These tips are about the customs and traditions of Saudi Arabia. They are quoted directly from my agency’s papers to prepare me.
women should not be the first to offer to shake hands with a Saudi man, but if a Saudi man extends his head to shake, do shake it. (This tip is obsolete during COVID times because I am not shaking anyone’s hand!)
Don’t be offended if a Muslim man doesn’t shake your hand, (unless there is a pandemic going on. Then you should be offended and grossed out if someone wants to shake your hand.)
Don’t take pictures of any government buildings or palaces.
Don’t photograph Saudi adults or children without permission.
During Ramadan, (the annual month of fasting), don’t eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public places during daylight hours.
The workweek is Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. (This is taking me some getting used to! Whenever management tells me we will get something done at the hospital on Sunday, I think of how that was the quietest day on the unit in the United States.)
Don’t post pictures of Saudis on Facebook or other social media. (This is why you will not see many photos of Saudi people on my blog unless they approve it.)
Don’t post pictures showing you or your friends doing something that is contrary to the norms of the country, such as drinking alcohol or wearing provocative clothes. That will be easy for me because 1) I do not drink alcohol and 2) I am too old and out of shape to post me in provocative clothing!