Renting ATVs in Riyadh is a fun and entertaining way to spend an afternoon or evening. After all, how unique is it to be in a city setting, yet moments away from vast desert landscapes that you can ride ATVs in? When it comes to renting ATVs in Riyadh, there are major decisions that can make or break your time riding free through the desert, hair whipping in the wind, sand as far as the eye can see.
Below I’m going to break down everything you need to know about this activity so that you can have the best experience possible!
Everything You Need to Know About Renting ATVs in Riyadh
Where You Can Ride ATVs in Riyadh
Luckily, there are a couple of different desert areas around the city where you can choose to ride ATVs. I suggest seeing where you’re closest to and starting there. Some areas are nicer than others, so make sure to do your research ahead of time and pick the option that best suits what you’re searching for.
- Red Sand Dunes
- Thumamah National Park – This area of the desert is incredibly dirty and trash-ridden; but it’s a good option if you’re looking for something cheap and easy. Along the road you’ll pass tons of ATV rentals (there aren’t any signs so you will need to be on the lookout) where you can just drive up and rent right away. Make sure to negotiate the price ahead of time!
What to Wear ATV-ing in the Desert
Because of the heat, sand, and general conservatism of Saudi Arabia, there is a certain way you should be dressing when you rent ATVs in the desert. You need to stay away from wearing shorts, tank-tops, or anything flow-y that could potentially get caught in the spokes/wheels (like an abaya). Below you’ll find what I personally suggest to wear when you ride ATVs in the desert.
- Tennis shoes
- Pants – preferably linen or something light, not jeans
- Long sleeves – preferably linen or something light
- Wear your hair up or in braids so that it doesn’t whip in your face
What to Bring With You
Even if you’re not planning on being out in the desert for a long time, you still need to come prepared. Below you’ll find a list of what I recommend bringing with you whether or not you’ll be gone for a short amount of time.
- Light backpack – You’ll need something to put your belongings in and you don’t want a hanging purse to get caught in your wheels.
- Helmet – This one is up to you! Some places that you can rent ATVs from don’t provide helmets. You may want to consider bringing your own.
- Sunscreen – Even if you’re riding around sunset, the sun in the desert is no joke. Even though you’ll be covered up, I highly recommend bringing sunscreen for your face, neck, hands, and any other area that might be exposed.
- Water – Again, even if it isn’t hot or the sun is setting, bring plenty of water with you to avoid dehydration.
- Face mask – While not essential, a face mask might be a good idea to avoid getting sand in your mouth/face while you ride around the desert.
- Sunglasses – Sunglasses are a must when you ride ATVs in the desert. You don’t want any sand getting in your eyes and clouding your vision. Plus, at times there may be huge gusts of wind that cause a mini sandstorm. Don’t get caught without eye protection.
The Best Time to Rent ATVs in Riyadh
In the summer months, the temperatures in Riyadh can reach upwards of 120 F. And in the desert with no shade and the sun beaming down on you, it feels much, much warmer than that. I don’t suggest venturing out to the desert during the summer months (May-September) but if you do, you’ll definitely want to go around sunset when the weather cools down. Otherwise, if you rent in the cooler months, I still suggest watching the weather and consider going closer to sunset.
Should You Do a Self-Guided ATV Ride or Hire a Guide?
There are tons of companies that will take you on a ATV tour through the desert. Otherwise, if you want to go alone, that’s a possibility too. You’ll just need to hire a driver that can drive you out to the desert, wait for you, and drive you back to your accommodation (I don’t recommend a ride share because once you’re out in the desert it may be difficult to get a ride back to town).
I haven’t personally used a tour guide to ATV in Riyadh, so I can’t recommend a certain company. If you want a tour guide, simply Google, “ATV tour guide Riyadh” (or something similar) and read through the different reviews of each company.
Cost of Renting ATVs in Riyadh
The cost of renting an ATV will vary depending on if you hire a tour guide or do a self-guided tour. If you take a tour guide you’ll be paying a flat rate for the tour/cost of the ATV. You might need to consider a tip. And you’ll want to find out if transportation is included in the package or you’ll need to find your own transportation.
If you do a self-guided tour you’ll need to pay for the transportation and the cost of the ATV (this can be negotiated but it is generally around 100 SAR/hour [bring cash]). Generally, doing a self-guided tour will be more affordable than hiring a tour-guide but there’s more work that goes into planning.
As you can see, there are different factors to consider when choosing to rent ATVs in Riyadh. I hope that this guide helps and if you have any questions, make sure to leave a comment below!