The Blue Abaya website was founded by a Finnish travel blogger Laura Alho in 2010. Blue Abaya started as a personal blog describing expat life and Laura’s travels and adventures in the ‘Magic Kingdom’ of Saudi Arabia. The aim of Blue Abaya is to showcase the true beauty of the Kingdom as well as to encourage people to get out and explore by letting them know about travel and tourism locations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The spirit of Blue Abaya is to bridge cultural gaps between the East and the West, to keep an open mind, to see the humor in difficult situations and “thinking outside of the box”.
To find out more about the author Laura, and her journey in the ‘Magic Kingdom’ read this post: A Finnish Expat Blogging in Saudi Arabia.
For more detailed information about life in Saudi Arabia from the point of view of a Finnish nurse go here: Blue Abaya interviewed what is life in Saudi Arabia really like?
The woman behind the Blue Abaya, Laura, is a medical professional by degree, an adventurer, photographer and artist by passion.
Laura is currently residing in Riyadh with her Saudi husband and their two children. You can read how their love story began here: How I met my Saudi Prince.
Blue Abaya has been very successful as an expat blog, it has been chosen as top recommended Saudi Arabia blogs at forums such as ExpatWoman.com, Expats-Blog, InterNations and others. Blue Abaya has won several blog awards including Best Saudi Arabia Expat Blog 2012, Best Asian & Middle Eastern Weblog 2013 at the Bloggies, the biggest annual international Weblog Awards. Blue Abaya finished as a finalist at the Saudi Excellence in Tourism Awards (SETA’s) (2013 & 2014) in the category Best Website Promoting Tourism.
In addition to running this website and being a hands-on mom to two preschoolers, Laura works as a freelance writer and is an influencer at Mommy’s Corner ME. She also runs a home-based business for Saudi Arabia inspired gifts and souvenirs: Inspired By Arabia
Laura’s work (including articles and photography) has been featured in National Geographic publications, CreateTrips, Saudi Aramco World Journal, Saudi Gazette, Arab News, Destination Riyadh magazine, My Destination website, RiyadhEats, Women’s Skills Bureau Newsletter, MidEastPosts and many others.
Laura has been interviewed and featured by several international and local media publications such as Arab News, JeddahBlog, France24, Onaonaona, WSJ, Radisson Blu, Cafe au lait -kahviketkia maailmalla, Saudi Voyager magazine, Amazing Saudia, MBC channel, HBL (Huvudstadsbladet), StepFeed, GlobeHunters, MeNaiset,
Laura has a passion for travel and having visited 138 places, she’s currently ranked a Senior Ambassador at MostTraveledPeople.com. You can read about her travels beyond the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia here.
Blog Awards and Mentions:
Stepfeed Top 10 Foreigners Living in the Arab World: Laura Alhp #10
Globe Hunters: 30 Best Expat Blogs in 2017: Blue Abaya # 2
Top 100 Middle Eastern Blogs of 2017: Blue Abaya # 27
The 12th Annual Weblog Awards, “The Bloggies”: 2012 Finalist in the category Best Asian (including Middle-Eastern) Weblog.
The 13th Annual Weblog Awards, “The Bloggies”: Winner Best Asian(including Middle-Eastern) Weblog 2013.
Expats Blog: Saudi-Arabia’s Best Expat Blog of 2012.
Saudi Excellence in Tourism Awards 2013 & 2014 : Best Website promoting Tourism-Finalist
Expat Woman: Favorite Saudi Arabia Blog
About the blog name ‘Blue Abaya’
“The blue of ‘Blue Abaya’ is a shade apart, merging a spirit of deep inner freedom and an infectiously positive attitude.
The blue abaya is both a symbol and an attitude for Layla’s blog. It’s a posture of being respectful to local traditions while setting oneself apart from the crowd through personal taste.
..blue is the colour of the Finnish sky, and the abaya is a cultural norm of Saudi Arabia. In its name and its nature, the blog is defined by the richly opposed but co-existing worlds that the author is part of, and the best and worst of which peppers her real and virtual space.
Layla’s writing has a distinct character to it, detailed and diary-like. She has a very strong personality that comes across quite forcefully in her writings – witty, unforgiving in her sarcasm, sharp in her observations but aggressively positive in her conclusions. Between her spirit of forward motion, and her signature bite is the spice that marks her writing. Reading her blog, one traverses two regions equally mysterious to many – Finland and Saudi Arabia, and her blog pierces the mystery of both lands to offer us a window into both cultures through the eyes of somebody who embodies them both to some extent.”
Please respect that all the articles and images on Blue Abaya are protected under KSA copyright laws. All content on Blue Abaya (images, text and graphics) is prohibited from publishing elsewhere without prior permission. If you would like to purchase some images or articles for commercial use, please email us: contact (at) blueabaya.com
***BLUE ABAYA is now a REGISTERED TRADEMARK under Saudi Arabian laws!***