Saudi Arabia is a safe place to travel to but recently it has experienced terror attacks from the neighboring country of Yemen. If you stick to a few rules for the country, your stay will be enjoyable.

First, be aware that it is an Islamic country. This means you are obligated to respect their tradition if you want to stay out of trouble. No alcohol or pork is allowed, and homosexuality is punishable by death.

In spite of all the rules, it is an exciting country to visit. Saudi Arabia has a vibrant coastline with the Red Sea as well as the Persian Gulf. An area of Highlands called Asir, surrounds the southern part of the country. To the north of Asir is the Hejaz region, which possesses a coastline with the Red Sea.

Further east is the Nejd region, which is the center of the country and home of the capital Riyadh. The ruins of the Nabataeans are in the northern part of Saudi Arabia. The eastern border of the country resides on the Gulf Coast. The majority of oil production bases are on the eastern border due to the proximity of the Gulf. 

The capital city, Riyadh, is one of many cities worth visiting. Also, Mecca and Medina are cities of particular significance for Muslims. Meanwhile, Jeddah and Dhahran are important metropolitan cities. For travelers interested in exploring nature visit Taif, a quiet hilly getaway.

Otherwise, the Empty Quarter is also worth a visit if you can stand the heat. The Empty Quarter is a desert in the southeastern portion of the Arabian Peninsula, and it is the largest continuous desert in the world.

Getting Around

Saudi Arabia is a vast country. The development of air travel has lowered the cost and allowed the country to meet its travel demands. You can reach most major destinations quickly by plane. If you want to have a scenic view of the countryside, buses are available.

Travel by air will get you to your destination quickly but taking the bus will be slow, which some prefer. Taxis will help you get around inside the cities. While inside the cities do not opt for trains; they are not as developed as the other means of transportation here.

Even though Arabic is the official language, educated people understand English. You can also communicate with the sellers and shopkeepers in Hindi and Urdu.

One USD is equal to 3.75 Saudi Riyals. The currency exchange is available at commercial banks and money-changers, which stay open longer. MasterCard and Visa credit cards are usually accepted. Also, ATMs are available widely and reliably. 

Saudi Arabia is an expensive destination; you will spend 150 USD a day to have average lodging as a tourist. There is no need to tip for services so that will ease the expenses slightly. If you want to take a memento home, go for some gold or perfume. Both gold and perfume are cheap in Saudi Arabia.
 
Taxis with meters are available in all major cities. Also, most major international car rental agencies have offices in Saudi Arabia, both at the airport and in town. You must be at least 25 years old to rent a car. The roads are in good condition, but driving standards are erratic, so you will have to drive with extreme caution all the time. Cars drive on the right side of the road here. 

As for electricity, Saudi Arabia uses types A, B, C and G sockets. You may need to bring a travel adapter to fit the proper socket type. Check out the above-linked page to see photos and other useful information. The standard voltage can be 110 V or 220 V.  Many of your devices may need a step-up transformer to match the electrical voltage.

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August 16, 2016 12:00 am Published by 2 Comments

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