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Saudi Arabia's not exactly a high adrenaline, thrills 'n' spills destination. Desert drives, or 'wadi bashing', are popular throughout the country and it's usually fairly easy to find someone in the local expat community who can give you advice on where to go for a desert picnic, but there's not much else on offer. Although Saudi Arabia has plenty of coastline, watersports are pretty much out: it's hard to enjoy a dip when you have to keep covered from neck to ankle.


Saudi Arabia's only holidays are Islamic. The big one is Ramadan, a month when everyone fasts between sunrise and sunset to conform to the fourth pillar of Islam. Ramadan is mandatory, even for tourists: if you're caught smoking, drinking or eating in public during this period, you can be sent to prison until the end of Ramadan. Ramadan ends with a huge feast, Eid al-Fitr, during which everyone prays together, visits friends, gives presents and stuffs themselves silly. Eid al-Adah, held around March, is the other big feast of the year, and marks the time when Muslims should make the pilgrimage to Mecca. The only non-religious festival is the Jinadriyah National Festival of folklore and culture, held every February.

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