JEDDAH: Thousands of cash-strapped Saudi holidaymakers, hit by rising costs of overseas travel, are opting for summer breaks.
Instead of heading abroad, many travelers are taking advantage of the boom in the Kingdom’s tourism industry to explore destinations closer to home.
Airfares and overseas travel costs have soared after the coronavirus pandemic, prompting many hotels and resorts across the country to offer special deals on a range of getaways.
Saudi Arabia vacations or day trips to local attractions are increasingly popular.
Hamoud Abdulazez, who lives in Riyadh, said: “This summer I have planned a short break and will take my family on a trip to explore places in the neighborhood.
“We have to face the reality of the situation, which is that travel budgets are double these days. The best option for a vacation is to stay in this country.
“Additionally, many hotels and resorts are offering deals for the summer season. Despite the extreme heat, the country’s hospitality sector is adapting to the weather conditions and providing alternative entertainment activities,” he added.
Ali Rahman, an Indian resident living in Jeddah, said a rise in flight prices to India had forced him to reconsider his summer holiday plans and he was now considering vacationing in the region. of Asir.
“Although traveling to India is not really far, the cost of staying in the Kingdom is cheaper than traveling outside the country,” he added.
After the pandemic, many people are now working from home or remotely. This has led to hosting providers offering comfortable workspaces with high-speed Wi-Fi facilities.
The Kingdom has a variety of resorts and hotels in places such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Alkhobar, Taif and Abha.
For adventure and entertainment activities, Nofa Riyadh, a Radisson Collection Resort, offers a taste of Africa with its own safari park, as well as horse and camel rides, water sports, a bowling, a cinema, buggy rides, biking, mini golf, children’s entertainment, and an adventure zone.
Nofa Riyad General Manager Fabrice Collot said, “The resort’s team members are committed to creating memorable experiences for all of our valued guests.
“From arrival, where guests are greeted by the bright smile of one of our front desk attendants, to anywhere in the resort, visitors are treated to warm and genuine hospitality. And our concierge will help people discover all the amazing amenities the resort has to offer.
“A safari is just the beginning. There is an African Village with amazing facilities and restaurants offering a huge range of dishes that guests can have served in their villa while relaxing by their private pool.
For beach, nature and exclusivity, King Abdullah Economic City, on the Red Sea coast 100 kilometers north of Jeddah, is a favorite with families.
Activities include go-karting at Juman Park, swan paddling on the Marina Canal, 4-D movies, a science and technology museum, water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling and boating. kayaking on private beaches, horseback riding and a Lagoona Adventure Tour.
Offering views of the Red Sea, natural lagoon and mangroves, Bay La Sun Hotel and Marina and Views Hotel and Residences, KAEC offers a range of amenities.
Mustafa Ainen, General Manager of Bay La Sun Hotel and Marina and Views Hotel, said: “We are delighted to invite locals and expats to come for stays and try this side of the country.
“We have created an environment where our guests can enjoy a personal moment of relaxation with unpretentious fine cuisine and genuine services, large swimming pools surrounded by lush vegetation and a snack bar and tennis court.
“Staycations saves a lot on travel costs. With the current international situation, airfares and transportation costs in general have skyrocketed. As a result, people from Jeddah, Makkah and other nearby areas are happy to visit us as we are only a few hours drive away.
The Taif Mountains are also a popular vacation destination with incredible landscapes, scenic views, outdoor adventures, fruit markets, rose farms, cafes and restaurants proving a major draw.
Abdulrahman Al-Sufiyani, Deputy Manager of Gazelle Resort, said, “Many people visit Taif during summers to escape the heat of big cities and enjoy the cool weather of hill stations.
“Our complex is located on a mountain with a view of the swimming pool and a rustic cafe. The villas and suites are decorated in soothing natural hues with a private balcony that overlooks the majestic mountain allowing guests to have a mesmerizing experience and a view of the moving clouds.
Other exclusive summer stay offers are available at many locations across the Kingdom, such as Dana Beach Resort in Half Moon Bay, Alkhobar and the InterContinental Hotel in Abha.