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Saudi-Arabia Travel Guide: Places & Time to Visit, Delicacies

Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia

Embassy of India
Address: B-1, Diplomatic Quarter,
PO Box 94387, Riyadh 11693,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Working Hours
9.00 AM to 5.30 PM (Sunday to Thursday)
Tel. Nos.: 011-4884144/ 4884691 Fax No.: 011-4884750

Visa Process for Indians

  • Original Passport (valid for a minimum period of six months at the time of submission of visa application)
  • Copy of Passport
  • Two recent Passport size photographs
  • Duly completed Online Application Form
  • Proof of confirmation of hotel accommodation
  • Airlines tickets
  • A letter from Employers or Sponsors or a Bank Statement of the applicant (last one month). In case of minors, document(s) from either parent may be submitted

About Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, which is officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is an Arab country situated in Western Asia. The country covers the majority of the Arab Peninsula. The freedom of religion is restricted by the laws of the country, and most of the citizens here are Muslims. Even though only Muslims are valued in the country, the locals are still very friendly and helpful towards tourists. The vast stretches of deserts, rich history, stunning forts, mosques and temples spread all across the country will overwhelm you. Other than that, the unique festivals and Islamic cultures, traditions, and etiquettes will also leave you fascinated.

Top Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia

  • Riyadh – Riyadh is the most straight-laced of the three main cities of Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is mainly a business destination as most forms of entertainment are banned here, this destination has just a few sights of interest accompanied with an extremely brutal climate. Majority of people here adhere to the dress code which consists of abaya for women and thawb for men. However, you might come across many Saudis in westernised clothing as well.
  • Jeddah – Jeddah has been a trading and port city for centuries, and this is reflected in its inhabitants who are of a cosmopolitan mix. Currently, it is considered a major commercial centre in Saudi Arabia, consisting of many government offices. Furthermore, Jeddah is also known in the kingdom for its popular shopping districts, cafes and restaurants. It is also home to the Jeddah Corniche, which is has the king Fahad’s fountain, the highest fountain in the world with a huge bunch of beaches, resorts, and hotels clustered around it.
  • Khobar – The latest of the Dammam-Dhahran-Khobar trio, Khobar is usually considered the most enjoyable of the bunch, owing to its seaside position as well as beachside Corniche. Apart from that, Khobar is also the most organised and consists of the best pedestrian-friendly walkways. Here women also have fewer restrictions compared to other eastern cities in terms of wearing hijab.

How to Reach Saudi Arabia

The major international airports in Saudi Arabia are located in Riyadh, Jeddah, Medinah, and Dammam. Many airlines offer regular and non-stop flights from Saudi Arabia to all the major countries in the world. Some of the prominent airlines of the country are Flynas, Mid East Jet, Saudia and SaudiGulf. The only way to travel from India to Saudi Arabia is through flights. Some of the regular flights travel between the major Indian cities to the major cities of Saudi Arabia. Popular airlines running on this route are Emirates, Jet Airways, Saudia, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, and Air India.

Best Time to Visit Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is an enormously dry country where rainfall is minimal. During summers, the country experiences scorching heat and humid temperatures, making it extremely uncomfortable to explore the place. However, from November onwards, Saudi Arabia’s weather is amazingly welcoming, with quite chilly nights. It is certainly the best month to explore the place during the daytime. The temperature from April to October ranges between 40 to 45 degrees Celsius and goes up to 49 degrees Celsius during some seasons. The weather throughout the summer months remains extremely hot and humid, and this is certainly not the best time to visit Saudi Arabia.

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The vast stretches of deserts, rich history, stunning forts, mosques and temples spread all across the country will overwhelm you. Other than that, the unique festivals and Islamic cultures, tradition, and etiquettes will also leave you fascinated.

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Things to Pack

Packing the essentials products like clothes and footwears usually depends on what the weather conditions are like in Saudi Arabia. Here is a list of some of the travel essentials one must never forget to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Covered Clothes
  • Earplugs
  • First Aid Kit
  • Important documents such as travel insurance policy

Top Delicacies of Saudi Arabia

  • Mutabaq
    This scrumptious and popular delicacy is believed to be originated from the Yemeni, but over the years, it can be considered one of the most appetising food items in the Kingdom. Prepared from thin pastry layers, this dish is covered and folded around a blend of minced meat, tomatoes, onions, eggs, parsley, and some jalapeño peppers. The very first bite of the Mutabaq bursts into a plethora of innumerable flavours. This deliciously stuffed version of the pancake is readily available on a number of food joints.
  • Malabari Paratha
    This flaky layered flatbread tends to melt away in your mouth. Considered as a staple dish amongst the expat population here, this dish has now also become extremely popular amongst all other residents residing in the Kingdom. Served with curry, this scrumptious flatbread never disappoints.
  • Luqaimat
    Luqaimat is doughnut-like dumplings which is one of the most delectable desserts you’ll ever come across. It is crunchy from the outside and incredibly soft from the inside. Luqaimat is also a Ramadan favourite.
  • Falafel
    Falafel is a spicy and deep-fried delicacy which is prepared using faca beans along with ground chickpeas. These are best served with a tasty topping of pickled veggies, hot sauce and salads of your choice. This popular street food is undoubtedly one of the most preferred and devoured street foods in the country.

Shopping List Essentials (Where to Shop)

  • Mall of Dhahran, Dhahran
    Spread across one vast floor, Mall of Dhahran is a family-oriented shopping centre, which offers an extensive variety of more than 400 local as well as international brands. All your shopping needs will be taken care of as you explore the spacious hypermarket, check out some of the most amazing boutiques and hunt for bargains.
  • Red Sea Mall, Jeddah
    One of the largest malls in Jeddah, the Red Sea Mall consists of a curved-glass building, which was opened back in 2008. You can check out an array of local and international brands here. Apart from that, you can also find a huge variety of restaurants and cafes in the area.
  • Al-Rashid Mall, Al Khobar
    Al-Rashid Mall is quite a spacious shopping centre which was established back in 1995. This shopping spot boasts a variety of amazing local and international store brands. The mall got expanded back in 2006, and now features a significantly large chain of the supermarket, also consisting of various traditional shops and restaurants.

Top Indian Restaurants in Saudi Arabia

  • Zafran Indian Bistro
    Location: Rubeen Plaza, North Ring Road | Hittin District, Rubeen Plaza, Exit2, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Contact: +966 11 562 2229
  • Ginger Leaf
    Location: North Corniche Road, Jeddah 236132861, Saudi Arabia
    Contact: +966 9200 03800
  • Talwar - Indian Restaurant
    Location: 14th Street | Al Khobar Corniche, Al Khobar 34427, Saudi Arabia
    Contact: +966 50 246 9289

Healthcare Centers in Saudi Arabia

When going on a trip to Saudi Arabia, it becomes important to be aware of some of the healthcare centres to avoid any mishappenings caused due to an emergency. Below is the list of some healthcare centers you can contact when in need:

  • Dr Siddiqa Hospital
    Location: Mushrifah Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    Contact: +96626721764
  • Saudi German Hospital
    Location: Salama Jeddah 2550, Saudi Arabia
    Contact: +971 4 389 0000
  • Al Azhar Hospital
    Location: Naseem Riyadh 276619, Saudi Arabia
    Contact: + 04862 223 000

Currency

The official currency of Saudi Arabia is Saudi Riyal.

Basics of Local Communication

Locals easily understand English; however, it is always better to keep a few local phrases handy for a great trip.

English Arabic
Good morning Sabah alkhyr
My name is… Aismi hu...
Where is…? 'Ayn hwa...?
Yes Nem fielaan
No La
Please Raja'
Sorry Asif
How Much is This for? Kam hu hadha?

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