Traditional fare includes spicy dishes made with pita bread, rice, lentils, grains, lamb and chicken. Alcohol consumption is forbidden in accordance with religious practices, and there is no nightlife to speak of.
Women may not converse with men or show affection in public.
The sanctity of family in Saudi Arabia follows Islamic dictates.
Social structure is organized into clans and tribes.
Saudi Arabia occupies nearly the entire Arabian Peninsula, dwarfing neighbors Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, the Gulf of Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen.
A cash-rich land thanks to oil interests, the country is home to sleek, modern cities and technological advances, yet religious law governing all aspects of Saudi Arabian culture makes this nation a study in contradiction.
Understanding cultural traditions in Saudi Arabia is mandatory if you plan to visit, do business with or socialize in this ancient kingdom.Dine in Riyadh, the royal capital, and discover food choices on menus that mimic foods eaten centuries ago.Additionally, the centuries-old Hajj takes place every January in Mecca, welcoming millions of pilgrims in town to observe this solemn Islamic ritual.Saudi Arabian women are required, according to Islamic law, to cover their bodies in abaya (black robes and face coverings) as a sign of respect for Muslim modesty laws.It is against the law to disregard fundamentalist dress codes from city to city, though the most stringent prohibitions are found in Mecca, Medinah and other holy sites.For tourists, modest dress is a requirement that, if ignored, can trigger a warning from the Mutawwain (religious police).