Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is quite a unique country that someone has to at least know the basics about the country in order to remember what to bring when coming to Saudi. This article provides a couple of ideas of what might your luggage be containing before you hop on to that plane.
Clothes that will keep you warm
Yes, you are probably thinking that this is a crazy idea since it is a fact that Saudi Arabia can become really warm during the summer, but these clothes will actually hinder you from freezing during the wintertime. Bring a couple of sweatshirts, jackets, hoodies, cardigans, jeans, trousers, and comfortable socks. Lower temperatures in this country are quite different from countries in Europe. It would be nice to come prepared.
You might not be using this umbrella as often as one does who lives in a tropical country. But in Saudi Arabia, when it rains, it pours. Literally. It usually rains for about 15-20 minutes but sometimes, it lasts longer and occasionally it is even heavier.
Appropriate Foot Wear
There are not many sidewalks in Saudi, and when newcomers live in a compound, they are driven by the stigma that it is dangerous to walk around the streets that most probably, they stay inside. Nevertheless, if you are actually brave enough to go explore the country by feet, it is best to wear runners, ballerina flats or close shoes instead of high-inched wedges. However, when you plan to go partying during your stay there, then bring along your stilettos with you.
It is not concealed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s culture is precisely conservative and you have to conform to avoid yourself from getting into trouble. You may find westernized clothes in every shop but it is seldom worn in the public. It is advisable for men to wear long pants while women will be obligated to wear an abaya or a long, wide dress when outside. However, you might consider some modest every day life clothes in case you are invited to the house of a local family. It is very likely that they will appreciate if you dress modestly, meaning no shorts or strapless tops or anything of that sort. Just try and look presentable – the Arab way. All that may certainly depend on the people you are visiting, whether they are conservative or not, but it still might be useful to keep these cultural differences in mind.
Unlike countries in the Western world, credit cards are not quite famous or widely used in KSA because chances are, the cards you have with you do not work with their devices, will not be accepted or be asked to go to an ATM machine and withdraw cash. To prevent all these hassle and embarrassment in purchasing your wanted items, carry loose money with you.
Saudi Arabia is a very hot country and especially during the summer months it will be almost impossible to be outside without sweating waterfalls after the first two minutes. You may want to get a cooling vest, which will keep your temperature at a reasonable level and help you survive the heat outside. Just wear it under your abaya.
A socket adapter
You can surely buy these here, which would probably make more sense but let’s say you arrive in Saudi and you have no time to go buy things, but you really need to charge that phone or laptop. The sockets here are different from the European ones. If you want to avoid such a situation, buy one beforehand. You can consult your local hardware or shops that sell these about which one to bring for this country.
Most of time, you are going to be interacting with the sun, shades or sunglasses and sun block that has at least 50% spf will not be a bad idea to add to your list of what-to-bring.