SAUDI ARABIA visa service & travel information








Citizens of all countries require a visa to visit Saudi Arabia except the citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council members of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.

All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months.

Visitors holding passports containing any Israeli visa or stamp could be refused entry; Israeli passport holders are refused admission and transit.


Required by all except those as noted above and those continuing their journey to another country by the same or first connecting aircraft within 18 hours, and holding a confirmed ticket. 

Only one landing is permitted in Saudi Arabia. In order to avoid any possible inconvenience it is advisable to obtain a transit visa in advance.

Passengers who have a connection time between 6 & 18 hours may be allowed to leave the airport for hotel accommodation or shopping. If passengers are granted permission to leave the airport, immigration will retain their passports and issue a transit permit which must be submitted to immigration 3 hours prior to departure. One coloured passport photograph is required.


Compulsory vaccinations: Yellow fever certificate if arriving from infected areas.

Recommended immunisations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Malaria, Meningitis, Polio, TB, Tetanus & Typhoid.

Risks: Malaria exists all year in most of the Southern Region (except in the high altitude areas of Asir Province) and in certain rural areas of the Western Region. There is no risk in Mecca or Medina. Rabies.


Dry and arid throughout the year with unreliable rainfall. What little rain there is falls between Nov-Dec & Apr-May. Temperatures from May-Sep are extremely high. Temperatures in winter are warm but inland and in higher areas these can fall low enough for frost and snow to occur. Winter nights in the desert can be cold.


Location of Saudi Arabia: Middle East
Local Time in Saudi Arabia: GMT+3
Capital City of Saudi Arabia: Riyadh
Population of Saudi Arabia: 26 million
Language(s) spoken in Saudi Arabia: Arabic (all correspondence with Government Departments must be in Arabic), English
Dialling Code for Saudi Arabia: 966
Emergency numbers in Saudi Arabia: Police: 999
Driving in Saudi Arabia: Driving is on the right. National licence accompanied by officially sanctioned Arabic translation required. International Driving Permit with translation recommended. Women are not allowed to drive
Electricity in Saudi Arabia: 125/215V AC 50/60Hz
Currency of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Riyal (SAR 1 = 100 Halalas)
Notes: SAR: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500
Coins: Halalas: 5, 10, 25, 50. Qurush: 1, 2, 5, 10
Credit Cards/Travellers Cheques: Credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted
Opening Hours in Saudi Arabia:
Bank: 0830-1200 & 1700-1900 Sat-Wed, 0830-1200 Thur
Office: 0900-1300 & 1630-2000 Sat-Thur (during Ramadan 2000-0100), 0730-1430 Sat-Wed (Government offices)
Shops: 0900-1300 & 1630-2000 Sat-Thur (during Ramadan 2000-0100)
Hints in Saudi Arabia: Personal introductions are a great advantage. If the visiting executive is a woman this must be clearly stated in initial correspondence. Women should dress conservatively. A headscarf is essential. Business is usually conducted in Arabic. Many senior business executives speak English. Business cards to have Arabic translation on reverse side. Islamic conventions apply. At meetings it is polite to drink coffee or tea, when offered. It is the convention to use the right and not the left hand when shaking hands and passing or receiving anything. Almost everything stops five times a day, for prayers. When sitting cross-legged on sofas or cushions, soles of the feet must not be shown. Visits during Ramadan should be avoided. Smoking is generally accepted but restrictions may apply in public buildings and especially during Ramadan. Alcohol is strictly forbidden by law. On social occasions be punctual and dress as for business meetings unless otherwise indicated. There are many restrictions on photography
Tipping in Saudi Arabia: Around 10% in restaurants & for taxis
Import Allowances in Saudi Arabia: For persons of 17 years of age or older:
600 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500gr of tobacco
A reasonable quantity of perfume
Prohibited/Restricted in Saudi Arabia: Alcoholic beverages (also applies to transit passengers), pig meat and by-products, contraceptives, firearms or other lethal weapons, cultured or natural pearls, drugs of a narcotic nature and diet pills except medicines for personal use and provided holding prescription, horses (unless special permission granted), all types of live birds

Airports in Saudi Arabia:

Dammam King Fahd International (DMM)
Dhahran (DHA)
Jeddah King Abdulaziz International (JED)
Riyadh King Khaled International (RUH)

Travcour (UK) Ltd, Collingham House, 6-12 Gladstone Road, Wimbledon, SW19 1QT - Tel: 020 8543 1846 - Email:
While every effort is made to provide accurate information within our website, information and requirements for visas, passports and prices are constantly changing and there may be a delay before we are advised of such changes by the Embassy/Consulate. We are therefore unable to guarantee complete accuracy at all times. Information, processing times and charges supplied are solely for guidance purposes only and cannot be guaranteed. All flags are supplied by 3dflagsplus
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We are a visa & passport courier agency not an embassy. Should you wish to speak to or visit an embassy in person, please visit the respective website for contact information.
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