airports in Saudi Arabia

Useful Information about Airports in Saudi Arabia

Airports in Saudi Arabia

Are you planning to go on a tour destination? Every year Saudi Arabia hosts people from all around the world. Some of those are pilgrims while others act like tourists. In order for you to grasp a better sense of travel within and outside of KSA, you will be required to know about the airports in Saudi Arabia.

As of now, there are 35 active airports in Saudi Arabia among which 7 are known to act for international flights while the category goes on to domestic, military, regional airports. If you are a tourist you will most likely be required to know about the ones that carry international flights but if you are a Saudi national you should know about the regional and domestic airports as well. We will be guiding you about the major airports in Saudi Arabia in order to ease your options.

1)- King Fahd International Airport / Dammam Airport

King Fahd international airport was named after Fahd bin Abdulaziz who acted as a king from 1985 till his death that took place in 2005. It is located in Dammam and also called Dammam airport. The specific location for this airport is 20 km northwest in Dammam. If we compare all airports in Saudi Arabia, this airport holds the title for being the largest airport in Saudi Arabia. ویزا گائیڈ بک اردو میں پڑھیں

King Fahd international airport

There is some history to King Fahd international airport as it was built by the end of 1990. Although at that time the only infrastructure was constructed the airport act as more than just a storage unit for the allied forces during the cold war. Additionally, the US army also established many units in this place before the war. It was again used by the US army when they deployed their forces in Iraq. By November 1999, the airport was opened for public use and international flights were managed through it. By now we know that the airport was opened for the general public long after it was completed but the site was completed in 1976 which is before the cold war. By 1977 the architects were done with the design. The construction of Dammam airport was not initiated until 1983. The architects were Yamasaki associates. In order to assist them, Boeing aero system was also appointed to guarantee the uniqueness of the architect.  

Location of King Fahd International Airport

An amazing fact about King Fahd international airport is that it hosts the shortest international flight to Bahrain and also hosts the longest domestic flight to Tabuk. The airport has two major entrances that connect it to the rest of the city. One happens to be a northern exit which leads to Qatif. Qatif acts a four-lane highway. The southern exit, however, connects it to a six-lane highway and that is considered to be the main entrance to the airport. The terminal of the Dammam airport is divided into six stories. Among these six, three are responsible for passenger processing while fourth is boarding and third and sixth levels are for arrival and departures. The total area that covers passenger’s terminals is about 327,000-meter square. Some statistics also show that King Fahd international airport is the biggest airport in the world as it mentions the area to be 77600 hectares. In this way, it is also one of the beautiful airports in Saudi Arabia.

Services available at King Fahd Airport

Another thing about the King Fahd international airport is that the stores of this airport are actually duty-free thus no taxes or duties are charged upon purchase. Additionally, there is an area allocated to some other sports such as gift centers, cafeterias, restaurants. There are still plans to open indoor playgrounds to facilitate travelers more. The mosque of the Dammam airport can easily host 2000 people at a time and the access to it is simple as well through an open bridge. The mosque is constructed keeping in mind the traditions and culture that Muslim mosque depicts. One thing which is lacked by the airport is a hotel but don’t worry a hotel is being constructed which will have 250 rooms and named Hilton hotel which will indeed ensure a good experience to the passengers. Check Saudi Visa Status

The infrastructure of Dammam Airport

King Fahd international airport currently has two runways and both are active. Both runways go over 4000m and the distance between the two runways is approximately 2146m. This ensures a better and secure flight control system. East runway is used mostly by the Saudi Aramco but that depends on the conditions. However to further facilitate passengers and to avoid a flight delay a 3rd runway is being established which will definitely result in quick takeoffs. There are two helipads and a cargo area. The cargo area of Dammam airport can easily store the bulk of products up to 93,000 tons. The airport is designed to host larger aircraft as well and is certified as Code E. It can host aircrafts like Boeing 747. The area allocated to car parking in this airport cover almost 1902540 sq ft. This parking area can easily host more than 4000 cars at a time. Additional cars are also accommodated under open car parking and ceiling rates are not charged for these. This Saudi airport overall depicts the fine architect and is equipped with every facility possible that can result in a delightful experience to the one who is traveling.

2)- King Khalid international Airport / Riyadh Airport

King Khalid international airport is also known as Riyadh airport and is in the second position in the airports in Saudi Arabia. It is located in the north of Riyadh. The contract of this airport was given to HOK and Bechtel both of these companies assisted each other in the building of the design of this airport. This Riyadh airport consists of a total of five terminals for passengers only 3 of which are currently in use. Each of the terminals has 8 aerobridges. There is a mosque present in the airport along with a car parking that can host over 11,600 cars at a time. The parking of King Khalid international airport comes in two categories one is covered while the other is uncovered. There are also two royal terminals which serve as a passage for the special guests of the Kingdom. The central tower of this airport is known to be one of the tallest towers of the world. There are two parallel runways which occupy an area of 4260 meters. This airport also holds the title for being the 2nd largest airport of Saudi Arabia. Another special thing about this airport is the fact that it was declared as an alternate landing site for NASA’s space shuttle. Currently, Riyadh Airport Company manages this airport. Riyadh airport was opened for the operations back in 1983 and was under Riyadh Airbase but due to excess of domestic and international flights, there were some changes that were made to the airport.

 King Khalid international airport

Terminals of King Khalid international airport

The first four terminals of King Khalid international airport were built back in 1982 while in 2016 additional 5th terminal was made. Terminal 1 of Riyadh airport is used for almost all international flights however it doesn’t accommodate members of flyers. Terminal 2 is used by all of the Sky Team members and the Flynas airline as well. Terminal 3 is closed for now due to some constructional changes and terminal 4 has always been inactive since the beginning of the airport. It is also going through changes and will be opened in a span of 5 years. Terminal 5 which was established in 2016 is active and hosts both domestic and the Flynas flights. The 4 terminals are connected with each other with linking buildings. There is also a complex which hosts banks and restaurant as well as some cafeterias. Terminal 5 is being privately handled by an Irish airport operator and facilitate almost 12 million passengers annually. The royal terminal which is allocated for guests is a state of the art terminal. Riyadh airport has its own status in the airports of Saudi Arabia.

Mosque of King Khalid Airport / Riyadh Airport

The mosque of King Khalid airport can host about 5000 worshippers. The mosque is constructed keeping in mind the Muslim heritage and architecture which depicts an elegant design. While the mosque can accommodate 5000 people at a time another 5000 people can also be accommodated in the plaza that is constructed outside the mosque. There is a Quranic library that is located within the premises of Riyadh airport mosque.

Design and safety of Riyadh airport

The King Khalid international airport has over 225000 trees and vines which depict the modern architectural design. The plants that are selected can bear extreme weather conditions according to the environment of the region which is mostly hot and humid. In addition to this, the airport has five firehouses with well- trained firefighters. Among this, car parking also goes over three levels and gives a huge parking space. The parking also has escalators and elevators for visitors so that they can access their vehicles easily. Currently, the expansion of this Riyadh airport is being planned and the airport can ensure the best flight experiences. The facilities that are given to the passengers can easily ensure safe travels. A metro system is also under construction that will be able to carry the passengers to the center of the city so as to further facilitate the passengers.

3)- King Abdulaziz International Airport / Jeddah Airport

King Abdulaziz International airport is also called Jeddah airport. It can be classified as one of the busiest airports of Saudi Arabia. This airport was named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud. The airport was opened in 1981. This airport is also known to be the third-largest airport in Saudi Arabia. There is a specially built terminal in the airport that only hosts Muslims who are in Saudi Arabia to perform pilgrims but this terminal is mostly used annually during Hajj. The terminal is so spacious that it can host over 80,000 passengers at the same time. This airport takes up a total of 15 square kilometers which approximately makes up to be 5.8 square miles. Also, the airport like the other two contain a royal terminal which is used by the Royal Saudi air force. The royal terminal of Jeddah airport also houses the staff members. Site construction began back in 1974.  By 1980 the airport was completed and was opened for the general public a year after its completion. The airport was inaugurated in the April of 1981. This year new King Abdulaziz International airport was opened. The new airport will focus on domestic flights for now. It is one of the largest airports that will handle domestic flights as well. This airport will have spacious lounges and huge aquariums are set up to add more to its appeal. The mosque of this airport will be able to host more than 3000 worshippers at a time.

King Abdulaziz International airport

Terminals of King Abdulaziz International Airport

The hajj terminal of Jeddah airport received Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983 and this is due to the fact that the airport is environment-friendly and can host a lot of people that too without making them feel uncomfortable.  The hajj terminal is also known to be among the largest airport terminals in the world along with Hong Kong and Beijing International Airport. The south terminal of the King Abdulaziz International airport was previously used by only Saudis but in 2007 the Flynas and Sama airlines also got permission to use this terminal. This terminal is currently used by Indonesia, Korean and Kenya airways. However, the north terminal used by every airline like other airports in Saudi Arabia. New Umrah policy and Umrah visa fee

Expansion of the Jeddah Airport

The three-stage development of the Jeddah airport started early in the 2006 and was supposed to have an official opening this year but the authorities are currently planning an expansion for the airport so that it may accommodate 80 million passengers a year. This expansion consists of a new terminal building and an air control tower. Alongside this, the airport will also renew its guidance systems and will improve its drainage systems. A rail project is yet under construction that will act an as good source of transportation during hajj and other days. This King Abdulaziz International airport is famous for its outstanding facilities which it provides to its guests every year. The security system of this airport is precise as well. The guidance system is being improved over the years and this is why it is one of the most technologically advanced airports of Saudi Arabia. Like all the major airports of Saudi Arabia, this airport also has gift center, restaurants, and cafeterias. This airport is thus well reputed for a reason. However, the expansion process might take some years to complete.

There are three runways present on this Jeddah airport which are significantly larger and provides more space for landing and flying a certain aircraft. The economic impact this airport had to that of 2012 was $11.5 billion which explains why this airport is awarded many times. Although the airports seem a bit overcrowded during specific times of the year it is still able to support huge crowds. Paramedics too are present in the airport to ensure the health and safety of the passenger. The airport, however, remains under construction so as to facilitate more people. It is therefore recommended that one should travel via this airport at least once in a while especially if you are a resident in Saudi Arabia. 

4)- Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Airport / Madinah Airport

Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport is located in Madinah and is called Madinah airport. It was opened in 1950. This airport is known for focusing on domestic flights but also conduct international ones as well. The international destinations through this airport are however limited as it mostly conduct regional flights such as Cairo, Kuwait City, Dubai, etc. Madinah airport also carries charter flights during the seasons of hajj and umrah. Muslims who are in Saudi Arabia to perform pilgrimage can only enter through Jeddah airport or Madinah airport. It is also known to be the fourth busiest airport in Saudi Arabia. Last year it was documented that Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport handled more than 8,000,000 passengers. This airport is privatized and is under the supervision of a private airport company. The runways of this airport are mediocre and are not that huge. The two runways take about 10,000-14000ft each. Much like a smaller airport this airport does not have much to offer and only hosts a small number of people. There are no hotels that are linked to this airport.

Madinah airport

5)- Al-Ahsa International airport

Al Ahsa international airport is located in Hofuf a city which is located in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The airport currently holds the capacity to facilitate a number of 200,000 passengers per year. The airport was first known to conduct domestic flights but started conducting international ones in 2011 as it went through some changes that year. There’s a seasonal chartered flight to Baku and the other one is to Dubai. The airport still, however, conduct domestic flights as well. This airport doesn’t have the capacity to host people like Jeddah Airport does. The area covered by the airport is small as well and the runways only take about 10,039 ft. Currently, the airport is under the supervision of the government.


6)- Yanbu Airport

Yanbu airport is located in Yanbu and offers both domestic and international flights to travelers. So it is included in the international airports in Saudi Arabia This airport was originally named after a prince named Prince Abdul Mohsin Bin Abdulaziz Airport. This airport was upgraded to support international flights back in 2009. The expansion also took place during that year with additional lounges being added to the airport. The contract for the expansion of this airport was signed in 2006 with a national company. It is mostly classified as a regional airport and has air bridges that connect the passengers to the aircraft and that is a plus point for the regional airports which are present in Saudi Arabia. There are however only two air bridges 1 and 2. The passenger terminal of Yanbu airport is relatively small and hosts almost 500 people per hour which is significantly lower than Jeddah International airport. The renovation processes of this airport lead to control towers, cargo facilities, etc. This airport allocated a little space to the mall and cafeterias as well. The exit of the airport is also present on the ground floor. You can easily find car rentals once you are on the ground floor. Smoking is prohibited in the terminals of Yanbu airport. 


7)- Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Airport

Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Airport is located in the Gassim province. It usually carries out domestic flights of Hail and Riyadh. At this moment the airport hosts 15 airlines which conduct 15 destinations in 5 countries. The runway of this airport is relatively small and have a length of about 9843 ft. General Authority of Civil Aviation established this airport back in 1964. This airport was renamed in 2012 after Prince Nayef. As it serves as the main hub in the Saudi region the airport is known to undergo several changes related to expansion. The GACA is known to have spent more than SR300 million on this airport since the year it was established in. This airport isn’t that big and does not host many individuals but as it acts as a central hub in Saudi Arabia its significance is increased. Much like the other airports in Saudi Arabia, there are smaller cafeterias, restaurants in it. It also hosts smaller gift centers and car rental offices so as to make the commute for the passenger easy. Smoking isn’t allowed in its terminals. Government officials usually those who are at the high ranks are known to use this airport to get to their destination.

The exact number of per annum passengers through Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Airport fluctuates but it can easily be established that it hosts a little over 100,000 people per annum. But this number is bound to change as the expansion increases thus the increase in the passenger ratio is also seen. Basic security measures are present at the airport and the trained firefighter crew is also present so as to ensure the safe travels for the passengers.

So if you are planning to visit Saudi Arabia it is highly recommended for you to at least check out these airports of Saudi Arabia just when you land there and enjoy their state of the art modern facilities that will surely keep you entertained for long. Besides that, if you got some flight delay these airports can serve up to be one of the best spots to wait for your flight or to reschedule them. With new hotels opening you can easily stay close to keep an eye on your delayed flights and can also enjoy shopping items.  

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