Saudi Arabia Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Mar 29, 2017
The State Department warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Saudi Arabia due to continuing threats from terrorist groups. Furthermore, violence in Yemen has spilled over into Saudi Arabia on a number of occasions. This warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued July 27, 2016.
Threat of Terrorism – Terrorist groups, including ISIS and its affiliates, have targeted both Saudi and Western government interests, mosques and significant religious sites (both Sunni and Shia), and places frequented by U.S. citizens and other Westerners.
Saudi authorities have announced that 34 terrorist attacks, some resulting in significant loss of life, occurred in Saudi Arabia in 2016. These included three coordinated bombings on July 4, 2016, in Medina, Qatif, and near the American Consulate General in Jeddah.
The Saudi authorities continue to vigorously counter terrorist activities and have announced that they thwarted over a dozen terrorist attacks over the past year. On February 16, 2017, Saudi security forces arrested 18 men in four cities on charges of supporting terrorist activities. On January 21, 2017, during a police raid in Jeddah, two men linked to ISIS died when their suicide vests exploded prematurely, and 16 other suspects were arrested. On January 7, 2017, two men linked to ISIS died in a shootout with Saudi security forces in Riyadh. On October 11, 2016, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced that it successfully prevented a terrorist attack targeting a soccer match at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.
Conflict in Yemen – On a number of occasions, violence from the ongoing conflict in Yemen has spilled over into Saudi Arabia. Saudi media outlets have reported that since March 2015, more than 40,000 projectiles have been launched into Saudi territory from Yemen, including at least 30 missiles.
U.S. government personnel and their families are restricted from travel in the following areas:
- 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 Department of State Travel Warning for Yemen before considering travel near the Yemen frontier.