December 2, 2022

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Saudi Arabia Travel Advisory

3 min read

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Reconsider travel to Saudi Arabia due to the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian facilities. Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to the following locations due to missile and drone attacks and terrorism:

  • Within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border, as well as the cities of Abha, Jizan, Najran, and Khamis Mushayt;
  • Abha airport;
  • Qatif in the Eastern Province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah.

Country Summary: U.S. government personnel must adhere to the above travel restrictions. As such, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these locations.

Missile and drone attacks perpetrated by Iran and Iran-supported militant groups represent a significant threat. The Islamic Republic of Iran has supplied Yemen-based Houthis and other regional proxy groups with weapons to conduct destructive and sometimes lethal attacks using drones, missiles, and rockets against a variety of Saudi sites, including critical infrastructure, civilian airports, military bases, and energy facilities throughout the country, as well as vessels in Red Sea shipping lanes. Recent attacks were aimed at targets throughout Saudi Arabia including Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran, Jizan, Khamis Mushayt, the civilian airport in Abha, Al Kharj, military installations in the south, as well as oil and gas facilities.

Debris from intercepted drones and missiles represents a significant risk to civilian areas and populations. Militant groups continue to plan and conduct attacks against locations in Saudi Arabia. U.S. citizens living and working near military bases and critical civilian infrastructure, particularly near the border with Yemen, are at heightened risk of missile, drone, and rocket attacks.

Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks against Saudi and Western targets throughout Saudi Arabia. Terrorists attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, large gatherings, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Terrorists are also known to time attacks around major holidays and/or in response to military operations. 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. ISIS claimed responsibility for a November 2020 IED attack at a cemetery in Jeddah during a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I. Several Western diplomats were in attendance.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Saudi Arabia, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Saudi Arabia.

If you decide to travel to Saudi Arabia:

Yemen Border, Abha airport, and Qatif in the Eastern Province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Militant groups in Yemen have attacked Saudi border towns and other sites in Saudi Arabia with armed drones, missiles, and rockets. Civilians that are near the border with Yemen are especially at risk. Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Saudi Arabia, including in Qatif.

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 information on travel to high-risk areas.

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