How to Drive in Saudi Arabia

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Driving in Saudi Arabia can be an adventure. The driving style on the highways can be quite aggressive and many major Saudi thoroughfares resemble modern American expressways. You should know how to handle your car and understand the basic traffic rules when you visit the country.

  • Keep your car on the right side of the road. The steering wheel is situated on the right side of the car, just like in the United States.

  • Get a Saudi driver's licence without taking a test. If you hold a U.K. or U.S. licence, you'll need your iqama (work permit), a translation of your license and other required forms. You can drive with an International Drivers License for three months after you arrive.

  • Watch for cameras on the streets. The police are waiting to catch you speeding. Stay under the limit to avoid any fines.

  • Pass on the left and stay in the far right lane if you are a slow driver. The right lane is for slower traffic.

  • Use hand and turning signals when you intend to make a left or right, turn around the car, reverse park or for other movements.

Tips & Warnings

  • Traffic circles are quite common within Saudi cities, just like in Europe.
  • Watch for pedestrians in the center of the city, especially at night when many people are out.
  • Only men are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Women usually hire drivers for their cars or use taxis or buses.
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