Mar 11, 2023 — Mar 23, 2023

Saudi Arabia: From Ancient Trade Routes to Contemporary Society

About this Trip

Join the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia on a journey to Saudi Arabia, a country of barren sands masking great oil reserves, millennia-enduring archaeological sites sharing city blocks with modern engineering marvels, and conservative Islamic ideals juxtaposed by images of luxury symbols from the West. Through conversations and visits, our program sets out to explore this country and the significant changes taking place within its borders. We begin in Jeddah, a commercial port-city whose old city is renowned for its traditional multi-storied dwellings made of coral. Enjoy the striking mountain scenery around Abha where tiny villages are nestled amidst green terraced fields. Follow an ancient trade route to Madain Saleh, a desert plateau strewn with monumental rock-hewn tombs from the ancient Nabataean kingdom. Nearby sits labyrinthian Al ‘Ula, once a wealthy trading hub along the “Incense Route” and characterized by its narrow, winding streets. Fly to Riyadh, the kingdom’s imposing capital that only sixty years ago was a remote walled village. Travel by train to Al Hofuf, home of the Al-Ahsa Oasis, the world’s largest oasis and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Dhahran to the east, become familiar with the immense Saudi oil industry, understanding its central role in dramatically shaping modern Saudi Arabia. Return home from Dammam.

$9,850 per person plus airfare

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