We explore this question in this new podcast episode and take you on our journey with rucksack, abaya and headscarf in our luggage. We tried to get as close as possible to the people, stayed overnight with Saudis and tried to understand the reality of life in a country where so much has changed since the start of the reforms with the new controversial Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. What does the so-called ‘Saudi Vision 2030’, which aims to fundamentally restructure the country, entail? How does the change manifest itself in people’s everyday lives and in which social strata and areas does it even reach? How did we meet the people as two female European travellers?
Saudi Arabia is still a blind spot on the map for most travellers. When news reaches us, it is usually negative headlines about human rights violations and the symbol of the oppressed veiled woman. An inside look at this long-closed country was previously difficult or even impossible, as there were no visas for tourist purposes. When the Saudi government announced the introduction of a fast-track e-visa for tourists in September 2019, Svenja and Tatjana wanted to seize this opportunity immediately. Backpacking in Saudi Arabia – is it possible?