Visas in Saudi Arabia: personal experience
In April 2017 flew from Pakistan to the UK through Saudi Arabia (there – a h / s jidda, back – h / s Er-Riyadh). Hoped that it would be possible to go to the city (docking in Jedda was 11 hours). On the airline website "Saudia Airlines" It is reported that when docking less than 12 hours, a transit visa is not required.
According to border guards, leave the airport zone only in the presence of a visa, to get even with the support of our embassy in ER Riyade or Gene. Consulates of the our Federation in Jedda almost impossible. I had to stroke 11 docking hours at Jiddy’s airport: full of people, but still somehow can be accommodated in a common room (noisy and not very cozy), in the hall (more precisely, a small room) for transients or business hall (allowed on 6 hours before departure for 43 US dollars). There are cafes, Duty Free, Toilets and Exchange. The capital airport is much better, more beautiful, more and much more comfortable. In a word, to see at least one glance Saudi Arabia did not succeed, if, of course, do not count two airports.
Difficulties at the entrance to Saudi Arabia on a transit visa
In May, I traveled to Saudi Arabia and faced with one difficulty: I wanted to enter the country I wanted from Bahrain on the famous Bridge of King Fakhda. I had a transit visa: it’s quite simple to get it in Moscow, the whole process takes no more than two weeks, an SMS message comes to issue a visa. Need a visa to the ultimate country, it is just a basis for transit. Tickets for entry and departure from Saudi Arabia are optional, but you need to specify, on which flight you plan to part and all this, describe in detail the route. Plus I applied Tickets General – Moscow-Doha-Moscow, which covered the entire term of my trip to the Middle East. But the transit visa is issued only for three days and implies a mandatory departure from the country within this time, without the possibility of extension on the spot.
I drove from Bahrain to Kuwait, for which it was necessary to make a business Kuwaitian visa at the same time: tourist visas in this country were not given to the ours at that time, and the consultation was not engaged in visa issues, but as it turned out, you can make a visa through the hotel in Kuwait. I wanted to enter Saudi Arabia on the bus, and at the bus station in Manama confirmed me that I could do it, but when I came the next day with a suitcase, the local representative of the bus company was wound. It turns out that each entering the territory of Saudi Arabia is assigned an individual number, for which biometric data is taken on the border: fingerprints and snapshots, as in the US. On the bridge of the king of Fahd, the border point does not provide such an opportunity, so only those who have already have this number can enter it, that is, who in Saudi Arabia is not the first time. As a result, I had to go to the airport Manama, buy a ticket for an evening flight to Dammama, fly twenty minutes, and then another 50 km to return to the taxi from the airport to the dams itself. Perhaps something has changed, but if not, I advise you to consider this moment to everyone who will gather to go along the same route.