The U.S. Department of State updated its Travel Advisory for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on August 2, 2018 to provide additional information about the security environment in the Kingdom. The full text of the updated Advisory can be found below or online at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/SaudiArabia.html
U.S. Department of State
August 2, 2018
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Level 2: Exercise increased caution
Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism and the threat of missile 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 long-range missiles 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 (drones) which they have used to target civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the following locations as U.S. government personnel and their families are restricted from travel to:
- Within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border, including the cities of Jizan and Najran;
- Qatif in the Eastern province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah; and
- Hofuf and its suburbs in the al Hasa governorate.
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.
- 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
To stay in touch, follow us on our ACS Twitter account @ksa_acs
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Saudi Arabia Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia at +966 11 488 3800, the U.S. Consulate General Dhahran at +966 13 330 3200, and the U.S. Consulate General Jeddah at +966 12 667-0080.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook