A New Vacation Spot

Good news, OTB readers! You can now visit Saudi Arabia for your next family vacation. The Saudi government has decided to issue tourist visas. Of course you cannot visit the holy cities, but Jeddah is still an option. Happy travels!

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  1. ALS says:

    Qatar, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates are better options for family vacations. These places are very westernized and are becoming quite the hot tourist destinations. Especially UAE – great beaches, great shopping, very nice hotels, friendly people. The Arabian peninsula is actually a very beautiful place.

    More Americans should venture into the middle east; might do us all some good to learn more about the Arab world. Believe it or not, they are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. And some of the most exciting places I have been are Arab countries (especially Egypt).

  2. Athena says:

    I’d suggest Jordan. The Saudis would probably be somewhat friendly, especially to an American girl, as long as you stay away from the mutaween religious police… I wasn’t a big fan of Egypt—too overcrowded!

  3. ALS says:

    I haven’t seen much of Jordan, but I did meet up with a group of Jordanian Soldiers transiting through an airbase in Qatar while I was stuck there… they all wanted to get their picture taken with female American Soldiers. It was a hoot. They were really nice – and many of them spoke English.

    I loved Egypt – even though they can’t drive -mainly because of the pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx. The Egyptians are very nice people, but you can get swindled if you aren’t careful. I had a friend who took a camel ride for 20 bucks. It was over 100 degrees. My friend climbed on top of the camel, and the Egyptian led the camel out about a 1,000 meters out beyond the pyramids. Then he said to my friend: “Okay, 20 dollar, go back.” I still won’t let him forget how he got suckered.

    The Med is beautiful… but I was saddened by all the poverty. One would think that Egypt would manage all that tourism money a little bit better. They also need to take better care of their national treasures. Tourists were breaking pieces of rock off the pyramid!

    Our next vacation will probably be in Dubai… lots to do and see. Have heard great things about the beach resorts there.

  4. John Burgess says:

    All depends on how you define your vacation. If it’s a Club Med kind of thing, then Saudi is definitely not the place to go. You’ll have better luck in the Emirates (some of them, anyway).

    If you’d like to see a lot of interesting stuff that most other people have never seen–Madain Salih, the Wahba Crater, prehistoric tombs of an utterly unknown people, strange petroglyphs on rock formations, real deserts, and the hottest new place for paleontology, Saudi might be a draw.

    Your cold beer is going to be without alcohol; your BLT will have beef or veal bacon. No topless beaches, though. Lots of thrills just being driven down the road–don’t even think of driving yourself unless your life insurance is going to cash in for big bucks.

    But if you’re not looking for a bad time, there’s lots to do and see there, even meeting Saudis of both sexes.