saudi tourism Al-Baha region
The ancient village of Dhee Ayn in Al-Baha region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dreaming of a cool escape surrounded by Nature for your next summer vacation? How about heading to Saudi Arabia?

On Tuesday, May 7 during the Arabian Travel Market 2024, the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) showcased its top summer destinations, that offer visitors a chance to enjoy waterfalls, mountain farming and agriculture as well as adventure sports.

Which visa can I apply for?

As a UAE resident, you can easily visit Saudi Arabia on different types of visas, including a multiple entry eVisa, as well as a transit visa or visa on arrival. The country recently launched a unified visa platform, that makes it easy for applicants to get their visa before they travel. To know more about how you can apply for a visa to Saudi Arabia, read our detailed guide here.

Once you have your visa in place, you can start planning your summer break. Here are three places that you can add to your itinerary when visiting Saudi Arabia:

1. Aseer

The Aseer region, located on the southwest of Saudi Arabia, is a popular travel destination locally as well, since the weather there is good all year round, thanks to it’s varied landscapes and climatic conditions. As temperatures soar, the region receives rainfall and the weather tends to be cooler. The region also features cooler retreats in the highlands and mountains.

Some popular activites include hiking, strolling through the popular Tuesday Market, which has unique handmade crafts, and artifacts and visiting the ancient Rijal Almaa Museum.

Closest international airport: Abha International Airport (AHB) is the nearest international gateway to Aseer, accommodating both international and domestic flights. UAE-based airlines flydubai and Air Arabia offer daily flights to Abha.

Aseer region Saudi Arabia
Rijal Almaa Museum Image Credit: Supplied

2. Al-Baha

Al-Baha Province in the south of Saudi Arabia stands out as a popular summer getaway as well due to its moderate weather. During the winter, the region gets a lot of rain as well, and the province is also home to the Raghadan Forest, adorned with flowers. The forest also has a park that has been built - of the same name - where you can spot various wild animals and even get a chance to walk along mountain tracks floating on top of clouds, or enjoy the waterfalls that are popular attractions as well.

Closest international airport: Al Baha has a domestic airport, so in order to go there, you will need to take a connecting flight from the UAE, that stops over at one of the international airports in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia - Al Baha
People camping in Raghadan Forest Park, Al Baha Image Credit: Supplied

3. Taif

Like many mountainous cities, Taif offers visitors a chance to witness clouds forming around them, which is why Taif is popularly referred to as 'the friend of the clouds'.

The city is located on the eastern slopes of the Sarawat mountains, approximately 1,700 metres above sea level, and offers cool weather all year round.

You can also go to higher altitudes there, with some southern rural areas reaching a height of 2,400 metres, offering a traditional and fun experience. Taif is famous for producing citrus fruits such as grapes, berries, pomegranates and figs. It is also famous for scented roses, which are produced in more than 700 farms. In addition, the city is filled with historical monuments, markets, popular squares, unique gardens and cultural places.

Closest international airport - Taif International Airport. UAE-based airlines flydubai and Air Arabia provide direct flights to the region.

Taif Saudi Arabia
Scenic view from Al Hada Mountain in Taif Image Credit: Supplied