pilgrims : For pilgrims arriving on special or
normal flights, during or outside the pilgrimage
period ("Umrah") :
- on foreign airlines you can only arrive in
- by Saudi Arabian Airlines you can arrive by
Dhahran, Jeddah or Medina
You must have all the necessary health certificates
with you as well as a return airline ticket which
mentions the fact that you are a pilgrim.
Saudi Airlines is classed as the best airline in
the Middle East and has second place in the world
rating out of 225 companies. It has 109 planes and
makes 310 flights a day during the tourist season.
Financially the company makes a loss though.
France and Saudi Arabia the time difference is +2
hours in winter and +1 hour in summer (Arabia is 3
hours ahead of Greenwich Mean
To phone Saudi Arabia from France dial : 00 + 966 +
the town code + the number
Djeddah : 2
Riyad : 1.
To phone France from Saudi Arabi : 00 33 + the
The television has two main channels.
- Akhbar El Alam El Islami (weekly) «News of
the Muslim World ».
- Arab News (daily).
- Arrajol « The Man »,
- Asharq al Awsat (daily).
- Al Jazira «The Island »
- El Nadoua (the only daily paper from Mecca)
- Car rental
is possible to rent a car from agencies at the
airports and in the big shopping malls.
An international driving licence is required.
Al Khobar : tel 966 03 898 2800
Dammam : 966 03 857 7831
Dharan : airoport : 966 03 891 9488
Jeddah : 966 02 6669 2020, airport : 966 02 685
Jubail : 966 03 346 6777, Intercontinental Hotel :
966 03 341 1576
Juffali : 966 03 827 5256
Riyadh : 966 01 476 1300
Yanbu : 966 04 322 7588
All Avis cars
are completely equipped, have done less than 15,000
kms and have an average age of 3 months. The
vehicles are carefully prepared and checked between
each rental using a procedure containing 7
obligatory control points. The cars are rented with
a full tank.
Renting from Avis automatically means that the car
passengers, renter and/or driver are covered by a
third party insurance as well as an insurance
covering repatriation and the immobilization of the
vehicule in case of an accident.
You can reserve a
- from your travel agent
- from the international reservation centre at 0
820 05 05 05
- or from any Avis agency
Avis has an interactive network worldwide, a client
can reserve a car instantly from anywhere in the
We recommend that
you pay your rental using your accredited Avis card
or with another credit card accepted by Avis :
American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Diners.
Through a simple free membership system, Avis gives
identity and/or payment cards, which are a real
help for a rapid and efficient service.
REASSURING : No
on-line payment, you can pay Avis directly at the
agency when you return the car
RAPID : Avis has the quickest car rental
reservation service on the web
ECONOMICAL : The cheapest rates on the market are
available on the Avis microsite
COMPLETE : You can rent a car anywhere in the
The Avis network : 5000 agencies in 172 countries,
is now on-line!
EFFICIENT : Find your town (you don't have to fill
in the country), enter the date and click on
PRACTICAL : You only have to fill in 4 boxes and
you will receive an e-mail confirming the
You can even rent a vehicle at the last minute just
round the corner or ... on the other side of the
- Your suitcase
a wardrobe of light, but very conventional clothing
- no short skirts, shorts, exposed shoulders
Women in Arabia have to be veiled and do not
accompany their husbands on social
(local and foreign) have to wear the abaya, which
is a wide black robe which covers them entirely,
whenever they go out of the
23 - Information
last from Thursday lunchtime until Friday
Public holidays are religious Muslim days, the
dates vary each year with the lunar calendar : the
beginning of Ramadan, Id ul Fitr, the Islamic New
Year, Id ul Adha, the anniversary of the Islamic
Shops close during the prayer times.
Alcohol is strictly forbidden.
Supermarkets are open 24 hours a day.
Rules and Regulations :
- you have to leave your passport with your
- you need a 'travel letter' if you are travelling
in the country
(these two rules could ease up in the near
- women must wear an abaya (a long black robe which
covers them to the floor) whenever they go out,
they are not allowed to drive and are not allowed
to have a job
- western women can go to Arabia on business but
have to follow the conventions and are not allowed
to participate in commercial exhibition.
Saudian banking sector is powerful, it represents
5% of the GNP, employs 20,000 people and there
are 1,235 agencies.
Monetary policy is the jurisdiction of the SAMA,
the Saudi Monetary Agency, who play the role of a
central bank and issue payments concerning
There are 10 commercial banks, three of which are
totally Saudian - the National Commercial Bank, Al
Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation and the
Rijadh Bank. The other seven , amongst which are
the Al Bank al Saudi al Fransi, (the Crédit
Agricole-Indosuez), are co-enterprises with foreign
banks but with a majority Saudian
25 - Schools and
are a lot of schools in the country :
- the French School of Djeddah (up to the secondary
- the French School of Al Khobar (up to the
secondary 1st cycle) at Dhahran Airport
- the French School of Riyad (up to the secondary
weekly days off are Thursdays and Fridays.
The rate of adult illiteracy is 34%, compared to 2%
are also big Saudi organizations which are
interested in obtaining aid to develope practical
training programmes :
- the GOTEVOT, a general organization for technical
and professional training
- the general management of institutes and colleges
of health science for the Ministry of Health
- the general management for the education of girls
(primary and secondary schooling) - it manages
training institutes and colleges
- the SCECO, Saudi Consolidated Electric
- the Royal Commission for Jubail and
26 - Guides
is a good idea to subscribe to a specialized
Middle East Economic Digest,
Arab Press Services,
are also trade magazines published by the French
« Le Marché du second-oeuvre du
bâtiment aux Emirats Arabes Unis et en Arabie
Saoudite », edited by CFCE
The notes of the French Trade Commission, Librairie
du Commerce International, 10 ave
dIéna, BP 428-16, 75769 Paris Cedex 16
- Tel (01) 18.104.22.168 Fax (01) 22.214.171.124
Trade Commission Riyadh : Article on the priority
sectors for prospecting French
- The Israelian Sheqel ,
- alchoholic drinks,
- firearms or other weapons,
- drugs (except for prescribed medicines with a
- foodstuffs which have pork in them
- musical or theatrical shows
foodstuffs are not allowed into the country except
for fruit, nuts, some sweets, the boxes must be
easy to inspect.
For business, as the judicial system is based on
the Charia, the Koranic law, contracts have to be
made using a local lawyer and fiscal matters have
to be dealt with via a local accountant
Agreements which have been signed out of the
country are not recognized.
When you are addressing a government Minister, the
President of a Chamber of Commerce or other
dignitaries, you have to use the title "Your
Members of the royal family are addressed as "Your
A 'sheik' is an elder from a traditional tribe.
The bakchich is a polite welcome gift. It is a
commercial instrument or an offering, a sign of
sympathy or friendship for the person you are
Arabians are skilful negotiators and big
They prefer man to man relationships, where the
word of honour and trust given are essential.
Contacts are paradoxically warm and formal. There
is no question of being 'buddies', formal dress is
appreciated, it is risky to ask after the family,
and all negotiations start with long discussions on
hate confrontations, one of the bases of their
culture is a constant search for consensus.
Decisions are taken after long discussions amid
councils and commissions.
It is important, even essential, to understand the
hierarchy among the people you are talking to,
their family relationship and where they come from.
A real underground network which takes lots of time
to unravel and needs lots of
time, don't be in a hurry, give the impression that
you have plenty of time : this universal way of
showing interest is really appreciated in Saudi
this year international tourism could only take
place in the kingdom in one of three ways :
religious, business or family visits.
Will Saudi Arabia choose to open to tourism now
that there has been an opening in its investment
policy? Last April a Tourist Commission was created
and the authorities are defining their policies
concerning foreign tourism.
year over 2 million pilgrims visit this country
where Islamic traditions cohabit with a growing
western way of life.
Saudi Arabia is the Holy Land of Islam.
The sacred mosque founded by Mohammed is in Mecca.
The sanctuary founded by Abraham was already there
where the Black Stone, which was given by the
Archangel Gabriel, is venerated. It was already a
place of pilgrimage long before the birth of the
prophet. The communal pilgrimage takes place from
the 7th to the 10th May. The town and the near
surrounds of the town are forbidden to
"unbelievers"under penalty of death.
Arabia is the kingdom of princes and black
In the cities you will find mosques next to
are freezing cold and days are burning hot. There
are often sand storms which last several
the region of Assir, to the south of Djeddah, there
are mountain landscapes where the Saudi Arabians
enjoy coming to find a bit of cool air during the
summer. Four national parks have been created
In the region of Djeddah you will find the charm of
the Red Sea, a perfume of the orient hangs over the
historical centre of the second biggest town in the
There is the Nabatheen site of Medain Saleh - a
kind of Saudian Petra - which is situated at 50 kms
to the north of Medina.
An then there is the desert, each Thursday night,
on the eve of the weekend, the desert around Ryadh
lights up with little lights. These are Saudian
families who come out to the desert to get back to
their roots and share a meal round a campfire
the petrol boom, small shops have given way to
shopping malls where you can find Japanese,
American and European goods.
The Jamjoom City Center is the second biggest
shopping mall in the world with 750 shops and 300
offices. The souks and the supermarkets are open
until 10 pm.
SAUDI ARABIAN ART
of the art work comes from the Yemenites who for a
long time were considered and treated as slaves by
the Saudi Arabians.
The jewels, carpets and ceramics are very
- Saudi Computer 2001 18th-22nd February
- Saudi Internet World 2001 18th-22nd February
- Saudi Education 2001 18th-22nd February
- Saudi Food 2001 1st-5th April
- Saudi Hotel 2001 1st-5th April
- E-Commerce Saudi Arabia 2001 7th-10th May
- Suadi Print 2001 20th-24th May
- Saudi Plas 2001 20th-24th May
- Saudi Chem 2001 20th-24th May
- Saudi Agriculture 2001 23rd-27th September
- Saudi Build 2001 28th October-1st
- International Book Fair 15th-18th May
- One to One - Arabia 28th-31st May
- Saudi Banking & Investment 28th-31st May
- Compu.Net 13th-18th September
- Saudi Arabia's International Trade Fair 8th-12th
- Lifestyle 8th-12th October
-Middle East Education & Training Exhibition
- International Book Fair 28th April -7th May
- Food Arabia 26th-28th May
- Hotel-Arabia 26th-30th May
- Propak-Arabia 26th-30th May
- Live for Sound, Vision & Consumer electronics
- Compu.Net 15th-30th September
- Saudi Building Industries Exhibition 29th
- International Trade Fair 14th-18th