Saudi Arabia: A Comprehensive Guide for Canadian Tourists

As the allure of Saudi Arabia’s rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes beckons travelers from around the globe, Canadian citizens find themselves increasingly drawn to this Middle Eastern gem. However, navigating the intricacies of travel to Saudi Arabia requires careful preparation and an understanding of the country’s laws and regulations. In this guide, we’ll delve into the essentials for Canadians planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, covering everything from visa requirements to cultural norms and legal considerations.


Before embarking on your journey to Saudi Arabia, securing the necessary visa is paramount. Fortunately, the process for Canadian citizens is straightforward, thanks to the eVisa system implemented by the Saudi government. Gone are the days of lengthy embassy visits; now, travelers can conveniently apply for their visas online.

To initiate the visa application process, visit the official Saudi eVisa website and complete the online application form. You’ll need to provide basic personal information, passport details, and details about your intended stay in Saudi Arabia. It’s essential to double-check all information for accuracy before submission to avoid any delays or complications.

Once your application is submitted, processing typically takes a few days. Upon approval, you’ll receive your eVisa via email, which you’ll need to print and present upon arrival in Saudi Arabia. This electronic visa grants Canadian tourists entry for various purposes, including tourism, business, and visiting family or friends.


While exploring the wonders of Saudi Arabia, it’s crucial to be mindful of the country’s laws and customs to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Saudi Arabia adheres to Islamic law, which governs many aspects of daily life, including behavior, dress, and social interactions. As such, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with these laws and adhere to them during your stay.

One of the most notable regulations is the strict dress code for both men and women. Women are required to dress modestly, covering their bodies from head to toe, with a headscarf (hijab) to cover their hair. Men should also dress conservatively, avoiding shorts and sleeveless shirts in public spaces.

Moreover, public displays of affection are strictly prohibited, and alcohol consumption is illegal throughout the country. Additionally, respect for religious customs, such as refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during Ramadan, is of utmost importance.

While these laws may differ from those in Western countries, respecting and adhering to them demonstrates cultural sensitivity and fosters a positive relationship with the local community.


Beyond legal considerations, understanding Saudi Arabia’s cultural norms and etiquette is essential for a seamless and enriching travel experience. Hospitality, or “diwaniya,” plays a central role in Saudi culture, with locals often extending warm welcomes to visitors.

When interacting with Saudis, it’s customary to greet them with “As-salamu alaykum” (peace be upon you) and respond with “Wa alaykumu as-salam” (and upon you be peace). This exchange reflects the importance of courtesy and respect in Saudi society.

Furthermore, accepting invitations to dine in Saudi homes is a common practice, offering an opportunity to experience traditional Arabian cuisine and engage in meaningful conversations with locals. Remember to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home and to express gratitude for their hospitality.

During your travels, you’ll likely encounter traditional markets, known as “souks,” brimming with an array of goods, from spices and textiles to handicrafts and jewelry. Bargaining is a customary practice in souks, so don’t hesitate to negotiate prices to secure the best deals.


While Saudi Arabia is generally considered safe for tourists, it’s essential to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times. Exercise caution when exploring unfamiliar areas, especially after dark, and avoid political demonstrations or gatherings that may pose a risk to your safety.

Additionally, ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, including evacuation, as healthcare services in Saudi Arabia can be costly for foreigners.

By adhering to these safety guidelines and exercising common sense, you can enjoy a worry-free exploration of Saudi Arabia’s wonders.


As Canadian tourists increasingly set their sights on Saudi Arabia, proper preparation and understanding of the country’s laws, customs, and cultural norms are essential for a fulfilling and enjoyable travel experience. By obtaining the necessary eVisa, respecting local laws and customs, and embracing the rich tapestry of Saudi culture, visitors can unlock the treasures of this enchanting destination with confidence and appreciation.

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