Image monde - Attijari Trade

flag Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia: In the Country

In this page: Accommodation | Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications



Luxury Hotels
Saudi Arabia offers world class luxury hotels ranging from 5 stars to 7 stars.

The Saudi Network

Youth Hostels
They allow accommodation for three days but in case of availability, this can be extended to ten days. Only men can stay in a Youth hostel.

Hostelling International

Furnished Apartments
These are completely furnished apartments with all facilities, including a kitchen.

The Saudi Network

Hotel Rules
Photo ID and identification cards are a must.
For Further Information
Saudi hotels directory

Price Indications

Economy Room 25 to 47 USD
Medium Price Room 39 to 60 USD
Good Quality Room 58 to 125 USD

Source: Lonely Planet

Return to top

Eating Out

Categories of Restaurant
  • Dining Restaurants and Food Courts

Rich use of spices and special flavours, which give the typical Saudi Arabian dishes their characteristic tastes.
Food and restaurants in Saudi Arabia

  • Specialised restaurants
Restaurants serving Indian, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, French, Mexican, Japanese and Lebanese cuisines are also available. Food courts serving combo meals also exist across the country. For details, visit: Restaurants in Saudi Arabia
  • International food chains
Prominent brands like Dominos, KFC and McDonalds have their outlets in the country.
Rules For Eating Out

Shops and restaurants close five times a day for prayer. Tips are not generally offered, though the trend seems to be changing now. Restaurants have table service.

There are no bars. Alcohol is forbidden by law, and there are severe penalties for infringement; it is important to note that this applies to all nationals regardless of religion.

Eating, drinking and smoking in public during the fasting hours of Ramadan is punishable.


Price Indications

Economy Meal 10 to 21 USD
Medium Price Meal 21 to 32 USD
Good Quality Meal 32 USD and above
Food Specialties
Saudi food is often strongly flavoured and spicy. The most common meats are lamb and chicken, beef is rare and pork is forbidden under Islamic law. The main meat meal of the day is lunch. Some of the popular culinary specialties of Saudi Arabia are:
- Pita bread accompanies every dish;
- Rice, lentils, chick peas and cracked wheat are also common;
- Kultra (made of chicken or lamb) is popular for lunch;
- Kebabs served with soup and vegetables;
- Mezze.

Consumption of alcohol is prohibited.

Arabic coffee and fruit drinks are popular alternatives. Gawha, the ritual of serving coffee, is an important part of Saudi culture.

Dietary Restrictions
Alcohol, pork and some birds are prohibited by the religion. This prohibition is followed very rigorously by the Muslims.
Table Manners
- Sit cross-legged or kneel on one knee if the meal is served on floor.
- Use only right hand to eat.
- Meals are generally served in family-style.

Return to top

Getting Around

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Taxi services are available from all main airports to the traveler's destination. The fare should be negotiated in advance. Service taxis which are shared by people charge fares equivalent to buses.
Buses operated by the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) are comfortable and usually follow schedule.
Maps of Urban Networks
Road maps
Urban Transport Agencies
Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company (SAPTCO)
Find an Itinerary
Google Maps

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Riyadh Intl (RUH) 33 km / 21 miles SAR 60 / 30 min - - Available
Jeddah (JED) 17 km / 11 miles SAR 45-100 / 25-35 min SAR 50/30-40 min - Available
Dammam (DMM) 24 km / 15 miles SAR 50 SAR 10 / 45 min - Available
Taif (TIF) 28 km of Taif, 77 km of Meccakm / 18 miles of Taif, 48 miles of Mecca SAR 40-100 / 20-30 min - - -

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Taxis remain the most suitable means of transport for foreigners. They are regulated by the Government.
Rail Companies
North-South Railway in Saudi Arabia


Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
NAS Air Low cost Yes No
Saudi Arabian Airlines Major Yes Yes
Jazeera airways Low cost Yes Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


Travelling By Yourself

Cases of traffic signal disobedience and driving beyond speed limits have been reported. These are also the main reasons for the relatively high rate of traffic accidents. Renting taxis or a car is highly recommended within a city. Most road signs are in Arabic, though, many of them are in English too.
Driver's License
Foreigners can drive in Saudi Arabia with a recognised international driving permit for up to three months after entering the country. After the lapse of this period a Saudi license is required. The country allows the licenses from certain countries, which include the USA and UK, to be converted into Saudi license.
Conditions For Renting a Vehicle
An international driving license is required.
Rental Agencies
Tolls or Taxes
Road Maps
Maps of the World
Find an Itinerary
Live Search Maps
Traffic Conditions Online
The Weather Channel
Parking Facilities
Considering that the temperatures rise really high, covered parking facilities are necessary. Newly constructed apartment blocks have specified underground facilities for parking while villas have their own garages. Commercial centers have multilayered or basement parkings.

Rules of the Road

Minimum Driving Age
The minimum age for driving is 18 years. Women are not allowed to drive by law.
Side of the Road For Driving
Speed Limits
Residential streets and local roads: 30 km/hr; Towns: 50km/hr; Highways: 100km/hr.
Safety Belts
Permitted Amount of Alcohol in the Blood
Zero (Drinking of alcohol is not permitted)
National Roads Organizations
Ministry of Transport

Return to top

Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In Riyadh
Summer Time

Map of the Time Zone

Fuseau(x) horaire

Return to top


Type of Climate

Saudi Arabia has a desert climate. Topography plays an important role in making the climate of Saudi Arabia so varied. In Jeddah it is warm for most of the year. Riyadh, which is inland, is hotter in summer and colder in winter, when occasional heavy rainstorms occur.

Though average rainfall is less than 5 inches, in the Asir highlands it may exceed 10 inches. The temperature in the country varies greatly, from as low as freezing in the winter to 50 degrees Celsius in the summer.

Frequent sand-laden winds blow from the northern deserts for days at 25-30 miles per hour.

For Further Information
Meteorological and Environmental Protection Administration (MEPA)

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



Return to top

Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used

Metric system.

Unit of Measurement of Temperature
Degree Celsius (°C)

Use our service Measurement Converter.

  • Voltage
127/220 V
  • Frequency
60 HZ
Type of Electric Socket
A, B, F & G
Type of Telephone Socket
US RJ-11, British, French, Jordan/Saudi
DVD Zoning
Zone 2

Return to top


Domestic Currency
Saudi Riyal
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
Foreign currency can be changed at most commercial banks and moneychangers. Changing currency at hotel may not be advisable as the exchange rate can be very high.
Possible Means of Payment
Payment is usually in cash although credit and charge cards are also popular. ATMs are also available at Banks and Shopping malls.

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator


Return to top


Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
English is widely used, given the presence of expats in the region. Other languages spoken in the Kingdom include Indonesian, Somali, Tagalog, Urdu and Farsi.
Business Language
While Arabic is the official language of the State, English is widely used as a business language. It is not rare that business contracts are made in Arabic, but it should be no problem to have a translation in English.
Getting Some Knowledge
Visit the following sites: Speak7; Learn Arabic.
Free Translation Tools
Free Online Language Translation : Online translation tool between different languages : Free online translation tool

Return to top


Emergency Numbers

Police 999
Fire and Ambulance 997
Fire 998
Road Accidents 993

Return to top


Quality of Communications
Saudi Arabia has an efficient and reliable telecommunications system. The Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) is a leading Internet and telephone service provider.
Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From Saudi Arabia, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in Saudi Arabia, Dial +966
Number of Digits of National Telephone Numbers

8 (Area Code: 1 digit, Subscriber Number: 7 digits).
For details, visit: Instructions about numbering

Mobile Telephone Standards
National Mobile Phone Operators
Al Jawal, Mobily, Bravo, Zain.

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
National Internet Access Providers
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology provides Internet facilities in most cities.
Access in Public Places
Internet is accessible in most malls, restaurants and cafes in the major cities.
Access in Hotels
Accessible in a majority of hotels.

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.


© eexpand, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: June 2023