Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism and the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian targets.
Do not travel to:
- Within 50 miles of the border with Yemen due to terrorism and armed conflict.
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Saudi Arabia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Terrorists have targeted both Saudi and Western government interests, mosques and other religious sites (both Sunni and Shia), and places frequented by U.S. citizens and other Westerners.
Rebel groups operating in Yemen have fired missiles and rockets into Saudi Arabia, specifically targeting populated areas and civilian infrastructure; they have publicly stated their intent to continue doing so. Missile attacks have targeted major cities such as Riyadh and Jeddah, Riyadh’s international airport, Saudi Aramco facilities, and vessels in Red Sea shipping lanes. Rebel groups are also in possession of unmanned aerial systems (armed drones) which they have used to target civilian infrastructure and military facilities in Saudi Arabia; the airport in Abha, in southeastern Saudi Arabia, has been a frequent target of attack. U.S. citizens living and working near such installations, particularly in areas near the border with Yemen, are at heightened risk of missile and drone attack.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the following locations, as U.S. Mission personnel and their families are restricted from travel to:
- Within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border, including the cities of Jizan and Najran, and
- Qatif in the Eastern province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah.
U.S. Mission personnel and their families are not permitted to use the airport in Abha without Chief of Mission approval.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Saudi Arabia, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Saudi Arabia:
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
- Obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Saudi Arabia.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Violence in Yemen has spilled over into Saudi Arabia on a number of occasions. Rebel forces in Yemen fire artillery at Saudi border towns and launch cross-border attacks against Saudi military personnel. Civilians who are near the border with Yemen are at risk.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border as U.S. government personnel and their families are restricted from travel to this area.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas
Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with security updates.