Maybe your friends know? There are many unexplored caves, unclimbed mountains, and stunning valleys! This article is more than 1 year old. If subjecting to their rules is an issue for you, then don’t go. When I was posting all the photos and videos from my visit to Saudi Arabia on my Instagram Stories, people were actually amazed at all the places I visited and the people I met, as they were so many miles away from all the stereotypes the media has been showing us during the last decade. While Saudi Arabia is becoming far more comfortable for Saudi women, there is still a long way to go before the same can be said for female travellers to the country. Thanks! The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is known for imposing oppressive laws on women, will allow women over 21 to obtain passports so they can travel independently. It’s HUGE! The laws also grant the women the eligibility for the guardianship of minor children. Again, this is a culture, not the law. Without sounding too disrespectful to the author of this article travelling solo to any country is not 100 percent safe for any woman. Though a headscarf is not compulsory, it's best to have one on hand in more conservative areas. Apart from … Solo Female Tips for Traveling to Saudi Arabia. My wife was actually physically attacked in a supermarket in Buraydah for not wearing a niqab. 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. 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. and here in Jizan, mingling with locals while exploring the area. The kingdom allows travelling as a solo female on visit visa. The flights were ridiculously expensive, and I missed the bus, so I went outside the bus station to hop in any of the carpooling services which are called “Kadad”. It can be of any color and pattern. And when traveling to remote areas and going for activities such as hiking, climbing, and camping, abayas are not needed at all. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. And, of course, the great desert landscape! For example in the malls, men work at the shops, including lingerie shops and such, which leads to some discussion in Saudi Arabia. However, in 2019, Saudi Arabia allowed women to travel abroad, register a divorce or a marriage, and apply for official documents without male guardian permission. It stipulates that women are not legal persons, and consequently, they have to be represented by … At this point only 4% of the workforce in Saudi Arabia is female. Some rules you need to follow when you travel to Saudi Arabia. Do I need a special driver’s license to drive in Saudi Arabia? You wouldn’t believe it. As you might know, Saudi Arabia started issuing tourist visas from December 2018, which means that now anyone can go there to discover its wonders. I am not saying they are close minded but it is a scene they are not used to. @saraomar_travels – Saudi I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. The northernmost part of the country has similarities to the Levant Arab countries, like Palestine and Jordan, while the southernmost part of the country resembles Yemen so much that it makes me feel like home! The police asked us to pull over, took our IDs and asked standard procedure questions. However, as things are opening up and changing, this is starting to slowly wear out. im not saying that saudi does not persecute gays its just that ‘holding hands’ is an indicator of homosexuality amongst Saudi men (or even South Asian men). Although women in Saudi Arabia can apply for driving licences without needing permission from a male guardian, they still need that permission to travel abroad. However, in 2019, Saudi Arabia allowed women to travel abroad, register a divorce or a marriage, and apply for official documents without male guardian permission. Firstly, foreign women are allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia. Are there any travel companies that offer packages for tourists to see the city and what not? Saudi Arabia got you covered with black, brown and red sand dunes! Read: How to find the right VPN for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has amazing historical sites such as Madinah Saleh, Rijal Almaa and many others. Hello,I am from India 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. It is common that your sponsor holds your passport during your stay. Your age must be 25 or above to travel without a mahram. Don’t be surprised when strangers come up to you and ask “Where did you get the abaya from? Would it be appropriate to exchange hugs at the airport, or would this be considered a display of affection in public? Is it ethical to visit Saudi Arabia as a tourist? @esraarayes – Saudi Women need to wear an abaya – The abaya is a local dress that covers your body (not your head). 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. Those images really triggered the interest of many travelers who would have never thought of going there, and that included many women as well. Good to know that it’s normal to travel alone in Saudi Arabia. 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. but amongst arabs itself its very common and its not viewed as sexual. Remember that, in Saudi, the internet is censored and, if you want to access blocked sites, you will need a VPN. 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. Visas - All nationals are required to get a visa in order to enter Saudi Arabia. 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. Please have a look into these Instagram accounts based in Saudi that will also show you the reality of Saudi Arabia as a Saudi woman and a non-Saudi woman. Get a fair trial. From Eritrea to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan, Joan Torres has been traveling to some of the most off the beaten track destinations on Earth since 2014. Saudi Arabia is rightly considered one of the most difficult countries in which to travel if you're a woman by yourself. I said: What are you going to report me for? 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. 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. It’s actually the fifth largest country in Asia. This week’s Women Beyond Borders episode is all about taking a dive into the unknown. The testimony of a woman is only worth half a man’s in Saudi Arabia’s legal system. The country also has a goal of tourism being a contributor of 10% of GDP. Accessing anywhere that does not have a separate 'family' entrance is impossible for a woman. WOMEN in Saudi Arabia are now able to freely travel abroad without male permission. Useful Information. The new laws by Saudi Arabia are being implemented with hopes of bringing in 100 million tourists annually, both international and domestic, by 2030. While things are changing in the big cities in provincial areas it’s another matter. In recent years, I have not experienced any harassment. 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 … Required fields are marked *. The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Information confirmed the same in an official statement on Friday. Everywhere I went I felt extremely safe. Booking confirmations and travel tickets … 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 . 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. Despite a legacy of human rights atrocities in Saudi Arabia, the controversial kingdom is making great strides to lure tourists. Latest travel advice for Saudi Arabia, ... Information on important laws and etiquette around dress codes is available to visitors on the Visit Saudi website. 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. I say this from having lived in Saudi myself not as someone from outside the country. Since I am a man, all my articles tend to be kind of male-oriented, not on purpose though, but it is just that, sometimes, I forget that the experience for women may be totally different. This translates to a … You can read about a female reporter’s experience in Saudi Arabia here. The best thing to do is to just ignore them and continue doing your thing. I want emails from Lonely Planet with travel and product information, promotions, advertisements, third-party offers, and surveys. Here’s a … The place looks so fascinating! Yes, a woman can go to Saudi Arabia alone for Umrah. As you might know, Saudi Arabia started issuing tourist visas from December 2018, which means that now anyone can go there to discover its wonders. Women in Saudi Arabia can now travel abroad without a male guardian's permission, royal decrees say. But I don’t really know what would be the limits here. Saudi laws require a mahram to be around a woman at all times when she's traveling in public.A mahram can be an older woman or a male relative. Women in Saudi Arabia will finally be allowed to hold passports and travel abroad without the consent of a male guardian, a significant loosening of the Kingdom's notorious restrictions on women. Moreover, the culture in Saudi is so diverse that only 1:10 of my friends are purebred. I’ve rented cars in different cities in Saudi with absolutely no issues, as long as you have a valid driving license for those issued in Saudi/GCC and international driving license for others. I’ll be going there for sure. you may probably require the items below for the journey to Saudi Arabia 1. I am not sure about specific-visa requirements for Indians, but just follow the tips from the visa section, Hii However, since Saudi is known for being an extremely patriarchal country, I received more questions than I had ever received before, some of them asking about safety, while others if it was even possible to go travel to Saudi Arabia as a woman alone. The new rule allows women over the age of 21 to apply for a passport without authorisation, as part of … I’m going to let photos speak for me. To avoid unwanted attention it’s best to go with the flow and do the same as everyone else. I have been to Egypt in 1989 and traveled with my son and daughter to Morocco in the summer of 2018. Here’s a photo of my friends and me in Jeddah, along with a tourist/travel blogger @morinasworld. The religious police do not have any authority, hence they cannot act on anything without being accompanied by the officials. The government of Saudi Arabia has announced that women can now travel independently without male ‘guardianship’. Sometimes, this happens on the streets when random religious men yell out at you and ask you to cover. Moreover, I have not seen religious police in the last 2 years. I need to get a burqa aka ninja cover and a headscarf. I have a teacher colleague that has lived in Saudi Arabia so she is going to help to let us know what to do around Jetta and Riydah. You can also follow and contact her on Instagram and Facebook. @mykindoffridays – Saudi All rights reserved. Furthermore, it would be impossible to find places to eat or sleep, as most restaurants outside of big towns are men-only affairs, and hotels in these areas will be reluctant to rent a room to a woman by herself. Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian's approval. @redseacitizen – Saudi. 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. Belgium has become the first country to appoint a female ambassador to Saudi Arabia in spite of the Gulf nation's shocking women's rights record.. Dominique Mineur will … 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 … Women Travellers. Hey Karen, I guess it depends on which kind of hug I’m sure they’ll get there in the end, but they’ve got a long way to go. You can read about a female reporter’s experience in Saudi Arabia here. This is just the culture he has in his house. !” I get that a lot too. 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 … Because we have been to Israel, it was impossible for us to travel to Saudi Arabia until now. Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian's approval Read more The Saudi regime has relied on a narrow interpretation of walayah (guardianship) in Islamic theology to … Mahrams also have a huge impact on how you get around as a female.Women also are not allowed to drive, so you will need to have a male companion if you are female. Your email address will not be published. Women traveling alone must be met by a sponsor upon arrival in the country. The flights were ridiculously expensive, and I missed the bus, so I went outside the bus station to hop in any of the carpooling services which are called “Kadad”. Please don’t take it that if we don’t wear a scarf is disrespecting the culture. Women can travel to Saudi Arabia alone. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. The e-visa allows travelers (including women 25 and older) a single entry into Saudi Arabia and stay for 30 days. Saudi Arabia has issued new laws to allow women to obtain passports and travel abroad without consent from a male guardian. I got in one, slept comfortably throughout the journey until we reached the checkpoint to enter Riyadh. I’ll be alone for sure, do I need anything to present at the airport? It’s that simple. The regulation will be … 1000 times yes. I did not do anything. The only thing I don’t know is very specific questions such as the zoo and the banking hours. As it is a Moslem country how easy can credit cards be used? Women must take caution so please don’t feel that just because this author has said this that’s it’s okay. Women will also be able to apply for passports and register a marriage, divorce or birth. @nirvana.abdul – Yemeni married to a Saudi Simply say no and walk away and that’s the end of it. It is common that your sponsor holds your passport during your stay. Displays of affection are not allowed, regardless of your gender. By law, women must wear an abaya (full-length robe). 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. 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 . You may also be interested in: Is it ethical to visit Saudi Arabia as a tourist? Hi, I don’t think you need to present anything, That’s good news indeed! 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. Saudi Arabian women arriving at Abha Airport on June 13, 2019. Museums and some sights, such as Riyadh Zoo, have special family-only hours, and some banks have ‘ladies’ branches’. Solo Female Tips for Traveling to Saudi Arabia. Now, if they see two White men holding hands in the city where a few Saudis know and are fully aware of western culture and how western culture views holding hands as ‘gay’, then it could raise some eyebrows. Zafigo’s Quick Guide to Riyadh for Women Travelling Alone or with Family and Friends. 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.. I want to take my daughter now in case G forbid things change and we are unable to go. It’s fair enough to say that if you don’t like the rules, then you shouldn’t go. Ideally, it's her husband. Your email address will not be published. The ‘guardian thing’ is more of a cultural thing, not the law. 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 … This common misconception needs to be eradicated as soon as possible. He was stunned and said that they would explain the procedure at the station. © 2020 Lonely Planet. … In the first point, I mentioned that females are seen as queens and, therefore, must be protected and looked after. In the past, you needed to be over 30 and accompanied by a man. It is very significant to keep the travel documents organized well and put them in a safe place while travelling. This summer, I am planning to take my 17 year old daughter on a trip to Saudi Arabia.