Do I need a visa for Saudi Arabia and how can I obtain it?
Long closed to the world, Saudi Arabia starts to open its door to foreign visitors, so visa is necessarily required for tourists who intend to explore the country. Currently, citizens of 49 countries are eligible to apply an electronic visa online for entry in Saudi Arabia. Below is the list of the countries.
North America - Canada, United States
Europe - Switzerland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Monaco, Andorra, Russia, Malta, Montenegro, San Marino, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Netherlands, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia
Asia - Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, China (including Hong Kong, Macao), Taiwan
Oceania - Australia, New Zealand
If your country is not in the above list, please apply for a consulate visa through your nearest Saudi Arabia embassy or consulate.
Attention: Passport holders with Israeli visa will be denied entry to Saudi Arabia unless their passports are renewed.
What are the taboos and prohibitions in Saudi Arabia?
• Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia and forbidden to be brought into this country, and there isn’t anywhere you can buy it.
• Drug trafficking is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia. If you need to bring medicine or large doses of personal medication, you are advised to provide a doctor's prescription.
• Saudi Arabia bans taking photos at sensitive sites and some public areas. You can't take pictures of people without their permissions, especially for Saudi women.
• During Ramadan (September in the Islamic calendar), people are abstained from drinking, smoking and eating from sunrise to sunset, except for the sick, children, pregnant women, breast-feeding women etc.
• Any pork is banned to eat and taken along during your visit in Saudi Arabia.
What should I wear when travelling in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, so we suggest you dress conservatively regardless of man or woman. For the woman, you need to wear long sleeves and trousers in public area because you can’t show your shoulders and knees, but no need to wear a black abaya and cover your head as a traveler. For the man, there are not so many restrictions on clothes. You can wear T-shits and pants but no shorts in public.
Which international airport should I land in Saudi Arabia?
There are four international airports in Saudi Arabia, but for most of overseas tourists, King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh (RUH) and King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah (JED) are the two main airports to land in.
Is it safe to travel to Saudi Arabia?
Yes. Saudi Arabia is known around the world as a serious Muslim country on wearing and some rights. Most of the tourist destinations are safe for visitors since the crime rates in Saudi Arabia are low. It is advisable to follow the guidelines of your private guide and avoid exploring unknown surroundings on your own. This country has plenty of restrictions on women’s right which makes it a difficulty place to travel for a solo female traveler. What’s more, if you are under 18 years old, you will be denied to apply for tourist visa unless you are traveling with adults.
Are credit cards widely used in Saudi Arabia?
Cash is most frequently used in Saudi Arabia and you can withdraw it in any ATM near you. However, credit cards are solely accepted in some large cities like Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. Generally, some shops and restaurants in rural area or town cannot accept credit cards, so please check with your guide on tours and prepare enough cash in advance.