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How Much Does It Cost To Build A Metro In Saudi Arabia?

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Metro In Saudi Arabia? Alan Light, Flickr If you live in a cosmopolitan city with a good subway system, it can be easy to take your public transportation for granted. Many of the world's most famous subway systems have been around for decades, and most of us have forgotten the price and...

Raha Moharrak Becomes First Saudi Woman To Climb Mt. Everest

Raha Moharrak Becomes First Saudi Woman To Climb Mt. Everest Raha Moharrak Raha Moharrak has become the first woman from Saudi Arabia to climb Mt. Everest when she made it to the summit yesterday after a grueling climb. The 25-year-old climber first had to convince her family to allow her to make the attempt, and then had to...

Galley Gossip: Interview With A Saudi Airline Flight Attendant

Galley Gossip: Interview With A Saudi Airline Flight Attendant Where are you from, Ahmed? Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I'm Jeddah based. What are the requirements to become a flight attendant for Saudi Airlines? High school minimum, English language (reading writing and spoken fluent), minimum age is 19, maximum age is 35, flight...

A Pre-Islamic Civilization In Saudi Arabia

A Pre-Islamic Civilization In Saudi Arabia The ancient past of one of the world's most closed countries is beginning to be revealed. Mada'in Saleh, about 200 miles north of Medina in northwestern Saudi Arabia, is an impressive remnant of the Nabataean civilization, the same people who built Petra in Jordan 2,000...

The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh opens, featuring bowling alley and cigar bar

The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh opens, featuring bowling alley and cigar bar The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. continues to expand into the Middle East market with their first hotel in Saudi Arabia, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh. The 493 room hotel in the Diplomatic Quarter is adjacent to the King Abdul Aziz Convention Centre. Of course, the...

Interesting indoor spaces around the world

Interesting indoor spaces around the world I love the outdoors, to the extent that I tend to bypass or overlook exceptional indoor spaces when I'm traveling or recounting a great trip. Fortunately, Lonely Planet author/former Gadling contributor Leif Pettersen's recent list on LP's website has reminded me that---as...

A journey to Mecca

The pilgrimage to Mecca, or the "Hajj", is a once-in-a-lifetime journey required by all followers of Islam. Each year, millions of pilgrims make the journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to pay respects to their religion, resulting in a tidal wave of visitors, traffic and...

10 countries Americans need advance visas to visit

10 countries Americans need advance visas to visit We live in an increasingly borderless world and we have access to many countries that were closed (or non-existent) 20 years ago. As reported earlier this week, Americans are especially lucky with access to 169 countries visa free. Still, there are still many countries that...

New world's tallest building planned for Saudi Arabia

New world's tallest building planned for Saudi Arabia Less than two years after the Burj Khalifa opened in Dubai, Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has announced a new world's tallest building to be built on the Red Sea resort town of Jeddah. The Saudi building is planned to be 172 meters (564 feet) taller than the Burj...

How to get a second passport

How to get a second passport A second passport sounds glamorous. And in point of fact, it is glamorous. There's no debating the matter. Possessing a second passport gives its bearer bragging rights and the ability to feel a wee bit like a spy, especially when he or she is traveling with both passports...

Pop-up restaurants: dining for a new decade

Pop-up restaurants: dining for a new decade First, it was underground supper clubs. Now, everything's coming up pop-ups. As with food trucks, this form of guerrilla cheffing borne of economic need has become a global phenomenon. Equal parts dinner party and dinner theater, a pop-up refers to a dining establishment...

Strictest dress codes - 5 countries with fashion police

Strictest dress codes - 5 countries with fashion police Earlier this week, the "Burqa Ban" went into effect in France. Since passing into law, several burqa draped women have already been arrested, and the symbolic law is causing an uproar among the Muslim population of France and beyond. However, France is not the only...

What are the top five cities for business travel?

What are the top five cities for business travel? Some cities are better for doing business than others, it seems. Of course, business travelers (well, professionals in general) all have their preferences. Having done my time in Omaha, Winnipeg and London (Ontario), I can tell you that some places are better than others....

The Arab revolution: the reaction of one Muslim community

The Arab revolution: the reaction of one Muslim community For the past few weeks, headlines all over the world have been dominated by the so-called Arab Revolution, a wave of anti-government protests across the Middle East. I'm living in the Ethiopian Muslim community of Harar and locals here are absorbed in the events. Sitting in...

Video: Saudi King Abdullah's arrival procession--it's grand

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz returned to Saudi Arabia Wednesday after a 3 month stint abroad for medical treatment. Hundreds of men in white performed a traditional Bedouin sword dance on carpets laid out at the airport. With uprisings against government...

The burqa and niqab: can travelers get used to anything? Should they?

The burqa and niqab: can travelers get used to anything? Should they? Travel broadens the mind, at least for most people. As we explore different cultures and beliefs we see that for the most part they're OK. While there are always local customs we just can't follow, in general the more we travel, the more accepting we become. But how...

Adventure travel meets faith: cycling to Mecca for the Hajj

Adventure travel meets faith: cycling to Mecca for the Hajj Two Muslims from South Africa mixed adventure travel and spirituality this year by cycling to Mecca for the Hajj. Natheem Cairncross, 28 and Imtiyaz Haron, 25, cycled through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Turkey, Syria and Jordan....

Photo of the Day (11.16.10)

Photo of the Day (11.16.10) This Sunday marked the beginning of the Hajj, the world's largest annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. As the fifth pillar of Islam, the pilgrimage is a religious duty that must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim that can do so. Saudi officials have...

Which country loves to work? See who doesn't take vacation time

Which country loves to work? See who doesn't take vacation time A friend of mine asked me a few days ago when I last went on vacation – a real one. I struggled to remember the last time I went on a trip and didn't write or, before that, keep up with what was going on at the office. After stopping and focusing, I remembered a...

List of World Heritage sites continues to grow

List of World Heritage sites continues to grow The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO, has added more sites, including several cultural locations, to its ever expanding World Heritage list. The additions were made this past weekend when the organization concluded the...

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