How Safe Is Saudi Arabia for Travel?

Saudi Arabia
Safety Index:
46

Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia : Safety by City

The biggest country in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia occupies the biggest part of the Arabian Peninsula and has coastlines on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

The holy Muslim cities Mecca and Medina are located in this very country, the cities all physically and financially able Muslims are obliged to visit at least once in their life, while the non-Muslims are forbidden from entering here.

However, even though Saudi Arabia has the second-largest reserves of petroleum in the world, and strong government controls over its major economic activities the rate of unemployment in this country is high, due to, most of all, reluctance to take on many jobs.

The unemployment situation on the side, this country is brimming with tourists, although the major part of those tourists is the religious pilgrims visiting Mecca and Medina.

And just like its neighbors, Saudi Arabia boasts wonderful architecture, breathtaking sandy beaches and a plethora of historic, religious and cultural landmarks.

Warnings & Dangers in Saudi Arabia

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : HIGH

Saudi Arabia is mainly safe but there are extremely unsafe areas, particularly near the border with Iraq and Yemen. Some of the biggest concerns for tourists in Saudi Arabia should be disrespecting their moral codes, as this is followed by severe punishments.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

Reckless drivers are a major concern in Saudi Arabia. Accidents on the road occur frequently. If you're visiting Saudi Arabia as part of a pilgrimage, be prepared for extreme traffic jams and severely overcrowded public transport. The roads outside of the main cities vary in quality from well maintained to extremely poor. Vessels operating in the Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman are at risk of a pirates' attack.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocketing is relatively common in Saudi Arabia despite the constant presence of police on the streets. Pickpockets are especially active during pilgrimages. Avoid wearing purses and keep your money in a hidden place, not easily accessible by pickpockets. Also, be wary of people trying to distract you, it might very well be a way to take your money.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

As for natural disasters, you can expect extremely high temperatures, reaching as high as 50C. This is why it is highly recommended that you always carry water with you and maintain hydrated. Sandstorms and thunderstorms are also common.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Near the aforementioned borders, muggings or kidnappings might be a concern, though generally, they aren't common in Saudi Arabia.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

Terrorists are extremely likely to try and carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia. The main threat comes from Daesh that was formerly referred to as ISIL. Remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

Except for credit card frauds, expect virtually no scams in the territory of Saudi Arabia.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

There are some risks for women traveling to Saudi Arabia, especially if they're not respecting their codes of morality, like wearing an abaya at all times. Apart from that, women should apply basic precaution measures.

So... How Safe Is Saudi Arabia Really?

Probably the main concern for travelers in Saudi Arabia is the situations they can get themselves into in cases of disrespecting Islamic codes of morality, which are definitely a lot stricter than anyone outside of UAE can imagine, and what you may see as minor or non-relevant, may get you into serious troubles.

Women, for example, whether local or foreign, need to wear an abaya, a long and loose black robe.

And even though a headscarf is usually enough for foreign women, you are advised to at least bring one with you.

Another strict law in Saudi Arabia prohibits all LGBT activities in the country.

Anything LGBT related is illegal in Saudi Arabia.

It is, in fact, one of the least homosexual friendly countries in the world.

For first offenses, you can get prison sentences of several months to life, and physical punishments like whipping/flogging, chemical castration, torture, vigilante killings, and public execution.

Second offenses invariably lead to an execution. If you’re a member LGBT community, you are advised to stay out of Saudi Arabia.

As far as crime is concerned, the biggest danger for tourists in Saudi Arabia is the Fahateen: bad drivers.

You have to be very careful when picking your drivers and always wear a seatbelt.

Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest crime rates in the world as the police are regularly present on the streets, but there’s always a small degree of petty theft like pickpocketing and purse snatching.

Useful Information

  • Visas - All nationals are required to get a visa in order to enter Saudi Arabia. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six-month from your planned date of return from Saudi Arabia. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - Saudi Riyal is the official currency of Saudi Arabia. Airports offer the best exchange rates, and ATMs are widespread throughout the country. Credit cards are accepted in most establishments.
  • Weather - Saudi Arabia has a desert climate, characterized by extremely high temperatures, exceeding 50C. The period from June to September is the hottest period of the year.
  • Airports - King Fahd International Airport is an airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. It is located about 20 km northwest of Dammam and it is the largest airport serving Saudi Arabia.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Saudi Arabia, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Saudi Arabia Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 15° C
Feb 18° C
Mar 22° C
Apr 27° C
May 33° C
Jun 35° C
Jul 36° C
Aug 36° C
Sep 33° C
Oct 28° C
Nov 22° C
Dec 16° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
202428333942434340352822
Low
°C
91115202628292926211510
High
°F
68758291102108109109104958272
Low
°F
485259687982848479705950

Where to Next?

6 Reviews on Saudi Arabia

  1. M
    Mohammad says:

    No where near accurate. Get your facts straight please.

  2. Warning: Saudi Arabia NOT safe.

    It’s actually worse than what it says in this report. Nice people aside, overall extremely backward society.

    E.g.During a conversation with his host (a Saudi businessman ) my brother in law mentioned that he likes to drink alcohol once in a while. The Wahhabi Saudi host decided he deserved to have his head chopped. Fortunately the Saudi host’s own brother talked some sense into him and rushed my brother in law out of the place. You don’t experience such things in Turkey or Iran two other very religious countries.

    1. .

      Sean Cmon dude
      This is super untrue
      Some ppl in Saudi that drink talk about drinking but dont in ksa (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and they dont get killed or hurt in anyway

  3. S
    Someone from Saudi Arabia says:

    Almost everything said here is wrong

    It is safe almost everywhere except near the yemen border

    1. Maybe for residents like you

  4. T
    Travel Enthusiasts says:

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is mostly safe, as long as you obey the Islamic moral code and stay away from the Yemen boarder its pretty safe, the kingdoms full of hospitality and its culture and traditions are amazing, its truly the heart of Arabia.

Rated 2.5 / 5 based on 6 user reviews.

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