The lands of Arabia have intrigued the western traveler for centuries. The mystery surrounding the desert country and the stories of harems, sheikhs and immeasurable wealth resonating from Arab sands have always held those interested in pet travel and culture in awe. Even today, the country is populated by local Bedouins who roam the wild desert while its cities are modern metropolises where wealth, education and culture thrive amidst a strictly ruled and regulated environment.
The entry of the pet friendly US into the Saudi Arabia during Iraqs invasion of Kuwait has led to a host of other western businesses rushing into Saudi, so much so that westerners have become a permanent part of the landscape of Arabia. However, following various attacks on foreigners and the ever looming Al Qaeda threat, most western governments are today warning against non essential travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, in case you are duty bound to go to the country, then take certain precautions to keep yourself safe. Avoid going to public places that are known western haunts, stay in a hotel that maintains top notch security and keep heeding embassy updates.
In case you are going to Saudi Arabia as an employee of a particular company or organization, then your company should provide you with a safe and secure house in a self sustaining campus. If this is the case, then you can easily think of taking your family along with you, as long as education for your kids is not a problem. You will need to check this out with your company and the local schools for westerners as far as registration, enrolment and admission is concerned. You can even take your pets with you if you plan to live in a secure western campus.
Pets are not a common occurrence among local Arabs, and the proportion of households owning a pet is very small, with ownership restricted to the affluent elite, which consists generally of a minority of affluent Saudi nationals and US or European expatriates. Dogs are considered to be unclean according to Islamic tradition and are therefore not very popular. While many Muslims do like cats and feed them, only the rich and the upwardly mobile keep them as pets. In fact, keeping pets has recently become a fashion statement among Saudis with pedigree dogs and cats being considered a status symbol to be shown off and admired amongst friends and peers.
Pet food is easily available, and while there are hardly any local brands, you can easily get commonly used pet food made by Uncle Ben’s of Australia, Nestle Purina Pet Care Co, and Master Foods etc. in most good supermarkets or departmental stores.
For more information on the import regulations of Saudi Arabia and traveling to this country with your pets, please contact us!