OPENING UP THE KINGDOM

Saudi Arabia stands on the cusp of a momentous time, which is leading the nation towards a future brimming with great potential. With the focus of Saudi Vision 2030 to unlock the true potential of the Kingdom’s tourism industry by promoting both inbound and outbound travel services, Saudi Arabia is positioned to be one of the world’s leading tourism destinations.

As the most significant move to open up Saudi Arabia to tourists, the Ministry of Tourism announced the availability of tourist visas and visa on arrival for 49 nationalities in September 2019. Prior to this important milestone, travelers could visit Saudi Arabia only with a religious travel visa, for business travel, or to visit family and friends. Saudi authorities also announced that nationals of any country holding a US, UK or Schengen visa in their passports will be eligible to apply for tourist visa. 

TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES GALORE

The outbound travel market from Saudi Arabia has always been lucrative, but the growth in domestic and inbound travel, fueled by the opening of tourist visas in September 2019, is the key focus of the country’s ambitious tourism agenda. Working towards the nation’s goal of achieving 100 million international and domestic overnight visits a year by 2030 and 30 million pilgrims every year by 2030, Discover Saudi serves as your gateway to unlocking the opportunities in the Kingdom.

ADVENTURE

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Saudi Arabia offers various thrilling desert experiences, with dune bashing and sandboarding amongst the adventurous things to do majestic red sand dunes. Saudi Arabia offers plenty for those who want to experience an adrenaline rush during their visit.

HISTORY & CULTURE

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Saudi Arabia’s culture is shaped by its Islamic heritage, its historical role as trade hub, and its Bedouin traditions. From immersive cultural tours explaining local sartorial customs, to cultural shopping at traditional souks (markets), traditional meals in the midst of ancient landscapes, all the way to awe-inspiring heritage and archeology sites, cultural experiences play a huge role when visiting the Kingdom.

SPORTS

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Hiking up rock formations to watch the sunset at the Edge of the World, diving amidst clear blue waters and
beautiful abundant coral reefs, a round of golf surrounded by lush greenery. Saudi Arabia offers plenty of options for sports enthusiasts.

NATURAL WONDERS

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Saudi Arabia boasts untouched natural landscapes from green highlands covered in fauna, to mountainous terrain, all the way to pristine white beaches and seemingly endless deserts. The variety of natural wonders in Saudi Arabia never seizes to amaze.

ENTERTAINMENT & SHOPPING

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The capital Riyadh has established itself as a hub for concept stores and mega shopping malls, but all major cities in the Kingdom offer retail therapy options for any kind of budget. Entertainment options are aplenty. Families with kids can find various options including aquariums, cinemas and other kid-friendly activities. The Saudi Seasons, a series of events running across the country year-round offer entertainment options galore.

DINING

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Saudi Arabia’s dining scene has become one of the most vibrant and eclectic in the region, with local and international concepts opening doors for foodies from all over the globe. From local cafes that offer qahawa (traditional Saudi coffee) and local delicacies, to fine dining at a top restaurant, Saudi Arabia has it all.

ASPIRATIONAL MEGA & GIGA PROJECTS

 SAUDI ARABIA AT A GLANCE

Situated in the heart of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is a country known for its rich culture, heritage and as the birthplace of Islam. As the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula (2.15m km²), Saudi Arabia borders the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf.

population

POPULATION

34 Million
2/3 Saudis
1/3 Expats

lang

LANGUAGE

Official: Arabic
Second: English
Regulations, road signs, store & restaurant names are all bilingual

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TIME ZONE

Arabia Standard Time
GMT/UTC+3 Hours

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VISAS

Tourist e-visas are available for 49 nationalities via visa.visitsaudi.com

CLIMATE

SPRING (March-June)

1

Good for
✓ Outdoor Pursuits
✓ Exploring Heritage Sites

SUMMER (June-Sept)

2

Good for
✓ Exploring/Diving Red Sea
✓ Hiking the Asir/Taif Mountains

AUTUMN (Sept-Dec)

4

Good for
✓ Seasonal Festivities
✓ AlUla and Jeddah’s Modern Waterfront

WINTER (Dec-March)

3

Good for
✓ Desert Safaris & Camping
✓ Exploring Cities

ETIQUETTE & RELIGION

Saudi Arabia observes Islamic guiding principles

1

Muslims pray 5 times a day. During prayers, music is turned off in all public places.

2

Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadan. It is respectful to not eat or drink in public between sunrise and sunset.

3

Muslims perform pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah. Only Muslims (with Hajj/Umrah or e-visa) are allowed to visit these two cities.

maners

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

  • Displays of public affection & profane language/gestures should be avoided.
  • No profane images or language are tolerated.
drinks

ALCOHOL OR SUBSTANCE USAGE

  • It is illegal to sell, consume and/or possess alcohol and drugs in the Kingdom.
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DRESS CODE

  • Respectful and modest attire for men and women.
  • No tight-fitted garments.
  • No exposed shoulders or knees.
Top Places to Explore in KSA
AL KHOBAR
KAEC
AL LITH
MADINAH
SAKAKA (JOUF)
MAKKAH
YANBU
JEDDAH
JIZAN
ABHA
DAMMAM
RIYADH