Saudi Arabia


Country: Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab state in western Asia. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north and Kuwait to the northeast. Qatar, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates are located to the east and Yemen is to the south. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea and a Persian Gulf coast.

Riyadh is the capital and the country’s population is approximately 29 million. Arabic is the official language. Saudi Arabia is officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sometimes abbreviated as KSA.

To access emergency services: Dial 997

Currency: Saudi riyal (SR)

Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to Saudi Arabia, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.

Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expend­itures.

It is also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacu­ation home or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.

Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers

What to expect in a Saudi Arabian hospital: Health care generally has a fairly high standard in Saudi Arabia. Every major city has both public and private clinics with well-trained staff and state-of-the-art equipment. English is widely spoken, especially in the private sector.

Saudi Arabia also has a good public health care system. Special services that private care offers, such as luxurious hospital accommodations and practically no waiting times, are expensive.

Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.

JCI-accredited hospitals/clinics in Saudi Arabia: To read about specific facilities that are JCI-accredited, visit the Hospital Search section.

Saudi Arabia-specific helpful health resources:

Travel health notices: Visit the CDC or the WHO for up-to-date travel notices.

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