National profile: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by King Abdulaziz. It's the largest country in the Middle East and it's divided into 13 administrative regions. Each of these differs from each other for cultures and traditions. Islam is the state religion, as it was also founded in this country. Saudi Arabia's capital city and main financial hub is Riyadh.
Language: Arabic is the official language, however English is widely spoken across the whole Kingdom (road signs are usually bilingual).
Time: Local time is Arabia Standard Time (AST), which is +3 hours ahead of GMT.
Currency: The official currency is the Saudi riyal (SAR) with an exchange rate fixed at US $1= SAR 3.75.
Weather: As opposed to what people might think, Saudi Arabia isn't always hot. The country experiences all four seasons and the climate varies from region to region. The temperatures in summer can reach 45°C! However in spring they can drop to -15°C in the northern part of the country.
Dress code: Men and women are asked to dress in a modest way, avoiding tight fitting clothing in public. Female visitors must cover their shoulders and knees (they are no longer required to wear head coverings).
Respect for the Saudi religion: Muslims pray five times a day facing Makkah. During these moments shops close briefly and music is turned off in public places. Moreover, if you're visiting during Ramadan don't eat, drink or smoke in public, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
Accommodation: Saudi Arabia offers multiple choices for your stay, fitting with your trip's vibe. How about luxurious 5 star hotels facing the clear waters of the Red Sea or on top of a skyscraper building in the capital city of Riyadh? If you're more of a nature enthusiast how about a night sleeping under the stars in stunning camping sites? Let Vayama.ie help you choose the perfect accommodation for you!
Other important things to know before visiting Saudi Arabia: