Tourism packages available during Eid holidays

Updated 15 November 2015

Tourism packages available during Eid holidays

RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) headed by Prince Sultan bin Salman has announced a number of new tourism packages that are now being offered by local travel and tourism companies.
“The tourism packages include discounts in hotels, furnished apartments and organized tours at many destinations in the Kingdom,” the SCTNH announced. The commission said the offers are intended to serve “vacationers during the Eid Al Adha and Saudi National Day periods, who can now enjoy their holidays for less money.”
The hotels and other holiday facilities are offering attractive rates during Eid Al-Adha and the Saudi National Day holidays with more than 30 attractive festivals and tourism events lined up for vacationers in various parts of the Kingdom.
They range from social and tourism activities, to heritage, sports, leisure and cultural activities in various parts of the Kingdom. Many of them are organized by local tourism development councils in partnership with SCTNH and other relevant authorities.
Most of the tourism packages offered are concentrated across the Saudi capital, with a total of 83 special offers for visitors. Other regions have also joined in giving away attractive deals, like Asir province which is offering a total of 53 tourism packages in its cities, including Abha, Al-Heraida, and Khamis Mushait. The Hail province is set to present up to 25 tourism offers, while Al-Jawf and Madinah are offering 11 and 23 packages, respectively. Not lagging too far behind is Makkah province, which is giving away 36 tourism deals in Jeddah and Taif, while the Northern Border has 14 tourism offers for visitors.
These tourism deals are also available online by visiting the Saudi tourism website at, or by contacting the SCTNH’s Tourism Contact Center on their toll free number: 19988.

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

AD DIRIYAH: The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”