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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 12 Jan 2009
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Saudi Arabia

Hello everyone, has anyone travelled in Saudi Arabia lately. I am of to Nepal in 2010 and i would like to go from Jorden through Saudi to Kuwait. I don`t know what the situation is lately but the Uk gov web site says to avoid it. Is that really the case or can it be done without to much risk?
Any information greatly recieved.
JJohn
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  #2  
Old 12 Jan 2009
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I went through Saudi on a bike in July 2008. You can read the gist of my experience here:

And here you can get an idea on what to see around Al Ula and why the FO advise against visiting.

I would say it's as safe as most places and people were friendly all the way through. We had a police escort from just north of Riyadh to the Aqaba border which was actually quite a lot of fun and added to the memories.

If you can successfully obtain a transit visa, there is no strong reason not to give it a go. After all, Jordan has suffered terrorist attacks in recent years too; as has London where the FO is based!
Stephan
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Old 12 Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by Stephano View Post
I went through Saudi on a bike in July 2008. You can read the gist of my experience here:

And here you can get an idea on what to see around Al Ula and why the FO advise against visiting.

I would say it's as safe as most places and people were friendly all the way through. We had a police escort from just north of Riyadh to the Aqaba border which was actually quite a lot of fun and added to the memories.

If you can successfully obtain a transit visa, there is no strong reason not to give it a go. After all, Jordan has suffered terrorist attacks in recent years too; as has London where the FO is based!
Stephan
I'm amazed at what i'm reading here. I thought Saudi was a no go, unless you were travelling there to work. Are you saying that is not the case?
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Old 13 Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by baluchiman View Post
I'm amazed at what i'm reading here. I thought Saudi was a no go, unless you were travelling there to work. Are you saying that is not the case?
Mike
I was pleasantly surprised too.

I really only applied because the Iranians were being unhelpful in giving me a visa even though I'd been there before.

Bear in mind that I only got a 3-day transit visa for Saudi Arabia which made it a brief but highly enjoyable experience. I don't know whether regular tourist visas are now being issued. Someone else will have to apply for one and let us know.
Stephan

Last edited by Stephano; 14 Jan 2009 at 07:38.
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Old 13 Jan 2009
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Thanks for the replies. I am going to go for it, i have e-mailed the Saudi embassy to ask them what i need to travel through there country and i believe you have to take the chance now and again to see some of the country`s that may be a bit iff`y.
I travelled through the comunist block before the wall came down and had one ore two scary moments but i would not have missed it for the world.
At the end of the day i am just a traveller and each to there own on there religious or political views, i may not agree with them all but everyone is entitalled to there beliefes. I just want to travel and i respect the people and there beliefes where ever i go.
Besides, you cant beat a bit of danger to keep you regular.
I will keep you posted.
JJohn
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  #6  
Old 19 Jan 2009
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Still no answers from the Saudi and Chinese Embasies yet, yuo rekon i will get one?
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Old 19 Jan 2009
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Keeping an eye on this guys, were going to apply for our Iranian visas in July so if they don't happen I quite fancy Saudi, it my all change in the near future though as BO as pledged to open talks with Iran "on day one" so we could all be welcome by the summer.
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Old 20 Jan 2009
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Still no answers from the Saudi and Chinese Embasies yet, yuo rekon i will get one?
I doubt you will get an answer by e-mail if they haven't answered after a week.
Embassies often have more mail than they have staff (willing) to sort through them all. And motorcycle travel is not the easiest thing to come up with an answer about. Try that old-fashioned speaking device called the telephone. I don't like to use it either, but it may be the only way to get through.
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Old 20 Jan 2009
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Hey guys,

welcome to Saudi

Saudi is now very safe.......the governement was very successful against terrorists.........and the peoples' sentiment turned against them too. This is not to say that u won't probably face the odd bad treatment or experience here or there.


The only warning is:

Becareful on the road, we Saudies are the worst drivers ever!
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  #10  
Old 26 Jan 2009
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I wanna go!

I came to Dubai December 2007 from Iran as part of an RTW. For good and bad I have been "stuck" here since but now I am about to get the wheels rolling to new territory again. I am eying Saudi but it is difficult to obtain visas. A friend of mine have given me papers saying his company will sponsor my visa but the Saudi Embassy is not to happy with me bringing my bike. They did however advise me to get a 3-day transit visas?!? Some other travellers I have met here have indeed been able to obtain such visas for their trucks and cars, and Mr. Stephano for his bike, so I will give it a go.

Anyone in the region who's up for the ride?
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Old 8 Aug 2009
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Still no answers from the Saudi and Chinese Embasies yet, yuo rekon i will get one?
I think you are best applying in person, and often at the consulate or embassy in the neighboring country. Try to find a 'fixer' as the process may be facilitated by the payment of a 'commission' to a local agent.

Saudi is pretty safe as Bedu says, the driving is the biggest threat to your well being, and the summer temperatures. Don't underestimate the desert stretches.

There have been some security issues but the last one was a couple of years back. Most Muslims are curious and helpful, especially if you can speak a few words of arabic and have a sense of humour.
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  #12  
Old 1 Sep 2009
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Was in Saudi a couple of weeks ago.

I would not rate that country as dangerous beside the dirvers itself.
Saudi changed the border crossing software System, since then the procedure tool even longer then before!

On the border from UAE the trucks were waiting for several days!!!
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