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Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is located in the Middle East and has a population of 27.6 million people. Saudi Arabia occupies majority of the Arabian peninsula and its capital city is Riyadh. The major cities are generally very modern, and despite having no nightlife, have an abundance of cafe's and restaurants. Outside of the city Saudi Arabia is home to monstrous sand dunes in the largest sea of sand on the planet, mud brick dwellings, exotic oases and the coast of the Red Sea. Saudi Arabia is a recent player in Medical Tourism stakes, but has made considerable investment to provide top quality facilities and care. The national language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic, although English is spoken in business circles.

Medical tourism

The most common areas of specialisation in Saudi Arabia are Cardiology, Cosmetics, Dental, Eye, Neurology and Orthopedic. See the box to the right to view a full list of available treatment areas.

Best time to travel

With its desert climate, Saudi Arabia is one of the driest countries in the world. The best time to visit is between November and February as these are the cooler months and conditions may be a little more pleasant. From mid-April through to October the daily temperature can rise quite high. It is also best to avoid Ramadan, as daytime meals will become hard to find.

Money and costs

The national currency for Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Arabian Riyan (SAR). Find up-to-date exchange rates and conversion through a currency conversion tool.

Visas

All nationalities entering Saudi Arabia require visas, the length of these visas vary by nation so it is best to contact the appropriate consulate. Generally tourist visas are only issued to those who are willing to travel as part of a group (minimum four people) and organised by a recognised tour company. An Exit Permit is also required for most nationals, requiring a passport-size photo and must be issued by the Chief of Police (usually processed within three days after application). It is advised to enquire at the nearest embassy for further information. There are a number of dress and behaviour regulations that must also be adhered to when entering Saudi Arabia- if the immigration department feel someone is not complying with these rules they will not be allowed into the country, and in some cases apprehended. An example of such a rule is that women and under-aged children should be accompanied by a close male family member, or met at the airport by their sponsor or husband. Unwed couples are not allowed to travel alone together in this country. Again, it advised that any tourist entering Saudi Arabia investigates and take note of these customs.

Getting there

There are four international airports in Saudi Arabia, these being in Jeddah (two airports in this region), Dammam and Riyadh. Direct flights are available to/from Europe, the USA and Asia.

Dialling codes

To call Saudi Arabia, the country dialling code is +966.

Useful links

Find more in-depth information on Saudi Arabia at:

Lonely Planet - www.lonelyplanet.com/​saudi-arabia

Saudi Arabia Tourism - www.the-saudi.net/​saudi-arabia/​tourism.htm

Saudi Arabia Embassy in the USA - www.saudiembassy.net

Saudi Arabia Embassy in the UK - saudiarabia.embassyhomepage.com

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Page last updated: Friday, 2nd September 2011