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Saudi Arabia

Country Facts

Discover the essence of Saudi, where you’ll find a mixture of global diversity that has emerged from this cradle of many human civilizations. Explore the rock inscriptions and archaeological cities dating back to more than 10,000 years. Saudi Arabia is the proud home of several heritage sites registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Each season of the year offers a distinct Saudi experience. Whether you climb to the top of the highest mountain, 3000 meters above sea level, dive into the magical wonders of the corals and marine life of the Red Sea or cross the largest palm oasis in the world growing more than 2.5 million palm trees, all these exciting experiences, and more, await you in a country ranked third in the world in terms of safety. Get ready to be part of the largest international events inside the most prominent cities of Saudi. Set out to discover the unique charm of Saudi generosity and heartfelt hospitality. Feast on the distinctively delicious traditional food. See the most mesmerizing iconic architectural masterpieces. And discover the enchanting world of oriental scents.

  • Capital: Riyadh
  • Official Language: Arabic. However, English is the secondary language, and all road signs are bilingual and are written in Arabic and English.
  • Government: Unitary Islamic absolute monarchy
  • Currency: Saudi Riyal (SAR)
  • Time Zone: GMT +3 hours
  • Telephone Calling Code: +966

When To Go

Best time to visit: October to March when the weather is mild, and the temperature remains average. Summer time to be avoided to visit Saudi Arabia.

What To Do

Traditional Saudi cuisine includes delectable dishes prepared with meat, rice, lamb, vegetables and dates. Meat and rice is a common favourite of locals and hence most dishes include these meat and rice which are favourites. If you love biryani, Saudi surely has better options for you.

Some of the famous dishes of Saudi, that are a must-try for every traveller:

  • Kabsa: National Dish made up of rice and meat.
  • Matazeez: It is a traditional dish where flat dumplings are cooked and served in rich stew with meat, vegetables and spices.
  • Madfoon: It includes extensive cooking techniques that may vary from place to place, where a combination of meat, rice and spices are cooked underground.
  • Mamool: One of the oldest recipes in the world, this ancient date filled cookies are winning hearts. They taste super fresh and they quite literally, first crumble and then melt in your mouth!
  • Mutabbaq: The ultimate Saudi street food - a fried and stuffed pancake with a variety of filling options for you to pick from - meats, eggs, garlic, ghee, onion, and peppers. Grab one while scouting through the souks!

Taking home souvenirs is among the best parts of the trip. Buy items from heritage souks, luxury malls and offbeat kiosks. Buying dates is a top priority, Oud Perfume, camel milk soap, gold - especially traditional Arabian jewellery, Dallah – the Arabian coffee pot and spices are other things to buy. Mall of Arabia is a must visit in Jeddah.



Travel Tips



By Air

You can fly to Saudi directly from India by Saudi Arabia Airlines, Flynas, IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet, Air India Express and Vistara.


Today, the Kingdom has a modern transportation network of roads, railroads, air, marine and public transport. Road network of Saudi Arabia is efficient and driving on the roads is a pleasure. Within cities, taxis are a comfortable way to get around. Haggling with taxi drivers is common. Self-drive is also an option.

Dress Code:

DO… Dress modestly. When going out in public, men should wear long pants or trousers, while women should wear clothes that are knee-length or longer. Remove your shoes when entering a mosque or a Saudi’s house.

DON’T… Wear tight-fitting clothes or wear clothes that reveal too much skin.

Eating & Drinking:

DO… Wash your hands before and after meals. Eat with your right hand (not your left) when eating as a guest in a Saudi’s house. Try to eat a bit of every dish that is served.

DON’T… Bring alcohol or pork when traveling to Saudi Arabia.

DON’T consume alcohol or pork, especially when you’re out in public.

DON’T eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public during the Holy Month of Ramadan, out of respect for Muslims who fast from dawn to dusk during this period.

Social Etiquette:

DO… Learn some Arabic greetings and phrases. Although English is widely used, Arabic is the official language of the Kingdom. Bring a small gift as a token of thanks when invited to a Saudi’s house. You could bring dates, cakes, sweets, or flowers for the hostess. Be respectful of elders by standing up and greeting them when they enter a room. Engage in small talk and conversation when visiting a Saudi’s house.

DON’T… Point with your finger; use your entire hand to gesture instead. DON’T shake hands upon greeting unless the other person offers his or her hand first. This is particularly important when meeting persons of the opposite gender.

DON’T engage in public displays of affection (PDA), even if the other person is your spouse! Saudi Arabia is very conservative when it comes to male-female relationships. The occasional holding of hands is okay — as long as it’s between married couples!

Additional Reminders:

DO… Take note of the local business hours and schedule. Friday is a holy day for Muslims, so offices are closed on this day. Be careful of what you post on social media. Offensive language, slander, and negative talk could get you into serious legal trouble.

DON’T… Take pictures of strangers, especially women. To be sure, ask for permission before taking any photographs!

DON’T criticize the Saudi flag, the King, or Islam religion. Such offenses will not be taken lightly!

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