Saudi Arabia is well served by major airlines across the world, largely because of the Muslim pilgrimage traffic that comes from all four corners of the globe.
Airports & Airlines
The national carrier is Saudia (www.saudia.com), which has an excellent safety record. The Kingdom has six international airports. The four busiest are Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport, Dammam's King Fahd International Airport and Medina's Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport.
Departure tax is included in the price of all airline tickets.
At the time of research, there were problems with a number of Saudi border crossings – the land borders with Iraq, Jordan and Yemen were closed to non-Arab travellers. In 2017, Saudi Arabia closed its land border to Qatar in a major diplomatic rift, and it remains shut.
Saptco (www.saptco.com.sa) offers the best international bus services; other companies from surrounding countries also cover the same routes for similar prices. Saptco fares are kept low by the government. International departures, primarily from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, are to neighbouring countries Bahrain, the UAE and Jordan.
There are three ports to enter Saudi Arabia by sea: Duba, Yanbu and Jeddah. If you intend to enter or exit the country by sea, you must check that your visa allows you to do so.
At the time of research, ferries carrying foot passengers and cars were only travelling to the two Egyptian ports of Suez and Safaga. The service from Jeddah to Suez (25 hours) runs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The service from Jeddah to Safaga (17 hours) is on Wednesday and Thursday. From Yanbu to Safaga (11 hours) there's a ferry on Tuesday and Wednesday, and there is one ferry from Duba to Safaga (four hours) on Sunday.
Tickets start from approximately SR300 and the ferries are run by Namma International Marine Services (www.nammashippinglines.com).