So I know Saudi Arabia is known 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.)

  • 2
    A similar question asked a year earlier: What is the absolute cheapest accommodation in Kuwait (besides couch surfing)? Jan 3, 2014 at 4:02
  • 5
    There are no hostels? Then what are these? Jan 4, 2014 at 1:18
  • 1
    It looks like their reservation calendar is broken. It seems to think the world ended on December 31, 2013... Jan 4, 2014 at 2:32
  • 2
    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. Jan 4, 2014 at 2:41
  • 1
    By the way, I don't know where/how all this started that Saudi does not offer tourist visas. They do. You can apply for one yourself online from their official "Enjazit" website. Nov 12, 2014 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


Here is the cheapest way to be something like backpacker in Saudi Arabia.

I did it before couple of years :)

You should have membership of the "Saudi Arabian Youth Hostels Association"

The membership is for 200 Riyal=53 dollar for a whole year. (There is no other options only whole year). You can have it if you are older than 15 years.

And you can stay in each city for 30 Riyal/day(less than 8 dollars) .

And there are houses in each large city in Saudi Arabia(21 house). And you can have your kids with you also(male kids only) if they are older than 10. With the same fees.

Here is their website: http://sayha.org.sa/en/

And they have a relation with hi hostel. You can book for your stay from their website, but you still have to be for the membership fees after your arrival: https://www.hihostels.com/destinations/sa/hostels

And they will give you a bed in males shared dorm room.

If you stay outside Riyadh you might be the only guest they have, because not a lot of peoples are using it :)

Another Option:

Also if you are not traveling alone, it might me cheaper to find cheap private room for rent in cheap "Furnished Apartments".

There is no Motels in Saudi Arabia. There is Hotels or "Furnished Apartments".

"Furnished Apartments" is usually cheaper than the hotels you might find luxury Furnished Apartments for 800+ SAR or you might find cheap one for 40+ SAR.

As I said you might find Cheap Room in Furnished Apartments and they rent it for 40-50 Riyal But this is not even equal to 1 star hotel. and you can't book for it online, only face to face most of times :)

In each city there is a neighborhood Full of cheap Furnished Apartments:

  1. Riyadh You Can find some in "Batha neighborhood".

  2. "Eastern Province" in Khobar there is "Al-Thuqbah neighborhood".

  3. Jeddah you should go to South of Jeddah.

  4. Madinah in the North of King Faisal Rd, near Almasani neighborhood.

  5. Buraidah Next To Alkhubaib Street.

  • I work for an HI hostel in Australia - I always have membership (-: Nov 10, 2014 at 23:45
  • this is a plus for you :)
    – Majed
    Nov 11, 2014 at 12:12

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 AUD$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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