What You Need To Know Before Visiting Saudi Arabia

October 14

Saudi Arabia is a prominent country in the Middle East, which is the fifth largest Asian country in terms of area.  It is an Islamic country that is also known as the ‘Land of the Two Holy Mosques’, which are in Mecca and Medina. The official language of this country is Arabic and a few other Islamic languages are also widely spoken here.

How to travel to Saudi Arabia

Muslim pilgrims from all over the world arrive here to worship at Mecca and Medina. They can buy flight tickets from reputed airlines, like Saudia, Flynas, SaudiGulf, Mid East Jet, Nesma Airlines, and Flyadeal. These airlines operate non-stop flights to the international airports of Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, and Dammam. People may also travel by bus to Saudi Arabia from various cities of neighboring countries, like Amman, Doha, and Dubai.  Regarding flight tickets and حجز فنادق there is no cause for concern since the pilgrims and the tourists have plenty of choices in a wide array of budget.

Tourist visas for travel to Saudi Arabia

New tourist visas are available online for foreigners, with which they can stay for a maximum of 90 days in Saudi Arabia. E-visa and Visa on Arrival are offered to residents of only some enlisted countries. People from the rest of the world can apply for Consulate visas available from the Saudi embassies in their own countries. Minors are not allowed to travel unless accompanied by an adult guardian.

Restrictions in Saudi Arabia

Tourists are not allowed to take photographs or videos of government buildings, palaces, and military establishments. They should not also click photos or shoot videos of local people without their prior permission. They cannot carry binoculars with them and all electronic devices are thoroughly checked at the airports of Saudi Arabia. Tourists are also prohibited to carry alcoholic beverages and food items made of pork.

Religious Respect in Saudi Arabia

Since Sunni Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia, the practice of other religions in public is prohibited here. However, tourists from other religious backgrounds can practice their respective religions in private, without inspiring any local person to follow those religions. Overall, this country is not known to provide much religious freedom to foreign tourists.

What to wear in Saudi Arabia

Though the traditional dress code for local Arabians is quite strict, foreigners are allowed more liberty in the matter of their dresses. Men can wear suits with shirts and ties on formal occasions and they may choose casual shirts, pants, and ties for informal parties. Women are allowed to wear western clothes, which do not expose much body skin. They may need to wear an abaya only for visiting religious places.

Be respectful of the local culture

No foreigner is expected to violate the basic etiquette followed in Saudi Arabia. They can shake hands with local people but this kind of greeting is not allowed among people of opposite sexes. Tourists should not stare at local women and the public display of affection, like kissing at a public place, is prohibited. They should not comment against the royal family of Saudi Arabia or the Islam religion.

Playing music in public is prohibited

According to some orthodox Muslims, music is considered to be a sinful act. Hence, it is prohibited to play music in public in Saudi Arabia. People can be fined for playing loud music in public, mainly in a mosque during or even after prayer services.

Misconceptions about Saudi Arabia – Things you can actually do

Tourists are allowed to drive on the cornice roads of Jeddah, to enjoy the natural and architectural beauty of this city but women are not allowed to drive here. There is no taboo about shopping and tourists can enjoy shopping in several traditional souks and modern shopping malls. Only Muslim tourists are allowed to visit Mecca and Medina.

Food in Saudi Arabia

Tourists do not want to miss some popular non-vegetarian cuisines in Saudi Arabia, like Harees, Haneed, and Mandi. Since the date is the most widely available fruit in this desert region, people love to taste Hininy and Dates Mohalla. Kleicha is a popular cookie in this country while Gullac and Basbousa are some delicious desserts served in Saudi restaurants and hotels. Different types of rice-based dishes and breads are also available here.

Where to stay in Saudi Arabia

There are many hotels of all price ranges in Saudi Arabia. Now booking for hotels has become easier through online mode. Apart from luxury hotels and resorts, people may also opt to book staycations in Saudi Arabia as numbers of cheaper family hotels are available here.

Tourists should be aware of the guidelines before visiting Saudi Arabia, to make their tours more enjoyable.

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