Lying on Arabian peninsula with coastline touching the Persian Gulf in the northeast and Red Sea in the southwest, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies about 80% of the Arabian peninsula, but it is a country with few hostels. The Kingdom of Arabia is surrounded by United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq in the northeast, Oman in the east and southeast, Yemen in south, Jordan in north, while in the northwest lies the Gulf of Aqaba.
Riyadh is the capital and the largest city in the Kingdom, lying almost in the center of the country. Other major cities include Jeddah, Dammam, Medina, and Mecca (Makkah). Saudi Arabia is the birth place of the religion of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad who was born in Mecca and later moved to Medina constructed the biggest mosque of Islam, Masjid al Haram (the sacred mosque) in Mecca and Masjid al Nabawi (the mosque of the Prophet) in the city of Medina, which is now called as Madina al Munawwara (City of Lights). Throughout the year, millions of Muslims visit the two holy mosques of Islam and particularly for the annual event of Hajj when Muslims from all over the world gather in Mecca for at least three days, making it the biggest human procession in the world and follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad and Prophet Abraham. It is compulsory and part of the religion for every Muslim who can afford, to visit and follow the footsteps of these prophets at least once in their life. But these two mosques are strictly a no go zone for non-Muslims, and violation can result in detention, fine and/or deportation. The rest of the mosques are open for everyone.
You won't find many hostels in Saudi Arabia because it is one of the most difficult places on earth to visit as there is officially no tourist visa except for Muslim pilgrimages. But even in this case, the visa is limited only to the cities of Mecca and Madina and no one is allowed to leave the boundaries of these cities except for the airport of Jeddah.
The country offers a huge variety of wonderful places worth visiting including the mountain resorts of Taif, ancient Nabatean tombs, a large number of historical monuments related to Islam, and the deserted Red Sea beaches. But it has never been easy for foreigners to visit these historical places.
Because almost all the tourists visit the cities of Mecca and Medina, more than 90% of the hostels and hotel industry of the country is concentrated within these two cities. Almost whole city is a sea of hotels along with a small number of hostels, and the locals are being thrown out from the cities in order to accommodate the ever increasing flow of the visitors. Throughout the year it is almost impossible to book a hotel or a hostel in the city on arrival as they are booked in advanced for months.
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the Hostelz.com local expert for Saudi Arabia hostels. Welcome.