Because of the long distances which separate the main towns of the country, air travel is often the most convenient and practical way to travel within the Kingdom. The national airline, Saudia, operates a comprehensive network of domestic flights. From Riyadh to Jeddah is a flight of just over an hour; from Riyadh to Dhahran on the east coast is a flight of just under an hour. There are about 24 domestic airports in the Kingdom and charter flights are available for transportation to some of the more remote desert sites.
Saudi Arabia has three international airports:
Besides serving Saudia, these airports also serve a large number of international airlines. From all main airports there is limousine service to the traveller's destination. There is also a regular SAPTCO (Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company) bus service from the airports to various hotels and the centre of town.
The Kingdom owns the largest marine network in the Middle East consisting of eight ports, or six commercial ports and two industrial ports. They are Dammam Seaport, Jeddah Islamic Port, Jubail Commercial Port, Riyadh Dry Port, Jizan Port, Dhiba Port, Yanbu Industrial Port and King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail. Jeddah and Dammam are the main international seaports for moving containerized and bulk cargo.
Most within-country freight is hauled by truck over a relatively good highway system linking the major business centers. The latest figures released by the Ministry of Communications and Transportation indicated that the paved and unpaved Saudi road network extended for more than 155,000 kilometers, and about 2,500 kilometers being added every year.
A rail link carries passengers and freight between Dammam and Riyadh. A number of proposals are being studied by the Saudi Government to link the seaports of Jeddah on the Red Sea and Dammam on the Arabian Gulf. Other projects include connections to major future mining sites in the north with the cities of Jubail and Riyadh, and another linking Madina, Makka, and Jeddah.
Temporary entry of goods is allowed provided that a guarantee of a percent of the value of the goods equivalent to the normal tariff is deposited with Saudi Customs. A document and/or a participation agreement is needed to ascertain that the owner of the goods is officially participating in a trade show. If the goods are meant for demonstration purposes to a Government entity, a letter from that entity is required indicating the nature and purpose of the goods. The deposit will be reimbursed after Saudi Customs attests that the goods have left the Kingdom. Reimbursement should take somewhere between two to four weeks.