When to Go in Saudi Arabia

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The following is a brief on Saudi Arabia – When to go. The timing of the year is crucial to the perfect holiday in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, since the weather can be very hot and during festival periods, it can be bursting at its seams with people. Grasping the right time to head down for a vacation in Saudi Arabia can be a real art, and here’s how.


The summers of Saudi Arabia are immensely hot, with temperatures regularly reaching 50 degrees Celsius/122 degrees F in the summer. Then again, the temperature of the place depends greatly on the region that you have decided to visit – the central parts of the Kingdom are the ones with the scorching hot sun and the desert sand, when summers are often the killer periods in the year. The coastal areas, however, rarely go above 38 degrees C/100 degrees F, although it can still be very warm. However, those choosing to go to the mountainous areas can rejoice. Although the sun can be intense in these areas, the temperature in the sun rarely goes above 35 degrees C/95 degrees F in the summer, and can be much cooler in the shade. Try to avoid the summer, as the heat can be a true obstacle to moving around, particularly in the main areas such as Riyadh, the capital and its surrounding areas.

That being said, it is advisable to avoid the winter season as well, considering that the desert areas can be bitterly cold. It is not so much an issue in the capital areas, but it is an issue in the desert areas – and the activities in the desert areas are fully cancelled. During this period, the rains in the coastal areas are torrential as well, so be sure to avoid those areas in the winter period.


The main festival that causes crowding is the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage that occurs in December. The holy city of Mecca is located in Saudi Arabia, so during the few days preceding and after the Hajj period, the country is overrun with pilgrims, and the shops are generally closed – with hotels operating for pilgrims rather than tourists and shops selling festival goods rather than ordinary provisions. This is possibly the worst time for a tourist to come, since there are no activities, and there is the winter to consider as well. That said, it would probably be wise to avoid the month of Ramadan as well, during the period in August to September. It is the fasting month, and being an entirely Muslim country, Saudi Arabia’s food industry comes to a halt and there is generally nothing much to sample during this period.42

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