This was my third visit to Saudi Arabia and every time I come back to Switzerland with wonderful memories. Since my first visit in 2017, the country has made huge progress in tourism. Again, I was overwhelmed by the generous Arab hospitality and met local people and made new friends. It was an enrichment and I am grateful for everything I experienced. Saudi Arabia has opened its doors and the eVisa is now available to citizens of the USA, Switzerland and all European countries, Australia, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Bruneis, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
I have inspected places and hotels in Jeddah and Riyadh because we only recommend hotels and services that we know ourselves and can therefore guarantee exciting excursions and relaxing moments. My favourite was the Rosewood Jeddah. It is designed for both the business and leisure travelers, this luxury hotel offers elegance and personal service.
In Jeddah I saw women walking around without Niqab and wearing colorful Abayas in the huge shopping malls. You can go to the cinema and watch movies and even go to private beaches where you can wear a bikini and swimming along the surface of the water and enjoying the underwater world equipped with a mask or a snorkel. I saw Arabian horses and camels and visited a 1 million square meter ranch. There you can eat and stay also overnight. Sleep under the stars in a Arab tend, play mini golf, shoot arrows, ride horses and camels, walk through the stables, pet horses or ride them, there is an organic food farm and much, much more. You won't get bored in the desert!
I also took a trip to King Abdullah Economic City. It is easily accessible from Jeddah by highway and also by train.
Here you find yourself in another world. Everything modern, clean and very well maintained with a high standard of living. Here you can enjoy life. There is an 18-hole golf course, two hotels (Bay la suN Hotel & Marina and Views Hotel & Residences) and soon a third Hotel will open. Shop and dine at the beach. A range of restaurants and services for everyone is there. And for passionate drivers the top destination in the western region of Saudi Arabia is Juman Karting.
You can buy condos or a house near the Red Sea. It is certainly a good investment as a retirement home or holiday residence. Prince Mohammad Bin Salman College is also in KAEC, a Business & Entrepreneurship school. They are helping everyone to grow in a safe environment and building new possibilities.
Back in Jeddah I flew to Riyadh the next day.
The Fairmont Riyadh 5* luxury Hotel offers 298 guestrooms – including 40 suites – ranging in size from 40sqm to 395sqm and is located at the Business Gate. There you will also find over 70 multinational and regional companies like 3M, Pfizer and many more.
THE 365 Restaurant in the Fairmont Riyadh Hotel offers great dishes from 9 regions of the world: European and Arabic (Middle East and Gulf), Japanese - Southeast Asia (China, India, Indonesia).
I even met a businessman importing chocolate from Switzerland. Among others Bachmann chocolate from Lucerne!
The Turaif district has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. Diriyah, where also the Formula-E will take place in November this year, is also located there and is considered the home of the Al Saud family. Al-Diriyah is an open-air museum and a visit is a must when you are in Riyadh. The Chief Heritage & Culture Officer at Diriyah Gate Development Authority is Swiss and her name is Diana Segantini. She is married and has been living with her two children in Saudi Arabia since April 2019.
As a solo woman I was travelling around 10 days and had only positive experiences in Saudi Arabia.
With Saudia you can also fly very comfortably in economy class and the domestic flights are not expensive. I flew from Jeddah to Riyadh. The new King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) is open and the terminal has a size of 810'000m2! The airport is one of the largest in the world and houses the largest airport aquarium in the world with a capacity of 1 million litres, 10 metres in diameter and a height of 14.2 metres. The control tower has a height of 136m and is therefore the highest in the world.
I will book my next trip with Saudia. Will you fly with me?
By the way, Switzerland is listed on place 4, Saudi Arabia is listed on place 23 and are ranked higher than Germany, Italy and France regarding safety and security. Read here
We from Pearls of Switzerland are at your disposal for travel advice and bookings.
This is my video and I hope you enjoy watching it!