The official language is Arabic. As a business and lingua franca, English is important and widespread. Many Saudis complete their studies at one of the major universities abroad, such as Oxford or Harvard. German, French and Japanese are common foreign languages. Traffic signs are usually written in both Arabic and English. Arabic is spoken by around 320 million people worldwide as their mother tongue, and another 60 million people speak it as a second language. Because of its importance as a sacred language in the Islamic faith, Arabic has developed into a world language. It is next to Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish one of the six official languages ​​of the United Nations. Apart from Saudi Arabia, Arabic is also the official language in Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Israel, Iraq, Yemen, Kata, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, among others, although the local dialects sometimes differ greatly from one another. The Cairo dialect is generally understood due to the large Egyptian film production. Modern Standard Arabic is rarely used as a means of oral communication, such as reading the news or attending church services. Written Standard Arabic is the written language for all dialects. It is written from right to left. In the Arabic alphabet there are only consonants and long vowels. Arabic is one of the Kurrent scripts, ie

Public Holidays

05/01/2022 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

07/09/2022 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

09/23/2022 National holiday


The dates given for Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift from year to year.

During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink or smoke from sunrise to sunset, which causes disruptions or deviations in the normal course of business (including reduced opening hours of shops and authorities) and therefore there may be restrictions for travelers.

Many restaurants outside the hotels are closed during the day, and the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes is restricted or e.g. T. even strictly forbidden, even for non-Muslim vacationers. In hotel complexes it must be taken into account that meals and drinks during Ramadan may only be taken in the hotel restaurant or in the room.

Travelers should expect increased sensitivity in religious matters as well as in respect of Islamic traditions.

Some interruptions may also occur during Eid al-Fitr. This festival, like Eid al-Adha, is indefinite and can last from 2-10 days depending on the region.

Duty free shopping


The following items can be brought into Saudi Arabia duty-free (persons over 18 years of age): 200 cigarettes or 500 g of tobacco products. Personal items and gifts up to an equivalent value of 3,000 SR may be imported duty-free. All goods, except personal belongings and travel clothing, must be declared. Cameras and laptops are subject to duty; if you re-export these items within 90 days, the amount will be refunded. Digital devices are randomly inspected, and the hard drive may be destroyed in the process. It is advisable to remove spicy photo material before the trip.

Import Restrictions

Medicines and drones, among other things, require a permit. More information is available from

Prohibited Imports

Alcohol and drugs of all kinds, pork and its derivatives, all other foodstuffs, medicines without packaging, medicines with anesthetic properties (including Captagon tablets), abortion pills, pornographic and obscene material and media, nutmeg fruit and powder, gambling, goods on which famous people, Israeli shekels, counterfeit money, dogs, leather and skins of wild animals, goods clearly displaying the flags of other countries, firecrackers, weapons of all kinds, lasers, as well as articles banned or prohibited by the Arab League.are against Islam (a detailed list is available from the embassy); Objects with an integrated, secret camera, chewing tobacco, electronic hookahs; Herbs and preparations not registered with the Food and Drug Administration. Drug smuggling and trafficking carries the death penalty.

Prohibited Exports

Including farm animals, baby milk, animal feed, sand and Zamzam water. Further information is available from Saudi Arabia Customs.

Contact addresses

Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Consulate General in Frankfurt/M.

Tiergartenstrasse 33-34
+49 (0)30 889 25 00. /sites/Germany/EN/Pages/default.aspx

Mon-Fri 09.00-15.00.

Consular provider VFS Tasheel International
Jägerstraße 41
+49 (0)1520 217 23 90

Hotline: Mon-Fri 2pm-5pm. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-16.30.

Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kirchenfeldstrasse 64
+41 (0)31 352 15 55/67.

Mon-Fri 09.00-15.00.

Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Formanekgasse 38
+43 (0)1 367 25 31.

Mon-Fri 09.00-16.00. Consular Section: Mon-Thu 10am-12pm, Fri 10am-11.30am.

Consular provider VFS Tasheel International
Rue Chantepoulet 1-3
+41 (0)791 08 33 60.

Telephone hotline: Mon-Fri 1pm-3pm. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 09.30-13.00 and 13.30-15.00.

Consular provider VFS Tasheel International
Weststrasse 2
+41 (0)791 08 33 60.

Telephone hotline: Mon-Fri 1pm-3pm. Opening times: 09.00-12.30 and 13.00-15.00. Visa Center: Mon-Fri 09.00-12.00 and 13.00-15.30.


Business etiquette

Appointments must be arranged in advance. Business cards should have an Arabic translation on the back. Weekend is on Friday and Saturday.

Opening hours

Business hours: Sun-Thurs 0800-1200 and 1500-1800 (Ramadan 2000-0100) with some regional differences (e.g. Dhahran: Sat-Wed 0700-1130 and 1300-1430). Fridays from 08.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. Authorities: Sun-Thu 07.30-14.30.

Business contacts

German Business Delegation for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Yemen Pure, Block B, 1st Floor, Takhassusi Branch Road, 7993 Al Mohammadiyyah 3213, Riyadh 12364, Saudi Arabia +966 (0)1 920 00 58 63. Website: saudi arabia. Austrian-Arab Chamber of Commerce Lobkowitzplatz 1/15, 1010 Vienna, Austria Tel. +43 (0)1 513 39 65. Website: Riyadh Chamber (Chamber of Commerce) PO Box 596, 11421 Riyadh Tel. +966 (0 )1 14 04 00 44. Website:



According to, the country code is 00966. The national private telephone company is called the Saudi Telecom Company (STC). Emergency numbers are: police 999, fire brigade 998 and ambulance 997.

Mobile phone

GSM 900/1800, 3G (2100) and 4G (1800/2600 Mhz). Network operators include Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Etisalat. International roaming contracts exist. The network coverage is good in the cities. You can apply for your own mobile phone number and buy a prepaid SIM card at the airport and at every point of sale of the network operators.


Free WiFi is available in many hotels, restaurants and cafes. There are internet cafes in the larger cities. The main Internet providers are Saudi Telecom and Etisalat. Numerous Wi-Fi hotspots enable mobile surfing at various locations in Saudi Arabia. There are several offers with different conditions. Note: Internet use is subject to government censorship in Saudi Arabia.

Post office

There is a post office in every town. Postal items to Europe take up to a week to arrive.

Saudi Arabia Shopping

Saudi Arabia Shopping, Embassy and Communication
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