy the area with no incidents recorded so far.

4. The edge of the world

Many travelers rush to explore Riyadh, a metropolitan area smothered with congestion. But the capital has plenty of cultural sites to discover, from the bustling traditional markets of Thebes and Souk Al Zal to the recently renovated historic Dir’iya district, the ancestral home of the ruling Al Saud family.

Moreover, Riyadh is well worth stopping by just to see the ‘Edge of the World’, the towering plateau two hours from the city that is a perfect spot for weekend hiking for residents. The views stretch out endlessly in every direction and the tranquility and silence in the greenery in this place is astonishing.

5. The land of the future

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to turn the northwestern corner of the kingdom into a mega-future project worth $ 500 billion. Analysts and investors are skeptical about the viability of the project, but the area – which is part of the Tabuk region – is full of natural wonders that local tourists love, and officials plan to cater to adventure enthusiasts.

Among the sites worth visiting is Wadi El-Tayeb, a narrow valley between two cliffs that locals believe Moses landed in when he crossed the sea from Egypt, and the area also has a wonderful diving spot in the Red Sea. The nature of these cities is primitive, and the hotel and restaurant options are limited, but despite this, residents welcome visitors.

The Coronavirus situarion in Egypt

According to the global situation, Egypt has taken all precautionary and preventive measures, with an emphasis on the relevant tourism facilities, to ensure the complete safety of tourists, residents, and workers in the tourism sector. Egypt conducts pre-emptive Corona swabs to ensure the safety of arrivals to its airports, and to fully ensure that medical facilities are ready to accommodate any case that needs treatment. Therefore, you can visit Egypt and enjoy its wonderful attractions without having to worry.

Great Tourist Attractions in Egypt

Egypt undoubtedly celebrates many historical and cultural aspects dating back thousands of years, and that includes tourist attractions through the Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic and other eras that had a role in shaping the mix that is the great Egyptian culture and heritage. So let’s take a look at some of the gems that you might not have visited yet:

1. Beni Suef

Beni Suef is located south of Cairo, along the Nile Valley. It is of archaeological and agricultural importance and is a vital commercial center on the west bank of the Nile, 110 km south of Cairo.

This region connects northern Egypt with the south, and the east with the west, and this central identity formed the mixture of population, city civilization, and the economic nature of the region. Geographical proximity to vital governorates such as Cairo and Giza is very important, and the governorates of the Red Sea, Suez, and Fayoum, and the tourist areas of Ismailia, constitute markets for industrial products made in Beni Suef.

The Beni Suef industries, which are mostly related to agriculture, include flour milling, cotton ginning, and textile manufacturing. Alabaster is mined near the capital.

Irrigation water is supplied in the governorate through the large Bir Youssef canal. The city is located on the main railway line along the Nile River, and a secondary railway connects it to the Fayoum Oasis complex for agricultural settlements. The oldest mosque is Al-Bahar Mosque, which is a distinctive local shrine.

2. Al-Sharqiya

Before its division during the Fatimid period, the region included Dakahlia and other areas in the Nile Delta. In 1315, the southern part of Al-Sharqiya split to form Qalyubia. In the Middle Ages, the region witnessed many Coptic and Arab uprisings, and it served as an invasion route for foreign armies.

Belbeis is the former capital of Al Sharqiya and used to function as a fortress in the Middle Ages. It is located in the southeast, 30 km north-east of Cairo. During the nineteenth century Belbeis was replaced by Zagazig as the capital .

The governorate includes crops such as cotton, corn, rice, wheat, soybeans, peanuts, sesame, and citrus fruits. Ducks and chickens are raised at the level of large farms or local activities. Lake Manzala is used for fishing, and even fish farming was introduced in the area.

3. Luxor – Abu Hajjaj Mosque

Luxor is a historical Egyptian city full of ancient history with an extension of the Pharaonic and Islamic era. You may have heard about the ancient monuments and temples, but today we will talk about the Abu Hajjaj Mosque located in the heart of the Karnak Temple in Luxor.

The Abu Hajjaj Mosque is located on the eastern bank of Luxor, in the first courtyard of the ancient Luxor Temple complex, “Karnak”, and it is a true Egyptian gem that you can’t miss on visiting. Although there is a lot to discover in the Karnak temple, the Hajjaj Mosque has a remarkable uniqueness baout it, which is why it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Luxor. Anyone who visits Karnak Temple in Luxor also visits the mosque, and the nice thing is that visitors, including non-Muslims, are welcome to have a look inside.

4. Aswan – Famine Stela

Aswan has a long history, and it is the source of the Nile in Egypt. You may have heard about a lot of tourist attractions that people tend to usually visit when at Aswan, but today, we are about to tell you all about one that you may not have heard about before, which is the Famine Stela.

During the reign of King Djoser, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the lack of flooding of the Nile in 2700 BC led to a famine that lasted seven years, leaving Egypt in a very difficult situation. The king was at a loss because the grains were not enough, the seeds had dried up, the people plundered each other, and the temples and shrines were closed.

In search of an end to the suffering of his people, the king consulted the architect and his prime minister, Imhotep, and ordered him to search for a solution in the ancient sacred texts. In compliance with the king’s order, Imhotep went to a temple in the ancient city of Ain Shams, where he discovered that the solution could be found in the city of Yibo “Aswan”, the source of the Nile.

Imhotep, then, traveled to Yebo, where he visited the temple of Khnum and saw granite, precious stones, minerals, and building stones.

After his state visit to Yibo, Imhotep briefed King Djoser on his trip. The day after his meeting with Imhotep, Khnum came to the king in his dream, promising to end the famine and let the Nile flow again if Djoser rebuilt the temple of Khnum. As a result, Djoser fulfilled Khnum’s wishes, allocating the region’s revenues to the temple of Khnum. Shortly thereafter, the famine and people’s suffering were over.

The Famine Stela is an inscription written in Egyptian hieroglyphs located on the island of Suhail in the Nile near Aswan in Egypt, and it talks of that period of seven years that witnessed drought and famine during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser of the Third Dynasty.

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Now that we have shared with your our list of favorite unique attractions to visit in both Egypt & Saudi Arabia, don’t forget to share with us yours. Let us know in the comments section below! 

Omnia Essawy

A writer that's gotta pay the bills.

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