Five things that are legal in Newcastle but illegal in Saudi Arabia – including alcohol


Apart from a football club that plays in black and white, Newcastle and Saudi Arabia do not have too many common values.

As the crow flies, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh are approximately 4,076 miles apart.

The average August temperature in the Middle Eastern state is 36 ° C, while the northeast can claim a mild average of 15 ° C.

In Newcastle, a fatty cake is a local specialty, while Saudi Arabia offers Kabsa, a rice dish influenced by Persian and Indian biryanis.

But maybe where the two countries differ the most is in their laws and what is legal and what is illegal.

Just over a week after Newcastle’s £ 300million buyout by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, Daily Star Sport decided to look at some of the things that are legal in Tyneside, but illegal in Saudi Arabia.

There are many differences between Newcastle and Saudi Arabia

Have a pint

Shearer's was renamed in 2013
Shearer’s was renamed in 2013

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The original Shearer’s bar outside St James’ Park was renamed in 2013, but they are unlikely to open a Saudi branch anytime soon.

There is a ban on the manufacture, sale, possession and consumption of alcohol in the Middle Eastern country.

Consumption of alcohol is punishable by public flogging, fines or imprisonment.


Showing a little warmth and affection towards a partner or even a friend is something that comes naturally to most of us, especially the friendly faces of the Northeast.

But in Saudi Arabia, public displays of affection do not correspond to local culture and customs, and acts such as holding hands or kissing could be punishable by punishment.


Do you think the Saudi-backed Newcastle takeover should have been allowed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Newcastle supports This Is Everyones Game campaign
Newcastle supports This Is Everyones Game campaign

Newcastle is a melting pot of different gender identities, welcoming everyone, regardless of their sexual belief.

Saudi Arabia is not like that. Sexual activity between men and women of the same sex is illegal in the country.

Since becoming Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman has taken steps to introduce more progressive measures, but promoting LGBTQ + rights was not one of them.

Take photos

From Tyne Bridges to St James’s Park and Durham Cathedral to the Angel of the North, tourists to the North East have no shortage of local landmarks to take photos.

Things are a little different in Saudi Arabia. According to the official UK government website, it is prohibited to take photos or record videos in the country without permission.


Good folks in the North East love nothing more than showing off a little leg at a party or, for Newcastle fans, taking off the black and white shirt and baring everything in conditions freezing.

Newcastle fans are well known for their love of supporting everything
Newcastle fans are well known for their love of supporting everything

The weather in Saudi Arabia is much more suited to such activities but carries a much larger penalty, with local laws requiring men and women to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and knees in public.

It’s also best to avoid tight-fitting clothing and anything that features vulgar language or images.


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