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Single woman travelling to Saudi Arabia and UAE - regulations?



  • edited 10:51PM
    I am a single woman flying to Saudi Arabia alone. A close relative (male) will be waiting for me at the airport. Will I be allowed in? I have a visa and everything. Thank you
  • edited December 2010
    Hi All-

    Just to clarify. Saudi Arabia does NOT issue tourist visas - regardless of whether you're man, woman, leopard or oompa loompa. In recent years leniency has been extended to pre-organised tour groups. These require considerable planning and are nearly always facilitated by a business within the KSA. If you are a woman and have sponsorship - from either your family (meaning your husband in KSA) or from an employer, then you can travel to Saudi Arabia alone. The male sponsor (either employer or husband) must meet you at the airport and all your documentation must be in order - meaning visas must be granted.

    Do not depart your country if you have merely been offered an invite.

    If your boyfriend, or lover or the person you've been stalking for the last ten years is moving to Saudi Arabia then your best bet is to meet them in the UAE or in Bahrain for a holiday. Bahrain is a hop, skip and a jump across the Saudi Causeway and the UAE just slightly further. Visit visas are granted regularly for these destinations and bars, clubs, movie theatres and yes, EVEN alchohol, still do exist. Unless you are married, you will not be able to see this person in Saudi Arabia until they return. Co-habitation between a man and a woman is illegal in Saudi unless you are married or family.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hello, I am a married women. I traveled from the USA to SA with my three year old son and not other male three months ago. I had no problem at the airport as I had my visa stamps in our passports.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Oh and I go out to the malls by myself all the time.
  • edited 10:51PM
    im working here in jeddah and i have iqama already, i have a friend who is inviting me to go to riyadh, is it possible for me to go there without any trouble facing the immigration or custom at riyadh airport?
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi, I am single women, and i have a relative living in SA, do you think i will get the visa easily ??
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Stephaniek, thank you for the good info. I just wanted to clarify something. Could I be engaged to my partner rather than married? If it is married i.e. do you need a marriage certificate? What do Saudi customs check when you come in to the country? Does the passport have to be in the same name? Or could it be just local country identification i.e. drivers licence in the same name? Thanks
  • edited 10:51PM
    Just to clarify what was mentioned about KSA that there are many Prostitutions from Eastern Europe....etc. Prostitutions that they talked about are only in Dubai (an Emirate that is part of UAE) not KSA or RIyadh. KSA is another country that is so strict. Sure there are flirty girls in every country including KSA but not publically prostitues.

    I have been living in KSA since birth and I never heard or seen such Eastern European prostitutions in KSA.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Bandar, Assalumu Aleikum, I am a muslim mother of four children. I am of hispanic origin, and reside in the USA. My children whom are all under the age of 10 will be traveling with me to Reyad this fall (Sept 2011). My intensions for this trip is so that we can further learn the language as well as further our religious studies. We plan to stay there for 2-3 yrs. What are my expectations to this idea? Do you think this is even possible to do?
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hello Everyone,
    I am dying to go to Saudi Arabia, I am a female under 40....
    I read couple of comments that they got visas and are traveling to KSA... can you please tell me how I can get this visa, my husband is a saudi, we have not applied for visa since he wants to move out of KSA.
    I really want to go for visit, is there an organization that I can even buy the visa, pay for it ... or something!
    I hear lot of female traveling to KSA, why cant I ?!
    please help me out!
  • edited 10:51PM
    i am working in riyadh, ksa
    and yes, prostitutes are moving like undergrounds here
    not only foriegner, even locals esp. the teens
    last two weeks i got a case in ER
    he is crying on his micturation(passing urine)
    urine analysis reveals highly loaded of pus
    from history, this 22 y.o boy says they have
    mobile numbers to call for sexual services
    arrange a pick up and since both are locals,
    nobody would ask questions
  • edited 10:51PM
    Just bad form to comment on patient details, no matter what. Voyeurism needs to be sucked up and spat out in a forum of people who are interested in relative information which may assist them with their travel and lives. We are not stupid or ignorant to think prostitution doesn't happen everywhere, but really... is it relevant to all the other questions I have been reading. Totally admire your dry sense of humour Stephaniek, dead funny and very accurate. If you manage to get back in the forum I would like to check on a few things, maybe some else might be able to help also. I'm a little curious about this comment with women under forty traveling. Does it mean there are different rules for women over forty? Also, what about trips to say Jeddah for a business conference. Would there be too many difficulties for a woman to do that solo and can she have a few more days added to see some sights or even queeze in a quicky wedding, if you know what I mean. Cheers
  • edited 10:51PM
    i m a single woman journalist but not working right now.want to go to dubai on visit visa to dubai i dont have any bllod relatives dere my fiancee is working there but he doesnt have the salary of 4000 dhms.can i get emigration cleared. if i go through travel agent.where my fiancee can get some help in this matter in sharjah or dubai pls somebody help.
    pls reply
  • edited 10:51PM
    I had been offered a position of lecturer in Al-Jouf University, skaka, KSA. I would be travelling alone to saudi arab next month. I want to ask single unmarried women living there , are girls allowed to shop alone and travel alon if they have working visa. Is it safe for a female to work and there. thanks
  • edited 10:51PM
    I have worked to jeddah as a private caregiver, i did not travelled far alone going to the malls... but for single woman-- you can walk alone in the mall. My situation before was I can go out of the house alone and go to the nearest small stores and restaurant and always take home/take out orders... i had no problems buying but there are SOME "men" who are really lustic... they will leave their phone numbers written on a piece of paper, they will try to touch you, they will try to kiss you... this happened to me... just be alert walking out in the streets... and make sure to always walk to streets and not to dark alleys not acessable by people or cars so anyone can see you... just be alert and do not get too close to men... also applies to taxi's, never go alone you must be accompanied by kids and never sit in front if you are alone... you must have strong voice and say laillah-illalah. I am not a muslim, and I thank Allah I was not abused there, it is the strong decision/will for the ladies to say NO to such many malicious acts. Never look them in the eye... have a strong voice and say your reasons.
  • edited 10:51PM
    i read all comments here i have been here in riyadh for 4 years ,single male .i must say it's very diffecult for a single woman to be here she will need permission for every thing even for shopping ,she need a relative person ,no social life here except living in a forgen compound
    for visa i think it's only for work or business ,or groub tour
    i hate this country but i it is my work place
    i hope something change
    i hope also i can help anybody to change the routeen
    [email protected]
  • edited 10:51PM
    I'm a Saudi, and most of the things written here are wrong. The female here and also foreign males can go anywhere specially malls/beach & where ever. But, in some situations there are places for men only and others for women only. For example, we have health club for men and separate section/branch for women. Also we have some malls for female only. There are no bars & nightclubs. Prostitutes are illegal and you'll never find women for that.

    for more info regarding my country Saudi Arabia; feel free to contact me at [email protected]
  • edited 10:51PM
    @Muhannad Thanks for the info, but do you really believe there's zero prostitution in Saudi Arabia? That's a hard statement to believe.
  • edited 10:51PM
    salam o alaikum
    first of all i would send my reguards to the people who have real experience and have gone through what they r saying
    i m frm pakistan but i m born here in riyadh and also i never went to pakistan ....... most of the things i read here r true but some things the people written here never heard of it and r point less
    lets talk about the visa first.....visit visas r issued to personals with the high jobs like doctors and engeneers or businessmen ....they can send visit visa to any of their relatives or even friends
    now lets talk about free women firstly the married women never faces problems
    if the women have legal documents or iqama then also no prob
    if u r alone and u know a real big business man or some one from royal family any thing is possible
    adding also travelling in ksa alone 2 but to enter ksa with the legal documentations and stuff
    women r free to go t shopping or any where they want to go with drivers or by taxi
    men here not only Saudis but also foreigners r so desperate (including me) that if u show them Ur leg they want u all but only if u let them to ( can't say any thing about rapists and maniacs ) or they do nothing because they r Muslims and they fear Allah or hay fear law of ksa bxs if u r caught in this kind of stuff and u don't have source ( powerful Saudi) etc then u may b dead both the man and girl of for only man jail for life or they make Ur ( ahem ahem ) useless for life
    now the prostitution.hmmm i personally never met one but they exist under ground .... it is said that if u find something really bad u will find it .... also the Saudis and foreigners go to Bahrain and jeddah if they want to get laid
    the s** with out marriage is forbidden in Islam but unfortunately the Muslims do that ( well that's their business with God)
    any how if is there any thing else i can help you guys it would be my honor
    [email protected]
  • edited 10:51PM
    Another excellent & interesting article at

    You see, whether your boyfriend, fiance, husband, partner or anyone whom you have been stalking relocating to any part of Middle East, they'd have means to get sexual satisfaction "sinfully".

    And it's common that Middle Easterns, some of them perhaps, put on "pious" appearance but then they commit adultery & drink like nobody's business.

    You can read another interesting article at

    By the way, to some of you Westerners out there, don't you all know that Middle Easterners worship you guys besides their God which is called "Allah"? You just need to talk in your native language (which is English, of course!) & you can demand high salary, excellent accomodation, awesome allowance & many more!!

    Maybe it's written somewhere in Middle Eastern's holy references that Westerners are 2nd in line after their God.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Another interesting article at

    Enjoy folks.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hello i am planning to visit dubai in december from india can i get a torist visa if i travel alone there, i have heard that single travelling lady dosent get visa...plz help
  • edited 10:51PM
    I have lived in the KSA as a single woman and can tell everything in this thread is absolute bullshit. A man or a woman, there is no tourist visa, so you must have an invitation, usually a business invitation. It does not work in the way "if you know some one from the royal family anything is possible" - possible sure, likely not. You are aware of that most of the 3000 princes are not important, and those who are important protect their reputation?

    The man who talked about "Eastern European Prostitutes" seems to be a big client himself as he has such details, but what he said about Saudi is a dream. To claim that happens in every country, talk about your own country - not mine! Government and rich men do NOT organize prostitution in my country, for you information, so keep "everywhere in the world" in your fantasies. Amazing people.

    The very few times I heard of HIDDEN, small scale, prostitution, it was Lebanese and beduine, not "Eastern European"

    Women, when you go to Saudi, you will not meet prostitutes, and you will not be harrassed by these fantasies by Western men how your life will be tough. When I went there, everybody was telling me how I will be oppressed, and seemed to cum in the process. Especially they enjoyed to tell me about polygamy and see the reaction on my face, those sadists. What rubbish. Polygamy is really rare among people less than 60. Foreign women are more free than foreign men in Saudi Arabia. It is a better country for foreign women. An amazing country.

    But then again, you will not get there, unless you work there or are invited for business purposes.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Ekta, you have got to be kidding. Dubai is the sin city. It is not a conservative place.
  • edited 10:51PM
    hi guys... Being a Saudi myself, I do not know what horrible planet most of you folks are talking about... anyway, whether you are a western or not Saudi is only open for you in 3 different ways. Females, males or even couples, every one needs an entry visa from the closest Embassy in there home country and surely you need to prove your travel plans either a business or a family re-union of a working spouse in Saudi. Parents can also visit their working daughters/ sons in Saudi Arabia. However, an invitation by their sons or daughters is a part of the required documents.

    Once in Saudi, most westerns do live in compounds and private communities. While living there, they may enjoy their life in whatever way they like and of course including alcohol as well. However, these entertainment must stay within their compounds and private communities. Meaning, that if you do drink and drive; you ought to be ready to take the consequences and just like anywhere else....

    No prostitution neither a sex slavery is permitted here. Beside being a tax free heaven, Saudi is well known of being a family oriented environment! you may not know that, but I am sure most of you who lived here will agree.

    Moreover, if you would like to know about your destination, you would rather be asking a local!
  • edited December 2011
    Yes, it's a really a pure and clean place; there is no violence at Saudi.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Im 22+ year female will like to know can i travel alone to Dubai to c my fiance.... plz let me know soon with some good details about the visa process..
    Thanks in advance :)
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi, I am a 27 year old single-female moving to Saudi for work (and yes, I have a Visa). I will not be living on a Western Compound, but want to ask any locals if I go to a compound (but don't live there), would I get into trouble? I have done a lot of research on the restrictions/laws etc, but am finding it difficult to source information on the compounds.
  • edited 10:51PM
    i m a single woman .want to go to dubai on visit visa to dubai i dont have any bllod relatives dere.can i get emigration cleared. if i go through travel agent.
    pls reply
  • edited 10:51PM
    I've been here in the Kingdom for 2 years and 3 months working for the Ministry of Health as a nurse. Working and traveling here as a woman, an Asian woman specifically, has its pros and cons. I've always been told never to travel alone via taxi for dangers of being raped. 'Tho I've heard so much stories about women being raped by taxi drivers here, I still braved traveling alone on day time. I have experienced minor problems of being molested inside the taxi, mostly by Pakistanis and Bangladeshi drivers. But being firm in saying no is an advantage. At the same time that I cannot go to the police for fear of having a negative effect on me especially that I cannot speak their language fluently. Some women when caught being together in a public place with an opposite sex, even a relative are tagged as prostitutes here in Saudi Arabia. They will both end up in jail if being caught and get deported asap. Altho' Asian and the westerner women are treated differently, it's how you show yourself to the public that matters. For us Asians, we get so much "indecent proposals" from the locals and some male expats here, maybe because of some experience, some Asian women have projected themselves as cheap commodity here. Most single women stay here for the money. I do. Other than that, I see no reason why I should stay here in Saudi Arabia.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi i've been in alkhobar for 2 years, so far nothing bad happened to me god/allah help me and guides me in any place i go outside or at work., but i have heard so many stories too, also there are some saudi's who are rude and not nice to female or no respect sometimes they stopped the car and talk to you or followed you and telling some things, also there are some scenario of my co-worker whom they are trying to get and put inside the car especially during ramadan days or even usual days. I dont know whats happening with them they should be praying and asking for forgiveness but they are becoming more worst, i am not referring to all saudis, even some pakistani and bangladeshi. Even there are some other nationality working there in saudi and some other asian did something not nice there they should still respect the female every person has a different personalities. No offense to saudi people perhaps they are just not aware with the same nationality of what they are doing in their own country.. thank you!
  • Hi! i'm in 20s and a single. I will work as a Saudi Arabian flight attendant in Saudi. After working, can I go out of my house to have lunch alone? And can I walk on the street alone? And I want to excercise. Is there a fitness?
  • edited May 2014
    As a married woman only your husband can sponsor you to enter KSA. As you are married to a Saudi citizen you would require his permission to enter and leave the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    These females you hear travelling to KSA may have employment, family or have travelled as part of an Umrah or Hajj package group.

    KSA  treats women badly, women cannot drive, women cannot go out alone, women must be covered, without their male guardians permission women cannot have medical procedures, be educated, travel, take up employment, open a bank account or even marry.

    You dont say what country you are from but maybe you could go to Bahrain or UAE where you may not require a visa and visit your husband at least you will get a flavour of the middle east. It seems to me your husband is trying to protect you from the extremes of KSA

    Your fascination with KSA  will make you unhappy you need to let go and focus on bringing your husband to live with you.

  • hello,
    I am a Saudi citizen who's married to a Russian woman. I will be more than glad to help anyone with anything.

    I just wanted to say, Saudi society is a very kind and loving society, ask anyone.
    The culture is different than any where else in the world. But, the locals are very understanding and welcoming of other cultures.

    But, due to the cultural issues, I strongly advice you understand all the details on the city and place you will be working in if you're coming for a job.
  • "... But, the locals are very understanding and welcoming of other cultures..."

    I appreciate you joining the forum Sami, but honestly, that's one of the silliest and most inaccurate/misleading statements I've ever read on any travel discussion forum. With all due respect you might want to rethink that proclamation.

    No offence, sir.

    All the best to you.

  • Sami, I agree totally with Terry. I lived and worked in the middle east for several years and have never found Saudi's understanding or welcoming. Saudi Arabia is a country of misogyeny racist, intolerant and a place where a woman can be for example, a highly qualified surgeon but is relieved of the complex task of driving a car !

    Understanding and welcoming
    in your dreams
  • Hello, I am single female, 29 years old. I am planning with my colleague go holidays by car from Jordan to UAE and return back. cross Saudi Arabia. Can you please help me with situation if single women can travel with colleague/friend. What is situation? Anyone tried already something similar? Will be thankful to get some previous experience, please if you can contact me by email [email protected]
  • @Nina29
    There is no such thing as a Saudi tourist visa. I doubt as a single woman you will be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia, a country where travellers/residents are also required to hold an exit permit to enable them to leave.
  • Hi all.

    I am 32 years old and unmarried, taking a trip to Saudi Arabia for four days with my firm for an important meeting with Saudi counterparts. Is there anything I should be aware of, as a single woman in business? I am aware that women are viewed somewhat differently in that part of the world, than here in the UK. My boss has advised I dress smartly but modestly. Does this mean a pant suit, or is that not right? Also, will my marital status affect business at all? I would appreciate any advice, I must admit I am quite nervous. I am a successful woman and confident, but I do not want to offend in any way.

    I will also have a day or two to do some sightseeing, but I am unsure as to what to see or prioritize, so any suggestions would be great. I will be in and around Riyadh.

    Thanks in advance!
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