Saudi Arabia has a history of violence. And in the recent years, its escalating tensions with Iran drew much attention. It’s a good news that now Saudi Arabia is opening its gates to Tourists. This week a travel company in the country announced the first-ever Christian tour of rare sites. And the most attractive thing about the tour is a look at the controversial sites of Mount Sinai. It is the mountain where Moses received the ten commandments from God himself.
The country was closed to tourism in the past decades but now with some American influence the change is happening. Saudi Arabia decided to give tourist visas on the heels of the second delegation of evangelical leaders from America. The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hosted a tour last year and earlier this year.
It is the US based travel company the Living Passages which made the tour possible. Rhonda Sand who represents the company said that “The atmosphere in Saudi Arabia is changing, They are hard at work developing the country for Western tourism.”
The tour offers a trip to the most controversial places on the land. It includes Jethro Caves in land of Median and Mount Sinai. And the tour guide is no ordinary person but Joel Richardson, the author of “Mount Sinai in Arabia: The True Location Revealed.” With his expertise and interest in the subject there is no better guide than him. He mentioned his gratefulness to the Saudi Government for permitting the tour.
Another controversial location near Mount Sinai is the Split Rock of Horeb. It is not just a geological anomaly but it is believed to be the rock Moses struck with his rod to provide water for his people. There is also evidence of water erosion at the base of the rock which attests to the theory. The long list of historical places also includes ruins of Dedan, Wadi Tayyib – along the Red Sea coast – and Tayma, where Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar may have occasionally stayed.
Saudi Arabia opened its doors to international tourism this week and will continue to do so.