Written by Angelina Fairgrive, LCC In2Scotland, Scotland
I can honestly say that this is probably the best trip I have ever been on. It met and exceeded all of my expectations by a country mile! All of the people that we met were so friendly and welcoming – they all wanted to speak to us and find out about us and why we were there.
The site seeing was incredible – from the new to the old. The highlight was most definitely our visit to Alula – the rock formations and the tombs with the stories behind them were so insightful from a time so long ago and how they managed to build these tombs with the most basic of implements was outstanding. The visit to the Elephant Rock was super with the moon peeping over the rocks and everyone sitting in pits that had been dug out to watch the spectacle!
To see the Maraya Concert Hall made completely of mirrors so it reflected the surroundings was super cool – I have never seen anything quite like it – the architect who designed this building had the most brilliant creative mind!
The Shaden Resort where we stayed had been built into a canyon so we were surrounded by the mountains – we were welcomed with a lunch outside of duck, lamb, chicken and rice that had all been cooked underground!
Every meal we had was different – we experienced hospitality in the Kabana Restaurant in Jeddah with local people sitting smoking their shisha’s, to an Italian restaurant in Alula with live music to a lunch sitting on the floor at the Najd Heritage Village in Riyadh! So much food, such great hospitality everywhere!
I truly believe that this is one of the very last places we can say is a brand new destination and they are ready and waiting for our groups!
Written by Gerhard Rieder, LCC Loacker Business Travel , Austria
First I have to say that this trip changed my mind completely concerning the way of living in Saudi Arabia. I found a much more open society than expected and a much more liberal discipline in daily live which convinces me will speed up the development of tourism.
As the sole aspect of tourism is more important to me rather than MICE, my expectations were almost met. Aware that tourism is new I was not surprised that lots of work still needs to be done in infrastructure for leisure activities like resorts on the Red Sea coast. The beauty of the landscape was like expected and will be one of the most useful assets to further development in tourism. This country will be a tremendous enrichment for tourism worldwide in a constantly smaller world still to be discovered.