Getting around Al Khobar is convenient as there are many available modes of transportation. There are taxis, buses, and vehicle rentals for a fulfilling land touring, while passenger ships, pedals, and boats for water adventure. Fares in Al Khobar, as well as its nearby cities, are very reasonable because oil is cheap in the country.
When getting around Al Khobar on land, the easiest and most popular mode of transportation is to ride a taxi. In fact, you can get one in as soon as your arrival at the King Fahd International Airport. Taxi fare should not be more than 10 Saudi riyals for a journey into the city or around Al Khobar. However, it cannot be avoided that there are some drivers who take advantage of tourists, and ask them to pay more than the regular fare. To prevent paying more than what you have to, it is best that you insist metering.
Another convenient way of getting around Al Khobar is by driving a rented car. This way, you can easily explore the city any way or any time you like as there will be no waiting time for the taxi or bus to arrive. This is also an effective approach if you are travelling with small children. However, if you are a female driver, I’m sorry but you cannot drive. This is against the law of the conservative Kingdom. You have to get someone to drive for you, or just ride a taxi when touring around Al Khobar.
Many establishments now offer motorcycle rental. This is a good option for those travelling alone or with but only one company. Aside from motorcycles being affordable, they are also flexible to use. They can easily get out of traffic and pass through narrow roads. The disadvantage, however, is that you cannot use them during sandstorms.
SAPTCO buses, on the other hand, do not have services as frequent as taxis, though most compounds in the city have them. Best way to know the schedule of these buses is by talking personally to compound staffs. They can help you get a seat reservation or VIP reservation. Bus fare is cheaper which is only from 1-2 riyals.
Travelling around Al Khobar on land allows you to see wide deserts, however, you have to watch out for checkpoints which have speed traps before them. You may be asked to pull over if you are caught driving beyond the required speed limit. Authorities will ask for your travel documents, as well as the papers related to the car you are driving. In some cases, drivers, including westerners caught driving too fast are imprisoned overnight.
If you plan on getting around Al Khobar by boat, then that should also be fine. Al Khobar, being a huge port, has many types of water vehicles. Passenger ships and boats are the most common way to explore and enjoy the waterfront. There are also pedals, which are actually pedal-driven watercrafts. You can rent one at 45 riyals and use it for 20 minutes. This may be a bit expensive, but is definitely worth it. Usually, a pedal can only handle two passengers at a time.
If there are no sandstorms, and if you are not over speeding or a female driver, then there should be no problems when getting around Al Khobar. You can travel around as much as you like and enjoy the low cost of fares and oil.