Saudi Arabia

Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens Reconsider Travel to Saudi Arabia due to the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian facilities. Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp and or visa that will be required. A visa is required. US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country.

US Embassy/Consulate

[966] (11) 488-3800; US Embassy in Riyadh, PO Box 94309, Riyadh 11693, Saudi Arabia; RiyadhACS@state.gov; https://sa.usembassy.gov/

Telephone Code

966

Local Emergency Phone

Ambulance: 997; Fire: 998; Police: 999

Vaccinations

An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Vaccinations required for certain visa classes. See WHO recommendations.

http://www.who.int/

Climate

Harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes

Currency (Code)

Saudi riyals (SAR)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

220 V / 60 Hz / plug types(s): G

Plug Type G

Major Languages

Arabic

Major Religions

Muslim (85-90% Sunni and 10-15% Shia), other (includes Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh); note: most forms of public religious expression inconsistent with the government-sanctioned interpretation of Sunni Islam are restricted

Time Difference

UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Yes, but some opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit

Suggested

Road Driving Side

Right

Tourist Destinations

National Museum of Saudi Arabia; Jamaraat Bridge; Mada’in Salih; King's Fountain; Dumat al-Jandal; Al-Turaif District

Major Sports

Soccer, camel racing, wrestling

Cultural Practices

Do not point at people, better to keep hands flattened and gesture instead.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping 10-15% is expected for good service. Tip a porter/bellhop $1-2 (USD) per bag and a housekeeper $2 (USD) per day.

Souvenirs

Oud perfume, dried dates, olive oil, woven wool prayer rugs, oil lamps or incense burners, frankincense and myrrh incense

Traditional Cuisine

Kabsa — water used to cook meat or fish is re-used to cook rice to impart flavor; the dish can be made with chicken, lamb, camel meat, fish, or shrimp; the meat or fish is usually placed on top of the rice and served on a large platter


Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444


Page last updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2022