|Saudi Arabia occupies 80% of the Arabian Peninsula. It is predominately made up of desert, semi-desert and shrub land. The terrain in the west along the Red Sea is a mountain range called Hejaz. Its southern part is known as Asir. The center of the country is a high plateau called Najd.
Saudi Arabia's tourism is primarily religious pilgrimage to Mecca. During the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, Mecca hosts close to three million visitors, on Ramadan, two million.
Huge oil reserves are the mainstay of the Saudi economy. However, anticipating eventual decline of the use of fossil energy, the Saudis have initiated a program managed by a government authority known as "MODON" to develop indutrial cities throughout the country to provide diversification.
We have divided Saudi Arabia into five regions:
East: Saudi oil production is centered along the Persion Gulf in the Dammam metro area comprising Dammam, Dhahran and Al Khobar. It is served by the King Fahd International Airport (DMM). Dammam is connected to Bahrain via a 15.5mile causeway,
Jubail is one of the industrial cities destined for expansion.
Khafji is on the Kuwait border and an important center of oil production.
Ras Tanura is the port for the oil industry.
Abqaiq is a Saudi Aramco gated community located in the desert.
South: The area known as Asir, provides wonderful views. Abha is noted for its brightly painted mud houses. Southwest of Abha is the Asir National Park, featuring spectacular scenery. Khamis Mushayt is the major city with souks known for their silver jewelry.
West: This region includes Mecca, the religious center and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's largest city with a multitude of parks and fountains. It also serves as Saudi Arabia's main Red Sea port. King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) serves Jeddah, Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED) serves Medina.
Central: This region is largely desert, but includes Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital and one of the industrial cities under development. Khalid International Airport (RUH) provides access.
North: Ar'ar and Tabuk are the major cities. Not much of a tourist area. The only site of interest are the Nabataean ruins at Madain Saleh, which resemble those at the better known Petra in Jordan.