Saudi Arabia Travel Facts

The Basics

Country: Saudi Arabia

Where is it?: Saudi Arabia is in the Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen.

Why do people go here?: Most people can’t get into Saudi Arabia, unless you’re a Muslim on a holy trip to Mecca. Otherwise, Saudi Arabia is one of the most closed destinations to travelers.

What are the main entry points?: Jeddah is the main entry port to Saudi Arabia.

Currency used: Saudi Riyal

Country Code for Phones: 966

Area codes for Major Cities: No area codes required.

Religion: Muslim 100%

Population: 29 million

Ethnic Breakdown: Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%

Government: Monarchy

Languages: Arabic

Travel Information

Major Cities: Riyadh, Mecca, Jiddah

Attractions: Jeddah, Mecca

Accommodation: None

Tourism Office locations and links: Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Authority

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Najran

Health Issues: Meningococcal disease, Rift Valley fever

Tips for Visiting

When to go: If you can actually get a visa for Saudi Arabia, go whenever you can.

Common Phrases: Yes: Away/Na’am, No: La, Thank You: Shukran, Hello: Ahlan, How are you: Izzayak? How much: Bi Kaam?, If God is willing, than it will happen: Inshaallah, Please: Min Fadilak, I don’t understand: Ana laa Afham
Specific Events/Holidays: Saudi Arabia’s holidays are Islamic so the dates of major holidays change from year-to-year. The two main holidays are Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

Getting Around: If you traveling around Saudi Arabia, then most likely you are in a government-sanctioned supervised event. There will be little, if any, chance to travel on your own.

Good to know: Saudi Arabia is one of the less accessible countries in the world for tourism. Most people who come to Saudi Arabia work for a foreign company, or they are part of a tour group.

Cheapest airport to fly into: The main airports to fly into Saudi Arabia are Riyadh International Airport, Jeddah International Airport and Dammam International Airport. Choose to fly to the airport that is near your trip destination to obtain a cheaper flight.

Need more information?: Check out the Saudi Arabia travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.

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