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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to within 10km of the border with Yemen

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • areas between 10km and 80km from the border with Yemen
  • Abha International Airport and its grounds, located in Asir province

If you’re currently in an area where the FCDO advise against all but essential travel, you should consider whether you have an essential reason to remain. If you don’t, you should leave the area.

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Saudi Arabia’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia. Attacks can target foreign nationals and tourist sites.

Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) claimed responsibility for an attack on 11 November 2020 which targeted a ceremony in Jeddah, commemorating the end of World War I, using an explosive device. On 11 November 2019, a terrorist carried out a knife attack on artists performing on stage during Riyadh Season Festival, injuring four people. You should be vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities. See Terrorism.

There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation interests. Additional security measures have been in place on flights departing from Saudi Arabia to the UK since March 2017. You should co-operate fully with security officials. Restrictions on carrying large electronic devices in the aircraft cabin on these flights have now been lifted. For more information and advice about what items you can take into the cabin on your flight from Saudi Arabia to the UK, contact your airline or travel company.

Saudi Arabia has been leading coalition air strikes in Yemen since 2015, following a request for support from President Hadi to deter continued Houthi aggression. Clashes along the Saudi-Yemeni border continue, resulting in both military and civilian casualties.

Missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) and water borne IEDs continue to be launched against Saudi Arabia, targeting critical national infrastructure, including aviation interests and oil infrastructure. Many of these have been intercepted and destroyed by Saudi air defence systems.

Attacks against critical national infrastructure are likely. Energy facilities in the Kingdom have been targeted. Abha International Airport (Asir province) has been the target of a number of attacks, resulting in injury to civilians and the death of one.

Attacks may be made on other locations in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh and Jeddah, and along the Red Sea coast. There have been 11 intercepted missile attacks over Riyadh since the first missile attack on 4 November 2017, the most recent on 6 December 2021. In the event of a missile attack, you should stay indoors, monitor local media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities. See Local travel - Saudi Arabia-Yemen border.

All visitors, including pilgrims, need a visa to enter Saudi Arabia. See Visas.

Public demonstrations are illegal in Saudi Arabia. Follow local media and be alert to local and regional developments which might trigger public disturbances. Despite warnings issued by the authorities, demonstrations do take place from time to time. You should avoid protests or demonstrations. See Political situation.

Due to security operations within the Qatif region of Eastern Province, British Embassy staff have been advised to travel within the region in daylight hours only. See Local travel.

British nationals resident outside of Saudi Arabia can apply to perform Umrah and Hajj through the official platform Nusuk. Details of the process can be found on the official Ministry of Hajj Twitter page. The next Hajj will take place in June 2023. Please ensure you have registered and planned your visit in advance. For more information and advice, see the Pilgrimage and Health sections.

Consular support is severely limited in parts of Saudi Arabia where we advise against travel, and limited in the areas we advise against all but essential travel. If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.