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Traveling To Saudi Arabia For The First Time

Thinking of visiting Saudi Arabia? Even though there isn't much information online about traveling Saudi Arabia, visiting the country safely is possible and on this guide, with share our top travel tips and hacks to visit Saudi Arabia as a tourist.


The Middle East is one of the few places in the world where people feel intimidated to go; they feel the urge to know about the place more before traveling. If you do not know the right customs at a wrong place, one can get into trouble. When traveling to Saudi Arabia, culture and religion are referred to as kings.

Traveling in Saudi Arabia

About Saudi Arabia:

In the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia has the largest kingdom. It is spread over an area of a part of United States, say east of Mississippi River. It has diverse geography with forests, grasslands, deserts, and even mountains. Population in Saudi Arabia is of 27 million including 8.4 million foreign residents. The climate is also very different throughout Saudi Arabia; the deserts experience immense heat of almost 110 degrees Fahrenheit and the north and central parts experience temperature below freezing point. The country has all the Islamic traditions in place to maintain peace, justice, equality, and respect for individuals.


How to Travel to Saudi Arabia?

In Saudi Arabia, strict rules are being followed when it comes to crossing the borders. One of the easiest ways to get to Saudi Arabia is by air; though there are certain countries for which Saudi has closed its borders. Iraq and Oman are one of them; many other neighboring countries can come in by road if they have legal documents. The major airports are located in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, and Madinah; Saudia, Gulf Air, Emirates are some of the eminent Saudi Airlines. It shares a border with Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, Yemen, and Oman. Buses connect Dubai to Mecca and Jeddah.

Some rules you need to follow when traveling to Saudi Arabia:

  • Dressing is a really important thing for both men and women. Conservative dresses are accepted that will cover your arms, legs and chest area.
  • It is important to have a maharam always by any women’s side. Maharam is considered to be the husband of the women.
  • No Islamic Religious items, pork, alcohols are banned in Saudi. If they find you with any of these possessions then you will be declared as haram and can have imprisonment.
  • Photography of historical structures, mosques is not allowed when traveling Saudi Arabia. There is also no nightlife either; and importantly before flying to Saudi, get hold of all legal documents.

Lifestyle and Culture of Saudi Arabia:

It has conservative and modest rules of society. It has great difference in culture and lifestyle than the rest part of the world. The country is still run by the religious law Sharia. People are still judged on the basis of dressing; other than formal or legal conversation men and women cannot talk in public places. Though right now they are moving forward and not seeing it as a taboo. The common entertainment ventures are concerts and cinemas. Arabic poetry literature has a rich influence on culture and it is appreciated by many people.


Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia:

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a lot of riches and the capital city of Jeddah is one of the most commercial places to be in when traveling Saudi Arabia. It is the busiest place in Saudi and this proximity comes from Mecca and Medina. It is regarded as the bride of the red sea. On the other hand, Riyadh is a business destination. Desert cities include Medina which is second to Mecca in terms of the Islamic religion.


Misconceptions about traveling to Saudi Arabia – Things you can actually do:

After the attacks of 9/11, there has been a misconception in the western world that traveling to Saudi Arabia is not safe. The truth is that it is safe from many other countries. One-third of the population is earning high salaries and has first-class jobs. It is true that the women have to cover themselves totally but it is also true that their appearance does not prevent them from doing daily activities. They are lawyers, teachers, engineers and even member of the parliament. There won’t be any sort of misconduct while tourists are traveling.

What to eat in Saudi Arabia

Dishes that will blow your taste buds:

  • If you are a street food lover, then shawarma is the first thing that one should try in Saudi Arabia. It has grilled shredded chicken in it.
  • Falafels are another specialty of Saudi; they are basically the deep-fried balls of chickpeas or fava beans.
  • For rice lovers, Kabsa is truly an enticing dish and other than that, Saudi has Hummus, Al Harees and etc.

Shopping in Saudi Arabia

Shopping in Saudi Arabia:

One can name of any brand and they will find it here. The big cities Riyadh and Jeddah have the most deluxe supermarkets with great imported items in it. The prices of the products sold there are also very reasonable. In Saudi Arabia, most items are tax-free and that is what attracts tourists.



There is not much to say about the nightlife in Saudi Arabia; there are no nightclubs and mostly its petroleum and oil reserves attract the businessmen from all over the world.  One can go for shopping and dining on the gulf side of Saudi with his or her family.


Where to Stay in Saudi Arabia?

In Saudi Arabia, there is a good amount of فنادق located in the country. Reservations are also easy to find, though not during the pilgrimage time. For deluxe and first-class category hotels, the service charge is fixed at 15%.  They have seven grades of hotel services; deluxe, first-class A and B, Second-class A and B and Third class A and B.