Is Saudi Arabia a safe or dangerous country?Saudi Arabia is the 108th safest country in the world, based on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking. Violent crime is very low and most tourists will never face any safety concern inner the cities. Most common is pickpocketing, particularly while the pilgrimage. There is a larger presence of the police throughout the country. Scams with credit cards are common We advise to use the ATM’s only inside the bank facilities and look promptly for your card while paying in shops or bars. Regular checks of the bank statement will prevent further losses. Female travelers should be cautious of how they behave and dress in public in order to prevent violating local rules, which are much stricter than in UAE or Qatar. Avoid walking alone after the sunset and in remote places, because unaccompanied women can be vulnerable to harassments. Another area of concern is constantly growing slums around the city. The level of poverty in Saudi Arabia is very high, and that state hides it very well. As a result, a constant growth of slums around the main urban areas, despite the fact, that for recent years, billions of dollars have been spent on social activity and education. Anyway, you are not likely to turn out accidentally at any kind of this area, we advise to avoid visiting it during dusk due to the safety concerns.
Border with YemenAll travel to within 10km of the border with Yemen is not recommended, due to the occasional Ballistic missiles fire and constant clashes along the Saudi-Yemeni border. Airports near the border are temporarily closed.
Border with IraqHigh cautious is needed while visiting this area. There is known a recent incident near the “Arar” crossing point when Saudi Arabians guards were killed.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Inner main urban areas of Mecca and Riyard there are no safety concerns, except pickpocketing. However, in the remote and rural areas, there are plenty of safety issues particularly near the border with Iraq and Yemen. Saudi Arabia is ranked 108th on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
As a frequently visited tourist destination with more than 15 million visits yearly, it is not surprising that pick-pocketing is common in Saudi Arabia. Particularly pickpocketing has its peak during a pilgrimage. There’s been an increase in the number cases of pick pocketing in the area of grand Mosque and in Medina. Excessive vigilance in all public place is recommended.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
Saudi Arabia is a place where an occurrence of kidnapping and mugging is low, although, near the border of restrict areas, it might be a concern.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
There are almost no scams known in its territory, except the card frauds. We advise to check your bank statement regularly.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH
- Accidents while traveling on the road occur frequently. There is a threat while off-road driving. Ensure cars are well equipped and you carry enough water.
- Outside of the main cities, the roadways vary from very good to poor condition. Many are not properly illuminated during hours of darkness.
- Driving can be dangerous. Drivers displaying varying degrees of skill, aggressiveness, and attentiveness often maneuver erratically and at high speed, demonstrating little road discipline or courtesy
- Vessels operating in the Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman are at the increased risk of pirates’ attack.
- During the pilgrimage be ready to the overcrowded public transport, traffic jams.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
Saudi Arabia experiences extremely high temperatures, which can exceed 50C. Sandstorms occur on a regular basis. Sometimes, severe thunderstorms may occur. Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
The likelihood of carrying out the attacks is high. The main threat is form Daesh, that were formerly referred to ISIL. Qatif in the Eastern Province encountered 10 attacks since May 2017. We advise to be vigilant all the time.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
Overall, female travellers risk in Saudi Arabia seems to be on par with main European countries, Australia, Canada or USA. SafeAround recommends taking normal safety precautious and trying to avoid visiting remote neighbourhoods late at night.