Visiting

Business hours

Offices are open from 8.00am to 2.00pm, Sunday to Thursday. Some companies may reopen for several hours in the evening and or Saturday mornings.

Banks are open from 8.00am to 4.00pm, Sunday to Thursday, these hours are subject to prayer times.

Retailers close after noon prayer and reopen around 4.00pm to 10.00pm, all days of the week.

Ministries are usually open from 8.30am to 2.00pm, Sunday to Thursday.

All public institutions close for prayer for about half an hour, five times per day. Prayers times change as they are determined by the position of the sun, but the following times gives some indication: 

  • dawn
  • midday
  • mid-afternoon
  • sunset
  • night (approx. one-and-a-half hours after sunset).

Public Holidays

*Eid Al-Fitr
September 23 – Saudi National Day
*Eid Al Adha

*Note: Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region. Generally, if a holiday falls on a Friday, a day is given in lieu.

Climate

Saudi Arabia is a desert country with very high temperatures of up to 50°C during the summer months (late June to mid- September). Coastal areas have a high humidity level, whereas Riyadh in the centre of the country is very dry. For the remainder of the year, the climate is temperate with temperatures ranging from 22 to 30°C, although in Riyadh they can drop to just above freezing point at night during winter.

For weather details in Saudi Arabia, please visit the World Meteorological Organization.

Currency

Oanda currency converter

The currency is the Saudi Arabian Riyal.

Time zones and time differences

Saudi Arabia is seven hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.

To find out the current time in Riyadh, view the World Clock.

Dialling codes

Saudi Arabia's country code is +966.

For calls to Saudi Arabia from Australia dial: 0011 + 966 + area code + telephone number.

For calls from Saudi Arabia to Australia dial: 00 + 61 + area code + telephone number.

Electricity and water

Saudi Arabia’s power supply is 110 volts, 1, 3 phases, 2, 4 wires – although it is common to find 220 volt outlets as well. The round two-pin plugs are the most common.