Saudi Arabia Travel Guide:

Time Zone: + 3 hours

Flying Time: 6 hours

Capital city: Riyadh

Visas: UK visitors require an e-visa, which are easily arranged online in about 72hours

 

Currency 

In Saudi Arabia the official unit of currency is the Saudi Riyal, which is subdivided into 100 halala.  

Healthcare     

Health care in Saudi Arabia is a national health care system in which the government provides free health care services for Saudi Nationals and is generally considered to be of a very high standard.  We would nevertheless recommend that you carry a fully comprehensive travel insurance policy with repatriation cover.

Clothing  

While there is no dress code for Saudi Arabia, including for women, it's worth noting that a as with Asian countries we recommend a more conservative approach in respect of local customs and traditions.  

Any visit to the Saudi Arabia requires careful packing to ensure you are equipped with cool cottons for daywear plus a light sweater, scarves or pashminas to cope with the lower evening temperatures and liberal air-conditioning in buildings.  

A good pair of sturdy walking shoes, sunglasses, sun lotion, Chapstick and a water bottle are highly advised. If travelling in the spring, you may find a rain jacket useful and a heavy jacket/coat if heading out in winter.

Shopping

The major cities of Jeddah and Riyadh are home to some vast shopping malls, unlike its neighbours, Saudi Arabia is not known for shopping. There are however some local items you might like to consider like Meringa oil for its healing properties, frankincense, dates and of the country’s excellent coffee.

Voltage  

The electric voltage in Oman is 220V AC with a 50 hz cycle. Oman has both UK style and European 2 pin round plug sockets but it is advisable to carry a universal adaptor.

Language

Most people in larger cities speak English can manage English well, in other parts of the country it is advisable to have a local guide who can act as an interpreter.

Religious customs

Saudi Arabia follows a fairly conservative form of Islam which is strictly enforced and practiced. The public expression of other religions is forbidden by law including the wearing of religious jewellery, including the crucifix. We would request that you observe and respect local traditions, customs, laws at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend. 

Local society

Leisure tourism is a new concept for Saudi Arabia and while the country has set some very high standards, the industry is  inexperienced and we would request you exercise patience.   

There may have been some concerns in the past over single women travellers in Saudi Arabia but currently there are no restrictions placed on adult women travelling solo and no edict to wear traditional clothing or to cover the head.  Both men and women are asked to dress modestly in public, avoiding tight fitting clothing or clothes with profane language or images. Women should cover shoulders and knees in public. 

Alcohol however is still forbidden and should not be brought into the country; you should also not arrive into Saudi Arabia under the influence of alcohol. 

Please avoid public displays of affection are frowned upon and will embarrass local.

 

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