When you’re visiting Saudi Arabia it is essential that you abide by all the rules of the state. Whether you’re here for a couple of hours or for permanent re-settling you will be driven with a major cultural shock. This isn’t a bad thing, especially when you are from somewhere in Asia or in Europe where you’re not poached with many rules regarding what you wear and carry, but with time you will adjust in the new settings.
Let us start from the very first and basic. What should you do when you are planning to get on the plane for Saudi Arabia? Here’s a handy list of the top five points that we’ve gathered and wish to share with our readers and the newcomers in KSA.
When you’re packing your bags for KSA, you should be well versed on what you can and what you cannot take to the country. There are some clear rules that no traveler can bring in drugs, illegal weapons, pork meat or anything that has pork in it and Non-Islamic material. Any person who brings any of this the Kingdom will be seized immediately and you won’t be allowed to leave the airport authorities that easily. Such items will be confiscated by the airport police and will not be given back to the passenger.
Leave alcohol behind. It should be nowhere near you as that is another felony that can be charged by the airport authorities. In KSA westerners have access to alcohol in compound areas where they reside. But taking it out in the open and getting a large bulk of liquid in the country is a major NO.
Even for a few hours or just a quick meeting, you are not able to move around in Saudi Arabia in casual clothing. The Arabs have a regulation of wearing a long black cloak and headscarf that is also followed by the expatriates living in KSA. The robe, also known as an Abaya should be worn whenever you’re leaving the house under any condition. As soon as you get to the Saudi airport cover yourself up with an Abaya so that you don’t get caught with the airport police or with the general public’s stare when you head out.
In your bags, make sure that you don’t carry copies of bibles or non-Islamic reading material as this can be offensive to the law here. You shouldn’t carry any of such stuff that is opposed to the Islamic teachings. There are no churches or praying areas for the Non-Muslims in KSA so be well prepared for that too and practice if you may at your place in private.
We’ve all seen that one person who is in a lot of hurry and wishes to come at first in line, we might be one of them too. But airport isn’t a place for such activity. You have to wait for your turn and respect the regulations there. Even if the lines are super long and you to wait for an hour or people in the queue are moving too slow. Even then you have to be steady and wait for your turn.
Let us know your experiences in the comments section below, of what are your top five rules when you travel to and from the KSA airports. We would like to hear your experiences in such cases too!