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So I know Saudi Arabia is know for being rich and for not issuing tourist visas.

But if somebody were to go there on some other type of visa, such as a business visa, and then attempt some independent backpacker-style tourism to experience, what would be the lowest price range for hotels or accommodation?

I know there are no hostels and I assume you can camp in a tent in the countryside for free. But I also know not everybody there is rich, and sometimes non-rich people still have to visit other parts of their country where they can't stay with relatives.

Also in rich countries there are often very large expat and guest worker populations. So there are conceivably hotels run by and for Indians and Pakistanis.

Assuming somebody that's not worried about the language barrier or staying in "no star" accommodation, what are the lowest prices for a bed or a room anywhere in Saudi Arabia?

(Aslo assume a non-muslim, not on a Hajj pilgrimage.)

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A similar question asked a year earlier: What is the absolute cheapest accommodation in Kuwait (besides couch surfing)? –  hippietrail Jan 3 at 4:02
There are no hostels? Then what are these? –  Michael Hampton Jan 4 at 1:18
@MichaelHampton: You should submit an answer! I can't seem to find prices, any dates at any hostel I checked were "not available". I was told by a "trusted insider" that there were no hostels and checked hostelworld and hostelbookers but did a Google search. But I didn't check or stumble across HI Saudi Arabia! –  hippietrail Jan 4 at 2:26
It looks like their reservation calendar is broken. It seems to think the world ended on December 31, 2013... –  Michael Hampton Jan 4 at 2:32
To be clear, I haven't made an answer yet, because I haven't been able to confirm whether their web site is just broken, or they closed all the hostels on December 31 for some reason. –  Michael Hampton Jan 4 at 2:41

1 Answer 1

Wikitravel mentions one budget hotel, the Al Jazeera Hotel:

Al Jazeera Hotel, Al Bathaa Street, +966 1 2863863. Good value hotel on main street, offering singles/doubles from SR60/120.

This works out at about US$18 a night at the current exchange rate.

In addition, as Michael mentioned there are hostels.

The Saudi Arabia Youth Hostel Association exists, and has a website with a map of them all.

However, all bookings are done through HiHostel and it looks like they've not updated their booking calendars for 2014 yet.

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