Local Transportation

Driving at KAUST

KAUST runs a rental car service on campus.

If you choose to own your own car, you must ensure that your car is properly registered with KAUST. Car services, including minor repairs and oil changes can be made nearby via:
  1. A service at the KAUST gas station
  2. A service run by Saudi Oger at the car rental operation out by CSOB
  3. Services offered at gas stations along the main drag in Thuwal

KAUST Shuttle Bus

KAUST's transportation department manages daily shuttle bus services between Jeddah and KAUST. Check the KAUST intranet facilities page for the schedule. They're handy for trips to Jeddah. Main destinations are Habitat Hotel, Mall of Arabia, Ikea, Red Sea Mall, Roshan Mall, Jeddah International Market, and International Medical Center at Hail Street (IMC). The trips will take between one hour and one and a half depending on the Jeddah traffic. There are even busses to Mekkah and Medinah (not daily).
Bus schedules can be found linked on the facilities site, facilities.kaust.edu.sa


Saudi Oger and Hanco both run taxis to the airport. Check and compare prices, as they can vary significantly.
From within KAUST, the facilities.kaust.edu.sa page has everything you need to know.
If you are off campus, a call to +96628080900 will get you to the 959 service desk and they can help you book a taxi.

At very busy times, such as before Eid vacations and winter break, all the taxis may be booked. In past years, transportation has run free airport shuttles, but the only way to make it happen is to get enough people to call 959 or transportation and let them know of the need.

In a REAL pinch, get a ride to Thuwal and right outside the grocery store there will be taxi drivers who will drive you to the airport for less than what you'd pay to an on-campus taxi.

Taxi within Jeddah

Now, TAXI's ! Let's collaborate on what we know. Please update this,or email terry@terryking.us

  • You must negotiate to get a good price. The meters are almost never used. And will be pricier than a negotiation. Negotiate before getting in the car.
  • Prices SEEM to be about 1 to 1.5 Riyals per minute driving. ??Maybe?? An easy 10 minute ride is often about RS15
  • Price will go up if there's traffic on the route.

  • Many / Most drivers understand English directions, but these are widely understood:
    • Al la toule (straight head, all the way straight, no turning).
    • Yamine (right)
    • Yasaar (left)
    • Henna (here, i.e., stop)

It is very helpful to have a written address to go to.. Some businesses (and most hotels) have small cards they give out to show to a driver.

LET' S COLLECT TAXI CARDS HERE! Please email terry@terryking.us or better yet join up and edit this yourself.

Taxi from Jeddah to KAUST

Even though Oger is asking for SAR 125 for a ride between Jeddah and KAUST as of 2011, try to use them instead of the solution below. This tip below is for emergencies where you can't get a ride back to KAUST. Staying at a hotel for that night may be much more better for your health.

Taxi drivers in Jeddah are generally foreigners; Pakistanis, Indians or Ethiopians. Depending on their iqama (work-residence permit) they may not be able to drive you to Thuwal. Generally the Saudi drivers under the Heraa Street travel to Thuwal and nearby villages. Since the fuel is so cheap, you may get different pricing. Some may ask for 50 SAR, some may not go down below 100 SAR (at night that may go up to SAR 200). Check that:
- the driver is a Saudi national
- no other passenger will ride with you
- the driver understands that you'll be going to KAUST not to the village of Thuwal.

Beware that the car will generally be a private one, not a taxi. Sadly they generally will be dirtier than a normal taxi and not in good condition. KAUST will allow them to enter the campus but only to the Visitor Center. If possible phone ahead to get a on-campus taxi to meet you at the Visitor's center. Do not panic when the taxi driver asks money from you in the middle of your journey; he'll be using that to fill up the tank!

Note: there is also a Facebook group for people interested in ride-sharing.