This port is on the East Coast, in the Gulf, right beside Bahrain. Currently it is a cargo port only, but the aim is to turn it into a passenger facility for Red Sea cruises.
Saudi Arabia has launched an eVisa for cruise passengers sailing from the country or arriving at one of its ports. About 130 Euro.
Absolutely no alcohol and drugs are allowed in the country and Sharia, or Islamic law is strictly enforced.
Once your ship is 12 nautical miles from the Saudi coastline, the bars open and alcohol is served in the restaurants,
If you bring medication with you, carry a doctor's prescription.
Both men and women should dress modestly covering shoulders and knees in public, avoiding tight-fitting clothing or clothes with profane language or images. And although female tourists do not need to cover their heads any longer when walking around, they do need to in places of worship.
It's just not done to walk down the street hand in hand or show any public displays of affection.
Homosexual or extra-marital sexual relations, including adultery, are illegal and can be subject to severe penalties. It's also illegal to be transgender. Transgender people travelling to Saudi Arabia are likely to face significant difficulties and risks if this is discovered by the authorities. However: MSC Cruises is determining how to approach this, but confirmed that gay cruisers are definitely not banned from entering the Kingdom and sailing.
Just in case you were thinking of linking up your iPhone with your Bluetooth speaker and playing it in a public spot, don't
Sharia law prohibits public observance of any religion other than Islam. So check your jewellery. If you are Jewish, you are allowed to visit the Kingdom, but not if you have an Israeli passport or a stamp from a visit to Israel.
Taking pictures or recording videos without permission is not permitted.
Public transport is poor. Taxis and "dubbabs" dominate the market, and are usually used by the lower scale foreign workers. SR.2 is the standard fare for anywhere to anywhere! Best deal is thus the rent a car. Taxis charge 10–20SR for trips within the city proper. 25-30SR is usually charged to travel by taxi from Al-khobar to Dammam and vice versa.
Shopping malls hours:
Saturday to Tuesday: From 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Wednesday & Thursday: From 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM
Currency in Saudi Arabia: Saudi riyal (SAR)
Arabic is the official language in Saudi Arabia, but English is widely understood.
Internet is available in the malls as well in cafes.
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