Living in the Middle East / Saudi Arabia

Communications

Date Posted: February 16, 2016      

Telephones

The Saudi Arabian government is embarking on a large-scale telecommunications upgrade program, and services have improved dramatically in recent years. The mobile phone services network is extensive, even in remote parts of the country, with both pre and post-paid packages offered.

The international dialing code for Saudi Arabia is +966 and area codes are in use, e.g. (0)1 for Riyadh (0)2 for Jeddah. International calls can be expensive, but costs can be reduced by taking advantage of the discount rates at nights and weekends.

Well known providers include STC, Mobily and Zain Saudi Arabia.

STC:

stc.com.sa

  • Riyadh: 3647 Al Imam Saud Ibn Abdul Aziz Branch Rd, Al Mursalat, Riyadh (+966) 1 443 5501
  • Jeddah: Sulayyman Al Hamawi, Al Salamah, Jeddah (+966) 1 455 5555
  • Dammam: Ali Ibn Abi Taleb Street, Dammam (+966) 1 455 5555

Mobily:

mobily.com.sa

  • Riyadh: Solidair Building, Olaya ST, AR Riyadh (+966) 56 010 1100
  • Jeddah: Thaliah Street, across to Scico, Jeddah (+966) 56 010 1100
  • Dammam: Al Anud, Dammam 32427, Saudi Arabia (+966) 56 010 1100

Zain:

zain.com

  • Riyadh: Unayzah St, Ar Rayyan, Riyadh 14213, (+966) 1 492 3669
  • Jeddah: Prince Mutaib bin Abdulaziz Rd, Ar Rihab, Jeddah (+966)59 244 4444
  • Dammam: Khaleej Rd, Ash Shati Ash Sharqi, Dammam (+966) 59 244 4444

Internet

Fixed line and wireless broadband is available throughout Saudi Arabia with numerous DSL service providers operating in Saudi Arabia such as Saudi Net, Awal Net, Jeel, Nasma, SPS Net, ICC, ALO2NET, Dream-Net, Sahara Net, SBM, Shabakah.net, Zajil, Sol Net, among others. VOIP and instant messaging applications like Skype are easily accessible, although Apple FaceTime is not available.

Please note that internet content is heavily censored in Saudi Arabia, and websites that include sexual content are banned and blocked. This might also extend to some pages related to humor, health, religion, and entertainment. It is sensible to exercise caution when posting on public sites and social media not to publish or send any communications that could be seen to be disrespectful of Islam, Saudi Arabia, its leaders, or its people.

Mail

There is no door-to-door postal service in Saudi Arabia, mail is only delivered to Post Office box numbers, so it is best to arrange for any mail to be sent to the care of the Company. Please ensure that your post doesn’t include any offensive literature as it may be spot-checked by the official censors

TV, Radio, Newspapers and Magazines

Saudi TV is state run and has limited English language programs, with most offering Arabic channels, it is only KSA2 and Saudi TV2 that offer any English-language programs. However, most expatriate communities provide access to a wide range of satellite television including international news, movies, sport and general entertainment channels. It is also fairly common for compounds to have comprehensive DVD libraries where residents can share films.

No English-language radio stations are transmitted from Saudi Arabia, although in certain locations, you can tune into English language broadcasts from neighboring countries.