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Old 08-24-2014, 08:49 AM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,008,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtm7 View Post
I don't really find the laws "scary", but I have said many times that Saudi Arabia is definitely better for a man than for a woman. This applies to Saudi, not to the many other Muslim countries. Saudi is "different" in regards to their culture compared to other Muslim countries.
This is exactly how I feel about Saudi and the laws in place. Culturally it is obviously restrictive but I think people exaggerate how scary the place is from a legal and cultural standpoint. What I found is that as long as you don't do anything blatantly stupid and show some degree of respect for the local culture, you will be fine. Most Saudi's are fine with a foreigner that tries their best to not make any waves while they are in their country as a guest/worker.

I spent about a month working on a project in Riyadh and my sponsor was Alfaisal University. Not the most riveting city I have spent time in, but culturally a very interesting place to spend time in at least once in your life. No rush to get back though as a tourist, even though it seems like that may not even be an option anyways with the Visa policies.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,169,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
This is exactly how I feel about Saudi and the laws in place. Culturally it is obviously restrictive but I think people exaggerate how scary the place is from a legal and cultural standpoint. What I found is that as long as you don't do anything blatantly stupid and show some degree of respect for the local culture, you will be fine. Most Saudi's are fine with a foreigner that tries their best to not make any waves while they are in their country as a guest/worker.

I spent about a month working on a project in Riyadh and my sponsor was Alfaisal University. Not the most riveting city I have spent time in, but culturally a very interesting place to spend time in at least once in your life. No rush to get back though as a tourist, even though it seems like that may not even be an option anyways with the Visa policies.
How comfortable or uncomfortable would it be, to just walk around and take random pictures of anything that seems interesting...as a tourist.

Would locals react funny to that? Is western attire just fine? Or would a change of attire be suggested, as a westerner walking around with a camera and such?
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:15 AM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,008,981 times
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
How comfortable or uncomfortable would it be, to just walk around and take random pictures of anything that seems interesting...as a tourist.

Would locals react funny to that? Is western attire just fine? Or would a change of attire be suggested, as a westerner walking around with a camera and such?
I know that there is a belief that photography in general in illegal in Saudi, but that is not the case. We went through a quick cultural course provided by our sponsor and they mentioned photography specifically a few times. Many of the sites will be marked "No Photography" so there are obvious signs. Also you are not supposed to photograph Government Buildings or people in general, especially women. Men you are allowed to photograph with permission.

I think that walking around with a camera would make you stand out, as Riyadh is not similar to other cities where you see every other person on the street constantly snapping pictures. As far as attire is concerned, Western Dress is fine, as long as it is decent. I would avoid T-shirts (especially with any sayings as mentioned earlier) and shorts. You will see alot of younger Saudi's dressed very Western themselves, especially in certain sections of the city.

Maybe someone with more experience would be able to give further advice, but those were my experiences from a brief stay.
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:15 AM
 
72 posts, read 74,627 times
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
How about walking around taking photos....was that any problem for you in Jeddah?

or in Riyadh, for that matter...?

Can't really answer that, because I have never been much of a picture taker. However, I did hear a horror story about a couple of guys who decided to take pictures of the Kings motorcade when it was driving by. Nothing something you want to do.

Last edited by sgtm7; 08-25-2014 at 05:25 AM..
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