Travel website Hihome aims to provide tourists with the authentic Saudi cultural experience | Tech US News

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MAKKAH: What better way for tourists to experience the true and authentic culture of the country they are visiting than by spending time with locals, ideally in their homes, and joining in their traditional day-to-day activities.

Hihome, an online platform established in 2019, aims to make this possible for visitors to Saudi Arabia, bridging the gap between tourists and locals. In addition to providing accommodation, hosts can also offer traditional activities for guests to learn about and experience the local culture and heritage first hand.

These may include brewing traditional Saudi coffee, preparing one of the host’s special family recipes, craft lessons, picking fruit at a farm, or simply spending time together listening to the host’s stories of life in the Kingdom.


Established in 2019, Hihome, an electronic platform, bridges the gap between tourists and locals by experiencing authentic Saudi culture by visiting the homes of residents in different regions of the Kingdom. (Supplied)

Noura Al-Saadoun, the founder and CEO of Hihome, told Arab News that the philosophy behind the service is based on the principle of investing in the Saudi people and their homes, because they offer a great entry point for visitors to learn. the culture of the country and the wider region, and to engage with its people.

She said the idea came to her after visiting several foreign countries that have similar platforms and seeing that the experiences they offer leave a good impression on travelers. So when the Kingdom announced in 2019 that it was offering tourist visas for the first time, Al-Saadoun realized it was the perfect opportunity to launch a service that could introduce visitors to the beauty and diversity of the Kingdom while providing them with an authentic Saudi experience. . in the home of a local family.

She said there are currently more than 500 guests and hosts registered on the platform, and more than 80 registered experiences that have generated “wonderful feedback” from guests.


Established in 2019, Hihome, an electronic platform, bridges the gap between tourists and locals by experiencing authentic Saudi culture by visiting the homes of residents in different regions of the Kingdom. (Supplied)

“What confirms this are the messages they send us, containing their photos and opinions about the experience, and we are proud to publish these comments on our website to show how happy we are to host them in one of our Hihome experiences.” Al-Saadoun said.

In his review, Stefaniic, a tourist from Germany, said: “I thought I’ve been all over the world and I’ve been everywhere, but I haven’t been to Saudi Arabia. This is the first family home I’ve visited in this country, and I’m telling you… . love it. The people are so friendly, so nice. They are so generous. You must come here.”

Another Hihome user, Mia from China, described her experience as “memorable days that cannot be forgotten”. He added that it was very interesting to visit a house in Riyadh, see all its decorations, designs and open spaces and talk to the friendly people there.


Established in 2019, Hihome, an electronic platform, bridges the gap between tourists and locals by experiencing authentic Saudi culture by visiting the homes of residents in different regions of the Kingdom. (Supplied)

“The most beautiful thing is that the communications between guests and hosts do not end with the experience…rather, friendships are formed between them, through which the exchange of knowledge about different cultures occurs between the two parties,” he added.

The registration process is simple, Al-Saadoun said; Hosts simply create a listing on the Hihome website that includes a description and photos of the experience and space and the price.

The site team reviews all the listings and suggests any changes that may be needed, and then it will be published. The site also offers hosts support and advice to help them develop and market their experiences.

“We had the honor of hosting people from various nations, such as Germany, Japan, America, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, India, Egypt, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Ukraine, Scotland, Singapore and Brazil, among others,” he said. Saadoun said.

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