Sponsored content by Saudi Tourism Authority
Traveling to Qatar for the soccer? Then don’t miss spectacular Saudi, which is just a hop, skip and jump away from the host nation.
In Saudi, you’ll discover a world of adventure, unique culture, unforgettable sights, stunning architecture, and breath-taking mountains. You won’t want to miss the chance to explore the desert, but you’ll also find sports and live entertainment, modern cities with glittering theme parks, and ancient ruins and majestic museums.
So whether you want to rev up with some water sports on the Red Sea, climb mountains for stunning panoramic views that extend for miles, or attend a music festival with iconic international acts, you’ll find excitement in Saudi.
If you’re heading to Qatar to catch some soccer, then don’t miss the opportunity to stay in Saudi. Saudi not only offers world-class accommodation and easy access to Qatar – being only an short flight away from the host nation – it will put you in a world of grand adventure, where the desert and the sea are just the start of the experience.
So get ready to see historic sites and ancient ruins, tour dazzling modern cities, catch musicians from around the world, and make memories you’ll never forget. With a trip to Saudi, you can enjoy excitement both on the field and off.
MDLBEAST Soundstorm is the region's loudest music festival, taking place in Riyadh from Dec 1-3! Catch the best of Electronic, Hip-hop, Indie, and Arabic music at Saudi's annual flagship event featuring international superstars such as Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5, and David Guetta sharing the stage with Saudi's own local and upcoming artists. Celebrate the football season by taking the festival by storm and secure your ticket to SoundStorm 22 to experience the time of your life. Tickets are available in tiers including general admission, premium, Very Important Beast (VIB), and VIB box.
Explore ancient ruins, rock formations, and world heritage sites
AlUla allows you to feel like an old-world archaeologist delving deep into ancient tombs, historic destinations, and UNESCO World Heritage sites in Saudi's northwest. You'll find traces of civilization from 7,000 years ago, natural geologic formations that are sure to light up your Instagram feed, and tons of outdoor adventure sports opportunities. You can also visit cutting-edge modern art installations juxtaposed against the dramatic landscape. Today, the ancient remains of a major trade hub along the Incense Route are marked with rock art and ruins. Best of all, it's not thick with crowds like some other destinations, so it's truly like discovering these things yourself.
Discover the spot where modern meets the past
Jeddah is a port city and melting pot of cultures that include everyone from international artists to pilgrims en route to Makkah. The city's motto even translates to "Jeddah's different". It's a cosmopolitan Arabian cultural hub with events like the Red Sea International Film Festival and Formula 1 racing, as well as a breathtaking and magical historical quarter. The Red Sea is central to it all. You can experience this shining gem with a cruise on which you can scuba dive, deep-sea fish, shop on the shores, and capture stunning views of the skyline from the water. A cruise on the Red Sea from Jeddah is sure to illuminate your social media feed and give you memories to last a lifetime.
See theme parks, mud wall palace museums, astonishing architecture, and mountain views
At the southern tip of the Red Sea, Abha is a cultural hub of the Asir region, where you can explore mountains, ancient mud-walled palace museums, and modern theme parks. You can walk vibrant outdoor Arabian markets dating back thousands of years or roam historic neighborhoods with incredible architecture and cultural traditions. At Abha Dam Lake, you can relax along serene waters. Walk Art Street for its public art installations and brilliant purple Jacaranda trees. Visit Al Muftaha village for traditional Asiri architecture and delicious dining. Take the scenic Al Dhabab Walkway for breathtaking mountain views. In Abha, it's equally challenging to know where to start and where to end.
Explore waterparks, adventure parks, museums, and cultural festivals
Taif is known as the City of Roses, as it produces incredible rose oils and rose water used in cooking and cosmetics. You can reach the city along winding mountain roads through traditional fruit markets and rose farms nestled in scenic valleys rich with floral fragrance. The city, which rests atop a high plateau, offers a temperate Arabian climate and hosts the Souq Okaz cultural festival and Crown Prince Camel Festival every August, where you can get lost in local culture. Here, you can enjoy outdoor adventures on zip lines over the mountains or hit up a family water park and go-karts. You can explore stunning museums like Shubra Castle, Sharif Museum, or the Abdullah bin Abbas Mosque.
See the home of T.E. Lawrence or dive a living reef
Yanbu is the place where past and present meet in the new city with its modern industry and the old town around the harbor where T.E. Lawrence once lived. Here you'll find delicious Arabian seafood eateries serving up fresh-caught fish right off the wharf. You'll enjoy a uniquely vibrant nightlife with covered markets and cultural celebrations, rich with vendors selling produce like fresh dates and mulkhiah leaves. This is also the scuba diving capital of Saudi, the Pearl of the Red Sea, where you can witness the colorful vibrance of the Seven Sisters reef and tons of historical shipwrecks to dive. The whole family can also just relax on tons of pristine fresh and saltwater beaches.
Visit the Pearl of Saudi Arabia
At the ancestral home of the Saudi royal family and an emerging cultural landmark, Diriyah boasts luxury resorts, upscale shopping, dining, entertainment, and deep cultural and historical roots. This is a city whose Arabian origins stretch back centuries. You can visit the UNESCO Heritage Site of At-Turaif, explore museums tracing centuries of Saudi history, such as the Museum of the Saudi State and Arabian Peninsula, the Museum of the 100-Stories Journey, and the Misk Heritage Museum. You can also take part in events like the Diriyah Tennis Cup or the Diriyah ePrix. From historic attractions to shopping, dining, and luxury, there's always something going on in Diriyah.
Hayya Card holders will be able to enter Saudi free of charge using Saudi’s dedicated visa. The multi-entry visa allows Hayya Card holders to stay in Saudi for up to 60 days, with pre-entry to the FIFA World Cup not required. Further extensions will allow for ‘Hayya with Me (1+3)’, enabling Hayya Card holders and three additional friends and family members to explore the authentic home of Arabia.
So if you’ve been getting excited for kick-off, it’s time to ramp up that excitement and go beyond the game. From stargazing and trekking in fiery deserts to unwinding on beaches and enjoying world-class shopping, you’ll find the trip of a lifetime waiting in Saudi.
Be sure to check with your carrier on any travel protocols before you book to ensure you're aware of the latest regulations.
If you do not have a Hayya Card, you can get an e-visa from the website, and if you don't see your country on the site, go to your local consulate office to obtain one.
Explore lush forests, rich mountains, pomegranate orchards, and marble villages
Al Baha offers a different way to explore Saudi with storied Arabian towers, lush forests, winding valleys, and tons of outdoor adventures in a mountainous region. Al Baha sits more than 8,200 feet above sea level and offers a temperate climate with opportunities for camping, hiking, and picnicking in the forest. You can see famous kasbah lookout towers and a busy souq or street market. You can also visit the famed marble village of Dhee Ayn with spectacular photo opportunities or explore orchards of apricot and pomegranate trees. In places like Khairah Forest Park, Raghadan Forest, and Al Malad Dam, you'll find ideal camping and unmatched views of the endless stars in the night sky.
We recommend booking a package with no cancellation fees in case plans change.
Please check government advisories before booking and traveling.