Foreign travel advice

Saudi Arabia

Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to within 10km of the border with Yemen and against all but essential travel between 10km and 80km of this border. If you’re currently in an area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel, you should consider whether you have an essential reason to remain. If you do not, you should leave the area.

On 27 October 2016 a SCUD Missile was fired from rebel-held territory in Yemen and intercepted and destroyed west of Makkah by Saudi air defence systems. This followed previous missile attacks on 8 October 2016, targeting an air base in Taif; on 8 October 2016 landing near an American warship in the Red Sea; and on 10 October 2016 when 2 missiles were fired into Jizan region along the Saudi/Yemeni border, wounding 2 foreigners. The previous week, an Emirati-leased ship came under rocket fire in the southern Red Sea and sustained serious damage.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading coalition air strikes in Yemen following the 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.

The Saudi authorities have declared ‘out of bounds’ a zone of 20km from the entire northern border of the country, and from the border in the Hafr Al-Batin and Khafji areas in the Eastern Province. Violations are punishable by up to 30 months’ imprisonment and a SR 25,000 fine. Land border crossings remain open and the authorities have announced that signs are being placed in areas where vehicles are allowed to cross.

Tourist trips to military zones or border posts are banned by the Saudi Tourism Authority.

There is a high threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in patients from Saudi Arabia continue to be reported to the World Health Organization. For the latest information and advice, see the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

Each year around 3.7 million pilgrims participate in the Hajj. If you’re travelling to Saudi Arabia to take part in the Hajj, please see the information and advice in the Safety and security and Health sections of this travel advice.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.