Although highly restrictive in past years, the Saudi government is now promoting tourism. A sponsor is no longer necessary for tourists but visas are still required for both entering and leaving, as well as a valid passport with at least six months left on it. These can be obtained from the Saudi Embassy, or Saudi consulates around the world. Visas are granted for business, tourist, transit, residency, family, hajj(pilgrimage) or conference attendance.

Customs controls are very strict. Items that will be confiscated include: alcoholic drinks, any equipment for making them or any cooking item that includes alcohol (like vanilla essence); any narcotics; pornography; games of chance; any weapons, real or ornamental; military uniforms or equipment; radio transmitters of any kind; statues or carvings representing human or animal forms.