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Transportation & Communication

At the time of the establishment of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, the country lacked modern transportation facilities and ports, and had less than 30 miles of paved roads.

Today, the Kingdom has a modern transportation network of roads, railroads, air, marine and public transport. The country is also linked by a sophisticated communications network that serves as a basis for its economic growth and development.

These accomplishments are all the more remarkable due to the great distances between cities and the rugged terrain of much of the country.

Establishing a Modern Network

For thousands of years, merchants, pilgrims and Bedouins have been traveling the ancient trade and caravan routes of the Arabian Peninsula. Journeying through such a vast desert region was extremely difficult and risky, often taking a month or more of arduous travel to cross the peninsula. Passage through the vast deserts was only possible during the cooler hours of the day and less harsh seasons of the year.

The swift movement of both people and freight was vital to modernising such a large and sparsely-populated country. To that end, a number of the five-year development plans focused on improving the Kingdom’s transportation infrastructure, and Saudi Arabia now possesses one of the finest national transportation networks in the world.

Saudi Arabia Airlines

Saudi Arabia Airlines, or Saudia, started out in 1945 with a single twin-engine DC-3 (Dakota) HZ-AAX given to King Abdul Aziz as a gift by the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was followed months later with the purchase of two more DC-3s, and these formed the nucleus of what in few years later was to become one of the world’s largest airlines.

Today Saudi Arabian Airlines has some one hundred and nineteen (119) aircrafts, including the latest and most advanced wide-bodied jets presently available: B787-9, B777-268L, B777-300ER, Airbus A320-200, Airbus A321, Airbus A330-300, and Embraer 170.

For information on the Kingdom’s flag-carrier airline, visit