Saudi Arabia Travel Warning
Country-specific safety information
For safety reasons, we strongly advise against traveling to the border area with Yemen and non-essential travel to the Qatif district (especially the city of Awamiyyah) in the Eastern Province. There were again smaller demonstrations there on January 3, 2016.
It is also strongly advised not to visit mosques in the Eastern Province during Friday prayers.
Effects of the Yemen Conflict
Since the end of March 2015, Saudi Arabia has been participating in an international coalition to support the Yemeni government against rebels and, as part of this coalition, is also flying air strikes in Yemen. As a result, tensions on the Yemeni-Saudi border have increased and there have been repeated individual, localized fighting, including against the city of Najran. We therefore strongly advise against traveling to the immediate border area with Yemen. In any case, the instructions of the local security forces must be followed.
Several rockets from Yemen have hit the southwest of the country since the beginning of the conflict, and two foreigners were wounded in October 2016. Military facilities in Najran Province, Asir Province, Jazan Province are particularly affected. The provinces of Bahah and Makkah and the most south-western part of the province of Riyadh can also be the target of missile attacks. In view of the increasing range of the missiles used in the past, attacks on other provinces cannot be ruled out.
According to youremailverifier, the security situation in Saudi Arabia is still characterized by the possibility of terrorist attacks.
Although the Saudi security forces have achieved remarkable success in the fight against terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAH) and ISIS, the threat level remains high.
In the past 12 months there have been multiple attacks targeting security forces and Shiite institutions. On July 4, 2016, suicide bombers carried out attacks in Jeddah, Qatif and Medina. Several Saudi security forces were killed in Medina while two of the attacks failed.
As of September 2014, there have also been some attacks on Western foreigners in Saudi Arabia, in one case resulting in death. German nationals have so far not been affected by threats or attacks. However, the Saudi Interior Ministry points out the need for constant vigilance.
Against this background, it is recommended that all German nationals exercise particular caution and vigilance, avoid crowds of people and visit mosques during Friday prayers, especially in the Eastern Province, and ensure that they can rely on the security measures they have taken themselves.
Travel over land
The Saudi Arabian authorities expressly prohibit trips to the desert (crossing the Rub al-Khali) out of concern for safety. For security reasons, the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry requires travel to tourist locations within Saudi Arabia to be announced in advance to the security authorities so that security measures can be taken.
The Saudi authorities require the presence of security forces, especially when visiting archaeological sites. Please contact the General Commission for Tourism & Antiquities PO Box 66680 Riyadh 11586 Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia Phone: +966 11 8808855 or +966 11 800 755 0000 Fax: +966 11 8808844
Web: external link, opens in new windowwww.scta.gov.sa
The crime rate is increasing, but remains at a comparably low level. A few cases of carjacking have been reported in Riyadh.
General information on behavior
The social rules in force in Saudi Arabia should be observed, especially noticeable clothing and display or even distribution of Christian religious symbols should be avoided. Large crowds and gatherings should be avoided, especially after Friday prayers (Muslim weekend).
All Germans who live – even temporarily – in the official district of the embassy can be included in a crisis prevention list in accordance with Section 6 (3) of the German Consular Act.
This is a voluntary measure. The embassy recommends that you make use of this option so that you can be contacted quickly in crises and other exceptional situations – if necessary.
Entry into the crisis prevention list is password-protected online:
If you encounter difficulties with online registration, please send an email to the Riyadh Embassy using their contact form with a brief explanation or call +966 11 2776 ext. 913 and 953.
German Embassy Riyadh PO Box 94001 Riyadh 11693 Tel: +966 11 2776 900 Fax: +966 11 4 88 06 60 Website: External link, opens in new windowhttp: //riad.diplo.de