What You Need To Know About Visiting Saudi Arabia | Bharti AXA GI

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What You Need To Know About Visiting Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia can be an enriching travel experience with spectacular natural and modern man-made wonders. To experience the best of Arab hospitality, here are some important points that you should know as an Indian tourist before setting off on a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Visa

Saudi Arabia issues various types of visa but there are a lot of rules and regulations attached. For Indian tourists, obtaining a Saudi Visa can be complicated as the Arab nation is only recently opening up to global tourists. It is best to check with your registered travel agent who’ll be able to tell you which type of Saudi Visa you are eligible to apply for and guide you through the entire Saudi Visa application process.

Quick Facts

Currency: Saudi Riyal (SAR)

As of August 2019, 1 Saudi Riyal equals 20 Indian Rupees (approx.) Saudi currency being stronger compared to Indian currency makes it is a fairly expensive country for Indians to visit. So do plan your trip finances wisely.


Time: IST + 2.5 hours

While staying connected with your family in India remember that Saudi time (AST) is 2.5 hours ahead of India time (IST).  

Weather: Hot and dry

Saudi Arabia has a typical desert climate of very hot days and cool nights for most part of the year. The ideal time for you to plan a visit Saudi Arabia is during the winter months of November-March when it’s relatively pleasant.

Food in Saudi Arabia

Saudi cuisine is a blend of many Arabic food influences and a bit of Indian influence as well. Contrary to popular belief there is plenty of option for vegetarians. From traditional Arabic coffee, the popular Falafel made of chickpeas, various flat breads, the national dish Kabsa and melt-in-the mouth desserts like Hainini, there are loads of authentic Saudi dishes that are a must-try.   

How to Travel

As a visitor, you can fly into the international airport at any of the key cities of Riyadh or Jeddah depending upon your trip itinerary.

Once in the country the best way to get around is rent a car and drive since public transport is unreliable and non-existent at most places. Check all driving rules and regulations online. A good idea before you travel would be to visit the nearest RTO to check validity of your Indian driving license and apply for an international driving permit (IDP). Remember in Saudi Arabia all cars have the steering wheel on the left, which means you drive on the right side of the road. 

Stay Options

From budget, mid-range to five-star international hotel chains and private beach villas, there is accommodation to suit every traveller’s budget. Research online and make advance reservation for the accommodation that works best for you.

Must-See, Must-Do

Watch a camel race at Al Janadriyah, go snorkelling and scuba diving among the coral reefs in the Red Sea, hike to the spectacular Al Wahbah crater, visit the lively Jeddah festival, shop at the Red Sea Mall. There’s no dearth of exciting activities and places to see in Saudi.

Purchasing foreign travel insurance is a must. It will cover you in case of a mishap thereby saving you a lot of money and stress while travelling overseas. While mishap is the last thing you want to think of, it is always better to be prepared. A Saudi Arabia travel insurance policy will cover you from expenses arising from trip cancellation, hospitalisation, accident or loss of luggage or passport.