Long weekend coming up? A road trip is a great way to enjoy your vacation. You can savor the sights and make stops whenever inspiration strikes. Since you’re driving, why not consider traveling to another country?
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As Qatar shares land borders with neighboring countries, the United Arab Emirates would be an ideal destination. With your documents in order and sufficient funds and fuel, you can reach the UAE in about 10 hours.
Land Travel from Qatar to the UAE
When in Qatar, traveling to other countries is easy since you can travel by land. One of the possible destinations you can go to is the United Arab Emirates. However, for this destination, you’ll need to access the UAE through Saudi Arabia.
To enter these countries, ensure you have essential documents such as a valid passport, visa, and QID.
Requirements to Travel to the UAE
Here are the documents that you need to prepare for your trip. Since you will be entering foreign countries, you need to have your paperwork ready to be allowed to cross borders:
- Qatar ID (QID)
- Valid passport
- Valid visa: print out your UAE visa as it will be required at the border
- Valid vehicle registration (Istimara)
- Driver’s license
Procedure for Getting a Visa
From Saudi Arabia
Refer to this article on how to apply for a tourist visa to Saudi Arabia.
From the UAE
For GCC residents like yourself, you can avail of the dedicated visa service that the UAE offers. With this service, you can get a visitor entry visa that is valid for 30 days. However, this visa can only be extended once.
UAE Visitor Visa Requirements
- Valid passport (at least 6 months validity)
- Copy of residence permit (valid for at least a year)
- Passport photo (with a white background)
- Visa (apply online at https://smart.gdrfad.gov.ae/. Once you have successfully completed the process, the approved visa will be sent to the user’s email)
Note: Applicants must belong to the list of approved professions to have their visa application approved
- Online visa fee is approximately QR 213.36
- Breakdown: QR 203.2 (or AED 250) plus 5% VAT
It is not required to get medical insurance to enter the UAE. However, it is a requirement to enter the Saudi Arabia border so you also need to purchase such insurance. On average, medical insurance costs QR 36.5 (or $10). You can compare prices of the different insurance companies. But if you are using the services of Tasheer visa center, you will no longer need to get separate insurance since it will be included in the visa fee.
Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE require vehicle insurance. For Saudi Arabia, you can purchase vehicle insurance at the Abu Samra border or through the Najm Manafith application, which you can download via Android or iOS. The starting cost is QR 116.48 (or SAR 120) and is valid for 1 week.
On the other hand, for the UAE requirement, you can purchase vehicle insurance at the Ghuwaifat Port Station or through the Shory Aber application. The app is also available via Android or iOS. A 15-day insurance costs QR 208.16 (210 AED).
Procedure for Entering UAE from Saudi Arabia
Once you have entered the Saudi Arabia border, keep on driving until you reach Al Batha/ Ghuwaifat Port. The Al Batha port is on the Saudi Arabian side. You will be required to pass through the customs up to the Passport Control.
After having your passport checked, keep driving until you get to the so-called “no man land,” until you see a welcome sign indicating that you are now in UAE territory. Your first stop is the vehicle scan and go to the next booth to process another document.
Your next destination is the UAE passport control booth and the biometrics scan. Make sure that you are joining the right queue, since there are separate lines for UAE residents and visitors.
The next stop is the customs booth and the car insurance. If you have previously purchased the car insurance, you can have it validated on this part of the border area. Once cleared, you are free to travel to Abu Dhabi or Dubai. These two popular destinations are about 3 to 4 hours drive.
Places to See in the UAE
The UAE is also a melting pot of cultures. Thus, you can see interesting sights and attractions that are good for all ages.
The Burj Khalifa is located in downtown Dubai. It holds numerous world records, foremost being the tallest building in the world. You can buy tickets to see the Observation Deck for as low as 179 AED. Follow this link to get your tickets.
Another popular attraction in the city is the Dubai Frame. This iconic structure offers an impressive view of the Old and New Dubai. Guests can climb up the structure to see the sights and enjoy a meal or two at the cafe. Ticket prices vary: infants enter for free, children (3-12 years) pay AED 20, and adults pay AED 50. Click on this link to purchase your tickets
Ferrari World Yas Island
For car enthusiasts, the Ferrari World Yas Island in Abu Dhabi should be on your itinerary. This Ferrari-branded theme park features rides and other attractions for all ages. You can ride the roller coaster, hang glider, and even drive through a mini-grand prix. The general admission is AED 345. Follow this link to purchase tickets.
Return to Qatar via Saudi Arabia and UAE
As you exit the UAE to go back to Qatar, you will pass through a booth and pay QR 29.68 (AED 30) as “Exit Payment.” Then you will pass through passport control then the customs booth.
Keep on driving until you get to Abu Samra, the Saudi Arabia border. You will also follow the procedure at the Saudi Arabia customs. Once you have cleared the procedure, you can travel onwards to Qatar.
Since you are crossing two countries, you can expect the travel time to reach 10 hours. Remember to follow the speed limits depending on your location.
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