More than 5,000 caves around the world attract nearly 250 million tourists each year. These caves contribute $2 billion to the global tourism revenue annually.

Caves were one of the best natural habitats where people sheltered themselves against extreme weather conditions in the harsh climate of the desert. Nomadic Arabs considered caves as a secure shelter as it protected them from severe heat and cold as well as sandstorms. Caves were also a good source of water.

Caving, or spelunking as it is properly called, has so far remained on the fringes of the tourism industry in Saudi Arabia even though hundreds of thousands of Muslims who come to the country on pilgrimage from all over the world every year make it a point to visit the historic Cave Hira on the Mountain of Light in Makkah where the Prophet (peace be upon him) received the first revelation in 610 AD.