Tourist visas are recently getting introduced in Saudi Arabia for the first time since the country is gradually opening opportunities for tourists. However, before you book Saudi airlines ticket, make sure to learn about some of the vital norms and regulations that the locals follow here. To respect those customs, the tourists must abide by them.
Safety of the tourists
Most people think that Saudi Arabia is not a safe place for tourists; however, it is definitely not true. Saudi Arabia is safe for tourists. When traveling to other countries, it is vital to be aware of the local rules as well as customs.
Therefore, when traveling to Saudi, beware of your surroundings. Also, do not forget to consult various travel advisories as it helps in finding out the customs as well as the rules and the regulations, which the country follows. It will help you to enjoy the best holidays in Saudi.
Follow the local culture
The local culture and customs of Saudi Arabia are completely different from other countries. When it comes to dresses and outfits, it is different from how you dress up at home.
Women always have to cover themselves in ‘abayas’. Alternatively, they have to wear modest outfits without showing too much skin. However, they do not have to wear hijab to protect their hair depending on the area they are traveling.
Therefore, if you are traveling to Saudi Arabia, make sure that you are wearing modest outfits that are not too revealing. Also, it is best if you keep your hair covered.
Keep in mind about the holy month of Ramadan
Ramadan is one of the most important festivals for Muslims. Therefore, before you go for hotel booking, make sure that you are not traveling between May-June. Being one of the biggest festivals of Islamic culture, they fast throughout the month.
Make sure to check the dates if it coincides with Ramadan month since you will not be able to smoke or drink inside the hotels and even in public spaces. Moreover, the restaurants, hotels, and shops remain closed throughout the month.
Therefore, it is better to be on the safe side and if you don’t want to ruin your holiday, avoid traveling in May or June.
Maintain rules in public spaces
Public spaces are quite respectful areas throughout the country. Therefore, if you do not want to get caught, then it is always a good idea to refrain from practicing any poor habits. For example, every public space has separate entrances as well as seating areas for women and men.
Never damage any public property or violate the dress codes for men and women. Although females do not have to wear an abaya but do not wear any tight fitted or revealing clothes. Saudi Arabia is always strict regarding clothing and maintaining religious etiquette everywhere.
Abide by the social customs
Although the rules and the regulations for the locals as well as the tourists are stringent, you will notice the locals here are no doubt generous, hospitable, and helpful. If you are curious about them, they will eagerly show interest in you.
They will even invite you to either share a meal or have a cup of Arabic coffee. They are quite friendly to strangers and if you refuse such an offering, then it is considered rude.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to accept their invitation for food or beverages. Also, do not forget to remove your shoes while entering any Saudi house unless the hosts tell you not to remove them.
Unmarried couples cannot travel to Saudi
Saudi Arabia has some unique rules, especially for travelers. For example, only married couples are allowed to enter the country. For that, when applying for the visa, you have to provide your marriage application.
Only then, you will get permission to travel. In case you apply for a visa for Saudi without being married, this is frowned upon and will result in the rejection of your visa approval. Hence, it is better not to travel alone or with your friends to Saudi Arabia.
Expect to get a different nightlife
According to Saudi law, you cannot drink or smoke, visit nightclubs, theatres, etc. Due to this reason, the nightlife here is definitely not something that you will love. Only small dinner parties and other events are hosted in the country that too not for late night. Therefore, if you are planning for a holiday in Saudi Arabia, then this is something that you should be aware of at all times.
Photography is not allowed everywhere
If you are someone who takes interest in photography, then you might not want to travel to Saudi. The country does not encourage photography and if you are caught in this action, you might encounter problems.
As a result, the government here is quite cautious about the tourists. Photography is often mistaken as terrorist plotting. It is no doubt true, especially for the government buildings and other crowded areas like mosques and markets.
Even taking pictures of the locals, especially women is frowned upon by the government and locals.
Religious items from other countries are prohibited
If you belong to other religions, then it is better if you leave any religious paraphernalia at your house. The reason behind this the law prohibits any other religion’s public observance apart from Islam.
However, if you do not practice Islam or believe in it, then make sure to worship in private. In this way, you will be able to travel throughout the country safely without any hassle
Music is prohibited in public places
Playing music is considered a public disturbance. If you are caught playing music in public, you might put yourself in trouble, especially if you play any western song like rap or trance. Even though you can listen to songs privately, it is best to play the song at a low volume so that it does not cause any harm to neighbors.
Although Saudi Arabia is a beautiful country to travel to, there are some norms for the tourists. These are some of the essential things to know if you are planning to travel to Saudi Arabia.