These small 10 seater buses that run around all day ,they're everywhere only 40pence for the journey.Mind you they could do with some maintenance......when I say maintenance ,I mean Scrapping!!!!!! No decent exhausts,panels falling off.All part of lifes rich tapestry I suppose....When in Rome etc.
When you land at King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh, you'll be greeted by long, long queues. Expect to wait up to 5 minutes per person, so do your math when picking a queue!!
As tempted as you might be to pick a small queue on the left, stick to the right. I've found the right hand side to consitently move faster.
White taxis with Ar-Riyadh signs on the roof are now the only cabs in Riyadh. Taxi drivers come from many Arabic countries & the subcontinent and a small percentage speak any English, try to find someone from Pakistan as they are more helpful and understand better, whereas for all other taxi drivers don’t depend on their ‘Yes’ answers – it is advisable to give directions for every step of the journey. All taxis have meters, but the price is negotiable & for Westerners is always higher than for other nationalities. Prices of local journeys should not cost more than SR10 to SR30 inside the major ring road. The quality standards of the taxis is pretty good.
Get a Car, otherwise you cant do anything over here :) seriously its too hot outside for walking and public buses are really in a mess as without an AC its difficult to move around and there arent any metro's or anything as such, although I read few weeks back that they are planning to start Metro service in years time or so. so lets hope they come up with something.
I must say though that the road structure and planning is absolutely brilliant, I mean its one of the best I have ever seen around the world. So you do enjoy driving, but at times its a bit scary too when you see young saudis driving GMC's and overtaking cars as if they are playing Play Station :)
When in Saudi Arabia, be careful about not losing your passport. This can happen more easilly than you think. One of my colleagues lost his because he had it tucked in is jeans' back pocket while quad biking in the desert. The problem is that, if you lose it, you might have a hard time getting out of the country because you need a passport and the original visa to get out.
If there were to happen though, here is the procedure to follow:
1. As soon as you realised you have lost your passport, put an advert in a local newspaper mentionning the loss and that anybody who finds your passport should contact you. This will be necessary to get an exit visa.
2. Call your embassy or consulate, explain the problem and get a new passport issued and delivered to you.
3. Go to the Saudi immigration authorities to get an exit visa issued, explaining that you lost the original passport and showing the advert you put in the newspaper.
Note that the whole procedure is likely to take a week or two so, really, don't lose it.
Most hotels in riyadh will provide you with an airport pick-up service. This is much nicer and easier than finding a taxi on arrival so don't hesitate to ask them. It will be added to your hotel bill and is approximately the same price as a normal taxi.
When you land at Riyadh airport, you will need to fill in an entry form that you will need to give to passport control. You will also need to fill in an exit for when you leave. It is essential that you fill in these forms properly. However, you can only get them at the airport, when you arrive or leave and, of course, there is no way you will find a pen there. So, make sure you have one with you, in a pocket or in your hand luggage.
You will not be granted a visa, nor allowed in the country obviously, if your passport has an Israeli stamp. Make sure you check with your own country's authorities how you can get a new passport if this is the case.
Driving in this country is dangerous. The rule is to be defensive. There is no lane discipline or respect for other drivers on the roads. The larger your vehicle the more right of way you have. If you have an accident, be prepared for lengthy resolutions and you may end up going to the police station. If you do not speak Arabic, you are likely to foot the blame for the accident whether or not it was your fault. It is now compulsary to have insurance here also.
WARNING! Roads here too are very slippery. The dry hot weather compunded with the oil on the roads makes for slippery driving. Worse when wet.
When you arrive a King Khalid International Airport, the best source of transport to the city is by Limousine (Taxi). You will find these situated outside the airport. You will be asked if you want a limousine as soon as you come out from Immigration doors but avoid these people and head to the information box who will guide you to the limousines.
Renting a car is cheap but if you're not used to Saudi driving then I don't advise you to. Stick with the limousines.
No clue about immigration or tourism to the Kingdom. I heard that it was closed to tourism and that may be the case. It may be open to people on a religious pilgrimage.
Taxis are called limousines and that was the only way I saw people getting around, other than in their own cars.