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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



Hotel reservation websites
Saudi hotels directory

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Eating Out

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.

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.

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Getting Around

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Urban transport services
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

Train reservation services
North-South Railway in Saudi Arabia

Major airlines

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

Car rental agencies
Real-time traffic conditions
The Weather Channel

Rules of the Road

National Roads Organizations
Ministry of Transport

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Time and Time Difference

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

Map of the Time Zone

Fuseau(x) horaire

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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.

Hotel reservation websites
Meteorological and Environmental Protection Administration (MEPA)

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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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

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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


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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.

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Emergency Numbers

Police 999
Fire and Ambulance 997
Fire 998
Road Accidents 993

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Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From Saudi Arabia, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in Saudi Arabia, Dial +966
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.

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Latest Update: November 2023