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Intrepid Travel is offering an authentic and transformative travel experience with its 12-day Saudi Arabia Women’s Expedition. This specialty excursion empowers women and supports female-owned businesses throughout the journey: it’s led exclusively by female leaders and guides and seeks to showcase a different side of Saudi Arabia beyond the luxury resorts and high-end offerings.

The itinerary starts in Riyadh and ends in Jeddah and includes stays in a female-owned boutique hotel, a heritage property and a desert camp, directly supporting nine female-owned and operated businesses. Your clients will have the opportunity to engage with local women, visiting their homes and female-only spaces.

Highlights of the New Intrepid Tour

Highlights of the expedition include a sunrise visit to Hebra in Nabatae, guided by a local storyteller, meeting and having lunch with two sisters who run a citrus farm near Alula, and jumping on a boat for a cruise to the Red Sea, where your clients can snorkel, swim. and enjoy a barbeque lunch before ending the day on a private female-only beach. The trip also features a visit to Madinah, the second holiest site in Islam, with a local female guide. Of note: Non-Muslims have recently been allowed to visit the holy site up to the perimeter.

Local guide Sara Omar at the Nabatean tombs. (Photo by Intrepid Travel)

Intrepid partnered with Sara Omar, a Saudi mother of two and a passionate traveler, to bring this trip to life. In a press statement, Omar noted that travelers often arrive with misconceptions about Saudi women, stating, “Meeting the locals is the best way to understand what the lifestyle is really like.”

While Saudi Arabia remains a conservative society, women have gained some freedoms in recent years and now represent 30 percent of the tourism and hospitality workforce.

In a press statement, Jenny Gray, Product Manager for Women’s Expeditions, said: “This new trip has been a year in the making, as we challenged ourselves to create a trip in Saudi in line with our values that would be a genuine force for good.”

“With tourism to Saudi focused on vast ultra-luxury offerings, we wanted to balance that by creating something completely unique in Saudi Arabia: a trip putting local women’s voices centre stage. With activities like joining a cooking class with a local female chef and getting pampered at a women-owned salon, the trip will give our travellers the chance to see a side of Saudi few get to experience.”

The Women’s Expedition product range was launched in 2018 and focuses on breaking down cultural barriers through all-female adventures, fostering discussion and creating immersive local experiences that wouldn’t be possible in mixed-gender groups. With the addition of Saudi Arabia, the range now features seven itineraries, including Morocco, Pakistan, Nepal and India.

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