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Prohibited Items for Saudi Arabia

What NOT to pack for a trip to Saudi Arabia

Alcohol and pornography are strictly forbidden in the Kingdom, and there are a few other items that are forbidden or restricted. Trying to enter the country with restricted or forbidden items may result in arrest, or at the very least, some embarrassing encounters with Saudi officials. Travelers, particularly backpackers roaming from country to country, should be aware of materials that are considered risqué in Saudi Arabia. For a complete list of prohibited and restricted items in Saudi Arabia, tourists should check online before traveling.


A few things not to take to Saudi Arabia

  • Alcohol or anything containing alcohol

  • Narcotics and some medicines that require a doctor’s prescription. (Travelers can check online at Nahdi or Al Dawaa pharmacy for specific medications that are not allowed without a prescription.)

  • Natural pearls in large quantities. (Cultured pearls are allowed in small quantities.)

  • Radio transmitters (walkie-talkies, short-wave, etc.)

  • Binoculars, telescopes & drones. (Travelers can buy binoculars and telescopes inside Saudi Arabia but should be careful about using them in residential areas.)

  • Products containing pork or frog meat

  • Religious statues, carvings or altars

  • All pornographic materials (don’t forget to clear your phones!) & adult toys

  • Military uniforms

  • Large quantities of expensive jewelry, particularly items containing silver, gold, platinum or precious gemstones

  • E-cigarettes

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