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Saudi Arabia

Is Saudi Arabia Safe to Travel To In 2024

Image: City skyline of Riyadh city at daytime, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia doesn't exactly have the best reputation when it comes to safety, at least not with the country's portrayal in international media.

But not everything you see and hear in media is valid. While some information may be outdated, still showing a Saudi Arabia of over a decade ago, other information may be completely untrue.

The short answer is that Saudi Arabia is generally safe to travel to. All you need to do is equip yourself with relevant and current information about the country and prepare yourself accordingly, and you are in for a memorable adventure.

Existing Threats in Saudi Arabia for Travellers

As mentioned above, Saudi Arabia is considered generally safe, with moderate threats. It's no secret that the country has previously experienced drone and missile attacks from Yemen, with whom now maintains a peace agreement, enhancing safety and security.

Otherwise, both petty and violent crimes are low. The country even went ahead to introduce tourist visas back in 2019, welcoming visitors from all over the world to explore its rich heritage, stunning landscapes, and modern cities like Riyadh and Jeddah.

While the country is currently considered politically stable, note that the Middle East can be volatile and ensure to still stay updated on regional politics. Always check your government's travel advisories before travelling and stay away from any areas recommended against travel.

Cultural Considerations

One crucial aspect when travelling to Saudi Arabia is understanding and respecting the local culture and laws. The country runs on conservative values and Islamic law, so things may be a bit different from what you might be used to or expect.

For example, don’t expect to sip on a beer after a long day of sightseeing, as alcohol is prohibited throughout the country. Dress codes are pretty strict too, especially for women.

You will need to wear clothes that are considered modest - cover up your shoulders and knees. Unlike other countries, public displays of affection aren't so normal and you may need to avoid it too. This includes kissing, or even hugging.

It all just comes down to showing respect for the local way of life. Stick to these norms, and you will be on the safer side, making your trip smooth and enjoyable.

Best Places to travel to in Saudi Arabia

Image: People worshipping at the holy mosque, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

There are plenty of religious and historical sites to visit. These places offer outstanding and breathtaking views, each with thought-provoking stories behind them.

Riyadh - The capital city is a must-visit for its blend of modernity and tradition. Don't miss the towering Kingdom Centre, the historical Al Masmak Fortress, and the bustling King Fahd Road.

Jeddah - Also known as the gateway to Mecca, Jeddah is famous for its Red Sea waterfront, the historic Al-Balad neighbourhood, and the modern Jeddah Corniche.

Al-Ula - This ancient city is home to Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. It features well-preserved Nabatean tombs similar to those in Petra, Jordan.

Mecca - Being the holiest city in Islam, Mecca is primarily visited by Muslims performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages. You might also want to visit the Grand Mosque and the Kaab, which are at the heart of the city.

Medina - Medina is considered the second holiest city in Islam. Here, you will find the Prophet’s Mosque, which houses the tomb of Muhammad. Like Mecca, Medina holds significant religious importance and is a major pilgrimage destination.

Abha - Located in the Asir Province, Abha is known for its cool climate, mountainous terrain, and beautiful scenery. While at it, also visit Asir National Park and Al-Soudah Park for great outdoor activities.

Dammam - As the capital of the Eastern Province, Dammam features beautiful coastal attractions, including Half Moon Bay, and is also known for its vibrant shopping and dining options.

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