If you are planning to on going to Saudi Arabia, there are certain things you need to know. It is a fascinating place and is a one-of-a-kind tourist destination. Some of the things you can expect to see include then Nabataean Rock City that is an ancient attraction. If you enjoy hiking, you can try mountain walking. You can also explore the deserts, while Mecca, which is a haj pilgrimage, has so many fascinating sites you can enjoy.
Find below tips to make your visit to Saudi Arabia more pleasurable.
1). Visa Requirements
You will need a Saudi Arabia visa to get into the country. If you are in transit and intend to stay for less than 18 hours, you will not need one. Saudi Arabia introduced tourist visas late last year. Initially, you could only use the business visa through a sponsor, or pilgrimage visa that is available to Muslims only.
2). Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is essential, especially for healthcare purposes.
You can find accommodation in hostels or hotels; both 5-star and mid-range, but they are a bit expensive. If you are a woman without a companion, you will need a letter from a sponsor. There is also a camping ground at the Asir National Park.
4). Food And Drinks
Some of the foods you can expect to eat include shawarma, grilled chicken, Fava bean paste, meatballs, among others. Alcohol is strictly forbidden, and you should not drink tap water because it is not safe. Make sure you hydrate properly; otherwise, you face the danger of heatstroke.
5). Health And Safety
If you are traveling to Saudi Arabia, especially as a tourist, you will require police escort for the tours. You do not have to worry about things like violent street crime because it does not exist.
Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country with rules and regulations that a non-Muslim may find a bit intimidating. It is a Muslim country that is very strict on religion. It is not uncommon to hear of public beheadings or floggings for crimes such as smuggling of drugs, murder, and infidelity, among others.
There is segregation by sex in some public spaces. Men and women are, therefore, not allowed to sit together in such places.
The populace strictly observes prayer time, and in some places, you are not even allowed to shop or are in a restaurant at this time.
Women have to cover up by wearing an abaya while in public. A woman can travel independently within the country.
Despite the negative public perception largely from media reports, Saudi Arabia is a fascinating country and a must-visit tourist destination. You only need to understand the culture and religion and adhere to them, and you will have a fantastic time.