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What to pack for Saudi Arabia

When it comes to Saudi weather you might think hot, hot and hot. This is not wrong. Saudi Arabia (especially in summer) is consistently one of the hottest places in the world, with the weather from late May to early September being unreasonably hot, temperatures being consistently between 40 and 50 degrees. This, as you might expect, has turned the country nocturnal, with most activities taking place at night when the temperature is less like a furnace. Winters in Saudi are mild and beautiful making it the best time to visit. In fact, at night it can be really cold with temperatures approaching zero in some parts of the country overnight, only to jump back to a lovely 25 during the day.


Clothing

The key word for clothing in Saudi is modesty, for both men and women. Long pants/trousers are a necessity for men and women and absolutely no revealing clothing can be worn. Head coverings are no longer mandatory as is the case also with the abbaya (a full body covering worn by women). However, it is recommended when visiting more rural areas that you should dress more modestly to avoid unwanted attention.


Footwear

Sandals are key in the daytime for when the mercury rises, however for some places we visit we suggest some good runners/trainers as we will be walking through some rocky areas. Overall though, Saudi Arabia is not the type of place where you will walk for hours and hours through the city as they are designed for door to door transport with cars, like most Gulf State cities.


Food and Luxury Items

You can really take whatever you want as long as it's packed into your checked in suitcase. If you have specific items like as chocolates, chips/crisps, frozen foods, spices, toiletries are all allowed. Keep in mind that as the Expat community grows, the demand to import has risen and you might be able to find your local favorite items at your nearest supermarket.


Medications

Saudi Arabia is a modern country with pharmacies all over. You will be able to find all the normal medicines such as Ibuprofen and Imodium over the counter no problem. For medications requiring a prescription you should only bring a month’s worth or less.


Cash

ATMs are very prevalent in Saudi Arabia and thankfully there are no sanctions here so foreign cards work absolutely fine! Card payments are also extremely prevalent across the country.

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