TRAVEL + LEISURE

SAUDI ARABIA INVITES INDONESIAN TOURISTS TO EXPLORE BEYOND SPIRITUAL JOURNEYS

Unlocking Saudi Arabia's Allure: Beyond Spiritual Pilgrimages to Cultural Exploration and Adventure

13.05.2024
BY WILHEMINA BOWEN
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Saudi Arabia, known as a spiritual hub for Muslims, particularly for Umrah pilgrimages, is now warmly inviting Indonesian tourists to explore its rich culture, history, and adventures beyond religious journeys. The Saudi Tourism Authority has introduced a series of initiatives aimed at making Saudi Arabia a safe, easily accessible, and enticing destination for all travelers from Indonesia.

Since opening its doors to international tourists in 2019, Saudi Arabia's tourism sector has experienced unprecedented growth, making it one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic tourist destinations worldwide according to UNWTO. With a vision for tourism, Saudi Arabia welcomed over 100 million tourists in 2023, marking a significant milestone in its journey to become a prime destination for travelers worldwide. Particularly in the Indonesian market, a 36% increase in the number of Indonesian tourists in 2023 compared to the previous year sets an ambitious target for 2024, aiming for 2.2 million visitors from Indonesia.

This year, the Saudi Tourism Authority organized a series of events with the NUSUK Roadshow, Saudi's first official integrated digital platform, offering all pilgrims and visitors an easily accessible trip planning gateway for their journeys to Makkah and Madinah, and beyond. The event took place in Jakarta from April 29 to 30, 2024, at the St. Regis Hotel, with the presence of Saudi Minister of Hajj & Umrah, H.E. Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan AlRabiah. This roadshow collaborated with travel agency partners in Indonesia, promising an informative event for both parties.

Following this, the Saudi Tourism Authority will host the tourism exhibition "VISIT SAUDI, BEYOND UMRAH," highlighting Saudi Arabia's extraordinary tourist destinations for all travelers, held from May 1 to 5, 2024, at Kota Kasablanka. This tourism exhibition will showcase what Saudi Arabia offers for spiritual, cultural, and leisure trips, both for Umrah and beyond. The event will be inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Hajj & Umrah, H.E. Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan AlRabiah, on its launch day.

On the opening day, Titi Kamal, an Indonesian celebrity who loves to travel and is an influential figure on social media, will be present to share her personal experiences from her vacations in Saudi Arabia. Titi Kamal, known for engaging travel content and insightful perspectives, will provide a unique outlook on exploring Saudi Arabia beyond Umrah. Hosted by the Saudi Tourism Authority, this event will be an exceptional opportunity for participants to gain firsthand knowledge and inspiration for their own travels.

"VISIT SAUDI, BEYOND UMRAH" will feature exclusive offers from Indonesian travel agents and tour operators, including special discounts, cashback offers, buy 5 get 1 free promos, 0% installment plans, and tour vouchers.

Saudi Tourist Visa for All! Exclusive and limited offers will be available only during the exhibition from May 1 to 5, where the VFS Tasheer Office has also been authorized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs to accept VISA credit card applications for Saudi visas. To proceed with the application, applicants must have an active VISA credit card with an expiration date of at least one year from the application date, a passport matching the name on the credit card, and a passport-sized photo.

Upon submission, eligible applicants will receive their visas within 24 hours. These visas will be valid for one year with multiple entries, providing an easy and affordable process for tourists. We are excited to offer this efficient service and look forward to welcoming more visitors to Saudi Arabia through this innovative partnership with Tasheer.

At the Nusuk Roadshow mall, Indonesian tourists will learn more about Saudi, discovering its rich heritage and diversity of offerings.

Safe for All Travelers Saudi Arabia is safe to visit for all tourists, regardless of gender or religion. Programs like the Saudi Women's Expedition for 12 days assist women and support female-owned businesses. Saudi Arabia is one of the safest G20 countries, and the city of Madinah has the highest safety ranking for solo female travelers worldwide, enabling both male and female solo travelers to explore the country with confidence.

Increased Accessibility and Connectivity To facilitate the growth of Indonesian tourists to Saudi Arabia, there have been improvements in accessibility and connectivity. The visa process has been simplified, with Umrah visas extended to 90 days and the introduction of a 96-hour transit visa, allowing Umrah visa holders more time to explore other parts of Saudi Arabia. Travelers can obtain visas through the Nusuk App, licensed Indonesian travel agents, or four VFS Tasheer offices in Jakarta. Additionally, discussions with Lion Air are underway to expand connectivity networks, including routes to Riyadh and Dammam.

Experience Umrah+: Discover the Religious, Cultural, and Historical Treasures of Saudi Arabia with the Al Hijrah Journey

During the Roadshow, Saudi Arabia presents the Umrah+ experience, offering transformative journeys, inviting tourists to explore Saudi Arabia beyond spiritual Hajj. With the Al Hijrah journey, relive Prophet Muhammad's journey from Makkah to Madinah and experience the stories and challenges at every point during the journey, which includes various locations such as Mount Thawr, Qaim Maqam, Al-Ghula, Um Maabad Tent, Mount Warqan, and various others.

The Al Hijrah journey ranges from 1 night to 7 nights of the Prophet's journey, up to 13 nights of Umrah+ & Prophet's Journey and can be booked through various DMCs & Tour Operators during the B2B Roadshow.

With Umrah+, your travel boundaries extend beyond the spiritual realm, inviting you to uncover the cultural richness and historical heritage that define Saudi Arabia's allure. Experience the essence of tradition, spirituality, and exploration as you embark on this unforgettable journey of discovery.

Discover the Beauty of Saudi in Jeddah, AlUla, and Riyadh

Jeddah, known as the gateway to Saudi Arabia, offers many interesting places and exciting experiences. You can stroll through AlBalad, a UNESCO heritage site, enjoy the views at the Waterfront Promenade along the Corniche, or experience the excitement at traditional markets like Al Alawi and Souk Al Baghdadiyah. Must-visit places include the historic Al Shafei Mosque and the famous Fakeeh Aquarium. For those who love culinary tourism, you can taste delicious food at the "Al-Saidi Furn" bakery, which has been around for 200 years.

Jeddah also has exciting shopping destinations, from Red Sea Mall to Jeddah Boulevard, offering modern and traditional shopping experiences. You can explore traditional markets like AlBalad and Souk Al Alawi, or visit attractions like the Fakieh Aquarium and the entertaining King Fahd Fountain. For luxury stays, there are many property options such as Six Senses Southern Dunes, St. Regis Red Sea resort, and The Ritz-Carlton Jeddah, offering exceptional hospitality and stunning views of the Red Sea.

AlUla, just a 3.5-hour drive away, offers UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a history spanning 200,000 years and unique cultural events at Maraya, the world's largest mirrored building. Thrill-seekers can enjoy outdoor adventures among six nature reserves in the area, including the iconic Jabal AlFil, also known as Elephant Rock.

Adventure awaits in Saudi Arabia, with camping experiences in the Jeddah desert and outdoor adventures in the AlUla nature reserve. From desert safaris to horseback riding on the beach, tourists can enjoy a variety of activities that bring high thrills amidst the stunning landscapes of this region.

For more information, please visit the VisitSaudi website here.

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