Most western women think Saudi Arabia is a male dominance country, and it is not safe to travel alone there. But this is just a face that the media has been showing to you from the last decade. The upsides (self-discovery, independency) and downsides (extra costs, loneliness) of solo travel are the same for both men and women. It is nowhere in the world where badass people don’t exist.
Yes, a woman can go to Saudi Arabia alone for Umrah. The kingdom allows travelling as a solo female on visit visa. Your age must be 25 or above to travel without a mahram. If you are a UK resident, you can get a tourist visa to perform Umrah.
Common myths about female solo travel to Saudi Arabia
Being a woman, I need a male guardian to move around Saudi
This misconception should be cleared to the public as soon as possible. Moving in Saudi state along your guardian is just a Saudi tradition, not a law. If you are travelling with your complete legal documents, never get confused if any local police officer investigates you. Just keep in mind your actual rights.
Foreign woman can’t wander without an abaya
Abaya is not compulsory for foreign women. Saudi Arabia has changed the dress code for female visitors. According to new rules, you can wear any clothes, keep in mind your shoulders should not be naked in public. But during Umrah, you should wear an abaya in both Masjid-al-Haram and Masjid-al-Nabawi.
Cannot hangout with an unknown male person
It is again, wrong. A group of men and women can mingle with each other, whether in a city or remote areas. If any unknown person reaches you and asks for any of your social accounts simply say no.
It’s not safe for a female to travel alone to Saudi Arabia
It’s a wrong misconception. Theft and harassment are those that women face more than men. But this does not happen because of a place or culture. It happens due to bad people. It is safe for western females to travel alone to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. If you got a chance to meet the locals, you would realize how much friendly does Saudis.
Women cannot rent a car
Yes, you can. You can rent a car without any issue and drive at it on your own in any city of Saudi Arabia. You must have a valid international driving license to avoid any misfortune.
By making the right decisions, using common sense, having confidence in yourself and the ability to travel alone, you will be returned with great stories and experiences to tell your friends and family. Ladies! Pack your travel bags and book your Umrah package, go to Saudi Arabia and leave the guys at home.