Saudi Arabia has some strict guidelines when it comes to wildlife, from hunting animals to fishing and gathering plants.
16 February 2021| Last updated on 31 March 2021
Pictured: Arabian oryx, a species of antelope found in the desert and steppe areas of the Arabian Peninsula. By law, they are protected from being hunted.
Hunting, fishing and gathering are popular activities among some expats back home, but is it legal in Saudi Arabia?
Be sure to read our guide to hunting Saudi Arabia before you head out.
People go hunting for a myriad of reasons. For some it's a sport, while others may say fishing and game allows them to relax. There are also people who look at it as a way to get food on the table.
But for whatever reason one has to go hunting, one must be aware of what laws guide the country they hunt, fish, or gather in.
You must consider: is hunting and gathering legal in Saudi Arabia? And if the law allows it, what are the hunting or fishing restrictions?
To hunt in a country like Saudi Arabia, you will need to have the basic understanding of the do’s and don’ts. Tough fines and penalties will be given to those violating the Kingdom's hunting rules.
Is hunting legal in Saudi Arabia?
Yes, hunting wild animals and birds is legal in Saudi Arabia. Expats are also allowed to fish and gather.
However, only some wild animals and birds are allowed to be hunted, and in specific locations.
When am I allowed to hunt?
Saudi Arabia recently allowed hunting of wild animals and birds amid strict restrictions during the period between November 1st, 2020 and January 14th, 2021.
Hunting is not allowed outside of this period, and those interested must wait for the ministry's next update.
Where am I NOT allowed to hunt and fish in?
According to the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, you are not allowed to hunt any kinds of animals or birds in the following areas:
- Within the boundaries of cities
- Rest houses
- Inhabited places
- Near military, industrial and vital installations
Hunting is also not allowed in the Empty Quarter.
Pictured: Nubian Ibex, a desert goat species found in mountainous areas of Saudi Arabia. By law, they are protected from being hunted.
Which animals and birds are forbidden from being hunted?
As of 2021, the ministry implemented new hunting laws to regulate hunting in the Saudi Arabia. The new guidelines allows expats to enjoy the activity in safe and secure environments, without harming the Kingdom's natural ecosystem.
These include the prohibition of hunting the following animals and birds:
- Arabian oryx
- Arabian tiger
- Arabian lynx
- Birds of prey
- And other endangered animals and birds
Overfishing is also not allowed. Fines will be given to rule violators.
Gathering wild fungi organisms has been prohibited.
Requirements to hunt in Saudi Arabia
Residents are required to hunt with a permit and must use specific weapons and hunting tools only.
Here is what you will need to hunt in Saudi Arabia.
- Hunting permit
- An air gun licensed under the user's name
What am I NOT allowed to hunt with?
Hunting in Saudi Arabia can only be conducted with licensed air guns under the name of their owners.
Officials have said it's forbidden to use any other means of hunting that may lead you to catch more than one animal or bird. The following methods are not allowed:
- Spray guns
- Fishing net
- Usng gases
- Car exhaust
- Drowning animals water
- Or using similar means
Fines will be imposed for hunting without permits, using forbidden weapons and hunting tools, and harming local endangered species.