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Talk:Saudi Arabia

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For future reference Wikitravel:CIA World Factbook 2002 import can be found at Talk:Saudi Arabia/CIA World Factbook 2002 import.

Very Biased Article[edit]

This article really is quite biased as it is written completely from a libereal western point of view and contains quite a few blatant lies, please improve this article. Thank you for your time and effort in advance. —The preceding comment was added by 123abc123 (talkcontribs)


Hey pal, pretty sure comedy is illegal in Saudi Arabia and why did you remove the stuff about Chevy Chase being denied access into the country when this is well known?

Stay Safe[edit]

Please note that, while the offences and sentences listed in this section are technically correct to the best of my knowledge, the harshest sentences are very seldom applied, with jail and lashes being the preferred way to deal with most violations of the law.

I have also removed a line claiming that Jews are not allowed in the country, as this is false, both from an official and a practical point of view. Officially, a number of statements have been issued over the years by the authorities to the effect that there is no law preventing Jews entering the country. In practical terms, openly professing a religion other than Islam is bound to attract unwelcome attention, and it is generally advisable to keep one's religious adscription to oneself. Having said that, and anecdotically, this contributor has intimated his semitic origins to several Saudi acquaintances during time spent in the Kingdom and was surprised by the warm and respectful response received.

To remove that information is misleading; the Saudi government has publically stated that Jews are not welcome in the kingdom no matter what their views on Israel or zionism. Do a search on google and you will find many, many news stories affirming this fact.
Yet there are Jews in Saudi Arabia. As with many things in Saudi, just because somebody somewhere says something doesn't make it true... Jpatokal 00:36, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

All the facts in here are real, but unfortunaley you are exagerrating in all of them. And you might have to know that Saudi Arabia is recently changing everyday and what you might say today could be wrong tomorrow. I'm not asking you to take facts from me as a Saudi but take from honest people who had the experience of living in Saudi.

NO one is being excuted today for talking about the royal family, I've seen many western women walking in public places without wearing Abaya or so, I have a bible and other religous books and I have never been asked about them !!

Please just make sure that what you are saying is today not in the past. 22:41, 10 April 2008 (EDT)

Almost 9 years later than the comment above me, I believe Saudi Arabia has had huge changes which make a lot of the statements in this article seem over-exaggerated. First, religious police almost have no power now, most situations that they used to deal with are now dealt with by the police and are taken way less seriously. Second, women are never not accepted in restaurants and public areas, and will almost never by stopped for going out without a guardian. Third, driving, even though you can still see some assholes on the road, it has got waaaay better due to stricter and better applied laws, and the fact that there are radars and speed cameras almost everywhere. Fourth, executions almost never happen, and never in my lifetime had I heard of an execution of a westerner, they weren't something to worry about before, and they aren't even a thing now. The only chances of you being executed is by either intentionally killing someone (even this almost never happens unless every single relative of the victim asks for that), or by smuggling drugs in to the country. Lastly, entertainment in general is finally moving forward as there has been an order by the government to introduce an entertainment organization that is responsible for basically finding new ways to entertain the locals and the travelers, visitor visas are only a matter of time as there has been an order to bring them back. —The preceding comment was added by Abdullasarraf (talkcontribs)

Thanks for your comments. If you feel any information is outdated and needs to be updated, please feel free to plunge forward and make changes in the article where needed. Happy editing! Adzas (talk) 10:20, 9 February 2017 (EST)


The Stay Safe section says "Adultery is punishable by death if you are married, and lashes if not."

The definition of Adultery states that at least one of the partners having sex is married. So what does "if not" refer to? Does it mean that if one of the two involved in Adultery is unmarried, that person will receive lashes? Or was the author of that line unaware of the exact definition and meant that sex between two unmarried people is punishable by lashes. -- Colin 19:39, 30 December 2006 (EST)

I noticed that as well, doesn't make sense. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
I thought it was pretty obvious that it meant you as the traveler to the country of Saudi Arabia, being unmarried, and having an affair with a married person in Saudi Arabia, would result in you receiving lashes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
Your definition of adultry is very very different from the Islamic definition.
Anyways, as of the page itself, it is clearly aimed at nonmuslim intending to visit (for which reason is far beyond me). It's rude then that the tone taken is one of saying that there is no fun in the kingdom. To a nomuslim, sure. but I don't know why you'd be there in the first place. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
Wikitravel isn't aimed at anybody in particular, but it necessarily reflects those who have contributed to the guide. If you have different perspectives, or can add information for visiting Muslims, please plunge forward. --inas 23:56, 20 February 2010 (EST)

Stay safe again[edit]

I removed the suggestion that non-essential travel should be avoided... this is baseless, as far as I know. – cacahuate talk 00:43, 24 August 2007 (EDT) Some Confusion

Seems as if this article was written in the context of what it was like in the middle ages.

Are you saying something is inaccurate? Saudi Arabia itself is designed as a replica of the Middle Ages. Jpatokal 04:22, 20 April 2008 (EDT)


(it was recently stated by an Arab Satellite media that over 2 million Muslim citizens converted to Christianity discreetly. This makes over 7.4% of the citizens being Christians.)

this is absolutely not true ! saudi citizens not allowed to change Religion ! i am saudi and some of my frined are atheist but they CAN'T announce that for public.

Hmm, when did that sneak in there? I've removed it. Jpatokal 03:30, 30 April 2008 (EDT)

strictly fobiddin imagery of people and animals[edit]

I know from a strict Wahhabi belief that not only that forbid imagery of Muhammad, but also imagery of people and animals. As such, I added that in there. And can anyone confirm that Pokemon and video games (or the Wii) are banned in Saudi Arabia due the implication of one of the Saudi beliefs?--Dark Paladin X 11:51, 15 December 2008 (EST)

See, this is why you shouldn't write about places you haven't personally been to...
Just because some mullah says something doesn't mean it's against the law, much less that said law is enforced. There is no prohibition against imagery of people or animals, and this is a common sight in the Kingdom. The super-ultra-conservative town of Buraydah is known for spraypainting over faces, but even there it's just local yahoos, not government policy, and other Saudis laugh at them. Video games and Pokemon goods are very widely available, there are entire shops devoted to them. Jpatokal 22:11, 15 December 2008 (EST)
And as for "travelers wanting to show pictures of Muhammed", tell me, where on earth would a traveler find such a picture, and why on earth would they "want" to show it off? Jpatokal 22:33, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Are you...[edit]

Shouldn't one say "Anta Muslim" instead of "Inta..."? Is it the saudi dialect? And why would it scare anyone away?

few statements revising and such[edit]

While Internet in Saudi Arabia is cordoned off by a filter, it aims primarily at pornography, non-Islamic religious and domestic political sites in Arabic, and (from the traveller's point of view) is nowhere near as strict as, say, China's.

I don't think we should be comparing the censorship in Saudi Arabia to China's. There are some people who think that the Saudi censors are more strict than China's and I'm one of them.

Yes, you think all sorts of things, most of which are wrong. Most Wikitravellers write things based on actual experience.
So: based on my half-dozen visits to the Kingdom and a whole lotta surfin' while there, Saudi Arabia's internet filter, which is nowhere near as strict as China's. China blocks all sorts of semi-random sites because of political content (CNN, BBC, Wikipedia, Wordpress, Livejournal, Flickr, etc etc); Saudi Arabia only blocks porn and some Arabic-language dissidents. Jpatokal 00:54, 19 January 2009 (EST)

The fun doesn't end when you get the visa, since visas do not state their exact expiry date.

This statement is a bit on a sarcastic tone. A few rewording might remove on sarcasm.

No, it's not sarcastic. Jpatokal 00:54, 19 January 2009 (EST)

While first-timers in Saudi Arabia are often regaled with tales of beheadings, amputations and whippings, the full harshness of Saudi law is reserved for true criminals like drug smugglers.

Don't they reserve the harsh penalties like death penalty not only for criminals, but also committing apostasy, witchcraft, idolatry, and blasphemy, even doing such is unintentional?

How do you unintentionally commit any of those? Jpatokal 00:54, 19 January 2009 (EST)

And speaking of which, I know the Saudis punish homosexuality by deaths, but should we tell gays and lesbians not to travel to Saudi Arabia whatsoever, since I'm afraid they may use death penalty on gays and lesbians if the Saudis find out that a foreign traveler is gay.

Sorry for asking these kinds of questions, but I feel stupid for asking these.--Dark Paladin X 17:01, 18 January 2009 (EST)


Draft regions map

I'm just checking to make sure I got the regional boundaries correct before moving this map into the article. I used the administrative province boundaries with only one exception—I cut off the southernmost strip of coastline from Hejaz and added it to Asir. I noticed that these divisions place Madain Saleh in Hejaz, not in the North. So, comments? --Peter Talk 08:41, 31 May 2009 (EDT)

Looks good to me, but you've mispelled "Hejaz" as "Hezaz" on the map. Jpatokal 01:10, 1 June 2009 (EDT)
I wonder if I've ever managed to make a map that didn't have at least one of those silly errors. Anyway, fixed. -- 01:26, 1 June 2009 (EDT)

just some changes to the highways like now there is a high way from Hail to Aljouff and there is new high way connecting Tabouk to Al-ula. and you may need to check more where transportation connections are expanding all over the king dom. I am a licened Tour Operator in Saudi and if any one want to know any thing related to tourism in Saudi please do not hesitate to send your inquireis to [email protected], where we are uthorised to issue tourist visa and we arrange weekend programs for expacts in saudi such as ( desert safari, desert camping , desert wonders, diving programs, cultural programs , hunting programs, city tours, and more )

Please plunge forward and update highways etc, but don't tout. Jpatokal 12:12, 16 September 2009 (EDT)

Knights of Columbus[edit]

"Catholic visitors must not be members of the Knights of Columbus"

Is there a source for this? Just had a quick look on the internet - just for personal curiosity - but to no avail. Phonemonkey 17:32, 9 September 2009 (EDT)

Seconded, anyone have a cite? I have never heard of such a thing in all my time in the Kingdom. While certainly the KSA is the land of rumor, this article is full of wild claims. The lowest rate of crime in the world? Says who? No Jews? Zero, zilch, nada? Frankly you can really see why Wikipedia went to requiring cites. Paul in Saudi 22:24, 4 November 2009 (EST)
While adding footnotes to a travel guide would be silly, asking on the talk page for citations to back up dubious claims is precisely the way to go on Wikitravel. Since no one has defended the statement, I recommend you plunge forward and remove it! --Peter Talk 02:06, 5 November 2009 (EST)

Women Travellers[edit]

So, as a woman, I am subject to scrutiny for being single, can't drive or ride a bike, could be castigated for being driven by a taxi driver, have to have special permission to check into a hotel but must not dare to use the facilities, must wear a headscarf even though I am not a Muslim, must avoid cafes and restaurants, may be accosted by police and am subject to heavy punishments if I dare to drink alcohol?

Yes, hmm. Okay, Saudi Arabia, you lovely country, that's you off my travel list. :)

Correct conclusion, especially since they do not issue tourist visas anyway. Some of the details are wrong, though. Head scarves are not always required, and some cafes are open to women. By striking it off your list, you do miss out on some interesting architecture and scenery, and a culture with an interesting history.
For whatever it is worth, my (now ex) wife coped with Saudi Arabia but found many things there quite irritating; she finds Dubai much more congenial. Pashley 08:44, 17 October 2009 (EDT)

tourist visas[edit]

I read on the lonely planet thorn tree forum that tourist visas are not being issued anymore is this true? if so we should change it on the page

Contradictory/Ambiguous Information on Water[edit]

Under the section 'Drink' and subsection 'Tap Water' the article claims tap water in Saudi Arabia is not safe to drink, and crudely puts in it 'can get a it hot'. However, later on, just underneath 'Stay Healthy' it says water in Saudi Arabia is 'drinkable'. At the end of the same section, it says bottled water is more expensive than petrol (uses US term: gasoline). Although this may be true with an average litre bottle of water costing 2SR and a litre of fuel costing 0.5SR in Saudi Arabia, the article is easily interpreted at this point as saying that bottled water in the Kingdom is very expensive due to the fact that the cost of petrol is not listed clearly in this article or the section under question. Bottled water is not expensive in Saudi Arabia, a litre bottle costing £0.40 (USD0.61).

May I please recommend more research is carried out and the article is re-worded to remove ambiguity and contradictions (referring to the question of tap water) to eliminate the risk that the reader is confused by this passage. I, personally, feel that the words 'more expensive than gasoline' were simply place there to add an extra interesting fact without serving much use, if any, to the reader.

Many thanks.

Henry Watson, London, United Kingdom 22 July 2013 | 16:41 (BST) (15:41 GMT)

Western compounds[edit]

I have heard and I'm sure I can find a reference somewhere that says how Aramco compounds are where Westerners go to drink alcohol and how the Muttaween ignore it happening. However,if I do I would be condoning it and even if it's ignored, it's still technically illegal and I'm sure the Muttaween could find an excuse to break in and arrest everyone if they wanted and they had proof that other illegal activities are occurring there. So what do you think, should I include it in the article, or no?Riyadhman (talk) 18:38, 24 February 2016 (EST)

Interesting situation. I dug up our illegal activities policy and I think it may help. Basically, I would mention that these places exist, but state that the activities are illegal and may lead to arrest. I wouldn't list a specific location or business name though. Does this help? IBcaldera (talk) 20:03, 26 February 2016 (EST)