Abdulaziz Saleh Al-Balawi, a photographer, a film director, and a content creator, highlights the breathtaking beauty of tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia. He describes his experience in serving his home country through tourism content creation which is in line with Vision 2030, focusing on the picturesque nature and the stunning scenery of the islands in the Red Sea.
Written by: Hala AlJurayed
Translated by: Ahmed Emara
Al-Balawi said:” My thinking, from the beginning, was leading me towards tourist guiding. But I morphed into the content creation because of a word my mother said to me, who believed that I receive money from guests. In our customs and traditions, a guest does not pay money, but honoring him is a duty. This was the reason I turned to the content creation in which I honestly found myself.
DirectionsKSA magazine ran an interview with Al-Balawi, who offered tips for visitors to the western region and the Red Sea islands in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Balawi clarified that the region of AlUla is an area of experiences and not just a site to visit. So, tourists are advised to repeat visits to this picturesque area to enjoy different and renewable experiences every year.
All tourists and visitors enjoy three main attractions:
First: the glorious past of AlUla, the amazing antiquities and archaeological artifacts of the ancient civilizations.
Second: the activities and events such as the “Winter at Tantora Festival”.
Third: the life of the locals and the existing farms that have been turned into tourist attractions.
So, it is possible to argue that the region of AlUla combines archaeological and rural tourism as well as activities and events. I recommend visiting the town of Hegra, and getting to know the Dadan civilization and AlUla Old Town, which boasts restaurants, cafes, and shops in a simulation of the old life that existed in the past. I also recommend enjoying the desert experiences, like hiking and stargazing.
Al-Balawi also advises visitors to the area to explore the hidden gems of the Red Sea through activities such as diving experiences, renting a boat, and watching dolphins and turtles. It is also possible to have lunch in one of the islands or camp there upon obtaining a permit.
In the region of Jazan, tourists can enjoy the Marsa Al-Ahlam activities and trips to the islands such as Farasan. It is also possible to choose between private or group trips. Some tourist companies provide such services in Jeddah, Yanbu, Wajh, Duba, Haql, and along the Red Sea.
The Most Beautiful Experience
When asked about the most beautiful experience, Al-Balawi advised choosing the appropriate companion, whether family or friends, provided that it be two days in AlUla, and another two days in the Red Sea, since the distance between the two areas is just a two-hour drive.
Tourists and visitors can allocate only one day for both regions, provided that enjoying the Red Sea must be during the day to practice marine activities; after that, they can enjoy AlUla, visit its farms, and watch the stars in the Sky.
Located just a three-hour drive off AlUla, Umluj is the gateway to the Red Sea and the most famous among other scenic areas there. The regions of Al-Wajh and Duba are also promising tourist destinations.
A Stroll in the Open Air
It is well known that weather and tourists’ preferences control the plan of the stroll in the open air. If the tourist prefers cold weather, he should enjoy the mountain tracks in Aseer or Jazan and see the villages and valleys. In the winter, the stroll track should either start from AlUla or end in AlUla. I also recommend a trip on the Red Sea coast to the area of Umluj, then down to the area of the volcanic eruptions until reaching AlUla.
The Content Creation
All these tips will be included in the content creation that I provide through photographing stunning tourist destinations and displaying them on digital platforms.