The stunning country of Saudi Arabia is filled with exciting things to do, a rich history, and a vibrant cultural experience. However, when traveling to a new country, there are certain things that you should keep in mind. No matter if you’re traveling on business or trying to find a good way treat yourself to a holiday, you’ll need to consider all of the cultural differences when visiting a new place. So before you book your alternative holiday to this incredible Middle Eastern country, there are a lot of things you need to learn first! Here are a few of the important Do’s and Don’ts of when traveling to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has efficient, as well as convenient ways to travel throughout the country. Though flights are available all year, you can’t just book one and expect to be carted around from place to place in a taxi! There are a lot of differences when traveling throughout this charming country.
Don’ts for Travel
Traveling don’ts in Saudi Arabia mean following the local guidelines. Here are some things to consider while making plans to get from place to place:
- Trains. If you are traveling by train, there are first, second, as well as VIP class tickets available. If you are a woman, be aware that there may be special designated seating areas, as well as special compartments for you on the train.
- Car. Trying to rent a car after arriving on your Air Arabia flight? Be certain to check travel restrictions for drivers. Don’t drive on the wrong side of the road, and don’t break local laws by not being prepared!
- Bike and Motorbike. If you are a woman you weren’t allowed to ride a bike in Saudi Arabia until 2013! However, now anyone can ride a bike or a motorbike. Don’t break the law by riding on roads incorrectly, or trying to navigate through busy pedestrian walk ways.
Keep in mind that no matter where you go in the world, there will be different laws and regulations regarding how you travel around.
Do’s for Travel
The primary thing you DO need to know about traveling through this remarkable country is that knowing the laws, local regulations, and cultural influences are important. If you are a woman traveling alone on a train, keep in mind you may have a specific compartment specially for women. Always drive your rental car, or bike, in accordance with local laws and safety rules. This will not only make you a great visitor to a foreign country, but it can also keep you safe!
All in all, the food in the Middle East is absolutely mouth-watering. Whether you want to try a lamb kabab, or you’re looking for a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options, Saudi Arabia has practically anything you can think of to fill your belly. However, there are certain things regarding food you should and should not do.
Don’ts for Food
Saudi Arabia is a Muslim majority country. That being said, there are a few times where simply eating food can be disrespectful. During Ramadan, a spiritual time of year where Muslims fast during daylight hours, most restaurants are actually closed! Another don’t for food in Saudi Arabia is eating pork or drinking alcohol. Yes, these options may be available in certain areas of the Middle East, but it is illegal in Saudi Arabia because of the strong religious influence in the region.
Do’s for Food
If you are traveling during the Ramadan holiday, you can still eat! It’s simply more polite and considerate to do it in a private place, or somewhere where lots of people won’t see you scarfing down food while all of the locals are observing a fast. Treat your significant other with a gift of delicious food, or take the whole family to experience a feast, just be certain not to do it during Ramadan!
Eating your fill and trying new things is also encouraged, no matter where you travel in the world! Here are some foods unique to Saudi Arabia that you should Try:
Exploring a new place doesn’t always mean traveling to a new destination! You can also explore the amazing foods and local restaurants. You can also avoid tourist traps on holiday by choosing small, off the beaten path eateries while there!
The social and cultural differences in Saudi Arabia are vast. Especially if you’re coming from a Western Culture.
Don’ts for Social Interaction
Public displays of affection are a big don’t in Saudi Arabia. Yes, this Middle Eastern powerhouse has recently made enormous strides towards letting women have more freedoms like driving a car and traveling alone. However, there are still some things that remain a bit more conservative.
DON’T dress provocatively. Saudi Arabia is a very conservative place, and wearing clothing that may be considered inappropriate will be incredibly disrespectful to locals.
Do’s for Social Interaction
Keep a respectful distance in social interactions. Maintain your personal space when it comes to being near your spouse or loved one and be respectful of other’s space!
Pack clothing that is light and airy but will also keep your body covered in a more respectful way. You may not think it’s fair, or something you would like in your life on a daily basis. However, you are experiencing a different part of the world, and different cultures from your own! Be a good guest in a foreign country, and dress reasonably conservative.
Traveling to Saudi Arabia with Confidence!
Now that you know some of the basic do’s and don’ts for a trip to Saudi Arabia, you’ll be able to start planning the trip of a lifetime. Keep to these simple to follow guidelines when traveling and you’ll get to experience all of the wonderful things this country has to offer!