Yes, rain can be a hazard. First of all, it rains very seldom in here but when it does so you'll notice it. Usually it comes in very powerful bursts that can last hours. When that happens, the traffic invariably clogs (you don't build drainage systems in the middle of the desert, of course).
In more serious cases some places can flood in a dangerous way. In February 2005) 5 teenagers drowned because of flooding.
Following recent attacks targeting foreigners, travel advisories are encouraging foreigners to leave Saudi Arabia unless on essential business. Security departments warn that more attacks on foreigners are being planned. If you are staying in the country, avoid public places where foreigners are known to congregate, ensure that your hotel has a good reputation for maintaining high security precautions and stay abreast of travel advisory updates. The US Embassy in Riyadh has posted a warden's message for foreigners outlining Personal Safety in Saudi Arabia.
Don't come here
If you asked me 12 months ago I'd say you should give it a go, it's not as bad as the media make out. Well, things have changed for the worst now as everyone must know.
Would I advise people to come here anymore? No way, it's just not safe here but more importantly, it's very stressful being here now. I hope things will change but I doubt they'll change in a hurry. This is a great shame for all the wonderful Saudi's living here, let-alone foreigners here who now call Saudi Arabia home.
- Business Travel
Be careful what you photograph.You've been warned!
We all like to take photos, now don't we! But be careful when in Riyadh.
Be very discrete and try not to draw attention to yourself, and please, please, don't take photos of military personnel or buildings, mosques, police, women, ministry buildings or any other law enforcement or government building. If you're desperate for that photo, be very discrete and do it at your own risk. You have been warned!
Also, respect peoples privacy. This is more so in Riyadh than other countries.
Remember, if someone takes offence, you could find youself in a spot of bother. There are many stories around of people ending up in jail for taking a photos of the wrong thing. Although these stories tend to be a little old, so I'm not sure what the current situation is. Still, better to be safe than sorry!
- Business Travel
Do not, under any circumstances, bring any drugs into the Kingdom, even hashish for your own consumption. In fact, you will notice that the visa application form to Saudi sates in big red letters at the bottom that such behaviour is punishable by death.
Don't offend the religious police
Saudi Arabia has a religious police. You should be extremely careful not to get in a situation where you would confront them. If you are stopped by a religious policeman, just do what he says if it is reasonable. For instance, avoid being outside during prayer time, do not eat nor smoke in public during Ramadan in daytime and avoid displaying jewellery.
Beware of cars
Saudis are not careful drivers. They mostly drive big and heavy american limousines at frightening speed. The fact that Riyadh is sprawled on a very large area that enables the main streets to be 6 or 8 lane highways doesn't help.
Bombs and Attack
Due to the political situation in the Middle East, there have been hightened levels of security for all Expats. To keep upto date with security levels and warnings check with your country government foreign or travel office.
Foreigners are issued with...
Foreigners are issued with Iqamas as shown in the attached picture. Make sure you carry your iqama at all times, this justifies your stay in Saudi Arabia if asked by the local Police.
I advise not to use the public transport of buses, although cheap they are driven by mad men! Saudi Arabia also has the highest rate of car accidents in the world so be careful walking down streets.
Muttawa or religious police...
Muttawa or religious police take their job very seriously. It is very important that anyone travelling to Saudi research the restrictions on clothing and adhere to the strictly enforced standards. This is especially true for women. The muttawa carry sticks and they aren't afraid to strike violators. Basically, women need to be covered from head to ankles in black while men need to wear a shirt with a collar and long trousers.
Do not bring in any drugs or...
Do not bring in any drugs or alchol - you will loose your head or be deported.
Do not bring in a Bible, cross etc.
Do not wear jewellery in public.
Do not touch a person with your left hand.
If you do cross your legs you must make sure that you do not show anyone the bottom of your shoe as this is taken as a insult.
RIGHT OR WRONG THIS IS THEIR COUNTRY & THEY CAN MAKE THE RULES & LAWS _ SO JUST OBEY THEM & YOU WILL DO FINE.
Beware of the trees which you can find within the dessert. They have numerous thorns which can definitely hurt you. A piece of advice, LOOK BEFORE TOUCHING!