Monday, October 24, 2022

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Flag

Why visit Saudi Arabia?
For the traveler seeking to enjoy Arabic culture, archaeological sites, desert scenery, history, horse racing, markets, religious shrines, and ruins.

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Camel chairs, carpets, coffeepots, gold, Hofuf pots, hookahs, and pearls.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Kabsa (rice dish). Mutabbaq (stuffed pancake). Saleeg (rice dish).
  • Local Drink to Try: Sobia (cold drink).

Fun Facts
  • Customs and traditions that date back to the 7th Century (601AD - 700AD).
  • Since 2018, women are empowered to have a Driver’s License and legally drive.
  • Second largest oil producer and exporter in the world.

Photo Credit: SofieLayla Thal/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (February) National Festival of Janadriyah, The Saudi Cup, (March) AlUla Hot Air Balloon Experience, Historic Jeddah Festival, Riyadh Spring Festival, Symphony Under The Stars, (April) King's Camel Race, (June) Saudi Comic Con, (July) Grand Hajj Symposium, Summer Festival, (August) Al Qassim Date Festival, Sharqiah Season Festival, Souk Okaz, (September) Hala Jeddah Festival, Riyadh International Book Fair, (October) Davos in the DesertFuture Investment Initiative Institute, Riyadh Spring Festival, (November) Red Sea International Film Festival, (December) Jeddah International Book Fair, MDL Beast, and Winter at Tantora Festival.
  • Holidays: The Feast of the End of Ramadan, The Feast of the End of Hajj, Founding Day, and Saudi National Day. 

Good to Know
  • Do not consider visiting unless you're willing to adhere to conservative Islamic attire requirements. 
  • Land border crossings with Qatar are closed.
  • Avoid Yemen area travel.
  • Dress modestly.
  • Business travelers require a sponsor.
  • Commercial or personal drone use requires approval from the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA).
  • Has no taxes.
  • Public display of non-Islamic religious items is not permitted.
  • Horse Racing Season is October - May.
  • Consumption, importation, manufacture, or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs is severe punishment.
  • Women should avoid traveling alone.
  • Tourist VISA are granted to select organized tour groups.
  • The weekend constitutes Thursday and Friday.
  • Criticism of Islam or Muslim is not permitted.
  • Friday is considered a day of prayer.
  • LGBTI relations is subject to severe punishment.
  • Tour itineraries are closely controlled.
  • Photography of government buildings, governmental facilities, military bases, police, or security personnel is not permitted. 
  • Electronic devices are subject to inspection upon entry and/or exit. 
  • Religious shrines are only open to Muslims.
  • Majority of spectator sports are only permitted to men. 
  • Wearing lightweight cotton clothing is recommended.
  • Air pollution is of concern in Al Jubail, Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower, Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Photo Credit: GLady/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport  with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $16,000USD.

Prone to humidity and sandstorms.

  • Best Time to Visit: April - May & October - November
  • Coolest Months: November - February 
  • Hottest Months: March - October
  • Peak Season: October - February

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Al - Ahsa Oasis, Al - Hijr Archaeological Site, At - Turaif District in ad - Dir'iyah, Ḥimā Cultural Area, Historic Jeddah, and Rock Art in the Hail Region.

Photo Credit: ekrem/Pixabay 

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                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.  

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