Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Exercise Caution at Cultural Festivals and Religious Gatherings

Security Message for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Riyadh

August 10, 2016




The United States Mission in Saudi Arabia advises its staff and private U.S. citizens to exercise caution when attending large public gatherings, including Saudi cultural festivals, religious gatherings, fairs and markets.


U.S. government personnel and their families are restricted from travel within 50 miles of the Yemeni border, and to the cities of Jizan and Najran, without permission. U.S. government personnel are similarly restricted from traveling to the city of Qatif in the Eastern Province and its surrounding suburbs, including Awamiyah, and to the town of Hofuf and its surrounding suburbs in the Al Hasa Governorate due to violent episodes that have occurred there in the past.


Regardless of where you are, keep your security and situational awareness levels high. Be prepared to postpone or cancel activities for personal safety concerns. Report concerns you may have to the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah, or the U.S. Consulate General in Dhahran.

Remember to vary your routes and times in all instances when traveling in the Kingdom. All U.S. citizens are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia and limit non-essential travel within the country.


Please note that travelers holding pilgrimage visas issued by the Saudi government are strictly prohibited from travel outside of the cities of Mecca, Medina and Jeddah.

For further information: