Riyadh

Riyadh is the biggest and most urban city in Saudi Arabia. Being the capital of the country it is mostly a business destination. However, despite it’s a cosmopolitan capital of the country, it still very conservative. Women are expected to be covered from head to toe whenever in public.

SAFETY INDEX

See others cities in Saudi Arabia

Inner the urban area Riyadh is very safe. It’s ranked 95th out of 160 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities. 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 harassment. In order to make your holiday smooth, SafeAround did a research and meticulously compiled major information concerning possible risks and dangers in the Mecca’s neighborhoods. Al Olaya and Sulaymaniyah These areas located in the heart of the business district. There are plenty of hotels and private accommodation. The area is very safe, though the main concern leaves the high amount of pickpockets in the public transport. Al Mohamdiyah A home for a most prestigious accommodation in the country. The surrounding area is also a home for top-end restaurants. The area is centrally located and very safe for a stay Al Nakheel Place where expat leaves. Particularly popular among the families due to the presence of a number of international schools. A very pleasant and safe neighborhood to stay. Riyadh Gallery The biggest shopping mall in the country. There you have a mixture of the luxury boutiques and middle price shops. Be aware of pick-pockets as there are many of them in search of distracted tourists.    

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

Riyadh is a huge urban city. However, it is safe. The only concerns tourists should worry about are pickpockets and crowds.

Mid Priority-96 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 pilgrimage. Excessive vigilance in all public place is recommended.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

Riyadh is a place where an occurrence of kidnapping and mugging is low.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : LOW

There are almost no scams known in its territory, except the card frauds. We advise to check your bank statement regularly.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Accidents while travelling 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 During the pilgrimage be ready to the overcrowded public transport, traffic jams.  

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

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.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

The likelihood of carrying out the attacks is high, especially during the time of pilgrimage. 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.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

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.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

The historical core of Riyadh is to the south of Makkah Rd. There each tourist can visit the fantastic grounds of the King Abdul Aziz Historical Park, the National Museum, and the stunning Murabba Palace. Every visitor must visit one of the authentic Arab markets and try a wide variety of local dishes. Additional places worth visiting are the Masmak Fortress and the Governor’s Office.

Useful Information

Visa is required for all tourists visits. Make sure your passport has at least a six-month validity from your planned date of return to the country you’re visiting. Saudi visa rules require women below the age of 45 to be accompanied by a male relative.
Saudi Riyal is the official currency of the Saudi Arabia. The best exchange rate can be found in the airports.
Apart from the Asir region on the western coast, Saudi Arabia has a desert climate. It experiences extremely high temperatures, which can exceed 50C. The hottest months of the year are from June to September.
King Fahd International Airport is the largest airport in the country. If you’re looking fore cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar.
As in any country, we advise travellers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical issues but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page.