Saudi Travel Tips 
To enjoy a safe and beautiful trip to Saudi Arabia, we provide you with the best tips and the most important information that you may need during your stay in the Kingdom

Currency

The basic unit of currency in KSA is the Saudi Riyal (SR). It is covered by gold and can be converted into any foreign currency. One Saudi riyal is equal to 100 Halalas. The currency values are: 
  • ​Banknotes: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 Saudi Riyals 
  • Coins: One riyal, 50, 25, 10, 5 Halalas. 
  • SR 1= 3.75 US dollars 
For more information please visit the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency website: 
sama.gov.sa 
Credit cards are widely used in all the commercial centers in the Kingdom, such as: Visa, MasterCard, and American Express

Automated teller machines (ATMs) are extensively available throughout the Kingdom. 

Shopping
There are a large number of shopping centers and traditional markets in the kingdom, Riyadh and Jeddah have occupied the first and second places in terms of attractive shopping centers and malls.
 
Tipping
The process of financially 'praising' by providing service-based financial tipping, does not occupy a part of the Kingdom habits.

Moreover, some believe that the amount paid is enough, while others argue that tipping is the natural right for service provider, some others consider it conditional depending on the place, time and beneficiary person.

Language
Arabic is the formal language in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Other languages are spoken by a large number of people in the Kingdom, such as English, Urdu and Persian, especially in the western region due to the large number of arrival of foreign pilgrims from across the world.

Electrical Current
The electrical current in Saudi Arabia is 110 and 220 volt. There are different types of AC power plugs and sockets used in Saudi Arabia. We recommend using AC adaptor, and a voltage converter/regulator to protect your devices and appliances from voltage variation.

Communication
The Saudi communication network covers almost all populated areas in the Kingdom allowing you to enjoy internet, long distance calls, fax, mobile, telex and Telegraph.

High speed internet is available from mobile phone service providers.

Country code: (966)

City codes are:
  • Riyadh Province (01),
  • Makkah (02) ,
  • Eastern (03),
  • Maddinah and Tabouk (04),
  • Qassim, Hail, AlJouf, and Northern Borders (06),
  • Asir, Najran, Baha and Jazan (07)
For further information, please visit the official Information Technology Commission website at www.citc.gov.sa

There are several telecommunication companies in Saudi Arabia from which to choose. These are:
Postal Services
Saudi post (www.sp.com.sa) and other certified agents provide excellent mail and shipping services. You may send mail and purchase stamps at any post office. Letters may also be deposited into mail deposit boxes, which are conveniently located throughout the cities. Many international shipping companies provide services throughout the kingdom, and their contact numbers can be found by calling the local operator, #905.

Weights and Measures
The metric system is used for measurement in Saudi Arabia.

Calendar
Gregorian and Hijri Calendars are simultaneously and widely used in business and public. The Hijri calendar starts on the day that the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon Him) migrated from Makkah to Madinah and it is the official calendar in Saudi Arabia. The Hijri year has 354 days divided into 12 lunar months.

Time Zone
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is located within one time zone, which is + 3 GMT.

Media
There are several local Arabic newspapers in Saudi Arabia such as Al-Riyadh Newspaper and Al-Jazirah newspaper form Riyadh, Al-Nadwah Newspaper from Makkah, Al-Madina Newspaper from Al-Maddinah, Okaz Newspaper and Al-Bilad Newspaper from Jeddah, Al-Yaum Newspaper from Dammam and Al-Watan Newspaper from Abha.

Two newspapers are issued in English. They are the Arab news from Riyadh and the Saudi Gazette from Jeddah. There are several Arabic and English TV and radio channels in addition to satellite and cable networks. Many hotels provide major international news channels around the clock.

Photography in Public Areas
Photography in public areas is permitted under the Public Areas and Tourism Sites Photography System. The System allows photography everywhere except where a "Photography is Prohibited" signs is displayed.

Health Guidelines
Of late, a number of cases being infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus have been recorded in Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is seeking to contain the risk of the spread of infection through awareness programs among citizens and residents alike, as well as taking preventative measures at airports and border entry points to limit its spread. The MoH has also established specialized units under the MERS Control Center to combat the syndrome.
For more details kindly visit the Ministry of Health website: www.moh.gov.sa 
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