Laws and Etiquette

Laws and etiquette

Public etiquette in Saudi Arabia is informed by our cultural heritage and Islamic religion, and underpinned by values that are familiar to people everywhere: respect for others, decorum in public and protection of privacy.

  • Dress

  • Public behavior

  • Religion

  • Alcohol and substances

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Dress

Both men and women are asked to dress modestly in public, avoiding tight fitting clothing or clothes with profane language or images. Women should cover shoulders and knees in public.

Violations to public decency and penalties

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Public behavior

Public displays of affection are not consistent with local culture and visitors should also avoid using profane language or gestures.

Violations to public decency and penalties

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Religion

At prayer time, five times a day, music is turned off in public places and many shops close briefly.  For one month a year, during Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and so it is respectful to avoid eating or drinking in public during the day at this time.

Violations to public decency and penalties

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Alcohol and substances

The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia. It is illegal to bring alcohol or drugs into country.

Violations to public decency and penalties