The journey of pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah is no longer confined to the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. They can now visit different cities and experience the ancient and modern wonders the Kingdom has to offer.
Hisham Madani, director general of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in Makkah, said that the commission has the capabilities to execute all the ambitious tourist plans.
“We are looking to knowing the pilgrims’ demands, needs and their languages so the guides can be well-versed to enrich their experiences,” Madani said.
He highlighted the importance of training to ensure tour guides are equipped with necessary skills to carry out their responsibilities in a professional manner and to the satisfaction of visitors.
Rania Shodary, a tourist guide, told Arab News that serving Umrah pilgrims was an honour. “We are eager to give them a better service to ensure they perform the rituals without any difficulty,” she said. A bus service has been introduced to offer pilgrims a round trip from Makkah to Taif with tourist guides to show them historical sites along the way and in the two cities.
Taif’s moderate weather makes it a perfect tourist destination, attracting Muslims and non-Muslims to its breathtaking mountain sites and greenery throughout the year. Visitors are also keen on visiting sites such as the Prince Saud Al-Faisal Wildlife Center in Taif to see rare animals and rose factories that make high-quality perfumes.