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Old Sep 21, 11, 7:38 am   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Transit in RUH

Hello all,

I(male) am planning to fly

BEY-RUH-SIN on SV

together with my wife.

Its a 3:35 stopover in RUH, and I wonder what wed have to expect as far as Transit-Visa and Hijab are concerned?

Were both Belgian citizens. I checked on Timatic, seems like we wont need visas for this.

Can anyone advise/disadvise if this is a good idea, or too much trouble?

PS - I did find similar threads in flyertalk, but nothing that covers "female" transit in RUH.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated,
Rgds, Christian
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Old Sep 21, 11, 11:59 am   #2
 
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There's no requirement for women to cover up as long as you don't leave the airport (even then Western women would only have to put a scarf over their hair). It's always highly amusing entering Riyadh airport to see the Western women ditch the abaya the moment they clear immigration control.

It is singularly the world's most boring airport though, a couple of coffee shops and that's it. There is one decent lounge (the Saudi Air one) which you can use Priority Pass but given no booze and how crowded they get it's hardly worth paying.

Edit: To the best of my knowledge no need for transit visa if you don't leave the airport as you won't meet any immigration officials.
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Old Sep 21, 11, 4:07 pm   #3
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I've never transited through RUH but I have arrived quite a few times this year.

I don't believe there are any specific routes or lines/queues for transit pax. The only route from the arriving aircraft is to immigration, the lines for which can be horrific depending on what time you arrive. In fact, I can't picture in my head how you'd get from arrivals to departures airside. At least you don't have to change terminals or spend much time there.

I would speak to the inbound SV crew and ask their advice on what to do. Don't fret as it is obviously possible, although as DXBPlat has said, RUH isn't the most civilised or welcoming of airports. No real reason to avoid this though if it would mean flying on someone else and paying more money. Enjoy the adventure

Your wife won't need to cover up airside, but I would advise her to leave the shorts and t-shirt at home. Remember the concept of hijab refers to "modesty".

Please post back with your experiences.

hth
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Old Sep 21, 11, 11:31 pm   #4
 
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As you come off the plane and in to the terminal they always seem to let some people through the glass doors at the side just as you enter the building, I'd always assumed this was transit passengers but of course you should check this. Assuming you can do that then it's easy as both terminals are connected by a walkway.

If you do indeed have to go through immigration life can be a real pain even if you do have a visa.
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Old Sep 22, 11, 12:20 am   #5
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Aha ... of course. I've only once flown in on SV and they're the only airline at RUH with online connecting traffic.

You can at least get a cup of coffee and something to eat; they also sell wifi access and there are ATMs, currency exchange and a smoking room

I wonder how the new duty free "development" is progressing in that terminal ?
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Old Sep 22, 11, 7:02 am   #6
 
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Hi DXBPlat, Hi dunk,

thanks a lot for the feedback. So Ill try to convince my better half, should she agree that we take this route Ill provide feedback about experiences...

...otherwise Ill let yee know that we never went there.

Planned date of travel is Oct.07th, hope thats not too long a wait.

Thanks again,
Christian
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Old Sep 27, 11, 3:50 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBPlat View Post
There's no requirement for women to cover up as long as you don't leave the airport (even then Western women would only have to put a scarf over their hair).
Wrong way round - hair can stay uncovered but they have to wear an abaya. Even in the airport I'd recommend having at least baggy and covering clothes, unless she can cope with a lot of stares and even leering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBPlat View Post
It is singularly the world's most boring airport though, a couple of coffee shops and that's it. There is one decent lounge (the Saudi Air one) which you can use Priority Pass but given no booze and how crowded they get it's hardly worth paying.

Edit: To the best of my knowledge no need for transit visa if you don't leave the airport as you won't meet any immigration officials.
You've not been to any of the provincial Saudi airports then

Depending on the combination of flights, it is quite possible you would need a transit visa. They seem to have eased the restrictions a little. More to the point, I would expect anyone trying to fly to Saudi without a visa to have a VERY hard time at check-in for the flight in. Possibly easier if it's a through-ticket all on SV though.

(Oh, and the people they let off to the side? They're heading to the VIP terminal. Done it once. It's MUCH nicer than the rest of the terminal. )

Last edited by typical; Sep 27, 11 at 3:59 am..
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