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All the Information You Need Before Traveling to Saudi Arabia

 Are you planning to travel from Dubai to Riyadh? Are you concerned about your safety while traveling to Saudi Arabia? Let’s read further to know about how you can tour around Saudi Arabia.


The country is gradually becoming more accessible to tourists with the recent introduction of tourist visas. We've put together a list of ten things to keep in mind when traveling to Saudi Arabia for leisure, business, or as a pilgrim if you want to leave a positive impression.


1. Know why you are going


Although it may seem rather clear, you actually must get a valid visa, which outlines your purpose for visiting Saudi Arabia, in order to travel there. If you're traveling to Saudi Arabia as a pilgrim, you'll need a particular visa from an organization recognized by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and if you're there on business, you'll need to provide proof that you have scheduled business meetings there. Consider your job title carefully because journalists, photographers, and writers are frequently denied entrance because they are seen as suspects by the Saudi authorities.


2. Allow enough time for your visa application


Visas to Saudi Arabia must be obtained through a cumbersome bureaucratic process that includes thorough background checks and an examination of your visit's objectives. This makes impromptu or last-minute trips nearly impossible.


3. Travel in groups


Due to strict government regulations, if you seek a tourist visa, you will need to provide proof that your party is four or more and that you are traveling with an organized tour group. It is forbidden for tourists to travel independently.


4. Couples should (preferably) be married


You are allowed to travel together if you are a married couple and have a valid marriage license. However, this is frowned upon and may result in the denial of your visa application if you are an unmarried couple seeking to visit Saudi Arabia.


5. Female travelers must have a sponsor


Due to cultural and political restrictions, female travelers to Saudi Arabia must be greeted by a sponsor. If you arrive and nobody acceptable is waiting to greet you, traveling farther into the country may be delayed at best or prohibited entirely at worst. Your sponsor will thereafter typically hold onto your passport while issuing you with an Iqama (residency permit) for use in day-to-day travel.


6. Be respectful of local culture


In the cities, there is frequently a dress code, and women are frequently prohibited from going out in public without a male guardian. Alcohol consumption and open expressions of affection are taboo. Despite Saudis being relatively avid smokers, smoking regulations in public areas are now more strictly enforced.


7. Nightlife in Asia differs from that in the Western culture


Saudi Arabia has a very small nightlife because all alcoholic beverages, nightclubs, movies, theaters, and similar establishments are prohibited by Saudi legislation. Dinner parties and other catered gatherings provide nighttime entertainment. We advise you to be aware of this before making any travel arrangements because this is not a location to party late into the night.


8. Photography isn’t encouraged


You can run into issues in Saudi Arabia if you prefer to take pictures of everything. The government is still very watchful of visitors, especially Westerners, and photography can be misinterpreted for espionage or terrorist plots. This is especially true when near public buildings or any other busy areas like markets and mosques. Another no-no is photographing locals without their consent, especially women!


9. Music playing in public is not permitted


If you enjoy western rap or trance, this might be construed as producing a public disturbance and getting you in trouble. When you're safe and sound back at your hotel, it's okay to indulge, as long as you don't disturb any nearby neighbors with the volume.


10. Items representing non-Islamic religions are prohibited


The law forbids the practice of any religion other than Islam in public, therefore if you have a crucifix, a Bible, or any other religious relics, leave them at home. It is recommended to worship in secret if you follow a non-Islamic faith.


11. Safety


People are asking: Is Saudi Arabia Safe for Tourists in Light of This News? Yes, visiting Saudi Arabia is safe. Be mindful of your surroundings, observe local laws and customs, and prepare beforehand by doing your study. Review any travel advisories before you depart.


12. Public spaces


You might see separate entrances or dining areas for men and women in public spaces that are separated. Avoid showing your affection in public.
Ask for permission before taking pictures of locals. It is an offense that is sanctioned by the public code of conduct. Vandalism of public property, listening to music when others are praying, and noncompliance with clothing codes are further penalties.
The abaya is not needed for female visitors (a cloak, previously mandated by the government). However, it is advised that both sexes dress modestly and refrain from wearing exposing or tight-fitting clothing in public.


Five times per day, stores and restaurants close for prayer. Make sure to organize your itinerary around these hours to get the most out of your trip.
It’s a Muslim nation. While non-Muslims are welcome and allowed to practice their religion in private settings, it is against the law to give religious sermons in open settings or on social media. Malicious propaganda that disparages a nation, its leaders, or a particular religion is a serious crime.
Alcohol and narcotics cannot be bought, sold, or used in this nation.


13. Social customs


Locals are friendly, generous, and just as interested in learning about you as you are in learning about them. It is normal to receive an invitation to a dinner or to have some dates and gahwa (Arabic coffee). Your hosts, as well as complete strangers, may want to convey a warm welcome and provide you with a tiny symbol of their goodwill, such as food or a gift. Refusing such an offer is seen as impolite. Just keep in mind to use your right hand whenever accepting or drinking food or liquids.


Unless your host specifically asks you to keep your shoes on, take them off if you are invited inside a Saudi home. It is customary to sit on the floor in a Majlis (a sitting area with floor cushions). If held somewhere else, you can anticipate a contemporary arrangement with couches and other furniture.
Saudis embrace and encourage inquiries from Westerners about their culture. It's important to avoid talking about politics or religion to avoid hurting local sensibilities.


Making yourself comfortable with Saudi customs, such as handshakes and pleasantries, will always win you points with your hosts. It's customary to say "Marhaban!" (Welcome), and you can reply with "Marhabtain" (I give you two welcomes).
Men shouldn't shake hands with Saudi women unless they initiate it themselves. Put your palm over your heart and say hello, erring on the side of caution.

Wrap Up


Follow these tips before you move from Dubai to Riyadh and enjoy a safe and remarkable trip to Saudi Arabia. Happy Traveling!

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