Sunday, May 22, 2022

4 Things to Remember When You Arrive at Saudi Arabia Airport

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Foreigners traveling to Saudi Arabia for the first time are understandably wary of the rules and regulations in place at its points of entry. Unlike other airports were guidelines for incoming passengers seem to be alike, Saudi Arabia’s strict implementation of Shariah Law puts uninformed travelers on edge.

One may wonder what kind of dress to wear, what items are prohibited, and what actions may offend locals.

With these basic guidelines, we hope to arrive in Riyadh, or other Saudi Arabian airports become less dreadful even to seasoned overseas Filipino workers.

1. Dress code

Wearing of traditional abaya — the loose overgarment worn by Saudi women — is a common practice among Muslim women. But it is not required among non-Muslims arriving at the nation’s airports. Female passengers need to dress conservatively, though; wearing a scarf is highly recommended to avoid such awkward confrontation within Saudi Arabia’s conservative society.

2. Separation of Males and Females

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As a preview of what’s going to be a common sight in the Kingdom, men and women, notably the unmarried ones, are separated in areas designated by authorities. Those traveling with families are exempt from such segregation. Breaching this rather simple rule may subject a passenger to punishment(s).

3. Prepare landing card

Landing card is a piece of paper distributed at the cabin before landing into Saudi Arabia. This card must be filled up before proceeding to customs, where your items will be subject to inspection for possible violations. While specific observations point to Western travelers getting themselves ushered into shorter lines, all others are subjected to checks. For example, ‘illegal’ religious photos may be torn from book pages, blackened or even confiscated, and films or videos on DVD or USB may be reviewed in the video room.

4. Traveling Out of the Airport

From the airport to the final destination, there are plenty of buses and taxis available outside the airport. For the sake of convenience, take the separate bus services for men and women. Unaccompanied women are advised to take a private taxi to the desired destination.

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