Saudi Arabia Laws for Tourists

Updated on Mar 29, 2024 | Saudi e-Visa

With the advent of the online Saudi Arabia visa, travel to Saudi Arabia is set to become significantly simpler. Before visiting Saudi Arabia, tourists are urged to familiarize themselves with the local way of life and learn about any potential gaffes that might land them in hot water.

Saudi Visa Online is an electronic travel authorization or travel permit to visit Saudi Arabia for a period of time upto 30 days for travel or business purposes. International visitors must have a Saudi e-Visa to be able to visit Saudi Arabia . Foreign citizens can apply for an Saudi e-Visa Application in a matter of minutes. Saudi Visa Application process is automated, simple, and completely online.

Saudi Arabia Laws for Tourists

With the advent of the online Saudi Arabia visa, travel to Saudi Arabia is set to become significantly simpler.

The Saudi eVisa eliminates the requirement to apply for a visa at a Saudi embassy or consulate by allowing qualified nationals to get a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia solely online.

As part of Vision 2030, a program led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to increase tourism in the nation, a new system is being implemented to make it simpler for international visitors to come to the nation.

To modernize some of Saudi Arabia's more traditional rules, the Crown Prince's vision for the country's future also calls for significant sociological and economic changes.

Some of the long-standing harsh laws that have previously been removed include some divisive limitations on women, such as the prohibition on women being permitted to drive and attend sporting events.

Although the modernization of Saudi Arabian law is still in progress, there are a few rules and the associated penalties for breaching them that may come as a surprise to visitors from other countries.


Saudi e-Visa is a required travel authorization for travelers visiting Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes. This online process for Electronic Travel Authorisation for Saudi Arabia was implemented from 2019 by Saudi Government, with the goal of enabling any of the future eligible travelers to apply for an Electronic Visa to Saudi Arabia. Learn more at Saudi Visa Online.

What is the Saudi Arabia Law for Tourists?

As a fervently Islamic nation, Saudi Arabia is still controlled by rigorous Sharia law, which was drawn from the Quran and other Islamic books. A trial must be held if an act is performed in Saudi Arabia that is believed to be "haram" or capable of displacing the culprit from the Islamic religion.

As Sharia doesn't have any formal written regulations, the judge in each case must use their own judgement to interpret the law.

Saudi Arabia has a normal police force and the Muttawa, a group of volunteers and law enforcement officials that uphold Islamic morals. The answer to the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which the Saudi Royal family runs.

They are most noticeable on Saudi streets during the 20-minute daily prayer period, five times a day, when they frequently stop people on the street, interrogate them, and direct them to the nearest mosque. Those who use prudence will have little trouble avoiding issues with the muttawa.

The government does not prohibit the private practice of other religions, and visitors are even permitted to enter the country with religious literature like the bible as long as it is for personal use.

Note: However, tourists should be aware that many other actions they would take for granted in their own country, such as openly preaching or endorsing a faith other than Islam, are illegal.

Citizens of more than 60 countries are eligible for Saudi Visa. The Saudi Visa eligbility must be met to obtain the visa to travel to Saudi Arabia. A valid passport is required for entry into Saudi Arabia. Learn more at Eligible Countries for Online Saudi Visa.

Things foreigners should not do in Saudi Arabia

Although it is generally safe to travel to Saudi Arabia, there are a few safety measures that tourists should follow to stay out of difficulty with the law there:

Avoid violating Saudi Arabia's Lese Majeste rules

It is entirely forbidden to openly criticise the Saudi Arabian government, King, royal family, or flag in any manner, even on social media. Foreign nationals are not immune from this rule, and although their sentences may not be as severe as those of locals, they might still face deportation, a public beating, or both.

Be cautious when taking pictures

Be cautious when taking pictures because it is against the law and subject to punishment in Saudi Arabia to take pictures of government or military facilities. Also, refrain from photographing locals without their consent.

Avoid wearing red on Valentine's Day

Wearing red on Valentine's Day is not recommended since it is not considered an Islamic holiday in Saudi Arabia. As a result, the government has outlawed the sale of anything red in flower and gift stores at this time.

Be discreet with your partner

It's critical to understand that LGBTQ relationships, marriage, and rights are prohibited in Saudi Arabia and are punishable by flogging, imprisonment, and even death. Nonetheless, as long as they behave discreetly and follow regional laws and customs, LGBTQ visitors are unlikely to run across any national issues. It's also crucial to remember that, regardless of whether you identify as LGBTQ or not, public shows of affection are unacceptable.

Always carry a personal ID with you

In Saudi Arabia, authorities have the right to ask for identification at any time, particularly at security checkpoints, so it's a good idea to keep your passport or a copy of it on you at all times.

Avoid eating, drinking, and smoking in public

Avoid eating, drinking, and smoking in public during the holy month of Ramadan, which is observed by Muslims worldwide as a time of fasting.

Foreign visitors should also be informed that it is strictly forbidden to bring into Saudi Arabia and/or eat the following prohibited goods:


Be cautious about drinking on the flight because it is illegal to carry alcohol into Saudi Arabia and to enter the country while inebriated.


Possession, usage, and even trafficking in narcotics are prohibited and carry the death sentence.


Saudi Arabia has severe regulations prohibiting all pornographic material, even drawings. Customs officers may check any phone, tablet, or computer you bring into Saudi Arabia for offensive photos, and any such gadgets may be seized if they are discovered.

Pork products

Bringing any type of pig product into Saudi Arabia is severely prohibited, and anybody caught trying to do so would have their goods seized.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Saudi E-Visa. Get answers to the most common questions about the requirements, important information and documents required to travel to Saudi Arabia. Learn more at Frequently Asked Questions for Saudi E-Visa.

Saudi Arabia Laws for women

There are still stringent standards of conduct and particular restrictions that women must follow when visiting the nation, notwithstanding the easing of several laws pertaining to women. Tourists should know the following Saudi Arabian laws for women to stay out of trouble:

Wear attire that respects local norms

Saudi Arabian women are still expected to wear either an abaya (a long robe, often black) or a hijab, despite certain restrictions being lifted as part of the Vision 2030 effort (headscarf). Women who are travelling should carry a headscarf if they want to enter a religious structure and are permitted to wear either an abaya or loose, modest attire. It's also important to remember that the muttawa will likely raise issues for any ladies they perceive to be overly exposed or wearing too much cosmetics.

Be wary of gender segregation

In Saudi Arabia, women are encouraged to limit their interactions with males who are not their blood relations, and they frequently receive harsher penalties for incestuous behaviour than menBeaches, parks, and public transit will likely have segregated areas, and most public buildings will have separate entrances for each sex.

Avoid swimming in public

Saudi Arabia has several segregated gyms and pools, and women cannot use the same facilities as males. Women in Saudi Arabia are now prohibited from swimming in front of males at public beaches, despite certain resorts allowing gender-mixed bathing being expected to be implemented as part of Vision 2030.

Avoid trying on clothes when shopping

Shoppers shouldn't try on clothing since it's against the law for women to undress in public, even in a store's changing area. In Saudi Arabia, women are also prohibited from going inside graves and from reading unfiltered fashion publications.

NoteThe need for a woman to be escorted by a male relative has also been greatly removed, even if many districts of Saudi Arabia are still gender segregated. Foreign women travelers are not expected to have a male chaperone during their time in Saudi Arabia, while local women frequently travel with their children without a man in attendance.

Learn about next steps, after you have successfully applied for Saudi e-Visa. Learn more at After you apply for Saudi Visa Online: Next steps.

Check your eligibility for Online Saudi Visa and apply for Online Saudi Visa 72 hours in advance of your flight. British citizens, US citizens, Australian citizens, French citizens, Spanish Citizens, Dutch Citizens and Italian citizens can apply online for Online Saudi Visa. Should you need any help or require any clarifications you should contact our Saudi Visa Help Desk for support and guidance.