Located in the Middle East, southwestern Asia, Saudi Arabia occupies four-fifths of Arabian Peninsula bounded by the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. About nine-tenths of the country is a desert as it is an upland with bands of highlands rising from the Red Sea Coast. Saudi Arabia is the largest petroleum producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC because it has reserves that represent a quarter of the world’s total production that makes the country one of the leading oil exporters in the world.
One of the popular cities in Saudi Arabia is Riyadh. This old provincial town was transformed into a place of sophisticated technology, modern architecture and highways after the discovery of immeasurable petroleum deposits in the kingdom more than 75 years ago. That triggered its development, making it the capital and the largest city of Saudi Arabia and now known as the kingdom’s commercial, education and transportation center. Riyadh’s popularity increased because of its services where they offer accommodation dining, entertainment and shopping on commercial or even residential in Olaya district. The beautiful 19th-century Masmak Castle is made of clay and mud brick fort, thick walls and four watchtowers. It played a major part in Saudi Arabia’s history. Tourists enjoy visiting the Al Faisaliyah Center, which was the first skyscraper built and the second tallest building in Saudi Arabia. There’s a golden ball that lies atop the building with a restaurant in it. There’s also a shopping center at the ground level of the building.
Jeddah is another popular city in Saudi Arabia as it is the second largest city in the kingdom. The city is the commercial and banking capital of Saudi Arabia and the wealthiest city in the Middle East. It is also the principal gateway to Mecca, which is the holiest city of Islam. You’ll find Jeddah Corniche here with its almost 120 kilometers long stretch which was considered as one of the most beautiful corniches in the world. It also includes the highest fountain in the world, the Jeddah Fountain and the open art gallery.
Being the holiest place in Islam, Makkah or Mecca in its English name is also one of the popular cities in Saudi Arabia. It is the pilgrimage site for all devoted believers of faith as all Muslims are required to do the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) atleast once in their lifetime. Mecca is the birthplace of Muhammad the prophet and only Muslims are allowed to reside in the city. Madinah, traditionally spelled Medina in English, is the second holiest city in Islam. It is the burial place of the central prophet of Islamic faith, Muhammad, making it one of the popular cities in Saudi Arabia.
Aside from these popular cities, Dammam is well known as it is the largest city and capital of Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia. It has the largest port in the Persian Gulf involved in import-export activities second to Jeddah. Ta’if is a city in the Makkah Province of Saudi Arabia and the center agricultural area known for its grapes and honey. A must see in the city of Ta’if is its Al Rudalf Park (a large natural park), Wadi Mitna (the sanctuary of Prophet Muhammad), Al Shafa, Rock Carving Site, Natural Reserve and the Turkish Fort.