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Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Continued Risk of Terrorist Attacks

Near East > Saudi Arabia > Riyadh

Due to the continuing risk of terrorist attacks directed or inspired by ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) across the Kingdom, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia reiterates its recommendation that U.S. citizens exercise caution in places frequented by foreigners.

The United States Mission in Saudi Arabia also reminds U.S. citizens that continuing violence in neighboring countries such as Yemen can potentially spill over into Saudi Arabia.

U.S. government personnel and their families are restricted from travel within 50 miles of the Yemeni border, and to the cities of Jizan and Najran, without permission. U.S. government personnel are similarly restricted from traveling to the city of Qatif in the Eastern Province and its surrounding suburbs, including Awamiyah, and to the town of Hofuf and its surrounding suburbs in the Al Hasa Governorate due to violent episodes that have occurred there in the past.

Regardless of where you are, keep your security and situational awareness levels high. Be prepared to postpone or cancel activities for personal safety concerns. Report concerns you may have to the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah, or the U.S. Consulate General in Dhahran.

Remember to vary your routes and times in all instances when traveling in the Kingdom. All U.S. citizens are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia, and to limit non-essential travel within the country.

Please note that travelers holding pilgrimage visas issued by the Saudi government are strictly prohibited from travel outside of the cities of Mecca, Medina and Jeddah.

For further information:

  • U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s, Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts and Warnings, and Saudi Arabia Country Specific Information can be found.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow us on Twitter @KSA_ACS and @TravelGov as well as the U.S. Mission Saudi Arabia and Bureau of Consular Affairs Facebook pages.
  • You can also contact U.S. Embassy Riyadh at (966) (11) 488-3800, the U.S. Consulate General Dhahran at (966) (13) 330-3200, or the U.S. Consulate General Jeddah at (966) (12) 667-0080 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm local time in Saudi Arabia, Sunday through Thursday for routine inquiries, and outside of regular business hours, at the same numbers to reach a duty officer for assistance with emergency cases.
  • In addition, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).