After all these years of living and earning tax free wages now is the time to call your family here for a vacation. Your family must feel very lucky if you are a Muslim, as they may be performing the Umrah as well. If you happen to be non-Muslim expat, well then your family will be given a lot of advice about the hazards of going to Saudi Arabia. Don’t heed those people!!! Saudi Arabia is a fantastic place to visit, enriched with history, beautiful architecture and off course the gold jewelry. But before visiting any place you need to prepare for it. You must keep in mind the following things before visiting Saudi Arabia as an expat. Your vacation will be as enjoyable as if you were visiting Bahamas!!!!!
Tips for Expat Families coming for Vacation to Saudi Arabia
- NO ALCOHOL: if you are a non-Muslim expat then strictly keep alcohol away from your luggage if you don’t want to see the evil side of Saudi hospitality. Alcohol is forbidden in according to Islamic law. Even if you are taking any medicines containing alcohol you might have to show the prescription at the airport. We have published a separate article about the punishments you might have to face if found with Alcoholic drinks in Saudi Arabia in this link “Drinking Alcohol (Liquor) in Saudi Arabia”
- DRESSING: If you are a woman expat living in a compound you can wear whatever you want. But if you are going on a vacation then you must comply with the rules of a Muslim society. That is, you must wear an abaya and may require wearing a head scarf as well. Keep an extra abaya and a headscarf in your bag for an emergency. Expats men are also not allowed to wear arms or leg baring clothes and this applies to vacationing spots as well. I said as enjoyable as Bahamas no exactly Bahamas!!!! We have already published on article about “Appropriate Dress Code in Saudi Arabia”
- PHOTOGRAPHING: vacationers keep in mind that you cannot photographs anywhere and anyone you want. Photographing government buildings, airports, Muslim women, military installations and palaces is prohibited. I would suggest you to read into this link as well "Taking Pictures as Hobby can lead you to Prison in Saudi Arabia”
- WEATHER: you do not feel the extreme weather of Saudi by living in your house, or by travelling in you air conditioned car or in office. If, you are going for a vacation then you must keep in mind the extremely dry and hot weather. Keep hydrating fluids with you on the way and refill them as much as possible. Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Keep a sunscreen with you to avoid sunburn.
- UNDERSTAND LOCAL CUSTOMS: Saudi, like any country, has different customs for different cities. If you understand, respect and behave according to those customs then you trip is going to be a successful one. You must have experienced Saudi hospitality in your place of living. If you are polite with the locals of the place you are visiting then you will experience hospitality on every step of the vacation. I would suggest you to visit this link to understand about the local customs and laws “Saudi Laws and Customs”
- PROPER DECORUM: If you are travelling with your spouse then you have to maintain the proper decorum. Do not be too touchy with your wife as it is frowned upon.
- AVOID TAP WATER: Avoid drinking tap water and swimming in fresh water pools. It might contain a parasite Bilharzias which may infect you.
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