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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BASIC Things To Know About Saudi Law, Customs and Traditions

If you are visiting or planning to live in Saudi Arabia, it is advisable to learn first some of the basic laws, customs and traditions.

The following information is adapted from the published information from the Foreign Office of UK. 

Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country in which Islamic law is strictly enforced. 
Visitors should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times. They include:
The public practice of any form of religion other than Islam is illegal, as is an intention to convert others. But, Saudi authorities accept the private practice of religion in individual homes. 
Islamic codes of behavior and dress are strictly enforced. Women should wear conservative, loose-fitting clothes as well as a full length cloak (abaya) and headscarf. Men should not wear shorts in public

  • Homosexual acts and adultery are illegal and can be subject to severe sanctions.
  • It is illegal for women to drive. - Women usually get around by taking taxi, hiring family driver or male family members  drives the car for them.

  • Penalties for the possession of, or trade in, alcohol are severe. Both result in prison sentences.

  • Bringing medication to the country requires a doctor’s prescription. The punishment for smuggling drugs includes the death penalty.

  • Importing pork products is forbidden.

  • The possession of pornographic material - or of illustrations of scantily dressed people, especially women - is prohibited. Electronic devices may be screened by customs officials on arrival and departure.
Photographing government buildings, military installations and palaces is not allowed. You should also avoid taking photographs of local people. 
It is illegal to hold two passports in Saudi Arabia and a second will be confiscated by immigration authorities

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