Saudi Arabia: SMS Features and Restrictions

Sender ID:

As we are using Adaptive Routing, SenderIDs may be overwritten with numeric senders, MEMO or NXSMS to ensure delivery. Numeric Senders of more than 11 digits will be blocked. 

Transactional content:

To send with Alpha senders, senders have to be pre registered.

Also any messages sent to numbers on Do Not Call registry will be blocked and again the registration will help to bypass the traffic filters and DNC.



Networks in Saudi Arabia have implemented very complex spam filters that in most cases block even legitimate application to person traffic. Therefore, cheap signalling/roaming links do not deliver well especially for high value content such as password delivery or alerts, let alone marketing bulk traffic. Additionally all the routes in Saudi are unstable due local issues so relying on one route is not possible.

Nexmo has therefore created a dynamic routing in Saudi Arabia, which combines several routes and chooses the best one to ensure your message is delivered.

Please be informed that as of recent, there is a new implementation with bulk senderID rules for all Saudi operators to reduce spam.

The new regulation is announced by The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), and all Saudi operators are obliged to comply. 

The same rules are already in practice for Zain since Feb 2018, and soon will be applied to STC and Mobily as well.

For bulk message (Ads and promotions, anything non-transactional) senderID must include the postfix "-AD" or " AD". So promotional content has to be sent with "SID-AD" (length = 11 digits) format.

Promotional / marketing contents are allowed only from 7 am to 10 pm Saudi Arabia time zone (GMT +03:00).

Whitelisted sender id’s over DND numbers ” OTP , OTT” will not be affected with these regulations.

Transactional content:

If you have transactional messages which are either user-generated or expected, you can register an Alpha SenderID to bypass the traffic filters and NDNC registry.



No Adult content is allowed.


No political content is allowed.


No religious content is allowed.


Unicode is fully supported.

Concatenated messages:

Concatenated messages are not supported.

Other features/restrictions of note:

Delivery Receipts:
Handset delivery receipts are not supported.


Global SMS Features Overview (Outbound only)

Global SMS Numbers Features Overview


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