With tourist visas being newly oriented for the very first point of time in Saudi Arabia, the country is gradually broadening its arms to visitors. We’ve put together a list of ten points that you should bear in mind if you want to leave a lasting impression whilst visiting Saudi Arabia, either for business, exploration, or pilgrim.
1. Travel in groups
Due to the rigorous government prerequisites, if you put forward an application for a tourist visa, you will definitely require to show proof that you are touring with an organized tour party in a group of four or more. You will need this evidence whether you are flying commercially or via a private jet charter to Saudi Arabia.
2. Know why you’re going
If you’re a pilgrim moving towards the country, you’ll require a particular visa from an agency acclaimed by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, if you’re pursuing a business trip, you’ll be needed to reveal proof of appointments for business in the country.
Think very deeply about how you list your job title – photographers, journalists and writers won’t often be given access, as these are deemed doubtful by the Saudi government.
3. Allow enough time for your visa application
Issuing visas into Saudi Arabia is a bureaucratic procedure which implicates in-depth background investigation as well as checks into the reason for your visit. Because of this, sudden or last-minute visits are nearly unimaginable.
4. Couples should be legally married
If you carry an official marriage license while being a married couple, then in that case, only you’re allowed to travel in companionship with each other. However, if you’re an unmarried couple looking ahead to travel to Saudi Arabia, then this may cause the rejection of your visa application.
5. Be respectful of local culture
There’s usually a dress code in place in the cities, and by norms, women aren’t allowed to be out in public in absence of a male guardian. Public displays of affection are looked down upon. More recently, smoking is not allowed in public places, and this has been enforced more strictly, despite the fact Saudis are rather hefty smokers.
6. Female travelers must have a sponsor
Owing to particular political and cultural rules, female visitors must be met by a sponsor upon appearance in Saudi Arabia. If you disembark and no one appropriate is there to meet you, at best, uncertainties will happen before being allowed to travel ahead into the country. The worst that can happen is that you could be been refused access altogether. It is very usual for your sponsor to then clasp your passport. In the meanwhile, you will be issued an Iqama (permit of residency) for every day of travel.
7. The nightlife is different from Western culture
There’s very minimal nightlife in Saudi Arabia. Entertainment at night appears in the shape of dinner receptions and different hosted occasions. However, recently, cinemas have opened up in various parts of the kingdom.
8. Playing music in public is prohibited
This can be visualized as causing a public disruption and could land you in a problem, particularly if western daze is what you adore. Just make sure the music is not loud enough to cause a severe problem for any neighbours.
9. Photography is not something which is appreciated
If you’re the kind of person who really adores photography and owes a genuine passion to photographing all that comes the way, then you may face challenges in Saudi Arabia. The government is still very careful about tourists at an extra length. Westerners, particularly, having spotted being involved in photography, can be misunderstood as being involved in either espionage or even terrorist plotting.
1. Visit November to March
These are the best months to visit Saudi Arabia. This is because the weather is excellent and bearable. In such a season, it is high time to approach aircraft charter companies. During the summer, morning high temperatures usually touch the high level, up to 120 degrees, making it next to impossible to accomplish any activity outdoors.
The Final Word:
Whatever your purpose for travelling to Saudi Arabia, a few words in a local language (which is Arabic) can truly help get you out of the problem and show great respect – something greatly valued in Arabic culture.