What to pack when travelling to Saudi Arabia

Having obtained your Saudi visa, before packing for your trip to Saudi Arabia, there are certain aspects about the country, its people and customs that must be borne in mind.

For starters, especially for those that have not travelled on a Saudi visa before, it is important to realise that Saudi Arabia is a country with an extreme climate. So, though gear for hot weather is highly recommended for men, Saudi women, including those from other Muslim countries, are directed by the Islamic faith to adorn the black coloured Abaya, especially when planning to make a public appearance. Men on the other hand should abstain from wearing shorts when they exit their private compounds are homes. Now, if you normally wear XL or larger sized outfits back home in UK or Europe, it would be advisable to stock up as best as you can, because finding these sizes in Saudi Arabia may not be the easiest thing to do. If however you are a little lucky, you may find some XXL sizes and when you do, it could be one of these two things: the piece of clothing you’ve bought in Saudi Arabia is either likely to shortly shrink into something that’s actually an L size or it’s probably an L size to start with. Either way, it’s simply going to be wastage of your money and time.

There are plenty of false connotations regarding what all is actually forbidden in the Kingdom as well as what is precisely not. When travelling on a Saudi visa, you will not that contrary to common belief, bringing of contraceptives into the Kingdom is by no means illegal or forbidden, rather most popular brands are commonly carried by a large number of local pharmacies and departmental stores. You will find the same also applies to condoms; you can simply pick one off the self at any local pharmacy or departmental store. Where jewellery is concerned; though there are no official restrictions as such, quantities do make a difference. There is certainly no restriction on bringing in any musical instrument into the Kingdom, as you will soon encounter several local shops selling a variety of different musical instruments that include violins, drums, and even pianos. As a matter of fact Saudi, just as most Arabs, simply love music. Carrying your cell phone with an inbuilt cam is not a problem, as long as you know where and when to use it.

Import of pork or products made from swine flesh, alcoholic beverages or spirits, pornographic material such as sex videos, toys, DVDs, movies and magazines, into the Kingdom is however strictly prohibited, as these are termed strictly against the norms of Islam. Moreover, you are also likely to encounter certain restrictions on books with religious content that is other than purely Islamic, and symbols signifying other religious beliefs.

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