In Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, temperatures can regularly exceed 50°C – even in the shade. In July and August, many flee the country meaning that work can slow down to almost a standstill.
Saudi Arabia contains the holy Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina. All physically and financially able Muslims are expected to make a pilgrimage at least once.
With one of the fastest-growing higher education systems in the Middle East, each region of Saudi Arabia offers a snapshot of various cultures. Riyadh showcases modern Saudi Arabia, Jeddah blends ancient and modern, while the Red Sea coast is perfect to kick back and relax.
A favourite for students, Jeddah is the nation’s commercial capital. A sprawling city, extending along the coast of the Red Sea, Jeddah is well known for its shopping districts, restaurants and cafés. It hosts some of the country’s most well-known universities, including King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah College of Technology, and Effat University.
Famous Saudi Arabians include comedian Fahad Albutairi, and Australian actress Ashleigh Cummings was born there.