Local Information and Customs

Local Information and Customs

Location: Al Khobar is located in the eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the heart of Dhahran.

Climate: Saudi Arabia has a desert climate. It is hot for most of the year and occasional rain occurs during autumn, winter and spring. Temperatures range from a low of about 10°C (50°F) in winter to a high of 48°C (118°F) in summer.

Currency:

SAR = Saudi Riyal; 100 Halala = 1 SAR

Approximate conversion rate: USD 1 = SAR 3.75 or 1 EUR = AED 4.25

Religion: Islam is the official religion of the Saudi Arabia. Other religions are respected but non-Muslims are generally not allowed to enter mosques.

Language: The official language is Arabic, but English and Urdu are widely spoken. Most official signage is in Arabic as well as English.

Shopping: Shops are generally open from 10:00am to 10:00pm

Clothing: Visitors to Saudi Arabia should dress modestly in all areas. Both, men and women, may feel more comfortable wearing loosely fitting clothes that cover shoulders, arms and legs. Women should observe the strict Saudi dress code and wear conservative and loose clothes, including a full-length cloak (abaya) and a keep a scarf with them in case they are asked to cover their head.

Photography: Normal photography of family and friends is acceptable, but it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women. It is also courteous to ask permission before photographing men, needless to say government buildings or military sites are strictly forbidden to take pictures of.

Car Hire: Please contact our concierge to connect you with one of our many rental car partners.

Communication: International telephone services are very well developed and Wi-Fi is available in almost all hotels, restaurants and commercial areas.

Medical Care: The KSA has many health facilities, with government as well as private clinics and hospitals.

Working hours: The official weekend in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Friday and Saturday. Government offices open at 07:30am and close at 3:00pm. During Ramadan, working hours shorten by two hours and in general it is recommended to get handle all work with government offices in the early hours of the morning.

General etiquette: Men shake hands. Good friends may greet each other with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek. Women generally hug and kiss close women friends. Traditional food is served on the floor where you need to sit cross-legged or kneel on one knee and food is only eaten with the right hand.

Information about the local food: The most common types of food and beverages are Kabsa, Mtaziz, Motabbaq, Masoob, Mandi, Arikah, Assidah and Haneedh. These items usually include wheat, rice, lamb, chicken, yogurt, potatoes and dates. Due to the large number of expatriates in the Kingdom, you can find a variety of international dishes in most restaurants.

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