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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia

Population: 32.248.200 people
Region: Western Asia (Search on Google maps)
Capital: Riyadh
Country Code: SA

Money in Saudi Arabia

Currencie(s): Saudi riyal

  • 1 Saudi riyal = 0.23 €
  • 1 Saudi riyal = 0.27 $
  • 1 Saudi riyal = 0.2 £

Should I exchange money before I travel? Although this depends on many factors, including which currencies you want to convert and which country you are travelling from, generally speaking exchanging your money AFTER you travel will provide you with a more favourable exchange rate.

The rule is simple: the more common the currency is, the cheaper it will be. So, for example, if you are travelling from the UK to Saudi Arabia and want to buy some Saudi riyal here, you will pay less for it in Saudi Arabia, as this is the currency that you will find everywhere. At the same time your GBP will become rare and valuable, which means that you will get more money for them.

Looking for advice about exchanging Saudi riyal? Discover our tips in our article about currency exchange.

Corruption: Saudi Arabia has a corruption score of 51/100.
If your itinerary runs through Saudi Arabia, watch out for muggers and beware of corrupt police officers. According to Transparency International, Saudi Arabia scores average on the list of corrupt nations around the world.

Saudi Arabia is concidered to be a relatively dangerous country, with a Global Peace Index of 2.41 out of 4.
This report is the only one of its kind that measures how dangerous or safe a nation is based on 23 different indicators, including political terror, deaths from internal conflict, murder rate, and ease of access to small arms and light weapons.

Language in Saudi Arabia

Language(s): Arabic
You may find that there are some English speaking residents at your place of stay; especially if you are going to a highly populated tourist area. This doesn’t mean that you should speak English however; It's always appreciated when tourists know a few words or sentences in Arabic. It just shows that you’re interested in the culture, that you’re willing to put effort into it and it will guarantee you a smile from the waiter/waitress when ordering food.

Here are a few basic lines to get you started, but keep in mind: The Arabic language uses an Arabic alphabet, so all the words below are witten in the phonetic pronunciation.

  • Yes = Naʻam
  • No = Lā
  • Thank You = Shukraan lakum
  • Hello = Marhabaan
  • Do you speak English? = Hal tatakalam allughat al'iinjaliziat?
  • Please = Min Fadlik
  • Bye = Ma'a Salama
  • Excuse Me = aedhirni
  • Where is the Bathroom? = 'ayn alhamam(phonetic pronunciation)
  • What is your Name? (My Name Is) = ma asmk? (asmy hu)

TIP: You can use wordhippo.com to learn how to pronounce a sentence in Arabic. Are you Interested to learn more phrases that might help you during your travel? Learn about them in our article with the most used phrases used while travelling.

Food & Drinks in Saudi Arabia

Experiencing the local culture is a huge part of travelling and trying traditional food is largely connected with that cultural experience. Visitors to the UK always want to eat fish and chips, Vietnamese pho is the big pull for travellers in Vietnam, and here in Belgium it’s all about fries. Supporting the local community is a really important aspect of travel. So please make sure you taste at least 1 of the 2 National dishes: Kabsa & Saleeg

Drinking age: Doesn't matter, drinking is banned in Saudi Arabia

Religion in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a religious country. According to the Gallup Poll in 2009 research, 93% of the population thinks religion is important in their daily life. More info about this study can be found here. The religous adherents are Muslim 100%

From beautiful cathedrals in Italy to majestic temples in India, the world is filled with holy places that are important to the religions of the world. Maybe you are not religious yourself, or maybe you are visiting places where people celebrate different religions. Learning to look without gawking, see without ogling can be the difference between being accepted as a visitor, and being resented as an intruder. That's why we've written an article about the impact of religion on your travel plans.

This article also mentions how tattoo's, some style of clothing and other religous simbols can be extremely taboo.

Sex & Relationships in Saudi Arabia

Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is not legalized in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia scores a -12/10 on the 'Gay Travel Index'.
Please note: Certain cities, tourist areas and resorts can sometimes be LGBTQ+ friendly even when the laws in Saudi Arabia are very anti-LGBTQ+. In all cases, do your research, check official government data for up-to-date news and if you feel apprehensive consider travelling to a more LGBTQ+ friendly country.

Other practical tips for Saudi Arabia

Timezone: UTC+03:00
TIP: Think about the time difference before planning your trip. Imagine you’re finally in Saudi Arabia – but all you want to do is sleep! Travelling into a different time zone can be a real burden. The only way to truly adjust in 24 hours or less is to prepare before you go, so check out our tips that outline how to quickly adjust to a new time zone.

Driving: Right-hand traffic.

Remember: this country uses the metric system. Depending where you're from - distances, speed, and liquid quantities might be differend from the system you're used to. Find out how you should convert this unit system.

Power adapters and converters: 220 V (60 Hz), Plug G
When travelling to Saudi Arabia, electronic devices might be necessary to document the incredible sights or to stay in contact with friends and family members back home. Most electronics like Phones, laptop computers and hair tools do not come cheap, so it's incredibly important to make sure your device is compatible with this type of outlets - 220 V (60 Hz), Plug G. You can read our guide about travel adapters and converters to determine which types you need for your next trip!

Weather: Currently broken clouds, with a temperature between 30 and 30°C (86 and 86°F)

Pollution (PM2.5 fine dust particles): 87.95 µg/m3
PM2.5 Fine dust particulates can be carried deep into the lungs where they can cause inflammation and a worsening of the condition of people with heart and lung diseases. The smaller the particles the deeper they travel into the lungs, with more potential for harm. Note that the World Health Organisation's guideline value is 20 µg/m3. So be carefull when travelling to Saudi Arabia. Make sure you are prepared by reading our article about effective strategies for a healthier trip.

Fly to Saudi Arabia

Planning a trip to Saudi Arabia? We have a list of 31 airports you can fly to. You can find the closest one to your destination by clicking on a city below!

List of cities in Saudi Arabia