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Public Transportation in Abha

Mastering the public transportation system in Abha is a crucial aspect of adapting to life there. This article provides a detailed overview of the available local transit options.

Abha, the capital of the Asir Province in Saudi Arabia, is a city known for its cool climate and beautiful landscapes. Public transportation in Abha is primarily facilitated by buses, taxis, and car rental services. The city does not have a subway or tram system. The Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) operates the bus services, while taxis are run by various private companies. Car rental services are also available from numerous providers. For an expat living in Abha, it is possible to get around the city using these public transportation options, but having a car can provide more convenience and flexibility.


The Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) operates the bus services in Abha. The buses are modern and comfortable, with air conditioning to provide relief from the heat. They cover various routes across the city and are a cost-effective way to travel. However, the bus service may not be as frequent as in larger cities, so it’s important to check the schedule in advance. The buses are generally safe to use, even at night, but it’s always advisable to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. The cost of a bus ticket varies depending on the distance traveled, but it is generally affordable.


Taxis are a common mode of transportation in Abha. They are available 24/7 and can be hailed from the street or booked in advance. Taxis in Abha are metered, ensuring that passengers are charged fairly based on the distance traveled. They are generally safe to use, even for women traveling alone, but it’s always a good idea to share your taxi details with someone you trust. The cost of a taxi ride depends on the distance and time of day, but it is generally more expensive than taking the bus.

Car Rental Services

For those who prefer the convenience and flexibility of having their own vehicle, car rental services are available in Abha. Numerous providers offer a wide range of vehicles to choose from, including compact cars, SUVs, and luxury vehicles. Renting a car can be a good option for expats who plan to explore the city and its surrounding areas extensively. However, it’s important to note that driving in Saudi Arabia requires an international driving permit or a Saudi driving license. The cost of renting a car varies depending on the type of vehicle and the rental period, but it can be quite expensive compared to using public transportation.

In conclusion, public transportation in Abha is reliable and can cater to the needs of expats living in the city. However, the options are limited compared to larger cities, and having a car can provide more convenience and flexibility. Therefore, whether an expat can comfortably live in Abha without a car largely depends on their lifestyle and transportation needs.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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