Home to the world’s largest oil reserves and birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia is still stereotyped as a closed and forbidden Kingdom, with rich sheiks, and palaces in the desert next to oil gushing wells.

However, under the conservative blanket lies a country with many surprises. If you feel adventurous, go dune bashing in the Empty Quarter desert or SCUBA dive in the still-unspoiled coral reefs of the Red Sea. Explore the Mada’in Saleh, a lesser known Saudi version of Petra, and share Arabian tea under a tent to experience the warmth and friendliness of the Bedouin people. Just know that some areas are off limits to non-Muslims.

Continue below to read more about the Kingdom, discover how to conduct yourself, and learn why many foreigners choose to work there.