Cecille El Beleidi

The British Consul General


Saudi Arabia Culture

Saudi Arabian culture is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions and Bedouin customs, reflecting the country’s history, religion, and geographical location.  Islam plays a central role in Saudi Arabian culture, and the country is home to the two holiest cities in Islam, Mecca, and Medina. The majority of Saudis are Sunni Muslims, and Islamic practices and traditions influence various aspects of daily life.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a rich cultural heritage, with a focus on preserving and promoting traditional arts, music, dance, and crafts. Folklore, storytelling, and traditional poetry, such as the Nabati poetry, are important aspects of the cultural heritage. The traditional clothing for Saudi men is the “thobe” or “dishdasha,” a long white robe. Women typically wear an “abaya,” a black cloak, and often cover their hair with a headscarf known as a “niqab” or “hijab.”

Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia. The country is known for its classical Arabic literature, and the Quran, the holy book of Islam, has had a profound influence on the Arabic language. Family is highly valued in Saudi Arabian culture. Extended families often live in close proximity and are an important source of support. Respect for elders is a fundamental cultural norm.

Saudi Arabian cuisine is diverse and often includes dishes such as rice, lamb, chicken, and various spices. Dates and Arabic coffee are commonly offered as a symbol of hospitality. Islamic holidays, such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, are widely celebrated in Saudi Arabia. The country also observes the National Day, commemorating the establishment

The British Consulate General in Jeddah

Cecille El Beleidi became the British Consul-General, Jeddah in September 2022. Cecille joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1983. Before, she has worked in Kuwait, Nepal, Morocco, Eygpt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and China.

Previous roles

Dates Role
2020 to 2022 Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
2016 to 2020 British Consulate-General Chongqing, Consul General
2012 to 2015 Doha, Deputy Head of Mission
2010 to 2012 FCO, Head of Consular Overseas Residents Services Unit
2009 to 2010 FCO, Regional Lead, Corporate Services Programme
2008 to 2009 UKBA HR Transition Team
2003 to 2008 Jeddah, Deputy Consul General and Head of Trade & Investment
2002 to 2003 FCO, Arabic Language Training
1999 to 2002 Riyadh, Second Secretary Political and Press and Public Affairs
1996 to 1999 FCO, Assistant Private Secretary, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
1996 to 1996 Cairo, Entry Clearance Officer
1995 – 1996 FCO, Middle East Department
1992 to 1995 Casablanca, Senior Management Officer/Vice Consul/Entry Clearance Officer
1989 to 1992 Kathmandu, Accountant and Assistant Management Officer
1986 to 1989 FCO, Nationality & Treaty Department
1985 to 1986 Kuwait, Archivist
1983 to 1985 FCO, South America Department
1983 Joined FCO

The British Consulate General in Jeddah 

The British Consulate General in Jeddah represents the UK government in Saudi Arabia. The British Embassy and British Consulate General  in Saudi Arabia maintains and develops relations between the UK and Saudi Arabia. Our work covers a range of issues including trade and investment, education, culture, development, energy and climate security and defence. Find out more on our UK and Saudi Arabia news page. We provide services to British nationals living in and visiting Saudi Arabia. You can access UK government services while in Saudi Arabia.

Urgent Assistance

If you’re in Saudi Arabia and you need advice which is not covered by reading our travel advice then you can contact us online. If you’re in Saudi Arabia and you need urgent help (for example, you’ve been attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +966 (0) 11 4819 100.


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