Muscat: The first international passenger bus service between Muscat and Riyadh will commence on Thursday via the Empty Quarter road that directly links the two countries.

Speaking to the Observer, Rashid al Khanjary, Owner of Al Khanjary Transport, said, "The bus will start daily from Muscat at 6 am and from Riyadh (Azizia area) at 5 pm. The travel will take approximately 18 to 20 hours depending on the time taken for immigration and formalities at the border. Timings from Riyadh will be adjusted as per the passenger demand"

The service will have three stops in the Sultanate of Oman, namely: Ruwi, Nizwa, and Ibri.

On the Saudi side, the service will stop at Dammam, as the bus will operate to the Saudi capital via Dammam (in the Eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).

The one-way promotional fare till the end of the month is RO25 or SR250. After that, the fares will be RO35 or SR350.

"The Saudi authorities have stipulated that the bus should have a minimum of 25 passengers on board."

He said that the route via Dammam would add some extra kilometers, but the dual carriageway would offer a comfortable ride."

The company will operate two drivers on the route and there will be some stops for rest.

Citizens and expatriates can avail of the service.

Expatriates can avail of the visa, while some nationals may have visa-on-arrival options or other exemptions.

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