TRAVEL - May 26, 2024

Explore the GCC: 5 Road Trips You Can Take from Bahrain This Vacation Season


Ready to ignite your wanderlust and hit the open road? We suggest you begin with these road trips. As you set off from Manama, get ready to immerse yourself in picturesque landscapes and enchanting vistas. From modern metropolises to tranquil coastal views, these road trips will take you along highways, surrounded by waters of the Gulf and the vast desert. Fuel up your vehicle, grab your passport, and pack your sense of adventure. The open road beckons!

The journey durations mentioned here are subject to change depending on road and traffic conditions on the date of travel.

1. Bahrain to Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar)

Image Credits: Visit Saudi

Drive Time: ~ 45 minutes

Within a short drive from Manama, lies the thriving city of Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia, a short but promising journey with stunning landscapes and cultural experiences, covering approximately 45 minutes of driving. The distance makes it an ideal day trip or a weekend getaway! 

Before embarking on your journey, make sure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. 

Unless you own your vehicle outright, securing permission to drive your vehicle out of Bahrain is necessary. Additionally, obtaining car insurance is mandatory before crossing the King Fahd Causeway, which has a toll fee of 2.5 Bahraini Dinar or 25 Saudi Riyals. 

If you hold a residence permit in Bahrain, it is recommended to apply for an eVisa before your road trip. This electronic visa facilitates your entry into Saudi Arabia and ensures a hassle-free travel experience. Make sure to check the latest visa requirements and regulations to ensure a smooth journey.

2. Bahrain to Kuwait (Kuwait City)

Image Credits: Tayssir Kadamany

Drive Time: ~ 5 hours 

To begin with, for your road trip from Manama, Bahrain, to Kuwait City, you’ll need to pass through Saudi Arabia. Once you enter Saudi Arabia, the open highways will lead you through the vast desert of the Arabian Peninsula. Embrace its serenity, as you make your way towards Kuwait City, relishing the open road.

Arriving in Kuwait City, you’ll be greeted by a thriving metropolis that seamlessly blends modernity with rich cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere as you explore its iconic landmarks.

As you approach the borders, it’s essential to be aware of the required documentation. In addition to the necessary travel documents and a valid passport, you may be required to obtain a Saudi transit visa. This visa allows you to transit through Saudi Arabia en route to Kuwait.

3. Bahrain to Qatar (Doha)

Image Credits: Visit Qatar

Drive Time: ~ 5 hours

This road trip, to Qatar, will take you through the vast landscapes of Saudi Arabia. The long drive presents an opportunity to explore captivating tourist spots along the way, making the adventure even more exhilarating. Look out for camels! Amidst the vast desert scenery and dunes, you’ll discover the town of Salwa, with a possible beach view, nestled at the border of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. 

A transit visa is required to pass through Saudi Arabia, allowing you to continue your road trip to Qatar. Ensure you have the necessary transit visa documentation and comply with the latest regulations to ensure a smooth border crossing. Upon arrival in Doha, you may have the convenience of obtaining a visa on arrival. 

Prioritise your travel preparedness by ensuring you have all the necessary documents and insurances in place. Be sure to check the latest regulations before you begin your travel.

4. Bahrain to United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)

Image credits: Visit Abu Dhabi

Drive Time: ~ 8 hours

To kickstart your journey, cross the iconic King Fahd Causeway, connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. As you venture further, get ready to explore the vast expanse of the desert. The drive through the empty desert landscapes offers a unique sense of serenity and solitude. While traversing the desert, be cautious of sandstorms that may occur, especially during certain seasons. 

Prepare for the seamless border crossing as you make your way towards the UAE. 

Upon reaching the border of Saudi Arabia and UAE at Al Batha, ensure that all necessary documents, including your visa, are in order. Check the latest visa requirements and regulations to avoid any surprises. Once through, prepare to experience the vibrant allure of Abu Dhabi, viewing iconic landmarks like the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the thrilling Yas Marina Circuit.

The adventure doesn’t end there! Why not take your journey a step further and continue to Dubai? A mere 1.5-hour drive from Abu Dhabi will lead you to the city of Dubai, a dazzling metropolis renowned for its iconic skyscrapers and luxurious lifestyle.

5. Bahrain to Oman (Muscat)

Image Credits: Visit Oman

Drive Time : ~ 13 hours

Embark on a long road adventure to Muscat, a city with few of the most magnificent monumental architectures. This trip offers you two exhilarating route options: The first, via Saudi Arabia and UAE, experiencing diverse landscapes with transit visas for both countries. Alternatively, explore the new (albeit remote) Rub Al Khali Highway, a recent new connection between the GCC countries. Known as the Empty Quarter, this vast expanse of the Arabian Desert, covering about 650,000 km², encompasses parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, promising a mesmerizing and unique travel experience. To get on to the highway, you have to pass through just Saudi. However, if you’re choosing to travel to Oman, be prepared to spend very long hours on the road, and make sufficient rest stops.

The route must be researched well for a safe and enjoyable road trip before travelling, because, for the most part, it’s a barren desert on both sides with an occasional border checkpoint or filling station.

Before Embarking on Your Road Trip…

Take a moment to ensure that you’re well-prepared with all the necessary travel documents and insurance. Check the visa requirements for each destination and transit country, securing any required permits, such as eVisas, transit visas, or roundtrip visas. Additionally, having comprehensive car insurance coverage with proof of ownership is essential, and be mindful of toll fees and border regulations to ensure a seamless journey at the borders.

As you hit the road, don’t forget to pack your favourite snacks to keep you fuelled and energised throughout the adventure!

Keep in mind that the drive time provided is an estimated value and may vary based on traffic conditions and other factors.

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