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Use our guide to discover when you might find cheap flights to Saudi Arabia and when advanced booking is essential…
Occupying most of the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia is rich in both oil and history.
Most flights to Saudi Arabia arrive at these major airports: King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED), which serves Jeddah; King Fahd International Airport (DMM), near Dammam; King Khalid International Airport (RUH), near Riyadh; and Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED), in Medina.
Two of Islam’s holiest mosques are located in Saudi Arabia and all fit and able Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once – this traditional pilgrimage is known as Hajj. Cheap flights to Saudi Arabia from UK airports, indeed from any airport in the world, will be hard to come by during Dhu al-Hijjah. This is the final month of the Islamic calendar and it is when Hajj takes place. Flights and hotels will be booked up months in advance, so book Saudi Arabia flights as early as you can if you are making the pilgrimage. As the Islamic calendar is lunar, the exact timing of Dhu al-Hijjah changes year on year so it pays to do some research before you book.
The cheapest flights to Saudi Arabia are to be found outside of this holy time. The winter months of November to February are popular times to visit Saudi Arabia, as daytime temperatures are lower and more comfortable than the 40C+ days you can expect in summer.
Find your Saudi Arabia flight by comparing prices with TravelSupermarket.
The major cities of Saudi Arabia enjoy daily services from the UK with a flight time of around seven hours...
British Airways has flights from Heathrow with UK connections from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle to Jeddah (JED) and Riyadh (RUH). Saudi, the national carrier also offers the same flights from London’s main airport and Manchester.
Alternatives are on offer from across the UK with Air France, Lufthansa and KLM via their European hubs, as well as with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.
Dammam (DMM) no longer has any direct flights from the UK, however Turkish Airlines has well timed connections, as does Lufthansa through Frankfurt.
Additional charter flights to Medina are operated during the important Hajj season.
Find out how to get around when you touch down in Saudi Arabia…
The Red Sea city of Jeddah welcomes the majority of air traffic into Saudi Arabia. King Abdulaziz International Airport is especially busy during Hajj; it has a terminal devoted entirely to the arrivals and departures of Hajj pilgrims. The Holy City of Mecca is a 90-minute drive from Jeddah and many visitors choose to book a car to get around during this busy period.
If you plan to get into Jeddah from the airport, you can hop in a taxi and expect to pay around 100 Saudi riyals (roughly £15) for the 25-minute journey. Some hotels in Jeddah also run shuttle services.
All of the major airports in Saudi Arabia are well connected when it comes to onward transport to the nearest major destination.
But if you would rather get about at your own pace, it’s worth knowing that car hire in Saudi Arabia is good value and petrol prices are very low. You can arrange to collect a car after arrival at the airport when you book online in advance with TravelSupermarket. Just remember that women can be arrested for driving in Saudi Arabia and must have a male driver, even in a rental car. It is not advisable for women to travel unaccompanied in Saudi Arabia.
Discover the major destinations in Saudi Arabia…
The waterfront promenade, or Corniche, in Jeddah is packed with luxury hotels that make the most of its amazing sea views. There is a water park and theme parks, as well as historic and cultural attractions, in Jeddah – the major destination for visitors.
Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, is a business hub for the country, but there isn’t much in the way of things to see and do for tourists.
It’s important to note that non-Muslims are not permitted in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina at any time. This rule is strictly enforced.