The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is vast and much of it is desert, which means that getting between cities can take some time. To help you, this guide discusses the geography of Saudi Arabia, the average temperatures and populations of the major cities, and how long it takes you to travel between them.
Also, to help you on your journey, you can apply for your Saudi visa on our dedicated page!
- 1 Distances Between Saudi Arabia’s Major Cities
- 2 Riyadh to Jeddah Distance
- 3 Riyadh to Mecca Distance
- 4 Riyadh to Medina Distance
- 5 Riyadh to Dammam Distance
- 6 Riyadh to Ta’if Distance
- 7 Riyadh to Burayda Distance
- 8 Riyadh to Khamis Mushait Distance
- 9 Riyadh to Al Hufuf Distance
- 10 Riyadh to Khobar Distance
- 11 FAQs
Distances Between Saudi Arabia’s Major Cities
This country is a vast 830,000 square miles in size and is covered by about 50% desert. As such, your best option to cross the terrain of this nation is by taking domestic flights.
As Riyadh is the capital city and the most densely populated, we will use this location as a base point when discussing how long it takes to travel across different major cities in the country. We’ve listed the destination cities by their population size (see ‘Saudi Arabia Cities by Population’ below for more details).
Riyadh to Jeddah Distance
The Riyadh to Jeddah distance is 601 miles. That is around 9 hours by road. There are frequent domestic flights between these 2 cities, though, many of which are reasonably priced. By air, this journey takes a little under 2 hours.
Riyadh to Mecca Distance
A pilgrimage to Mecca from Riyadh involves covering 543 miles, so you would be on the road for almost 9 hours. You can halve your journey time by flying to Ta’if or Jeddah and then taking a bus. A direct bus route from Riyadh to Mecca takes even longer than driving at just short of 12 hours.
Riyadh to Medina Distance
520 miles separate Riyadh from Medina, so that is an 8-hour drive. Trains often take longer. A direct flight is cheap and takes just 2 hours, though.
Riyadh to Dammam Distance
There are 256 miles between Riyadh and Dammam, so the drive will last around 4 hours. A train journey is around 3.5 hours, or you could fly between the cities in under 2 hours.
Riyadh to Ta’if Distance
Riyadh to Ta’if is a journey of 492 miles, leading to a little under 8 hours spent behind the wheel if driving. A direct flight takes a little over 2 hours.
Riyadh to Burayda Distance
At 221 miles, Burayda is the closest major city to Riyadh as the crow flies. Driving this journey or taking a train both take around 3-and-a-half hours. Taking a direct flight between the cities will halve this journey time.
Riyadh to Khamis Mushait Distance
At over 574 miles, driving from Riyadh to Khamis Mushait will take longer than half a day. Taking the bus will last over 24 hours. The most sensible option is a direct flight from Riyadh, which will get you into Khamis Mushait in a little under 2-and-a-half hours.
Riyadh to Al Hufuf Distance
There are 235 miles between Riyadh and Al Hufuf, so expect to drive for a little under 4 hours. If you wish to fly, you will need to enter Dammam and take a train, which takes even longer. Thankfully, there are direct trains from Riyadh to Al Hufuf, reducing the journey time to around 2 hours.
Riyadh to Khobar Distance
245 miles separate the 2 locations. It would take around 4 hours to make this journey in a car. Trains are quite cheap but take a similar time.
You can shorten your journey time by travelling by air, but there are no direct flights between the locations. You will need to fly into Dammam and take a taxi. This is the fastest route, taking around 2 hours in total.
To sum up, as you can see, travel around Saudi is best done by air in most cases!
We’ve now listed the distances between Saudi Arabia’s major cities. For further useful information about the kingdom’s geography and climate ahead of your trip, read on!
Where Is Saudi Arabia Located?
Saudi Arabia is a kingdom located in Southwest Asia. Saudi Arabia dominates the Arabian Peninsula, covering up to 80% of this territory.
If you’re looking for Saudi Arabia on a globe, follow the water. Three-quarters of Saudi Arabia is surrounded by the ocean – the Red Sea to the west, and the Persian Gulf to the east. You will also find the Arabian Sea to the southeast of Saudi Arabia.
How Many Countries Border Saudi Arabia?
It is bordered by 7 other nations in the Arabian Peninsula. To the north of the country, Saudi Arabia shares a border with Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. Look east toward the Persian Gulf and it is bordered by Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Finally, to the south, you will find the Republic of Yemen.
How Many Square Miles Is Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia covers a vast landmass of 830,000 square miles. This makes Saudi Arabia western Asia’s largest sovereign state. It is the fifth-largest country in Asia and the twelfth-largest country in the world.
Saudi Arabia has a population of around 33 million people. This may seem small for such a large country, but that is because much of the country is in desert conditions. Half the nation is covered by desert. This means that most inhabitants are based in the country’s 10 major cities.
List of Cities in Saudi Arabia
As discussed, there are 10 major cities. In alphabetic order, these are:
- Al Hufuf
- Khamis Mushait
Of these cities, Riyadh is the largest. This is also the capital city of the kingdom and acts as its economic epicentre. Most commercial activity here flows through this city if it does not outright originate there.
Saudi Arabia Cities by Population
Having established that Saudi Arabia hosts these 10 major cities, let us look at the average population of each and rearrange the list accordingly:
- Riyadh – 4,205,961
- Jeddah – 2,867,446
- Mecca – 1,323,624
- Medina – 1,300,000
- Dammam – 768,602
- Ta’if – 530,848
- Burayda – 391,336
- Khamis Mushait – 387,553
- Al Hufuf – 293,179
- Khobar – 165,799
Saudi Arabia Cities by Temperature
Meanwhile, the average temperature in different cities here can fluctuate. Using the same 10 cities, let us review the typical climate to be found in each of these territories, from highest average to the lowest.
- Al Hufuf – average of 40°C in the summer and 26°C in the winter.
- Mecca – average of 39°C in the summer and 31°C in the winter.
- Medina – average of 39°C in the summer and 28°C in the winter.
- Riyadh – average of 39°C in the summer and 25°C in the winter.
- Burayda – average of 39°C in the summer and 25°C in the winter.
- Dammam – average of 38°C in the summer and 25°C in the winter.
- Khobar – average of 38°C in the summer and 25°C in the winter.
- Jeddah – average of 37°C in the summer and 30°C in the winter.
- Ta’if – average of 31°C in the summer and 23°C in the winter.
- Khamis Mushait – average of 28°C in the summer and 22°C in the winter.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. If you’re planning a holiday here, you can check our Saudi tourism packages article or, if you’re thinking of relocating here more permanently, our article about Saudi expatriates could be of interest too.