Many people understand English in Saudi Arabia, but the official language is Arabic.

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Saudi Arabia’s official currency is the riyal, which breaks down into 100 halala. You can change money at exchange bureaus and banks, which are generally closed on Thursdays and Fridays. Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are widely accepted and ATMs are easy to find.

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Saudi Arabia’s international country code is 966. To call another country from Saudi Arabia, dial 00 followed by the appropriate country code. Internet cafes and hotels are easy places to get web access.

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Hotels usually add a service charge on the bill; otherwise adding a 10 percent tip for services is customary. Taxi drivers usually get 10 percent tips.

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Terrorism is a real threat in the region, especially against foreign nationals.

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If you’re coming from a country infected with yellow fever, you’ll need a yellow fever vaccination certificate before entering the country. It’s also a good idea to get immunizations for meningitis, typhoid and hepatitis A. Visitors to the south and west should consult their doctor about precautions against malaria at least four weeks before their trip. Stick to bottled water and beware of food poisoning outside of high-end hotels. Medical facilities are very good, but also very expensive. Make sure you’re covered by health insurance.

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Saudi Arabia’s electrical current is 125 volts, 50Hz in most places. In some of the more remote areas it’s 215 volts, 60Hz.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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