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How to Call Saudi Arabia from the USA

How to Call Saudi Arabia from the USA: A Comprehensive Guide

Key Takeaways

  • Grasp the foundational knowledge of international dialing codes.
  • Master the step-by-step process of calling Saudi Arabia from the USA.
  • Uncover essential tips for a seamless international calling experience.
  • Discover cost-effective methods to connect with Saudi Arabia.

The Basics of International Calling

Understanding the basics of international dialing is crucial when it comes to making a call from the USA to Saudi Arabia. This section lays down the groundwork to ensure a smooth calling experience.

What Are International Dialing Codes?

International dialing codes are numerical codes used to route calls to different countries. These codes are prefixed to the local phone number to direct the call to the correct country. The first step in making an international call is understanding these codes. A detailed explanation of these codes can be found here.

List of Common International Dialing Codes:

  • USA: +1
  • Saudi Arabia: +966
  • Canada: +1
  • UK: +44
  • Australia: +61

Structure of an International Phone Number

An international phone number comprises three main parts, each crucial for successfully connecting the call to the intended recipient in Saudi Arabia.

  1. Exit Code: This is the code needed to dial out of the country you’re calling from. For the USA, the exit code is 011.
  2. Country Code: This is the code for the country you’re calling to. For Saudi Arabia, the country code is 966.
  3. Local Number: This is the local phone number you’re trying to reach in Saudi Arabia.

The general structure is demonstrated as follows: Exit Code + Country Code + Local Number

For instance, if you’re calling Riyadh from the USA, the structure would be: 011 + 966 + Local Number

Now that we’ve outlined the basic structure of international phone numbers, we’ll move on to a step-by-step guide on how to call Saudi Arabia from the USA in the next section. For more insights on international dialing, check out our guide on international dialing codes and country codes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Calling Saudi Arabia from the USA

In this section, we’ll walk through the process of making a call from the USA to Saudi Arabia. Each step is crucial to ensure a successful connection.

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The USA Exit Code

The first number you’ll dial when making an international call from the USA is the exit code, which is 011. This code signals that you are making an international call outside of the United States.

Saudi Arabia’s Country Code

Following the exit code, you’ll need to dial the country code for Saudi Arabia, which is 966. This code ensures that your call is routed to Saudi Arabia.

Dialing Sequence

The correct dialing sequence is pivotal for successfully connecting your call. To call Saudi Arabia from the USA, you’ll need to follow this sequence:

011 + 966 + Area Code + Local Number

Make sure to remove any leading zeros from the area code and the local number.

Example Dial Sequence:

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For example, to call Riyadh, which has an area code of 1, you would dial:

011 + 966 + 1 + Local Number

Here’s a practical example: if the local Saudi number you’re trying to reach is 011 234 5678, you would dial 011 + 966 + 1 + 234 5678.

Dialing Summary Table

1011USA Exit Code
2966Saudi Arabia Country Code
3Area CodeArea Code of the city in Saudi Arabia
4Local NumberThe local phone number you are trying to reach

Tips for a Successful International Call

Making an international call requires a bit more preparation than a local call. Here are some tips to ensure a clear and successful international call to Saudi Arabia.

Ensure a Stable Connection

A stable connection is crucial for a clear conversation. Landlines usually offer better stability than mobile phones. However, if you’re using a mobile phone, make sure you have good signal strength.

Be Aware of Time Zones

Saudi Arabia is in the Arabian Standard Time (AST) zone, which is usually 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). It’s important to consider this time difference when planning your call. Check out our time zone converter for more assistance.

Consider the Language Barrier

While Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, many individuals speak English, especially in the business community. It’s always polite to ask if they’re comfortable conversing in English. If not, you may need to arrange for a translator.

Cost-effective Ways to Call Saudi Arabia

International calls can be expensive, but there are several methods to reduce the cost of calling Saudi Arabia from the USA. Here, we will explore some cost-effective solutions.

International Calling Cards

One traditional method of making cost-effective international calls is using calling cards. These cards come pre-loaded with credit and can be used to call any country, including Saudi Arabia. They are available at convenience stores and online.

Types of International Calling Cards:

  • Basic: $5 for 100 minutes to Saudi Arabia
  • Premium: $10 for 250 minutes to Saudi Arabia
  • Platinum: $20 for 600 minutes to Saudi Arabia

VoIP Services

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services like Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp offer another cost-effective way to call Saudi Arabia. These services use the internet to make calls, which can significantly reduce your calling costs.

VoIP Rates to Saudi Arabia:

  • Skype: Rates start at 2.3 cents per minute to call a Saudi landline and 8 cents per minute for mobiles.
  • Zoom: Offers international calling plans with rates similar to Skype.
  • WhatsApp: Free for calls, but both parties need to have the app installed.

Cost Comparison Table

MethodCostMinutes to Saudi Arabia
International Calling Card (Basic)$5100 minutes
VoIP (Skype)2.3 cents/minVaries
VoIP (WhatsApp)FreeUnlimited

Local Resources for International Calls

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Local Stores for Calling Cards

You can find international calling cards at local convenience stores, supermarkets, and online retailers. These cards come with different plans and rates, so it’s essential to read the fine print before purchasing.

Benefits of Local SIM Cards

If you frequently call Saudi Arabia, consider getting a local SIM card that offers cheap international rates. These SIM cards can be purchased at local telecom stores and provide a more permanent solution for international calling.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Encountering issues while making an international call is common. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Incorrect Dialing Sequence: Ensure you have followed the correct dialing sequence: 011 + 966 + Area Code + Local Number.
  • Poor Connection: Ensure you have a stable connection for a clear conversation.
  • Language Barrier: Be prepared for a language barrier and have a translation app or a translator ready if necessary.


Understanding the basics of international calling and following the correct dialing sequence is crucial for a successful call to Saudi Arabia from the USA. Additionally, exploring cost-effective methods and utilizing local resources can significantly reduce the cost of your calls. Whether you are making a one-time call or frequently connecting with Saudi Arabia, this guide provides you with the essential information and tips to ensure a seamless calling experience.

For further assistance and more detailed information on international calling, feel free to explore our comprehensive guide on international calling and country codes directory.