RIYADH IS a long way from anywhere, but luckily has excellent connections by air, with the city’s King Khaled Airport located approximately 35 kilometres north of the city. However, due to the airport’s location, it remains a notoriously tedious place to get stuck in; so in order to avoid running late on your busy schedule, ensure you have planned your route into the city well in advance.
Carrying valid identification at all times is vitally important, as you may experience issues if you are stopped at any of the city’s check-points.
A taxi ride into the city will take around 30 minutes in good traffic and you can download Uber, Easy Taxi and Careem ahead of your trip to book private taxis. Bear in mind that Riyadh is very much a car-oriented city and public transport is underdeveloped in comparison to other popular cities.
It is advisable to carry a map and the phone number of someone at your destination when travelling around the city. Most drivers will be familiar with the major local landmarks, and from that point you will often be expected to know the way to your destination. Leaving yourself a little extra time when negotiating Riyadh is definitely worthwhile.
If you find yourself with extra time in between meetings and are feeling adventurous, walking around Riyadh is a great way to see the city. However, pedestrian bridges are few and far between and combining that with the – at times – risky driving, and the formidable summer heat, it is no surprise that you will see relatively few people making their way across the city on foot.
Plans for expansion to the city’s railway and metro systems have been approved, which will introduce six lines to Riyadh, scheduled to open in 2019. This will provide an exciting new way to get around the city, and not only that, it will make Riyadh a lot more user friendly to the busy business traveller.
Hamad International Airport