It’s a dream for every female to travel solo. Traveling solo somewhere leaves an impact on one’s personality too and is an experience to remember forever. Saudi Arabia has been on every traveller list to explore. The place in itself is so interesting that it has managed to captivate female travellers heart. So if you are planning a trip to Saudi, here is a Guide on Female Travellers to Saudi Arabia.
- Saudi Arabia Culture
- Saudi Arabia for Female travellers
- Saudi Arabia Cuisine
- Best time to travel to Saudi Arabia
- What one must-pack for Saudi Trip?
- Important things to remember by female travellers to visit Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia Culture
Saudi, as a country, is very much influenced by the root of Islam and Bedouin – which is the nomadic desert tribes. Saudi Arabia culture is based upon religious beliefs, traditions. The citizens of Saudi are family-oriented. Some parts of Saudi Arabia are socially conservative too.
Saudi Arabia for Female travellers
Earlier, Saudi Arabia was majorly segregated by gender. This means that there was a time when there were too many restrictions put upon women. Females were not allowed to travel alone freely. Women were also put restrictions on their clothes. No women were allowed to travel internationally or even go for medical treatment without having a male guardian accompanied.
But, with the changing time and mind-set of the citizens, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia is leading the country towards more relaxed restrictions towards women. And now this place has attracted eves of many women travellers.
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Saudi Arabia Cuisine
Food is something, every traveller goes crazy for. So if you are a big-time foodie, you will get to explore the divine cuisine of Saudi Arabia. The country has always been a crossroad for cultures. During the ancient period, traders would visit from across the world. The Muslim pilgrims from all across the world have been travelling here to visit Mecca. This is one of the reasons, the cuisine of Saudi Arabia has multiple different influences. Some of the famous dishes of Saudi have their origin elsewhere. The cuisine of Saudi Arabia is full of flavours and spicy. Their meals are usually served along with bread or rice. The locals of Saudi have meat on regular basis.
Some of the food one must definitely try are:-
- Dates – Dates, also known as khajoor is of the best quality available in Saudi Arabia. There are several types and flavours available.
- Tharid – It is a spicy lamb stew that is served with bread mostly and tastes delicious.
- Kabsa – It is a combination of roasted chicken along with rice.
- Murtabak – It is nothing but stuffed pancake
- Jareesh – It is a wheat porridge that is crushed thoroughly and topped with onions and dried lime
- Mamuul – These are stuffed date cooking that anybody would crave for.
- Arabic coffee – This is very different from our regular coffee. The colour is a bit yellow and tastes bitter. The coffee is flavoured with lots of Cardamoms.
- Laban – It is a yogurt drink that’s sufficiently creamy.
Best time to travel to Saudi Arabia
The ideal time to visit Saudi Arabia is usually in winter between October to March. During this period the temperature is quite pleasant especially between November to February.
What one must-pack for Saudi Trip?
It is obvious that the need is going to differ from person to person, but certain basic requirements that one must pack for their Saudi trip are-
- Clothes – One must keep in mind to pack decent and modest clothes because Saudi is an Islamic country and irrespective of their gender, one must wear covered clothes only.
- Carry an adapter – Though this is not mandatory, but highly recommendable for a traveller to carry travel adapter with them to keep your gadgets charged up all the time.
- Carry a sunscreen lotion – The climate of Saudi Arabia is too hot and you wouldn’t want your skin to get tanned. Though you would wear covered clothes, sunscreen for face and palms is a must.
- Carry a reusable bottle – Be very careful as wasting plastic in Saudi Arabia is a huge issue. You can do a good deed for the environment by carrying along a reusable bottle to refill water. It is generally safe to drink tap water and these filters are easily available at metro stops.
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Important things to remember by female travellers to visit Saudi Arabia.
List of the important thing that every solo female traveller must be aware of to travel to Saudi Arabia, be it the rules and regulations or laws and practices are-
- The most important factor to keep in mind is to understand the clothing etiquettes of Saudi Arabia. Earlier wearing a long robe also known as abaya was compulsory, however now this is not necessary. Only when you visit religious places like a mosque it is better to wear it. The travellers are now just expected to dress up modestly. For women, it is not necessary to cover their head.
- Women are allowed to access a place that is reserved for sections. Many cities of Saudi have given this relief to women travellers. Women travellers must keep in mind that villages and small-town do no family sections reserved so it is better to be careful while visiting the market, mosque, bank or restaurant.
- The local men of Saudi greet and meet foreign women with great distance. Sometimes men do not prefer having a conversation with solo women traveller. So in terms of safety, you are safe.
- It is just not easy to talk to a local female of Saudi. They are mostly at their home and when out are usually accompanied by men guard. This is the problem only while visiting villages and small towns.
- It is always advisable to maintain a balance between friendly communication and required communication.
- You will easily be able to locate sections in cafes or parks that are specially reserved for only females.
- Please keep in mind that if you have a low budget for food then the cheap restaurant will not have a separate reserve section for women. Solo women traveller can go for taking away orders and eat in their hotel room comfortably.
- Booking a room earlier for solo women travel in Saudi was not possible. But now it is. Women were never allowed to travel solo in Saudi, but times have changed now, which is why the country is also getting liberal with women.
- You will only be able to see uncovered heads and faces in established market areas. Riyadh is yet very restrictive for women. Women traveller must wear abaya there.
- Compared to Riyadh, Jeddah is comparatively less conservative. Women over there wear colourful and fancy abaya. Women can relax with uncovered face and head.
- Women travellers can very easily rent and drive cars in Saudi.
- In Saudi Arabia, especially in mosques, the restrooms for women are hidden. They are usually put behind stores or stall or placed in a separate partition.
- Women traveller must be aware of not to shake hands with men in Saudi. You may greet them verbally.
- Do not share your number with any local out there.
- In case you come across a situation where any local men are harassing you, just click the picture of his car’s number plate and share with local authorities. They will provide help immediately.
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Saudi Arabia has been getting liberal for women in recent years. Now that you have A Guide on Female Travellers to Saudi Arabia, all ladies travelling solo to Saudi will have a memorable trip for sure!!!