Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Want to explore Saudi Arabia? Trekkup Dubai is hosting two trips to the kingdom

The adventure travel company will organise flights, accommodation and site visits

A view of the mountainous region north of Al Ula. The group will trek through the terrain as they explore the canyons and rock formations surrounding the ancient city. Alamy 
A view of the mountainous region north of Al Ula. The group will trek through the terrain as they explore the canyons and rock formations surrounding the ancient city. Alamy 

Saudi Arabia opened its doors to tourists back in September, but travel enthusiasts are already gearing up to visit the region and discover what it has to offer. Trekkup Dubai, which is hosting its first trip there from Thursday, November 14 to Sunday, November 17, has seen more than 20 people sign up, with many more expressing an interest. To accommodate demand, the adventure travel company will host a second trip the following weekend (November 21), says Thomas Schwartz, one of the event’s organisers.

“There were certainly a few challenges with planning the trip,” says Schwartz. “It’s not just our clients' first time in the region, but ours as well, so it’s going to be a lot of trial and error – but that’s what makes it an adventure. We’re in talks with locals there to figure out logistics.”

Trekkup, which launched in 2014, prides itself on providing offbeat experiences that push guests outside their comfort zone. So it comes as no surprise that the upcoming trips aren’t going to be laid-back holiday experiences. Instead, the three-day itinerary includes trekking through the desert and exploring sandstone formations and ruins.

“Our local contacts recommended a number of lesser-known attractions and, with tourism being relatively new, there wasn’t a lot of information and pictures about some of these places online,” says Thomas. “We’ll see it all with our own eyes when we finally get there.”

While the company organises activities, boarding, meals and flights, participants have to apply for their own visas, a process Saudi Arabia has made convenient through the launch of a new tourist visa system.

“I think, because it’s Saudi Arabia, there’s a lot of curiosity about what we can expect,” says Hollis-Ann Stewart, a veterinarian from Dubai who has been for numerous Trekkup events, including the upcoming tour. “I’m fascinated by desert landscapes and I’m really interested in seeing a part of the world I’ve never visited before - and sharing it with other people.”

Trekkup’s first weekend trip to Saudi Arabia is scheduled to take place from Thursday, November 14 to Sunday, November 17, and will cost about Dh3,550, inclusive of flights

Updated: November 7, 2019 06:00 PM

SHARE

SHARE