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Security Alert: Security Practices for U.S. Citizens Visiting or Residing in Saudi Arabia
11 MINUTE READ
ديسمبر 17, 2023

 

 

Saudi Arabia

 

The U.S. Mission to Saudi Arabia periodically reissues and highlights best security practices for U.S. citizens residing in or visiting the country.

The Department of State’s Travel Advisory states travelers should “reconsider travel to Saudi Arabia due to the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian facilities. Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism.”  The full Travel Advisory is available here.  The U.S. Mission strongly encourages all U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and to follow the recommended “actions to take” below.

 

Actions to Take:

  • Stay informed:  Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive e-mails about travel and security information, and other messages important to U.S. citizens in Saudi Arabia.
  • Follow us on Twitter at @KSA_ACS.
  • Review the Department of State’s Saudi Arabia Travel Advisory.
  • If you see something, say something.  Notify local authorities immediately if you encounter unusual or suspicious activity.  The local police can be reached at 999 or 911.  Ambulances can be reached at 997.  More emergency contact numbers can be found on our website.
  • In the event of a missile or drone attack:
    • Ensure your phone and/or other means of communication(s) are charged at all times and accessible.
    • If you hear a loud explosion or if sirens are activated, immediately seek cover.
    • If in a home or a building, go to the lowest level of the structure and to the extent possible take shelter in a location away from exterior walls, windows and openings; close any doors and sit near an interior wall, away from any windows or openings.
    • If you are outdoors, immediately seek cover in a hardened structure; if that is not possible, lie down and cover your head with your hands.
    • Be aware that even if the incoming missile or drone is intercepted, falling debris represents a significant risk.
    • After the attack, stay away from any debris, and monitor major news outlets for official guidance.
  • In case of any security incidents, monitor local news sources for updates.  In addition, check your email (if enrolled in STEP), and the American Citizen Services’ Twitter account (@KSA_ACS) for security updates from the U.S. Mission to Saudi Arabia.
  • Maintain awareness of your surroundings.  Learn the names of landmarks such as parks, schools, places of business, etc. in case you need to call for help.
  • Identify safe areas (police stations, hospitals, Saudi government buildings, hotels, stores, or restaurants) in your area and how to get to them quickly.
  • Notify your emergency contacts when you will be out of town or traveling.
  • Avoid traveling alone, especially at night.  Travel with a buddy.  If you decide to travel alone, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Put together a go-bag of essential items (such as local and U.S. currency, passports, medications, driver’s licenses, bank account information, insurance policies, credit cards, home inventories, and other important documents).
  • Do not be predictable.  Vary your routes and times to and from work and locations routinely visited.
  • Avoid poorly lit areas.  Utilize walkways with sufficient lighting and remove yourself immediately from any situation in which you feel uncomfortable.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Be cognizant of where you park your vehicle.  Make sure the area is well lit.  Walk around and inspect your vehicle to ensure it does not appear to be tampered with before re-entering it.
  • Maintain a low profile when out in public.  Do your best not to draw attention to yourself.
  • Always carry your iqama, Saudi visa, or other evidence of your immigration status in Saudi Arabia.  Keep a copy of your passport biographic page with you.  Consider keeping digital copies of these documents available on your mobile phone for easy access.
  • Keep a hard-copy list of important numbers inside your car, wallet, and home.  Ensure your family members do the same.
  • Save important locations in map applications on your phone (residence, hospitals, police stations) and understand how to get around the area without GPS.  Consider downloading offline maps in order to access this information without the aid of cellular data.
  • Have a security plan in place for you and your family at your residence.  Review the plan with your household frequently.
  • Discuss security with your household members.  They should learn these best practices and follow them as appropriate.  Ensure that all family members have key numbers saved in their phones.
  • In an emergency situation, your first contact should be with local authorities.  If there are others nearby when an incident occurs, get their attention to have police notified.  In the case of an arrest or death, you should also contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

For Assistance Contact:

 

U.S. Embassy Riyadh 

Abdullah Ibn Hudhafah As Sahmi Street Roundabout no. 9, Diplomatic Quarter Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Telephone: (966) (11) 835-4000

RiyadhACS@state.gov

 

U.S. Consulate General Jeddah 

Al Safa Street, Al Muhammadiyah District, near the new American School building

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Telephone: (966) (12) 220-5000

Fax: (966) (12) 220-5093

JeddahACS@state.gov

 

U.S. Consulate General Dhahran

Off King Saud bin Abdulaziz Road, at the corner of Salaheddin al Ayoubi Street and Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Street

Telephone: (966) (13) 839-5700

DhahranACS@state.gov

 

U.S. Department of State – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

 

Saudi Arabia Country Information

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security alerts

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