The country’s strict interpretation of Sharia law and harsh punishments for illegal activity mean that safety in Saudi Arabia is not a major concern. There is normally tight security in and around expat compounds, leaving residents feeling quite protected.

Although terrorism is an ongoing concern in the wider region, there have been no recent attacks in Saudi Arabia, and no incidents that would warrant any concerns for the short term. Protests have taken place on occasion, but Saudi Arabia has not witnessed the level of protests experienced by other Middle Eastern countries in recent times.


Crime in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has harsh punishments for criminal activity. Executions by beheading, stoning or firing squad are common for crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery. Apostasy, adultery and homosexuality are also subject to harsh punishment, which may seem archaic by Western standards. 

Most expats live in Western compounds where security is tight, and burglary and armed robbery are not a concern. Nevertheless, petty theft does occur on the streets of Saudi towns and cities, and opportunistic theft from vehicles also occurs. Expats should always be alert when walking in the street and keep all valuables out of sight.


Terrorism in Saudi Arabia

Many governments warn their citizens about the risk of possible terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, particularly against Western targets and Saudi oil infrastructure.

Saudi Arabia has a history of terrorist attacks. The Saudi government takes the threat of terrorism seriously and has carried out a number of arrests of suspected militant groups in recent years. Expats should ensure that they stay in secure accommodation, and if in a compound, that adequate security is in place.


Protests in Saudi Arabia

Public demonstrations are illegal in Saudi Arabia. The government has invested heavily in employment and education programmes, which has gone a long way to alleviating dissent among the local population, and protests and demonstrations in the Kingdom are uncommon.

Any demonstrations that do take place in the Kingdom are usually in the Eastern Province, which has the largest concentration of Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority.


Road safety in Saudi Arabia

Road conditions vary considerably between cities and rural areas. Larger cities have well-constructed roads, while those in rural areas are often unpaved. Road safety is potentially one of the greatest safety concerns for expats in Saudi Arabia; traffic accidents are a frequent occurrence, aggressive driving and road rage are common, and traffic congestion in Riyadh is an ongoing problem. Expats should drive defensively or, if possible, arrange for a driver who is familiar with the local conditions.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global

GeoBlue International Health Insurance

GeoBlue

GeoBlue is one of the best international health insurance plans for US expats abroad or internationals residing in the USA. The GeoBlue Xplorer plan includes worldwide coverage and great customer service with access to a premium international network of hospitals and doctors including the Blue Cross Blue Shield network in the USA.

Get a quote from GeoBlue

Moving Companies

Sirelo logo

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes now!