Is Riyadh Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 82 / 100 based on 10 user reviews.

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, biggest country in the Middle East, and it’s also the biggest and most urban city in this country.

And despite it has all virtues of any other similar cosmopolitan capital in the world, it is still very conservative, with strict religious views and laws.

Women are expected to be covered from head to toe whenever in public, and demeanors of its residents are under a close eye.

Most forms of entertainment are banned here, so it’s mainly considered a business destination.

There are few sights of interest, but with its brutal climate, it isn’t a destination coveted by tourists.

Though it’s so strict, and the tourists aren’t too common in Riyadh, English is spoken by most Saudis and you can find many of them dressed in westernized clothing.

Warnings & Dangers in Riyadh

Overall Risk


Riyadh is mainly safe but there are extremely unsafe areas, as in most major cities of the world. Some of the biggest concerns for tourists in Riyadh should be disrespecting their moral codes, as this is followed by severe punishments.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Reckless drivers are a major concern in Riyadh. Accidents on the road occur frequently. The roads outside of Riyadh 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


Pickpocketing is relatively common in Riyadh 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


As for natural disasters in Riyadh, 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


Muggings or kidnappings might be a concern, though generally, they aren't common in Riyadh.

Terrorism Risk


Terrorists are extremely likely to try and carry out attacks in the capital of 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


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

Women Travelers Risk


There are some risks for women traveling to Riyadh, 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 Riyadh Really?

Probably the main concern for travelers in Riyadh is the situations they can get themselves into in cases of disrespecting Islamic codes of morality, which are a lot stricter than anyone outside of the UAE can imagine.

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 Riyadh 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 Riyadh is the Fahateen: bad drivers.

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

Riyadh 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.

How Does Riyadh Compare?

CitySafety Index
Ad Dammam67
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80

Useful Information



All nationals are required to get a visa 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 which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.



Saudi Riyal is the official currency of Riyadh. Airports offer the best exchange rates, and ATMs are widespread throughout the country. Credit cards are accepted in most establishments.



Riyadh has a desert climate, characterized by extremely high temperatures, exceeding 50C. The period from June to September is the hottest period of the year.



King Khalid International Airport is an international airport serving Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. It is located 35 kilometres north of Riyadh.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Riyadh, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Riyadh 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

Saudi Arabia - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Ad Dammam67

Where to Next?

10 Reviews on Riyadh

  1. T
    Tuomas Karjalainen says:

    GBLT And other forbidden in KSA

    I have had deep discussion about those glbt issues with local people to gather consensus – those who are heterosexual and those who are bisexual and homosexual – who work for government and for private sector – with those whose are deeply religious As well.

    I have wanted to understand the culture where men are chasing men openly even though there is a theoretical risk to get death penalty as per discussed..

    the best way to find the truth is ask directly ..

    Those people who wants sex — suggest their desire of having sex openly without shame in various places .. often those also states explicitly what kind of sex –

    Saudi Arabia’s Islamic religious law forbid such kind of sex , but Saudi Arabia’s law of the land doesn’t recognize concept GBLT. That’s very good because then there is no classification of people.. Also God is all forgiving – that’s why people should make forbidden things without presence of unlinked people , because people are not forgiving . Also public display of forbidden or private things is disgusting

    Furthermore You need four witnesses against to you who has seen the details of intercourse without spying and many other condition to get punished

    based on the former statement of mutawwa homosexual are not punished – for plainly for sexual orientation — also mabahith has stated that four witnesses

    in addition to Above the original Wahhabi law explicitly forbids oppression of effeminate men .. if they behave well in public

    if such kind of GBLT people adhere The community rules and be generally spoken good character everything is ok –

    – if you have public sex — whether heterosexual or homosexual you will get that punishment from jail time to Beheading , that’s partially good – less public sex and porn.

    but there is also 33 other crimes where maximum is death penalty like apostasy , Witchery, extremism ..

    Criminal level is low — and no public drinking or worshipping for false prophets

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      I don’t really know if this is just broken English or what, but what this guy said was true. Just behave and don’t do anything inappropriate or against the law and the beliefs, and your a happy camper. Saudi Arabia has evolved to a much better form, one where it’s open minded and understanding.

      And just a side note:

      Saudi Arabians are not called Wahhabi and do not follow a Wahhabi religion, We are called Muslims and we follow Islam.

  2. A
    Abdulkareem Almomen says:

    This Article is filled with False Information, I'll tell you what Riyadh is really like.

    This article tells so many lies. Firstly, terrorist attacks here are so rare. In fact, its more likely to have a terrorist attack in America then in Saudi Arabia. I’ve lived here for 4 years and never have I ever been stolen from, so I dont know where they got that notion from. As for entertainment we don’t have much, I’m not sure though, except for in the winter because that’s when Riyadh and Jeddah season start. Last winter we had Lil Wayne, Major Lazor, 50 Cent, Chris Brown, Tyga, Future, and a bunch more. There was also an Amusement Park. We also have plazas and many restaurants. Riyadh is really safe if you stick to Tourist locations. If you roam around the city you will attract attention. But people in Riyadh are super friendly to Foriegners, but there’s that small percentage. So stick to the tourist locations as you would in any country. And if you want to visit the country, visit after 2030. By that time we will have the biggest mall in the world, possibly six flags the Amusement park , a whole new futuristic city in the North called Neom, and many other things. Soon Saudi Arabia will be like Dubia, if not, then better.

    1. M
      Mike Thompson says:

      Sounds like heaven

      Abdulkareem, can you email me at I am from California, USA want to ask you about Saudi Arabia. I met some students from Saudi Arabia and they were so proud of their Kingdom (we spoke about the Kings for hours!), loved America, spoke perfect English, were very devout Muslims, and welcomed me to visit Saudi any time. They told me about so many things I never heard of in Saudi Arabia like a bird they hunt and the oasis and even beautiful beaches. Sounds like paradise. Even for an American Catholic like me. I want to visit so bad. God bless from USA!

  3. M
    Mishari alburakan says:

    Riyadh is great this is false

    Riyadh Is a great place this article is false Riyadh has mosques and great malls the only bad part is about Yemen the most dangerous cities of all missile attacks happen but there are usually dust storms in Riyadh but no thunderstorms but there has been raining in Riyadh in 2021 a lot and the dessert is easily so cold I’ve been in Riyadh for 10 years it’s a great place to live 10/10

  4. Safe city

    Apart of what the others added and I fully agree on, abaya is not a must anymore for the tourists or for the expats. Instead of abaya, the tourists can wear conservative/modest clothing, something which is a bit more large, not so revealing. There is a guide on the internet with what is allowed or not.
    I’ve been living for 8 years in the Middle East, and half of this period I have lived in the Kingdom, in Riyadh. As a single and young woman, I can say that I never had in this 4 years any moment when I felt in danger or not so safe. Comparing to other countries where I would be afraid to return at 11 pm, from the mall, by myself with an Uber, or I would be scared while walking from the taxi to my house, around the same time, in Riyadh I don’t have this type of fears and thoughts and I feel safe.
    Regarding the entertainment, the things are progressing and more events and festivals are taking place in the country: cultural, musical, sport events, etc. in the same time, when it comes about the rich heritage of the country, there are so many beautiful places to be explored and the future will bring much more. Just have a look at AlUla and the project called “Winter at Tantora”. Such an amazing place!

  5. D

    The article is correct, but it is exaggerated in all respects. Riyadh is safe, and terrorist operations are always thwarted. Perhaps from my opinion, I give terrorist operations 0.210. And if we talked about theft, that was old. In any case, theft is almost non-existent, especially in public places. I literally did not see my life while I was there. Well, I will talk about the times of tourism, visiting, and other times from 10 to 2 months, the best times because there are the highest times for activities. The atmosphere is very wonderful and also in public places regarding the English language every year it becomes more prevalent than before almost everyone speaks English, but they do not master it, but it is very easy to find someone who is fluent in the English language because the Western media. Movies . content. education. Songs . Memes etc. are very popular here. The spread of English has become very fast. Finally, on women and non-Muslims, there are rules for dressing, the abaya, the hijab, and others. It was compulsory in the past, but during the last three years it is not necessary to just dress from the shoulder to the knee. It is sufficient for a girl or a man (maybe men can wear shorter pants, but everyone is almost the same) Religion is not important only who you are Avoid offending Islam in a very particular way, then Christianity and Judaism to a lesser extent, but even so beware, and other religions in general, so that others do not avoid you. In the end, if you come to Riyadh, avoid all religious topics very deeply and everyone will love you. As for the rest of the topics, they depend on the person’s inclinations to the other. As a reminder, if you are gay or lesbian, do not do these things publicly and you will be safe

  6. False Information in This Article

    I lived in Saudi ( Riyadh ) for almost 10 years and I have never seen anyone be mugged. This article is full of misleading information that are no where near the truth. Terrorism? Since 2014, I’ve never heard of any of them

  7. B
    Bahrain baba says:

    Working in Riyadh

    I have seen many It companies have there setup in Riyadh, can we say Riyadh better place to work in middle east. Pls It working people require your help.

  8. H
    Hamza Hundt says:


    As a German living in Saudi Arabia for more than 20 year, the theft claims are inaccurate. I always leave my valuable belongings (MacBook) unattended, and have never even bothered to fix the locks on my car. Uber works in Saudi Arabia and taxis are also very safe. The document is completely out of date and desperately requires major changes.

Riyadh Rated 4.1 / 5 based on 10 user reviews.

Share Your Experience

Facebook Pinterest Review