Visas - All nationals are required to get a visa in order to enter Saudi Arabia. The strict segregation of the sexes and the need for a male chaperone leads to obvious limitations on freedom of movement. I simply answered: I do not need a guardian and I can travel around without a guardian. O pening her veil to the rest of the world for the first time, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now showing up on travel lists. For example in the malls, men work at the shops, including lingerie shops and such, which leads to some discussion in Saudi Arabia. If the police see a man and a woman kissing, they would also get arrested and yes, you are right that homosexuality can be punished with death penalty but controversially, you can’t imagine the massive gay scene you can find in Riyadh. Women or men that go with women need to sit in the family section. Useful Information. Good to know that it’s normal to travel alone in Saudi Arabia. @mearch_ – Saudi Indeed, this development will see a key shift in Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector, I travel around independently all the time and, definitely, without a guardian. I’ll be alone for sure, do I need anything to present at the airport? Do I need a special driver’s license to drive in Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia has issued new laws that grant women greater freedoms by allowing any citizen to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing and controversial guardianship policy that had required male consent for a woman to travel or carry a passport. The airport is located 35 kilometres north from the city centre. 6 years ago, I faced harassments here and there. It has been announced that women older than 25 years of age will be able to get a tourist visa and travel to the Kingdom without a male guardian. Being a woman, I need a male guardian to move around Saudi Your age must be 25 or above to travel without a mahram. In the past, international women travelers had to be accompanied by a man in public if they were under 45 years old. It can be of any color and pattern. Been living in Saudi many years. Hi there, all your questions and more are answered in this guide: https://againstthecompass.com/en/travel-to-saudi-arabia/. It is common that your sponsor holds your passport during your stay. Saudi IS for EVERYONE. Saudi Arabia is rightly considered one of the most difficult countries in which to travel if you're a woman by yourself. The police insisted that was an issue, so they wanted to hand me in and report me. I also plan to see what Lonely Planet recommends to see in Saudi Arabia as it has helped us to plan trips to Brazil, Belieze, China, Peru, Equador, Mexico, Guatamala, Morocco, and Europe. solo female women in offbeat destinations! Harassment is an unfortunate worldwide issue that is specific to the person, not the country or culture. If you want to know about all the practical information to visit the country, read: Tips and how to travel to Saudi Arabia in 2019. The guardian has duties to, and rights over, the woman in many aspects of civic life. Women in Saudi Arabia will finally be allowed to hold passports and travel abroad without the consent of a male guardian, a policy shift that marks a significant … The Saudi Arabia travelers’ facilities may be very lavish, though the women intending to travel in Saudi Arabia ought to be aware about the customs and social practices that they are conservative and are based on the law of Islam. This translates to a … The best thing to do is to just ignore them and continue doing your thing. Yes, we can. Accessing anywhere that does not have a separate 'family' entrance is impossible for a woman. Read more stories from kick ass solo female women in offbeat destinations! I need to get a burqa aka ninja cover and a headscarf. Tips and how to travel to Saudi Arabia in 2019. The strict segregation of the sexes and the need for a male chaperone leads to obvious limitations on freedom of movement. Long story short, the higher rank guy came out and instructed the policemen who were questioning us to let us go as long as our documents were legal. Whether it’s in the city or remote areas, unrelated men and women, basically, a group of mixed gender, can mingle and hang out whenever, and wherever. In the last few years, I have been traveling extensively across the Middle East and other Muslim countries, so it is not surprising at all that, every week, I receive tons of requests and questions from kick-ass women who wish to travel to the same places. Solo Female Tips for Traveling to Saudi Arabia. Your age must be 25 or above to travel without a mahram. Some rules you need to follow when you travel to Saudi Arabia. There are many unexplored caves, unclimbed mountains, and stunning valleys! It’s fair enough to say that if you don’t like the rules, then you shouldn’t go. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I was NOT ONE BIT scared because I knew my rights and that that was not the law. He was stunned and said that they would explain the procedure at the station. Women Travellers. © 2020 Lonely Planet. Women can travel to Saudi Arabia alone. Zafigo’s Quick Guide to Riyadh for Women Travelling Alone or with Family and Friends. At this point only 4% of the workforce in Saudi Arabia is female. These small earnings help me to improve and create more content for Against the Compass. Hi, I don’t think you need to present anything, That’s good news indeed! Women cannot work in Saudi Arabia, only in a few, very particular ‘female areas’ it is tolerated. If you are a UK resident, you can get a tourist visa to perform Umrah. This article is more than 1 year old. According to Omar Al Mubarak, the director general of licensing department of Saudi Arabia's Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, the tourist visa will be a single-entry visa that is valid for a maximum of 30 days . But you can’t say in good faith that Saudi Arabia is for EVERYONE when you can literally get the death penalty for being gay. The only thing I don’t know is very specific questions such as the zoo and the banking hours. holding hands between a female and a male is also fine in all the negbouring gulf countries at least – it would be assumed that you are related or married and its not like theres any religious police there to appoarch you. As it is a Moslem country how easy can credit cards be used? Are there any travel companies that offer packages for tourists to see the city and what not? Read: How to find the right VPN for Saudi Arabia. The country also has a goal of tourism being a contributor of 10% of GDP. I’m going to let photos speak for me. The fact that women can now drive has improved things, albeit marginally, but the reality is that a woman cannot move around Saudi Arabia alone … Female visitors, as well as foreign residents holding a Saudi Arabia visa, are under prevailing laws, required to mandatorily have their respective sponsors meet all such visitors on arrival at a Saudi point of entry into the Kingdom. In fact, Saudi girls I met were telling me that one of the reasons they wouldn’t want to live elsewhere was because in Saudi they can go on the street in the middle of the night and feel safe, which isn’t a norm in other spots, US included. @mykindoffridays – Saudi Here’s a photo of my friends and me in Jeddah, along with a tourist/travel blogger @, 5 – The Religious Police are everywhere and monitoring women, The traditions and cultures within the region itself are also very diverse. actually. Keep in mind that I was the ONLY female in a car of 7 men; the driver and 6 male passengers. It’s a personal choice. I ‘m planning to go to the bts concert in Riyadh this October.Anything I need to know? Displays of affection are not allowed, regardless of your gender. I say this from having lived in Saudi myself not as someone from outside the country. I have heard in Ridayh yes and no. You can read about a female reporter’s experience in Saudi Arabia here. Women in Saudi Arabia will finally be allowed to apply for a passport and travel without gaining the consent of a male guardian in a historic move. Saudi Arabia has issued new laws that grant women greater freedoms by allowing any citizen to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing and controversial guardianship policy that had required male consent for a woman to travel or carry a passport. Reconsider Travel to Saudi Arabia due to COVID-19.Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism and the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian targets.. Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.. Hi, I’m an expat here in riyadh and I have an aunt working in jeddah, she’s inviting me to visit her in jeddah. Your answer will be highly appreciated. With all of the conflicting information, I need to know if I am able to rent a car and drive between the two cities? thats a very western perception of homosexuality. Here’s a photo of me hiking at Wabah Crater: And don’t forget to pack your bikinis! If you want to know about all the practical information to visit the country, read: 1 – As a female, I need a guardian to travel to Saudi and around Saudi. The northernmost part of the country has similarities to the Levant Arab countries, like, 9 – This is an exaggerated post and it’s not what it’s like in reality, After receiving so many emails from really kick-ass female travelers who want to wander around some of the most off the beaten track countries in the world, I decided to open a. What I mean is that, in general, Arabs treat females as queens, something I am not complaining about, but the concept of females being independent is not something they can comprehend. The testimony of a woman is only worth half a man’s in Saudi Arabia’s legal system. The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Information confirmed the same in an official statement on Friday. It’s actually the fifth largest country in Asia. The new rule announced on Friday allows women over the age of 21 to apply for a … Solo Female Tips for Traveling to Saudi Arabia. Currently based in Buraydah, and as a woman you would be crazy to walk around showing your hair. In fact, Saudi girls I met were telling me that one of the reasons they wouldn’t want to live elsewhere was because in Saudi they can go on the street in the middle of the night and feel safe, which isn’t a norm in other spots, US included. I plan to stay with my daughter at an apartment hotel in Ridyah and Jetta so we can do our own cooking and ask for the hotel to arrange for day guides for us. Women traveling alone must be met by a sponsor upon arrival in the country. The great way to store the documents is through the travel organizers while on the journey. I really appreciate your support :), Use Booking.com for hotels and guesthouses, Check on Hostelworld for for backpacker hostels, 1 – IATI Insurance (5% discount) – Cheapest travel insurance and for travelers above 70, 2 – True Traveller – Best backpacking insurance (only Europeans), Trekking equipment, books, etc, check on Amazon, If you want to know all the companies I use to plan my trips, check my travel resources page. Saudi Arabia is rightly considered one of the most difficult countries in which to travel if you're a woman by yourself. In the end you’re living in Buraydah. Changes in legislation do not necessarily mean long-held social norms will disappear overnight. The laws also grant the women the eligibility for the guardianship of minor children. Firstly, foreign women are allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia. Places to visit in Saudi Arabia, a 15-day itinerary, How to find the right VPN for Saudi Arabia, Tips and how to travel to Saudi Arabia in 2020, Need to know about Israeli passport stamps in 2020, How to find the best VPN for Saudi Arabia in 2020, 25 Best places to visit in the Middle East in 2020, https://againstthecompass.com/en/travel-to-saudi-arabia/, 50 Useful tips for traveling to Iraqi Kurdistan, A guide to the Karakoram Highway – From Pakistan to China, How to travel to Syria in 2020: Everything you must know. Moreover, I have not seen religious police in the last 2 years. Seven European human rights ambassadors criticized Saudi Arabia on Sunday over the continued detention of at least five women's rights activists, including Loujain al … Saudi Arabia announced that women are now eligible to organize tours across the Kingdom, a decision that is being hailed as part of the nation’s ongoing efforts to empower women by providing employment in the tourism sector and by allowing them to make their mark on this ever-growing industry. You’re speaking of the Alabama of Saudi Arabia. Don’t be surprised when strangers come up to you and ask “Where did you get the abaya from? I said: What are you going to report me for? Some public spaces are segregated by sex – You will figure it out by yourself but some restaurants or cafés are still composed of two areas: men and family section. Though a headscarf is not compulsory, it's best to have one on hand in more conservative areas. @nirvana.abdul – Yemeni married to a Saudi I do agree that Saudis are great hosts though. After receiving so many emails from really kick-ass female travelers who want to wander around some of the most off the beaten track countries in the world, I decided to open a Solo Female Traveling section on my blog, to help women get to know the reality of traveling solo in these countries. Again, this is a culture, not the law. Latest travel advice for Saudi Arabia, ... Information on important laws and etiquette around dress codes is available to visitors on the Visit Saudi website. The worst one I get these days is someone coming up to me and slowly whispering “Mumken Snapchat?” which means “Can I have your Snapchat?”. WOMEN in Saudi Arabia are now able to freely travel abroad without male permission. Yes, a woman can go to Saudi Arabia alone for Umrah. Saudi Arabia on Tuesday began implementing a landmark reform allowing women over the age of 21 to receive passports and travel abroad without permission from a … Your email address will not be published. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. And when traveling to remote areas and going for activities such as hiking, climbing, and camping, abayas are not needed at all. The kingdom allows travelling as a solo female on visit visa. And there are much more than just the desert and the sea. Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian's approval. Saudi Arabia got you covered with black, brown and red sand dunes! My wife was actually physically attacked in a supermarket in Buraydah for not wearing a niqab. Despite a legacy of human rights atrocities in Saudi Arabia, the controversial kingdom is making great strides to lure tourists. This summer, I am planning to take my 17 year old daughter on a trip to Saudi Arabia. The religious police do not have any authority, hence they cannot act on anything without being accompanied by the officials. Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest crime rates in the world as the police are regularly present on the streets, but there’s always a small degree of petty theft like pickpocketing and purse snatching. Moreover, the culture in Saudi is so diverse that only 1:10 of my friends are purebred. Can a single female travel to Saudi Arabia? 1000 times yes. The police asked us to pull over, took our IDs and asked standard procedure questions. Saudi Arabia on Tuesday began implementing a landmark reform allowing women over the age of 21 to receive passports and travel abroad without permission from a … Disclosure: As a traveler, I use all the companies I recommend and you should know that, if you buy any service through any of these links, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. I’ll be going there for sure. The traditions and cultures within the region itself are also very diverse. Saudi Arabia will allow women to travel without permission from a male guardian, the government has announced, rolling back the country’s controversial guardianship laws … It is very significant to keep the travel documents organized well and put them in a safe place while travelling. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you think you have a nice experience to tell! The entire documents of travel except the travel documents copies should be kept separately each time. And, of course, the great desert landscape! I want emails from Lonely Planet with travel and product information, promotions, advertisements, third-party offers, and surveys. As always, I can’t give an accurate response about solo female traveling but, luckily, during my journey, I met Nada from Nadal Al Nahdi, a 20-something-year-old backpacker who has traveled solo to some very extreme destinations such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sudan, and the coolest thing about her is that she is half-Yemeni, half-Indonesian. 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