Money and duty free for Saudi Arabia
Currency and Money
Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR) = 100 halala.
Notes are in denominations of SAR500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 2 riyals, 1 riyal and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 halala.
The riyal is pegged to the US dollar at SAR3.75, meaning US$1 is SAR3.75.
Visa, Mastercard and American Express are accepted throughout Saudi Arabia. Many businesses also accept digital payment methods.
ATMs are widely available.
Travellers' cheques are no longer popular and should be avoided.
Banking hours are Sat-Thu 0930-1630.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency, but all travellers with cash, gold bullions, precious stones, and fine jewellery exceeding SAR 60,000 must declare.
In addition, gifts or personal purchases worth SAR 3,000 or more must be declared, along with goods that are subject to prohibition, restriction, taxes or fees.
All banks in Saudi offer currency exchange services. Licensed money changers are also available.
Saudi Arabia duty free
From February 2019, the following items may be imported into Saudi Arabia by individuals over 18 years old without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 24 cigars or 500g of other tobacco products.
• A reasonable amount of perfume for personal use.
• A small number of cultured pearls for personal use.
Please note that alcohol is strictly prohibited, and electronic devices may be checked by customs officials. It is also wise to remove risqué images from your devices.
Medication must be accompanied by a prescription from your doctor detailing the purpose and usage. You should also carry the necessary quantity. Herbal products are not allowed.
Prohibited imports include alcohol (and alcohol-related products), narcotics, religious books, anti-Islamic materials, gambling devices, pornographic materials, Israeli shekel, weapons and ammunition.
Food items are also banned, although adequately packaged and sealed nuts and sweets in small amounts may be allowed – it is up to the officers to decide.
Banned exports include wheat, barley and other grains.
Restricted exports include seeds, animal leather, bottled water, and food products.