Culture and Customs in Saudi Arabia You Should Know

Welcome to the enchanting kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where ancient traditions and modernity blend harmoniously to create a captivating cultural tapestry. As an expatriate in this mystical land, understanding and respecting the local customs and …

Culture and Customs in Saudi Arabia

Welcome to the enchanting kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where ancient traditions and modernity blend harmoniously to create a captivating cultural tapestry.

As an expatriate in this mystical land, understanding and respecting the local customs and norms is essential to ensure a smooth and enriching experience.

Culture and Customs in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Customs and Traditions

Culture and Customs in Saudi Arabia

Let’s delve into some of the cultural norms and etiquettes that expatriates should be aware of during their time in Saudi Arabia.

1. Embracing Islamic Traditions

In the heart of Saudi Arabian culture lies the Islamic faith, which plays a central role in shaping the country’s way of life.

Islam is the official religion of Saudi Arabia, and locals adhere to its customs and practices with utmost devotion.

As an expat, it’s crucial to be respectful of Islamic traditions, such as dressing modestly, especially in public areas, and refraining from public displays of affection.

Read : Why is Saudi Arabia’s Crime Rate So Low? A Brief Explanation

2. The Art of Gender Segregation

In the captivating kingdom of Saudi Arabia, gender segregation is a deeply ingrained cultural practice that expatriates should be mindful of.

Men and women are not allowed to mix in public places, including restaurants, cafes, and other social settings.

As an expat, it’s important to be aware of this separation and act accordingly when interacting with locals.

Additionally, women are required to wear an abaya, a long black cloak, in public spaces as a sign of modesty and respect for the local customs.

3. The Warmth of Saudi Arabian Hospitality

Prepare to be enchanted by the renowned hospitality of Saudi Arabia! Locals take immense pride in welcoming guests with open arms and gracious smiles.

As an expatriate, embracing this tradition of hospitality is key to building strong connections and positive relationships with the locals.

When invited to someone’s home, remember to show genuine appreciation for their warm gesture and follow their customs with respect.

Accepting refreshments and engaging in polite conversation are simple ways to reciprocate the kindness and generosity of your hosts.

4. The Art of Communication

Language is a beautiful bridge that connects cultures, and while many Saudis speak English, making an effort to learn some basic Arabic phrases will surely earn you appreciation and admiration.

Simple greetings and expressions of gratitude in Arabic go a long way in fostering meaningful connections with locals.

Embrace the magic of language to navigate daily interactions with ease and showcase your sincere interest in the local culture.

In the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the legal system is strict and deeply rooted in Islamic law.

As an expatriate, it’s crucial to respect the authority of the government and the religious police, known as the Mutaween.

Avoid any actions that could be perceived as criticism of the royal family or the government, as such behavior is taken very seriously.

6. Savoring the Culinary Delights

Embark on a culinary adventure as you explore the diverse and flavorful Saudi Arabian cuisine.

From aromatic spiced rice dishes to succulent grilled meats, the local gastronomy is a treat for the taste buds.

As a mark of respect for Islamic dietary restrictions, remember that pork is forbidden in Islam, and expats should refrain from ordering pork dishes in restaurants.

Embrace the opportunity to savor traditional dishes and embrace the culture through the universal language of food.

7. The Art of Body Language

In the magical realm of Saudi Arabia, body language speaks volumes. Be mindful of your gestures and actions when interacting with locals.

Avoid pointing with your feet, as it’s considered disrespectful, and refrain from showing the soles of your shoes, as this act holds negative connotations.

When interacting with someone of the opposite sex in public, ensure that your gestures are appropriate and respectful of their cultural norms.

Read : The Cost of Living in Saudi Arabia for Expatriates


In conclusion, Saudi Arabia’s rich culture and customs offer a treasure trove of experiences for expatriates to cherish and embrace.

By respecting Islamic traditions, embracing gender segregation practices, reciprocating the warmth of Saudi Arabian hospitality, learning basic Arabic phrases, respecting authority, and savoring the local cuisine, expatriates can immerse themselves in the enchanting tapestry of this captivating kingdom.

So, dear expatriates, let the magic of Saudi Arabian culture unfold before your eyes as you embark on a journey filled with wonder and appreciation for this enchanting land!

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