Saudi Arabia – Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Reconsider Travel to Saudi Arabia due to the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian facilities, and COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 4 Travel Health Notice for Saudi Arabia due to COVID-19.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia maintains restrictions on international air travel and its land borders. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia.
Do not travel to the following locations due to missile and drone attacks and terrorism:
- Within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border, as well as the cities of Abha, Jizan, Najran, and Khamis Mushayt;
- Abha airport;
- Qatif in the Eastern Province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah.
U.S. government personnel must adhere to the above travel restrictions. As such, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these locations.
Missile and drone attacks perpetrated by Iran and Iran-supported militant groups represent a significant threat. The Islamic Republic of Iran has supplied Yemen-based Houthis and other regional proxy groups with weapons to conduct destructive and sometimes lethal attacks using drones, missiles, and rockets against a variety of Saudi sites, including critical infrastructure, civilian airports, military bases, and energy facilities throughout the country, as well as vessels in Red Sea shipping lanes. Recent attacks were aimed at targets throughout Saudi Arabia including Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran, Jizan, Khamis Mushayt, the civilian airport in Abha, Al Kharj, military installations in the south, as well as oil and gas facilities.
Debris from intercepted drones and missiles represents a significant risk to civilian areas and populations. Militant groups continue to plan and conduct attacks against locations in Saudi Arabia. U.S. citizens living and working near military bases and critical civilian infrastructure, particularly near the border with Yemen, are at heightened risk of missile, drone, and rocket attacks.
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Saudi Arabia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Terrorists have targeted both Saudi and Western government interests, mosques and other religious sites (both Sunni and Shia), and places frequented by U.S. citizens and other Westerners.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Saudi Arabia, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Saudi Arabia:
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Visit our website for information on travel to high-risk areas.
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
- Obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Saudi Arabia.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Yemen Border, Abha airport, and Qatif in the Eastern Province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah:
Militant groups in Yemen have attacked Saudi border towns and other sites in Saudi Arabia with armed drones, missiles, and rockets. Civilians that are near the border with Yemen are especially at risk. Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Saudi Arabia, including in Qatif.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border as U.S. government personnel and their families are restricted from travel to this area.
Visit our website for information on travel to high-risk areas.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to information regarding missile and drone attacks in Saudi Arabia.