Transport In Jeddah
Jeddah is located at the western side of Red Sea. This city is famous for attending huge amount of tourists/pilgrims from all around the world specifically during Hajj season. People visit this city while they are on their way to sacred cities of Medina Munawarah and Mecca Moazzama. During the hajj season in the month of Zilhajj in Islamic calendar Jeddah witness transportation nightmares however improvements are made in order to make the system of transport in Jeddah more efficient. There are various means of transport in Jeddah including small taxis to public buses. More or less 45 companies are presently performing their operations in Jeddah. Most favourite mean of travelling around Jeddah is through the buses operated by the government enterprise Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company. The company’s central terminal is situated at Ballad. However, quite opposite to the local favours, these buses are not preferred by tourists in Jeddah. It is seen that they prefer taxi or a rented car mostly. The reason behind such a decision is the plight of heavy traffic on Jeddah’s roads. Moreover, a super luxury limo service is also available for tourists through which they can enjoy undisturbed travelling across Jeddah.
Now, let us shift our attention to a particular situation whereby you are planning to visit Jeddah in connection with some religious purpose of performing Hajj or Umrah. First about your arrival at Jeddah Airport. When you reach Jeddah Airport, please go through the normal formalities you encounter on your visit abroad to any destination regarding customs etc. Then while staying at Jeddah Airport please proceed to a waiting area until you have been asked to board out in air conditioned buses. Now you are at the mercy of both the authorities and the transport in Jeddah since the establishment has to make arrangement for a large community. Moreover, as I told earlier the movement of transport in Jeddah is slow due to heavy trafic in these days. Mecca is about 70 kilometres away from Jeddah. You will then be asked at about 22 kilometres away from Mecca where a huge board is displayed stating “Makkah-Muslims Only”. From this point on the limitations of sacred city of Mecca starts and no non-Muslim is allowed to proceed beyond that. When you reach Mecca you will be shifted to a building reserved for such a purpose alongwith your luggage etc. Accommodation here is mostly shared and food is quite cheap infact all requirements are there to be utilized. You can from here onward proceed to Masjid-ul-Haram to offer prayers. Besides these various places around can be visited on ease by taxi, van or bus ,such as Mina which is about five kilometres away from Mecca as well as Arafat and Muzdalifa. Arafat is about 14 kilometres from Mecca and easy transport is provided to serve pilgrims reaching there.
Unlike famous cities around the world the transport in Jeddah is cheap and luxurious. The limousine taxi service that I have mentioned above is quite economical and the rates of such a deluxe can be bargained. However, if you can drive and possess relevant documents you can rent a car. Various car rental offices are situated around Medina Road.