Saudi Arabia Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Feb 21, 2019
Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism and the threat of missile and drone 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 missiles and rockets 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 and military facilities in Saudi Arabia. U.S. citizens living and working on or near such installations, particularly in areas near the border with Yemen, are at heightened risk of missile and drone attack.
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.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Yemen Border
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