Sleeping in Airports

Riyadh Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Riyadh Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

Security is amazing, and they will let you strip to your boxer shorts in public to attempt to get through the metal detector without it beeping. – Ade

RUH Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Riyadh King Khalid International Airport.

What to Expect

Riyadh Airport (Code: RUH) consists of five terminals (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), though as of June 2019, only 1, 2 and 3 were in operation. The terminals are connected by more than 1,100 metres (3,800 feet) of moving walkways contained in three link buildings. Food and shopping options can be found on the landside and airside of all three operational terminals, though the dining choices are considered “uninspiring” at best, and retail merchandise “expensive.” The airport has been undergoing near constant renovation and construction for years, and reviewers have recently begun describing the terminals as clean and efficient, though airport staff are sometimes rude and unhelpful. WiFi is available and there are plenty of mobile device charging stations. Comfort can be found through fee-based access to one of the airport’s first class lounges. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for locations and rates.

Sleeping in Riyadh Airport

riyadh airport guideWe have few reviews related to actually sleeping in this airport, though the seating is described as limited, uncomfortable and with armrests, and at least one reviewer suggested the floor may not be a good option due to the tendency of people to spit on it. For uninterrupted sleep, there are hotels near the airport. See Airport Hotels in the guide below or read some traveller reviews for more tips.

Good to Know

  • A ban on luggage trolleys in certain areas means you have to carry your baggage by hand to check-in counters, so try to travel light if you can!
  • Although head covering is not required, females should dress modestly when traveling through this airport

Covid-19 Update

Some airport reviews and tips in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos.

For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Riyadh Airport Guide.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in the airport sounds like a nightmare, there are hotels near Riyadh Airport:

With Covid restrictions constantly changing, we recommend that you confirm shuttle availability prior to booking and/or prior to your arrival.

  • Riyadh Marriott Airport Hotel – Located next to the terminal. No airport shuttle. » Check Rates
  • Radisson Hotel Riyadh Airport – No airport shuttle.  » Check Rates

For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels in Riyadh, search deals and read traveller reviews.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Plaza Premium Lounge – Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Mezzanine, Departure Hall. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.

Wellcome Lounge (Terminal 1) – Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Mezzanine Level. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs.

Wellcome Lounge (Terminal 2) – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, 2nd Floor. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs.

Passes naSmiles Lounge – Location: Terminal 5, Airside. Open to Domestic flights only. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.

Related Pages: Riyadh Airport Lounges

Airport WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available at Riyadh Airport with purchase at Starbucks.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Both Landside and Airside, in all Terminals.

Barber Shop – The arrivals area of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 both offer barbershop services. Hours: unknown.

Currency Exchange – Currency exchange counters can be found in Terminal 2, Airside and are provided by Alinma Bank, Al Rajhi Bank and Al Bilad Bank.

Duty Free & Shopping – Duty Free is available at the airport as well as a small selection of shops. Exact Location: unknown.

Food & Drinks – The airport provides a good variety of restaurants and coffee shops in all terminals both landside and airside. At the time of this update, we did not have the hours.

Information Desk – Service centers can be found in the arrivals area of all three terminals. Hours: unknown.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.

Luggage Wrapping – Luggage wrapping service is available in the departures area of all three terminals. Rates and hours are not known.

Medical Services – Medical services may be available at the Airport Hospitals which is located in a separate building across from the airport.

Mobile Charging – A reader tells us that mobile charging is available throughout the airport.  (April 2019)

Mosque – Yes

Porters – A reader tells us “For carrying large amount of luggage, Riyadh airport has staff to carry luggage at low cost right at the outside of security zones.”

Rest Zones – There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Showers – Showers are available at some of the airport lounges. See Airport Lounges above.

SIM Cards – A reader has asked us to include where to buy SIM Cards. If you know, click here to update this airport guide.

Travel Agencies – If you are arriving in Riyadh and need local arrangements or help planning a really last minute trip abroad, there is a travel agency in the Arrivals area of all Terminals.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Airlines

Riyadh airport is served by the following airlines: Air Arabia • Air Blue • Air Cairo • Air India • Azerbaijan Airlines • Biman Airlines • British Airways • Egyptair • Emirates • Ethiopian Airlines • Etihad Airways • Flyadeal • FlyBosnia • flydubai • Flynas • Gulf Air • Jazeera Airways • Kuwait Airways • Lufthansa • MEA • Nesma Airlines • Oman Air • PIA • Pegasus • Philippines Airlines • Royal Air Maroc • Royal Jordanian • SalamAir • Saudia • SriLankan Airlines • Sudan Airways • Tarco Airlines • Turkish Airlines • Yemenia.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Car Rentals

Hertz offers service onsite in the Terminal 1 Arrivals Hall. Many local car rental agencies also offer service onsite, in the Arrivals Halls of Terminals 1 and 3.

Hotel Shuttles

At the time of this update we were able to find only one hotel that provided airport shuttle service: Radisson Hotel Riyadh Airport.

See also Airport Hotels above.

Taxis

Both flat-rate taxis and metered taxis (who usually offer a flat rate anyway) are readily available for hire in the ground transportation area. A reader wrote to us to share a bit more info about the taxis:

“From airport to the city you can take a formal taxi in the taxi queue for about 70 SAR (Saudi riyals). There is also a little desk at the airport exit inside the terminal that belongs to London Taxi, it is maybe 80 SAR but the taxi is a London cab with extra space for luggage and legs and better accessibility. There is a lot of informal cars picking passengers at the exit doors of airport but it is not recommended to trust them. Observe only one stop is included in the price.

To go to airport you can call London taxi or the taxi companies to pick you or also use the app Uber.”

Last updated: 2022-10-31

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.