US President Donald Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia met briefly for a coffee ceremony after the president's arrival today in Riyadh.

Trump and Salman spoke through an interpreter inside the airport terminal after the president stepped off Air Force One.

Trump and his motorcade then made their way to his hotel for a few hours of downtime before beginning the day's meetings.

The nation offered Trump an elaborate welcome.

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Billboards featuring the image of Trump and the king dotted the highways of Riyadh and lights bathed Trump's luxury hotel in red, white and blue lights and, at times, an image of the president's face.

First Lady Melania Trump wore a black pantsuit with a golden belt and did not cover her head, consistent with custom for foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, Trump waved as he stood atop stairs on Air Force One that had been rolled to the side of the official presidential aircraft as it landed.

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, rear, arrive at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. Photo / AP
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, rear, arrive at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. Photo / AP

Trump and King Salman exchanged a handshake and Trump said it was "a great honor" to be there.

Several jets also flew overhead leaving a red, white and blue trail.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told reporters on the plane that Trump spent the flight meeting with staff, working on his upcoming speech to the Muslim world and getting a little sleep.

- AP