Advance visas are required for all foreigners wishing to enter Saudi Arabia. The only significant exception is citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations.
All business travellers require a business visa for entry into Saudi Arabia. Business visas are issued to the following individuals: business people, investors, representatives of companies, managers, sales managers, sales representatives, accountants, production managers, administrative managers, and consultants.
For any assistance needed with visa application or visa inquiries, please email email@example.com for further information.
Saudi Arabia is four hours ahead of UTC (Co-ordinated Universal Time – formerly known as GMT) and there is no daylight saving.
Riyadh has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Temperatures range from a low of around 13°C (50°F) on a winter's night, to a high of around 42°C (118°F) on a summer's day. The cooler months, November to April, are the most pleasant time to visit, when temperatures are around 24°C (75°F) during the day and 13°C (56°F) at night.
The official language of the country is Arabic, although English is the official business language. English is widely used and most road and shop signs, restaurant menus, etc. are in both languages.
Government offices: 07:30am to 04:00pm (Sunday to Thursday)
Private sector: 09:00am to 06:00pm can vary (Sunday to Thursday)
Embassies and consulates: 08:00am to 04:00pm (Sunday to Thursday)
Banks: 09:00am to 04:00pm (Sunday to Thursday)
Shopping Malls: 10:00am to 12:00pm
Petrol stations: 24 hours (Daily)
The monetary unit is the "Riyal".
The currency is also referred to as SAR (Saudi Arabian Riyal).
The Riyal has been tied to the US dollar at a mid-rate of US $1 – SAR 3.75
Banking hours: Sunday to Thursday 08:00 am - 04:00 pm
Most banks operate ATMs, also known as Cash Points or Service Tills, which accept a wide range of cards. Common systems accepted around Riyadh include American Express, Cirrus, Global Access, MasterCard, Plus System and Visa. ATMs can be found in all shopping malls, at the airport, at petrol stations and at various street-side locations.
Money exchanges are available all over Riyadh, offering good services and reasonable exchange rates, which are often better than the banks. Additionally, hotels will usually exchange money and travelers cheques at the standard hotel rate.
Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept the major credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa).
Tipping practices are similar to most parts of the world.
The Islamic year is called the Hijri and dates are followed by AH - After Hijra. The Hijri calendar is based on lunar months. There are 354 or 355 days in the Hijri year, which is divided into 12 lunar months and each year is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year.
Riyadh's culture is rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia. Among the most highly prized virtues are courtesy and hospitality; visitors are sure to be charmed by the genuine warmth and friendliness of the people.
Shopping in Riyadh is an enjoyable experience! Prices are competitive in many products from gold to carpets, textiles or designer labels.
Islam is the official religion of KSA.
Riyadh offers pretty much every type of international cuisine imaginable.
Personal effects entering Riyadh are not liable to a customs levy. It is strictly forbidden to import drugs and pornographic material and items.
The importation of alcohol into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is NOT PERMITTED.
There is a wide choice of hotels in Riyadh ranging from small boutiques to 5 star luxury properties.
The larger hotels all offer an airport shuttle bus service.
Drivers and their passengers in the front and back seats of a vehicle must by law wear seats belts.
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