Laws for Tourists in Saudi Arabia
Being a country that has existed for hundreds of years, Saudi Arabia is a country that has a bunch of traditions to follow. This country is big and has a lot to offer tourists, such as cuisine, sightseeing, and adventuring around. The famous desert known as Rub Al Khali also exists in Saudi Arabia, known for tourism.
Saudi Arabia has many job opportunities available every year for foreigners. It is also one of the best tourists attraction among countries because the country has a lot to offer with its deep-rooted traditions and delicious cuisine.
Does Saudi Arabia offer an e-Visa?
Since the government of Saudi Arabia opened its e-Visa facility for tourists willing to travel there, it has become easy to visit. With the easy way to apply for a Saudi Arabia e-Visa, now just anyone can apply for it as long as they fit the requirements set by the Saudi government. The e-Visa is very convenient to obtain than applying through an embassy, it saves you time and trips to the embassy.
Saudi Arabia welcomes tourists with hospitality. Lately, Saudi Arabia has started to expand its scope of tourism. Up til now, they have added more countries to the list of eligible countries for Saudi Arabia. Now with the e-Visa system available to 50 countries, tourists can go to the country and travel easily.
Laws and Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi government is strict when it comes to laws and implementing them. If you plan on visiting the country of Saudi Arabia, you should check out what items are prohibited to import into Saudi Arabia. Drugs, liquor, guns, and even prescription medication without a doctor's note are not allowed on the plane. If any of these items are found, they will be confiscated by the airport.
Saudi Arabia is a country with strict rules and regulations. Most of them come from their primary religion, which is Islam. To abide by the rules said on their faith, the government of Saudi Arabia has implemented these rules, which are known as Sharia law. The Sharia law has been written from reading the verses of the Quran and several Islamic texts by Islamic scholars. The Sharia law applies to anyone that resides in Saudi Arabia or has come to visit Saudi Arabia.
The set of rules set by the government is easy to follow. Lately, the Saudi Arabian Prince has decided to reform a few of the laws that have existed for years in the country, to keep up with the world and modern civilization. Because some of the laws upheld by the country of Saudi Arabia are conservative for the modern world, they can be a bit hard to follow if you do not know about them.
It is best to read about the laws of Saudi Arabia before you visit the country so you can avoid packing the wrong clothes, going the wrong way, or doing the wrong thing and getting a ticket or penalized.
Things you should know before visiting Saudi Arabia.
There are a few things you can take care of to avoid getting into any sort of legal trouble during your stay in Saudi Arabia. A few of them are:
Being a country driven by the laws set by the Sharia, bringing alcohol or any substitute to the country is considered a crime.
You should not drink before your flight to Saudi Arabia.
The same rules apply to getting intoxicated in public. You should not ask for alcohol, beer, or wine, even in restaurants and hotels to avoid any problems.
The use of drugs is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia.
Being caught selling drugs can get you jail time in Saudi Arabia. Trafficking, selling, or using drugs is illegal and can get you deported or jailed in Saudi Arabia.
Taking pictures of people without their consent is considered wrong in Saudi Arabia.
Taking photographs of the military, police or royal forces, or installations are also considered wrong.
Taking pictures of these things can result in getting a prison sentence in Saudi Arabia and should be avoided.
Pork is considered 'haram' by Islam and should not be consumed by a Muslim.
Trying to import pork into the country can get you into trouble. Pork is highly prohibited.
If you try to bring pork into Saudi Arabia, it will get confiscated at the airport.
In Saudi Arabia, if you have any pornography content on your smartphone, tablet, or PC, the device will get confiscated by a government official.
If you are found by any government official making, indulging, or even illustrating pornography, you can be penalized and fined or get a prison sentence for doing that.
- Criticizing the Law
The citizens of the country of Saudi Arabia respect their king, royal family, government, and the laws implemented by the government.
If you criticize their way of doing things, you can get deported from Saudi Arabia, or get a prison sentence for doing that.
Even criticism of these subjects on social media can get you in trouble whether you are a foreigner or not.
No Public Display of Affection
The Sharia law asks you to keep your affection level to the least minimum in public.
In Saudi Arabia, it is considered to be highly inappropriate for two people to indulge in any physical contact in public.
- Ethics of Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is highly respected by all Muslims. In the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast for their religious values. The fasting period starts at sunrise and ends at sunset every day.
During this time, between sunrise and sunset, you should not eat or drink anything in public. You should avoid smoking in public as well. It is prohibited to eat or drink during these times.
You can not ask for something to eat at restaurants during these hours, but you can ask them to pack it and eat it when you reach your home or hotel room.
- Clothes Restrictions
In Saudi Arabia, you should do as Arabians do. You should wear less revealing clothes in Saudi Arabia. This rule applies to men and women. Showing skin should be kept to a minimum, especially for women.
For men, you should avoid wearing half sleeves shirts, sleeveless shirts, and shorts.
For women, you should wear an abaya or a loosely fitted coat. It is best if you can wear a headscarf too.
You can not celebrate valentine's day in public. You should avoid wearing red on this day.
If you have come to Saudi Arabia with the intention of Hajj or Umrah, you should bring an ihram.
Islamic law is very against same-gender marriage. You can travel to Saudi Arabia and avoid any trouble as long as you can avoid public displays of affection to your partner or anyone in general.
If you are caught having a romance or indulging in something similar to this, you can get jail time, flogging, or worse, the death penalty.
In Saudi Arabia, it is common for women to have slightly more restrictions than men. Many places will have two separate entrances or venues for both genders. Many weddings there are also held with the ladies on one side and the gents on the other to avoid any unnecessary mingling.
If you are a woman coming to Saudi Arabia with the intention of Hajj or Umrah, you need to have a mahram accompanying you to perform the pilgrimage.
Keep your ID card and passport with you at all times during your visit to the country of Saudi Arabia.
The officials at any checkpoint in Saudi Arabia have the authority to ask for forms of identification, so it's best to have a printed copy of your passport or iID card on hand.
- Avoid Littering
You can get penalized if you get caught littering by anyone in Saudi Arabia. The country is quite strict on withholding this rule.
Hajj and Umrah.
- In case you are a Muslim traveler with the intent of Hajj or Umrah in Saudi Arabia, you should bring an ihram.
- In case you have an e-Visa, you can perform Umrah. You need a Hajj Visa to perform Hajj.
- In case you are under the age of 18, you need a guardian, preferably a male, because a female pilgrimage without a mahram male companion is not allowed.
- In case you plan on visiting Saudi Arabia, you should keep these points in mind when you are packing for your trip.
- The people of Saudi Arabia are very hospitable, and there is a lot to enjoy there during your visit to the country.
- As long as you can follow these rules, you will have no problem during your visit to Saudi Arabia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, as long as you have a doctor's note and it is not a harmful medication, you will be allowed to bring it with you to Saudi Arabia.
You can wear jeans if your jeans are loosely fitting, and your top/shirt is long enough to cover your hips.
However, it is best to pair jeans with an abaya or a coat to avoid unnecessary glares.
Yes, you can drive a car in Saudi Arabia even if you are a female.
In Saudi Arabia, the ban on female driving vehicles was lifted on June 24th of 2019.
Yes, you can perform Umrah on e-Visa. But you will need to bring your documents with you on your journey.
As long as your jewelry is not feminine, and you do not wear a lot of it, it is alright to wear it. Some Arabians wear stones embedded into rings for religious purposes as well.
During your stay in Saudi Arabia, as long as you can keep the public display of affection to a minimum, wear less revealing clothing, and avoid drinking, you will not have a problem during your visit.
Yes, it is safe to go to Saudi Arabia. The laws are a bit strict, but you will not be in any harm if you can avoid doing these few things.