If this is your first trip to Saudi Arabia, you have some good reasons to be excited about. Saudi Arabia offers a unique experience to every traveler. You can explore the streets of a buzzing cosmopolitan center or tack those rich historical roots that go back thousands of years. Look for cheap flights to Saudi Arabia cities and famous locations and embark on a journey you’ve never imagined.
Saudi Arabia is now issuing electronic visas for many more countries, including the United States, and has eased some of its conservative restrictions. Browse Flynas flights with Almosafer to get some amazing deals.
As a first-timer in Saudi Arabia, given below are some essential tips to keep in mind.
Saudi Arabia is perfectly safe for tourists, and just like any other country in the world, you should follow the local rule and be respectful of the customs here.
- Avoid summers to explore Saudi Arabia because of the soaring temperatures. Winter is the best time to travel to Saudi.
- You can apply for the Saudi e-visa and can travel to Saudi Arabia for 90 days. Even single women who are above 25 years old or more can apply for the visa.
- Saudi Rial is the official currency, and one can easily exchange British Pounds and United States dollars, and even Indian and Pakistani currencies in Saudi Arabia. ATMs are available everywhere, and credit cards are commonly accepted.
- As the internet is censored in Saudi Arabia, you can expect some sites to be blocked and inaccessible for regular users. You will need a Virtual Private Network to access blocked sites.
- Men and women are allowed to go out together, in public, only if they are family. Foreign women can travel across the country independently. However, most public spaces are segregated, and one may find separate entrances for men and women.
- Keep in mind that the stores and restaurants will get closed five times a day during prayer times, so make your plans accordingly.
- Familiarizing yourself with local rituals like greetings and “Marhaban!” is a common way of greeting, and handshakes are welcome.
- Expect lots of ethnicities among Saudi citizens. You will come across Yemeni-like people, to East-African-looking people, Bedouin in the multi-ethnic Arab country.
- Follow the dress codes that can be intimidating for visitors from those countries with a much broader outlook towards fashion. As tourists, one is required to dress respectfully, especially women, and avoid baring too much skin. The shoulders, arms, and legs should be covered at religious sites.
- Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, but there are three variants of Arabic, Najdi Arabic, Gulf Arabic, and Hejazi Arabic. It is useful if one picks up some basic Arabic words and phrases.
- Saudi cuisine is a result of many different influences and crossroads of cultures. Fuul, falafel, and shawarma are some of the most common dishes here. Other traditional Saudi dishes to enjoy are Kabsa, Jareesh, Dates, Tharid, Mamuul, and of course the Arabic coffee.
- Tobacco, drugs, and alcohol are strictly forbidden, but one can smoke in public only in the designated areas.