Understand Understand

About Saudi

Traditions of Saudi Arabia

  • Language Language


    Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia and the primary language used in all dealings and public transactions. English serves as an informal second language in the Kingdom and is spoken by a large section of its society. All road signs are bilingual, showing information in both Arabic and English. 

  • Culture Culture


    Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage and traditions have been shaped by its position as a historic trade hub and the birthplace of Islam. In recent years, the Kingdom has undergone a significant cultural transformation, evolving centuy-old customs to fit the contemporary world we live in today.

    • Spring Spring

      Mid-March to Mid-June


      Spring in Saudi Arabia can be brisk, particularly in the north, where the temperature at night can drop below 15 degrees C. The central and southern regions are warmer, averaging around 20 degrees after nightfall. Rainfall is at its highest during spring, particularly in the central region and in the southwest over the Aseer Mountains.


      Don’t forget to pack layers — like light sweaters, scarves or pashminas — plus a rain jacket and sunglasses.

    • Summer Summer

      Mid-June to Mid-September


      With the exception of the comparatively mild highlands in the southwest, summer signals the start of rising temperatures across most of the country, with the average hovering around 45 degrees C. The early mornings and long evenings are more temperate, so take advantage of the warm seas to explore Saudi’s world-class scuba diving sites, or try sailing and snorkeling.


      Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, water shoes and a hat to protect your face.

    • Autumn Autumn

      Mid-September to Mid-December


      Autumn brings gentler weather and cool breezes in both Saudi Arabia’s northern regions and the southwestern highlands. While daytime temperatures remain warm and can reach the 30s in early fall, evenings are milder and fit for outdoor strolling, especially along Jeddah’s waterfront, indulging in al-fresco dining or visiting Al Ahsa’s cool desert springs.


      Don’t forget to pack your walking shoes and a sweater for air-conditioned buildings and cooler evenings.

    • Winter Winter

      Mid-December to Mid-March


      Take advantage of Saudi Arabia’s beautiful winter weather to explore the kingdom. The balmy days and cool nights are ideal for camping, rock climbing or exploring Saudi Arabia’s verdant highlands and bustling cities, from Riyadh to Jeddah. Average winter temperatures are in the teens, but visitors might be lucky enough to see snowfall in the mountains of the northern regions blanketing the slopes and desert sands.


      Don’t forget to pack a heavy jacket or coat as well as lotion, as Saudi winters can be dry.

Currency & Payments

  • Exchange and transactions Exchange and transactions

    Exchange and transactions

    Currency exchange and transactions are easy in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s national currency is the Saudi riyal (ر.س SAR), which is subdivided into 100 halala.
    You’ll receive notes in denominations of five riyals, ten riyals, 50 riyals, 100 riyals and 500 riyals; and coins in one riyal, two riyals, 50 halala, 25 halala, 10 halala, 5 halala and 1 halala.

  • Currency Exchange

    All banks in the kingdom offer currency exchange services. Exchange bureaus are located at airports, some shopping centers and various other locations throughout the country. Credit card, such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted throughout the kingdom. ATMs are also widely available.

  • Send and receive money

    You can send or receive money in Saudi Arabia by transferring funds online or through a bank that offers fast money transfer services, all of which are subject to the rules and regulations of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

  • Taxes

      Saudi Arabia imposes an indirect tax of 15% (VAT) on all goods and services purchased and sold by enterprises. There are some exceptions.









Laws & Etiquette