Transportation Options in Jeddah Saudi Arabia

Greetings,

I am moving to Jeddah in few weeks. One of my friends in Saudi Arabia told me that there is no public transport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I am not in such a position to get own vehicle immediately after reacing Saudi Arabia so what are my options for local transport in Jeddah city, specially daily while going to work-place and coming back. Also guide me about own vehicle / driving license in Jeddah as I might plan this for my future.

Ayaz, Pakistan

Answer to the Question

City transport in Jeddah is not in good shape. In current year’s budget Saudi authorities planned to invest on public transport. However it might take a lot of time.

Two Saudi Riyals Coaster / Mini Bus / Hafila / 2 SR bus

Hafila Bus SaudiYou will often see it moving on Jeddah streets, however these hafila buses are not available for every part of the city. These mini buses are very old models probably from 1970’s and 1980’s. Mostly driven by ill mannered drivers. They charge 2 SR from any point to any point during a single trip. Majority of these buses are available at down town Jeddah, The hafila bus start its trip from down town, go to its other destination at other part of the city. Then start its trip back to Down Town Jeddah again.

 SAPTCO Buses

SAPTCO BUS JEDDAHSAPTCO Bus for Jeddah city transport ticket cost is 2 Saudi Riyals. It has various routs inside Jeddah city but it is rarely available on the streets. It is an air-conditioned bus covering various parts of Jeddah city.

Take a look in SAPTCO bus ride.

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Jeddah Taxi

Jeddah Taxi CarAvailable in huge number on all Jeddah streets, trip cost starts from SR 10 and depends on the destination, there is no Taxi meter who decide your travel distance and cost. You can also bargain with driver and drop one taxi if driver is not decreasing trip cost, because one will go and another will come at same time. I also heard a news some time ago that Jeddah authorities are planning to develop a Taxi system in which you just call a number and nearest available vehicle will come to pick you up, this could decrease traffic jams on Jeddah streets. However this is not yet implemented, taxis are wondering freely on the streets for passengers.

Private Vehicles

Some time it may happen to you. You are waiting for a taxi on road and suddenly a private car flashes head lights near you or the driver is asking you for hiring his car. This will be a private car, it normally charges less than a taxi and take you to your destination. These cars are not licensed for picking up passengers from the streets and any time a police car could stop this and investigate if it is used for loading / unloading passengers. Still they are available and the guys inside them earning livelihood.

Rent a Car

There are dozens of ‘Rent a car’ services available in Jeddah. Their daily charge for a normal car starts from SR 90, maximum 150 for a luxurious car. However they apply a limit on traveling miles (I guess 200 KM a day). For extra millage you have to pay them more. For out of city travel you got to mention while renting. You can also have a monthly agreement for rent a car which is ranging from SR 900 to SR 1500.

Having own Transportation in Jeddah, Getting Driving License is an easy step, you could go for it as well.

At the end I would like to mention, the hafila / 2 Riyals bus are sometimes dangerous. There drivers are riding like rockets and they have bad manners as well. In countries like Pakistan and India you can have a bike as a source of transport but in Jeddah it is not possible to ride a bike in between quick traffic. These days a picture is moving on social media sites, you can get an idea about hafila from it as well.

Thats What Hafla Driver Think

Shifting Sponsorship from one city to another in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Sponsor

Question 1

I just renewed (22 days before) & transferred my Iqama sponsorship from a Saudi individual sponsor in Al Ahsa, Dammam to Riyadh Capital based in Riyadh. My Iqama shows issue place to be Dammam, I am seeing this as trouble as i have to go Dammam ministries for any work, for example: family visit visa, permanent family (wife) visa. What might be the best solution to change this from location from Dammam to Riyadh.

Question 2

My Iqama profession is ‘Marketing Specialist’ “Ekthe sasi tasweek” “اختصاصي تسويق” which i changed 1 week before, Can i apply family visa with this profession? What are my chances, i got my my UK MBA Degree attested, translated, and marriage certificate attested & translated. Thank you.

Answer to Question 1

Once your Iqama is expired and then renewed, it will automatically change its place of issue to Riyadh (as per your new sponsor’s business is registered in Riyadh city). Alternatively you may request for a new copy of Iqama card, just to change its “place of issue” or “issuing place”. This will cost you around 100 SR. But it will not change the date of expiry or anything else. Also if you have changed your profession successfully, the new profession will be printed also on new Iqama. Ask your sponsor’s legal advisory to help you getting it.

Answer to Question 2

Yes this profession is eligible for Family Visa and Visit Visa. Having your attested educational certificates with you is a plus point and it will help you to get a visa easily.

For any more questions, drop a comment in the comment box below.

How to Renew Car Registration (Istemara) in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia Car Registration is called (Istemara استمارة). Below I will try to explain how to do it. Either you have a car, a van, an suv or any kind of vehicle in Saudi Arabia and it is registered under your name you can renew its Government Registration by visiting any Moroor (Traffic Police Center). Basically Renewing Car Registration in Saudi Arabia is a process of 3 Steps as follows.

A Sample Vehicle Number Plate of Saudi Arabia
A Sample Vehicle Number Plate of Saudi Arabia
  1. Car Insurance
  2. Car Inspection (Technical Inspection by Certified Center)
  3. Car Registration with Traffic Police

Car Insurance (in Saudi Arabia)

There are many private Insurance companies who are offering Car Insurance in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this insurance is to make sure Financial rights of other vehicle owners whose vehicle is damaged by you in a road accident. In such case a representative from Traffic Police will investigate the accident and declare who is more responsible for the road accident. Once he investigates and issues a final evaluation report either party in the accident can visit Insurance Company and claim to pay the amount, whatever the cost is to repair his vehicle. So to drive a vehicle on Saudi roads you need to have a valid car insurance plan. Normally Car insurance plans are issued for one year period. Before going to renew your car registration make sure that your vehicle has a valid insurance. You may check that from Ministry of Interior’s website. Vist this section of MOI Website and put the identity number (Iqama No.) or Saudi National ID number, additionally fill out your car registration number plate. Upon submitting proper information you will be informed either you car insurance is valid or not. In some cases you got an Insurance policy printed paper with you however the insurance is not registered with Traffic police, in that case you will find “invalid insurance” message on MOI website. This means that you have to get a new car insurance plan by such a company which has registration with Moroor / Saudi Traffic Police. As per my experience MedGulf and United Insurance are registered with Moroor / Saudi Traffic Police department. This insurance policy costs from 370 SR to 490 SR.

Car Inspection (Technical Inspection by Certified Center)

Firstly make sure that your car Inspection Report i.e. Fahas is valid. If it is not you got to go through your vehicle to Fahas (Inspection) process. If your vehicle is in very good condition you could easily go through Fahas process without any additional fix. However if you doubt it would be better to take it to Mechanic (Workshop). Most Mechanics know what are the main factors to fix for Fahas process. If your Mechanic doesn’t know these factors, take your vehicle to the area where Inspection Center is located in your city. 

In Jeddah Inspection Center or Fahas Dori (فحص دوري) is located in Al-Marwah Distt. It is intersection of Prince Mitab Street (40th Street) with Hira Street. You can relocate Motor Vehicle Periodic Inspection Center in this link at google maps.

To prepare your vehicle for Inspection, first choose any workshop among many, which are located in Opposite side of center. The Mechanic will check the car and suggest you any possible fixtures which are required for inspection process. You may consult more than one workshop to make sure Car Mechanics are not cheating you. The Inspection consist of following parts / issues of a vehicle as mentioned by Life in KSA blog here.

Headlights, Brake Lights, Parking Lights, Indicators, Light Beams, Horn, Wipers, Wiper Rubbers, Regular Brakes and Hand Brake, Visible and Prominent Damage to car, wheel alignment, Wind Screen crackes and visibility issues, Back View Mirrors, No Black Smoke or huge smoke from Car silencer, Oil Leakage, Damages under the Vehicle.

Once the Mechanic finishes fixing problems in your vehicle, find any suitable office for filling the forms (required for renewing car registration). If you are well familiar with Arabic Language do it by yourself. Now take your vehicle inside the inspection center, it is a big area in which vehicles are moving toward inspection garage in a queue. There is a minor fee of inspection as well. Wait for your turn and if your Vehicle is passed in all tests, you may now move to next step. In case your vehicle is failed in the inspection test, take it back to the same Mechanic you consulted earlier and ask him to fix the trouble. Upon fixture take your vehicle inside again for a successful completion of inspection. Upon entering second time and third time fee is slightly less than first time.

Car Registration with Traffic Police

Upon successful completion of inspection, collect your vehicle inspection report and now your vehicle is ready for registration. Below I will mention which are required documents / requirements for renewing car registration.

What Documents are Required for Renewing Vehicle Registration

  1. Copy of Previous Vehicle Registration Card (Istemara) + Original
  2. Copy of Valid Inspection Report + Original
  3. Copy of Iqama for non-saudis, National ID Card for Saudis + Original

Once you have all these documents take them inside Traffic Police Office / Moroor which is located inside Periodic Vehicle Inspection Center. Take your documents to the reception and the officer will tell you to wait for your turn. If everything is ok you will get your renewed Car Registration Card (Istemara) in less than 10 minutes. In case of any problem or trouble, the officer will tell you the problem. Then you can fix this problem and bring your file again to the same place.

Attesting and Translating Marriage Certificate for Saudi Family Visa

A-O-A Dear, I have 3 questions for permanent family visa.

  1. Do i need to attest marriage certificate from MOFA in saudi arabia?
  2. Where can i find the approved Arabic translation centers in Dammam or Jeddah for degree and marriage certificate.( i already translated it from Pakistan)
  3. Can i go directly to bank and deposit the family visa fees without having bank account.

Hoping to see congenial swift reply.

Marriage Certificate

Regards, Nadir Ilyas

Please find the answers below as per my knowledge.

  1. Yes you need to attest it from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saudi Arabia (MOFA). It is a mandatory step as I have gone through this. This should be done after completing attestation process from your home country. Attestation of MOFA verifies that the attestation done by Saudi consulate in a foreign country is genuine and original. You can get more guideline about attesting documents from this post. The process is similar to that explained there.
  2. In Jeddah there are so many Authorized Translation centers, but most commonly they are situated at King Fahad Street (60th Street) in the are that lies between Gharnatha St and Prince Muhammad Street. Take a look at the snapshot of Translation Centers. There is translation center in Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah as well. Probably it is cheaper as well.
  3. You cannot deposit without having a Bank Account or at least it will be difficult. To do that you may get help from any friend who has a bank account, if some unknown person do it, they may charge you up to 50 SR for this. But before depositing the fee for family visa, first submit your visa file to Istikdam office and decide on their response. If they advise you to submit the fee then go for it.

I hope these answers will help you. For more questions about Saudi Family visa, please submit your questions to the comment box below. Regards, Yasir Imran.

Pakistani Passenger Bus with Traditional Decoration

A Pakistani Passenger Bus which is used to travel on local routs, sometimes inside the city only and sometime between two neighbor cities. It is decorated in traditional style with multicolored adhesive tapes or paint done by hands. Such a vehicle exist in many part of Pakistan from villages to big cities.

Pakistani Passenger Bus with Traditional Decoration