Travel Guide to Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia is in the Middle East on the Arabian Peninsula. Neighboring countries are Jordan , the Iraq and Kuwait in the north, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the east and Oman and Yemen in the south.
Jiddah on the Red Sea. The climate is warm and humid for the Europeans to get used to. The city is very different from Riyadh , you can feel more open and multicultural influences. Women may also be unveiled to the public, it is possible to walk on the beach and very nice. The residential and commercial buildings are partly designed and individually decorated. At the beach promenade are numerous enormous sculptures, some are smaller original works by Pablo Picasso. You can eat fresh fish in restaurants and hotels, the Red Sea is rich in the finest fishing in the world. It is reserved for the men to go to the numerous jet ski resorts and beach resorts and undertake extensive dives on the fantastic reefs with its unique diversity.
Tourist visas are only in very limited quantities and under strict conditions, for example, not given to unmarried women under 45 years of group travel. Bids had earlier issued an alien entering her passport, and got a domestic ID card for foreigners, today only the entry visa is stamped. Normally, foreigners always need an official invitation from a Saudi Arabian organization or a sponsor. This is an application for a visa required. Special arrangements are available for groups of Muslim pilgrims (Hajj and Umrah) who visit the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. The entry is usually permitted only by plane or by boat. The passport must be valid at least 6 months and the passenger has paid and vorzuweisen valid return ticket. Women under 40 years of age may not accompanied by an adult close relatives (father, husband, brother) to enter alone.
Foreigners are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia with an international driver’s license or special car. Since there are hardly any well-functioning transport, one has to rely on taxis or vehicles on the host. Who does not shy away from contact with local people can apply to distances within the larger cities rely on the sporadic, but frequent direct minibuses. They are usually free, but it is a voluntary payment to the driver, who is usually an Indian, Indonesian or Pakistani. So also most of the other passengers, because the Saudi usually has one or more cars. Women driving (according to government safety reasons because of possible sexual harassment) is prohibited. (Women can also make for the professional pilot’s license, because they will be in the air barely in contact with aggressive men.)
The distances in the country are large, so flying is the most recommendable one connection between the major cities. The national airline, “Saudi Arabian Airlines / Saudia” is one of the world’s largest airlines. A domestic flight is comparatively cheap. The official language is Arabic, Saudi Arabia. English is official language of commerce, and very frequently encountered. Caution: German stutter, lose the bad English, with Saudis, who have studied at Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard, her face quickly. The road signs are bilingual, almost all people who understand you as a visitor encounters in the cities, the English language. Many highly educated Saudis have completed a training or study in the West, one will ever welcomed surprise in the local language.
The Arab cuisine is adapted to the climate and is easily digestible. Basically, is served with almost every meal, humus, a porridge made from dried chickpeas with a little olive oil, which is eaten with fresh pita bread included. Chicken and beef meat, lots of vegetables, fresh fruit and over again humus and pita bread are dishes that are convenient to everywhere. Dates and figs, which grow on trees in many places are almost the only “local” fruit snack bars and small restaurants are operated almost exclusively by Indians and Pakistanis, representing a significant proportion of the population and are indispensable in the Kingdom. These people have brought some of their own culture with others in the country and push it out with the type and preparation of food. At every meal and in between sweet tea is served, which tastes very intense and mild stimulant effect. The employees of the companies in the “Industrial Areas” can also often fast food (either by American, Arab or Indian snack chains) provide.