Cultural and Desert Journeys – Saudi Arabia

Ar Rub’ Al Khali – The Empty Quarter

Follow in the footsteps of the great explorers, Thesiger, Thomas, and St. John Philby in the Great South Desert of Arabia.

Traveling in the Empty Quarter with both a Saudi and Bedouin team makes for an experience that can rarely be found in the modern world we inhabit today.

Mada’in Saleh – Unesco World Heritage Site

Sister city to Petra in Jordan, the Nabatean city of Mada’in Saleh controlled camel caravans on their journeys north by imposing taxes on those who passed through their territory. The Romans destroyed the Nabatean Kingdom in 106 AD.

Elephant Rock – near Mada’in Saleh

Eroded by wind and rain, this sandstone formation resembling an Elephant, is a single monolith standing alone on the desert floor close to the nearby Hijaz Railway of T. E. Lawrence fame.

Old Al Ula – capital of Dedan

Situated in a valley of 2 million palm trees, located on the camel caravan route from South Arabia, old Al Ula played a key role in commerce.  The city was built from the stones taken from the Kingdoms of Dedan and Lihyan.

Lihyanite (Lion) Tombs – Kingdom of Dedan

An ancient North Arabian Kingdom dating to the 6th and 4th BC. Dedan was the capital which is today’s Al Ula. The Lihyanites later became the enemies of the Nabateans.  Among the Minean tombs are the famous Lion tombs.

Fort Masmak – Historical Riyadh

Fort Masmak played a key role in the foundation of the country when in 1902, Ibn Saud, who was in exile in Kuwait, successfully stormed the fort and took control from the Al Rasheeds of Hail. This was the beginning of King Abdulaziz’s legacy and today the fort is part of the King Abdulaziz’s Historical Centre.

With its four watch towers, a well, prayer room, majalis and an array of historical photographs, clothing, jewelry, jambiyas and dallahs, this is a must-see site in the company of our guide who brings the history of the founding of the Kingdom alive.

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