Though the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is under some pressure from the global pandemic, it’s still a great location to visit. It’s a stunning country with rich history and culture. Fortunately, the international lockdowns have strengthened efforts toward a safe visitor experience.
Considering the heightened world tensions and restrictions on movement, a Saudi Arabia vacation may not sound like a good idea — but it still is. This is a country you have to visit at least once in your lifetime.
In this article, we’re telling you how to plan a Saudi Arabia vacation.
Allow Plenty of Time for Your Visa Application
If you are looking to plan a vacation to Saudi Arabia, it is important to allow plenty of time for your visa application. The entry process is lengthy and includes multiple steps.
The optimal time to submit the visa application is around 4-6 weeks before the intended travel dates for optimal processing. Depending on the time of year, additional processing times can be expected.
You will want to ensure that you provide all necessary documentation and that all information is accurate. Mistakes could lead to delays and extra costs.
Couples Should (Preferably) Be Married
Couples should preferably be married when planning a vacation to Saudi Arabia. Marriage is an extremely important and sensitive topic in Saudi Arabia. Any unmarried man and woman seen in public together could be seen as committing an unlawful act. The law doesnt distinguish between those with a romantic relationship and those without.
As such, it would be better to travel as a man and wife rather than as a romantic couple. Married couples may enjoy extra privileges. This includes hotel discounts and access to exclusive facilities.
It would also be wise to dress conservatively. Stick to public areas during your trip so as to avoid offending anyone or getting in trouble with the law. In this way, you can make sure that your vacation is enjoyable and memorable.
Female Travelers Must Have a Sponsor
Planning a Saudi Arabia vacation presents challenges women must consider when preparing for the trip. Because there are certain freedoms for women that are not available in other countries, female travelers need to obtain a male sponsor from the count. This should be presented prior to their arrival.
The sponsor is responsible for the traveler during the entirety of the trip and must provide necessary accommodations and aid if need be. All travelers should research the necessary sponsors and the cost associated with obtaining one before booking a trip to Saudi Arabia.
As a precaution, proper documentation should be brought and ready to provide to officials at the airport. It is important to be aware of the requirements a female traveler should have in order to have a safe and enjoyable trip to the country.
Be Respectful of Local Culture
When planning a vacation to Saudi Arabia, its important to be mindful of culture and customs and be respectful of local culture. Women are expected to dress conservatively in public, cover their hair, and avoid contact between the genders.
Men should also cover their shoulders and avoid wearing shorts. Shaking hands is not customary for Saudi Arabian people, so doing a bow or nod is an appropriate way to greet.
It is also important to be aware of the local laws and rules. This includes no public displays of affection, no eating, smoking, or drinking in public during the hours of Ramadan.
Finally, ensuring that your activities and health needs are taken care of is a priority. Plan out activities and purchase the right health and travel insurance. With the right amount of research and preparation, a respectful vacation to Saudi Arabia can be had.
Sightseeing and Foods in Saudi Arabia
Planning a vacation to Saudi Arabia offers many exciting sightseeing and food experiences. While in the country, be sure to check out the beautiful Red Sea coast, with miles of picturesque corals, bays, islands, and beaches, for the best Saudi Arabia sightseeing.
UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Madain Saleh and Al-Hijr are also must-sees. For shopping enthusiasts, the country’s souqs offer a variety of traditional and modern wares.
For those looking for a more traditional experience, the National Museum of Saudi Arabia offers a great introduction to the countrys history, people, and culture.
When it comes to Saudi Arabia food, Saudi cuisine features both local favorites, such as kabsa, and international favorites, such as hummus. There are also plenty of restaurants offering international cuisine. No matter what cuisine one is craving, Saudi Arabia is the perfect destination for a gastronomic adventure.
Photography Isnt Encouraged
Planning a vacation to Saudi Arabia requires extra attention when it comes to photography. As a general rule of thumb, photography isn’t encouraged in the country.
Some places explicitly forbid it; elsewhere, there may be people who may view it as disrespectful, especially if they are not expecting it. So before you take your camera out, plan in advance and make sure you get the OK from the local authorities.
Do research ahead of time to determine which outdoor attractions accommodate photography, what types of photos are allowed there, and what sorts of restrictions exist on taking pictures in certain places.
Be sure to follow these rules and take into consideration the cultural sensitivities of the region. Finally, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and respect, even more, when traveling or taking photos in a foreign and unfamiliar country. Check out this website to learn more about planning a vacation to Saudi Arabia.
Planning Your Saudi Arabia Vacation The Right Way
Overall, planning a Saudi Arabia vacation will be an incredible experience. Be sure to get your visa early, research all customs and laws, and use your common sense when planning.
With its stunning beauty, delicious food, and many attractions, Saudi Arabia is a wonderful destination. Take the time to explore this beautiful country, and book your trip today!
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