Single woman travelling to Saudi Arabia and UAE - regulations?
  • i would like to visit Riyadh Saudi Arabia this year and i would like to find out what to expect while traveling on my own is it allowable for a woman to do this and where could i stay if any one has any advise i would be most grateful
  • Hi - have you seen our expat guide to Saudi - got some information on travelling there as a woman:
  • Dear Lesleena,
    a women alone is not allowed to enter KSA, u have to have a male immediate relative.
  • My fiance is leaving for Riyadh. Are there flirt girls there in Riyadh?
  • Hello Milan what do u mean is there any "Flirt girls " in Riyadh
  • flirty girls mean girls who make lust things with men...
  • Malen - yes, there are plenty of prostitutes in Riyadh. Mostly women from eastern Europe and Russia.
  • sergio I had no idea there were prostitutes in Riyadh ! how can they stay in Riyadh don't they have to have a relative or husband to stay in the country. i can't get into the country because i don't have a male relative to get in there ??? I would like to know more if u wouldn't mind because I want to go there
  • These girls are brought in by bad people in government for the specific purpose of working as hookers. The Arabs in Saudi can be very hypocritical - on the outside they are good muslims, but many like to drink booze and use hookers. Is it not the same all over the world? So why should it be any different there..
  • Thank you for ur comment i learn something new every day
  • Sergio, how did you know about all these things about prostitutes in Riyadh?
    I thought the laws in those Arab countries, particularly laws concerning women are very brute..
  • Laws are one thing ... enforcement another.
    Malen my friend - you are right - the laws regarding womens behaviour is very strict indeed. And prostitution is still very illegal. But it still exists, because it provides a purpose and fulfils a need.

    The hookers are not street walkers, and not always obvious, and there are not nearly as many as in most big cities. But there are still hookers, run by taxi drivers and pimps, filipino or thai women serving the manual labourers and workers, or more upmarket russian/ east european women serving the expats or saudi market.
  • I am truly amazed to have such response from every one thank u for ur enlightenment on this subject especially u Sergio do u live in Riyadh ?
  • I don't live there, but I researched this place for an article I wrote. My advice if you want on-the-ground info is to visit the bulletin boards of expats living in riyadh and ask your quesitons there.
  • How about the issue that men are also being raped there by the Arabs? Is that true?
  • Can anyone help me pls? I am a married British woman, intending to travel to Dubai on my own to meet a friend who lives in Saudi. After reading some of the above, I am a little unsure as to whether I am ok to travel alone. I am assuming I will be allowed entry. Can anyone advise please??


  • My fiance lives in a western compound in a 2 bed flat - i want to go visit but we are getting conflicting storeis - would I be allowed to travel to saudi as a tourist and stay with im for a week or is this not allowed???
  • Women are not allowed to travel alone in Riyadh. You should be accompanied by an immediate male relative, Anne..
  • Thank you. I am being met at Dubai airport, so I am hoping I will be okay!
  • I'm a western expat, lived in Riyadh for 5 years (now living in Jeddah). No one can even get on an airplane heading to Saudi Arabia without the appropriate visa stamped in your passport. You will be turned away by the airline. Should you by chance get on the plane, you will be turned around by Saudi customs they minute they don't find the visa, if you are lucky, if you are not lucky, you will spend a great deal of time trapped in the airport (with few amenities I might add) until they sort it out - then you will be turfed out of the country.
  • hey, anyone who knows about the culture and the way of life in Al khubar? Are men not allowed to talk to women., or else they will be arrested? How true is that? Thank you.
  • I would suggest you stay at the women's only hotel in Riyadh the Luthan Spa. It is very good and not as expensive as the big chains
  • Can someone guide for the culture for someone to work for say 2 years. I have got an oppurtunity to work there. Is it a decent place to live in and is there any racism of not being a muslim
  • @Amit
    If you just consider moving to Saudi for temporary work please do keep the following in mind.
    - Expect Saudis (or Arabs in general) treating you based on your nationality at the outset and your success depends mainly on how quickly you make your mind up to fit within a different work culture and environment. (It’s not just the output or quality of your work that matters!)

    - UK & US citizens command better salaries, even better than locals (historic reason being - OIL & weapons :)

    - Work place won’t be as exciting; Arabs are considered lazy gooses, but they make people work hard, depends on who/how your immediate boss is. Bear in mind that you will have at least 2 bosses, and one or the other is most likely to be a lazy Arab who thinks he is 'overseeing' the shoulder of the other non-Arab boss without any clue on what’s going around him.

    - If you are single (since I was) , social life or quality friends networking is almost 'nil' within Riyadh (better drive to Bahrain on weekends if you see what I mean)

    3 years ago I was excited when I got hired to work with such a very lucrative day rate. I am a UK citizen and I went there due to my specialist IT skills after having worked in the UK for 5 years (by the way I am born, raised and studied in India ).
    I wouldn't return to Saudi now because I have a family now and my wife and baby enjoys a better home here :-) and of course thanks goes to all the tax free Saudi Riyals :-).
    Bottom line is, KSA is extremely family-unfriendly for foreigners, so if you are single jump in for the money if you are with family think twice !

    Hope this helps.
  • hi, does anyone in riyadh knows about the soccer game showing at the south african embassy tonight?
  • Hi, my fiance is in Riyadh and I'm planning to visit him in December. My daughter and her baby will join us, as my son in law is also in Riyadh. Will that be possible?
  • Hi
    Can I just say, I posted an entry early on last month about travelling to Dubai as a lone female traveller and was given quite a mixed reply. However, I flew from the UK as a British citizen to Dubai. My passport was stamped with a visitor's visa, free of charge and I had no problems whatsoever. In fact the people at the airport were very courteous and polite. I was met at the airport by a friend and left without a hitch. Had a fantastic time in Dubai, despite the heat and humidity.
    Thanks to all to helped.
  • Hi Anne, thanks for the feedback. However, entering Dubai as a single woman is quite different to entering Saudi. I would be interested to hear from any women that have attempted to travel to Saudi Arabia alone and unaccompanied.
  • david f: i am going to riyadh in sept. 09 on a business visa. unaccompanied. i expect zero problems, but will keep everyone posted.
  • Thanks ann for ur comment on going to Dubai I am about to head off there next week and i am really looking forward to it any thing u can suggest for me ? i will be traveling on my own also thanks lesleena
  • Hello
    i am interestd in getting more info about single women( european ), living and working in the KSA. Is it a good experience for a single women to get a job as a teacher in the KSA?
    i would apppreciate any valuable information
  • Hey everyone...i live in riyadh, ofcoz femalez under 40 yrs cannot travel unaccompanied, they can do if they are invited for business purpose. Since m in tourism field, we use to assist some of our friends in the same field to come for the sales trip and not otherwise becoz u cud face a great deal of difficulty in Airport and said by a user before trapped in the airport and unable to u dont have a visa, dont even think abt it. In the meantime, new arrivals needs to do give the finger print and take picture that will be recorded in the immigration.

    And it is also not possible to go out for shopping unaccompanied...U need any further me on my yahoo add
  • Is it illegal to spend time with any girl in the same room in a Hotel in saudi arabia
  • i would also like to travel to riyadh but i need advice can anyone help me i am a married woman 28 years old but i am seperated and wish to travel alone my email is for anyone with information that can advise me or i might go to dubai and what about the way men are over there they seem to be a passionate people then change suddenly are they out only for their own benefits and then walk away
  • Hi i want to know that my sister in law wants to visit me in dubai with her kids from Saudi arab (Al Khuber) can she travel alone with her kids. Can any body help me on this
  • Hello Fahad I was over in dubai last year and i did not have a problem travelling around Dubai i walked a lot to shopping centers and did not have to be accompanied by a man and i did not have a problem i found the people friendly and helpful
  • Hello Everyone

    I am married Indian woman, 27 yrs old and will probably be traveling Riyadh in next month for business purpose. Can you tell me if it's possible to get business VISA for women traveling there alone. Will I face any difficulty if I travel alone from hotel to office?

    Thanks in advance...
  • my mother and I are planning a trip to KSA with a tour group.
    However the tour ends in Jeddah and we intend to continue our travel to Istanbul.
    we'll probably separate with the group at Jeddah, though I worry since we're women are we allowed to exit the KSA without a sponsor/permission? or does that regulation only applies to residence of the KSA?
    any info will be greatly appreciated. thanks.
  • hello, my newly boyfriend will be traveling to riyadh for a job assignment and i am very worry for him. How safe will it be for me to visit him, with the required paper work\. Please advised, will there be any problems for him to leave when he wants?
  • I Have been invited by a member of the SA Royal family to go and work as a nanny, am over 40 and female. Does it mean am locked in the house all the time? because I am not allowed to go out on my own. What about shopping and internet? How is it to live with an SA family?
  • Hello,
    I am a single woman flying to Saudi Arabia alone. A close relative (male) will be waiting for me at the airport. Will I be allowed in? I have a visa and everything. Thank you
  • Hi All-

    Just to clarify. Saudi Arabia does NOT issue tourist visas - regardless of whether you're man, woman, leopard or oompa loompa. In recent years leniency has been extended to pre-organised tour groups. These require considerable planning and are nearly always facilitated by a business within the KSA. If you are a woman and have sponsorship - from either your family (meaning your husband in KSA) or from an employer, then you can travel to Saudi Arabia alone. The male sponsor (either employer or husband) must meet you at the airport and all your documentation must be in order - meaning visas must be granted.

    Do not depart your country if you have merely been offered an invite.

    If your boyfriend, or lover or the person you've been stalking for the last ten years is moving to Saudi Arabia then your best bet is to meet them in the UAE or in Bahrain for a holiday. Bahrain is a hop, skip and a jump across the Saudi Causeway and the UAE just slightly further. Visit visas are granted regularly for these destinations and bars, clubs, movie theatres and yes, EVEN alchohol, still do exist. Unless you are married, you will not be able to see this person in Saudi Arabia until they return. Co-habitation between a man and a woman is illegal in Saudi unless you are married or family.
  • Hello, I am a married women. I traveled from the USA to SA with my three year old son and not other male three months ago. I had no problem at the airport as I had my visa stamps in our passports.
  • Oh and I go out to the malls by myself all the time.
  • im working here in jeddah and i have iqama already, i have a friend who is inviting me to go to riyadh, is it possible for me to go there without any trouble facing the immigration or custom at riyadh airport?
  • Hi, I am single women, and i have a relative living in SA, do you think i will get the visa easily ??
  • Hi Stephaniek, thank you for the good info. I just wanted to clarify something. Could I be engaged to my partner rather than married? If it is married i.e. do you need a marriage certificate? What do Saudi customs check when you come in to the country? Does the passport have to be in the same name? Or could it be just local country identification i.e. drivers licence in the same name? Thanks
  • Just to clarify what was mentioned about KSA that there are many Prostitutions from Eastern Europe....etc. Prostitutions that they talked about are only in Dubai (an Emirate that is part of UAE) not KSA or RIyadh. KSA is another country that is so strict. Sure there are flirty girls in every country including KSA but not publically prostitues.

    I have been living in KSA since birth and I never heard or seen such Eastern European prostitutions in KSA.
  • Bandar, Assalumu Aleikum, I am a muslim mother of four children. I am of hispanic origin, and reside in the USA. My children whom are all under the age of 10 will be traveling with me to Reyad this fall (Sept 2011). My intensions for this trip is so that we can further learn the language as well as further our religious studies. We plan to stay there for 2-3 yrs. What are my expectations to this idea? Do you think this is even possible to do?
  • Hello Everyone,
    I am dying to go to Saudi Arabia, I am a female under 40....
    I read couple of comments that they got visas and are traveling to KSA... can you please tell me how I can get this visa, my husband is a saudi, we have not applied for visa since he wants to move out of KSA.
    I really want to go for visit, is there an organization that I can even buy the visa, pay for it ... or something!
    I hear lot of female traveling to KSA, why cant I ?!
    please help me out!

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