JEDDAH: Umluj, one of Saudi Arabia’s hidden gems, has become a hotspot for residents of the Kingdom opting for a domestic holiday during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Located in the Kingdom’s west coast, Umluj has become one of Saudi Arabia’s favored holiday destinations for those looking for sun and sand while secluded away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
With vast spaces, different shades of blue and turquoise, vacationers can enjoy the beauty of Umluj’s natural surroundings, but limited activity options mean that it is perhaps best enjoyed as a weekend getaway.
“I visited Umluj last year with a group of friends,” said 30-year-old engineer Anas Mahmoud. “It was just after the lockdown was lifted and it was good to get some fresh air as we stayed in a large tent fit for 10 people. We had everything that you might need. Fresh seafood for lunch and dinner, a good hearty breakfast, beach excursions, fishing and stargazing at night. It was a great destination choice and I’m looking forward to going back again this year,” he told Arab News.
With over 100 islands surrounded by clear waters just waiting to be discovered, different dive centers offer activities such as snorkeling, diving and discovering virgin reefs.
Holidaymakers can try their hand at kayaking, or dip into the clear sea and relax on the soft white sand.
This tourist treasure trove boasts several accommodation options: Either camp out in one of the many designated areas with ready-made tents for large groups, or enjoy the comforts of the local hotels.
And it’s not just the plush beaches that attract people to Umluj. Hikers can head out east towards the Sarawat Mountains and reach the rocky terrain in less than an hour. With dormant small volcanic peaks to the beach and beaches to the west, Umluj is a wonderful place for both relaxing families and more adventurous groups to enjoy.
The Saudi Tourism Authority, through the “Visit Saudi” platform, announced the launch of the Saudi Summer Program for 2021 titled “Saudi Summer Vibes.” It will run from June 24 until the end of September in 11 tourist destinations, including Riyadh, offering more than 500 touristic experiences with more than 250 private sector partners.