Richardson, who said this is one of the most faith stirring experiences of his life, explained tourists will be flocking to see the historical mountain and other sites covered in a short documentary, “Finding the Mountain of Moses: The Real Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia,” by Ryan Mauro, who will also be leading a tour in February.
Most notably, the group is visiting the Jebel al-Lawz mountain in the ancient land of Midian. Early Jewish, Christian and Bedouin traditions have long attested this site to be the real Mount Sinai. The controversial theory contests the traditional location in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. On the north-west side of the mountain is the Split Rock of Horeb — a massive stone several stories tall, split down the middle, with evidence of water erosion at its base.
This week tourists will visit the town that has an ancient well, held to be where Moses met his wife Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, after fleeing Egypt. The group will explore the ruins of Dedan, Wadi Tayyib – along the Red Sea coast and Tayma (where Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar may have occasionally stayed).
The Split Rock of Horeb in Saudi Arabia, believed to be the rock that Moses struck from which water flowed out of for the Israelites. (Living Passages)
Beyond the historic sites, new museums and first-class hotels are being prepared for a flow of international tourists. The northwest corner of Saudi Arabia is being developed into a smart city called Neom.
“Magnificent Nabataean sites such as Mada’in Saleh in Al-`Ula are worthy rivals to Petra,” Sand said. “Upon our initial visit, we observed the construction of this critical infrastructure to sustain tourists. Not only are the accommodations beautiful, the untouched landscape is breathtaking!”
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This new mega-city located in Tabuk province will border Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and is on track to be functional by 2025.