Read previous post Guide to Doha – Bahrain by Road: Part 1 – Pre-departure
Updated based on feedback from reader:
After driving for 122 – 123 km from saudi checkpoint take right exit. THis is 55 km strech is bypass road to hofuf/alhasa, ends near saudi cement factory. Accordingly route mention in 4 to 7 above will not be there in route to bahrain.
Qatar border can be reached by driving along Salwa Road heading southwest to (A)Bu Samra. Speed cameras are installed in every few kms. This approximately 100km road can be reached within an hour in normal speed. In Qatar border area there are good and clean rest rooms, a mosque, ATMs, and small restaurant.
Coordinate Qatar Border:24 44’46.85″N 50 50’52.83″E
Qatar Border Process:
- First booth: Present istimarah (car registration). Get vehicle exit paper. Keep it.
- Second booth: Produce exit paper and passport for stamps
- Third booth: Recheck exit paper and passport
It is suggested that you zero your trip meter once you pass Qatar border.
1. First Booth: Present exit paper and passport
2. Second Booth: Park the car and go for finger scan and photo, on your left. Woman goes into a separate room.
3. Third Booth: Present exit paper and passport
4. Fourth: Custom check, open car baggage, exit paper stamped
5.Fifth Booth: Insurance. Present exit paper and car registration
6. Sixth Booth: Recheck. Present all. Insurance, passport, exit paper. Exit paper collected by staff.
Border to Hofuf
Note that woman is not allowed to drive in Saudi. Speed limit in highway is 120km/h. Although I saw Radar Ahead warning boards, I failed to identify any cameras. Be aware of vehicles making U-turn or crossing the lanes to go to the other direction.
- Leaving Saudi border, drive away until you reach intersection, in which turn left will lead you to UAE. GO STRAIGHT. Now you are on Road 85. Road 85 is a 2-lane dual carriageway each bound separated by barren land, no barrier post.
- After 20km from Qatar border you will see Petrol Station that is right after a left curve bend road. MAKE FIRST FUEL STOP HERE. A small restaurant, small shop selling cassette/CD, and traditional crafts available here. Qatari riyal accepted. Coordinate Petrol Station: N 24 49’17.4″ E 50 43’59.2″
- Drive another 126 km until you see an interchange. Ignore any suggestion to go to Hofuf Center. GO STRAIGHT. (Note: As of Dec 2010, GoogleEarth still shows it as an oval roundabout). Coordinate: Via Point 1 (go straight after interchange): N 25 16.330′ E 49 38.062′ – to make sure that GPS doesn’t take you to Hofuf Center.
See updated above on alternate route bypassing Hofuf via East Hofuf:
After driving for 122 – 123 km from saudi checkpoint take right exit. THis is 55 km strech is bypass road to hofuf/alhasa, ends near saudi cement factory. Accordingly route mention in 4 to 7 above will not be there in route to bahrain
4. Drive 20 km and you’ll find roundabout-being-turned-into-interchange close to Al Ahsaa Domestic airport on your left. TURN RIGHT. (Note: You can go straight and later can join with Road 85 again – See#5 below, but it is not advised at the moment due to shared lane and construction). Coordinate: Via Point 2: N 25 19.337′ E 49 30.663′ – to make sure that GPS takes you turn right
5. After making right turn, follow the road 6.5km until you are on an overbridge and then TURN LEFT to go to a petrol station 300m down the bridge. MAKE SECOND FUEL STOP HERE. There is a handful shops available here including small Krispy Crème counter selling limited donuts, tea and coffee. Now you join Road 85 again. Coordinate Petrol Station here: N 25 21’11.7″ E 49 31’15.9″
6. Continue driving the road, passing underneath an overbridge (that originated from the same (airport) interchange that you made a right turn before) approximately 6.7km from the previous overbridge. After 13.7km you’ll see an interchange and shall be ready to transfer from Road 85 to Road 10. TURN RIGHT to Road 10 leading to Dammam. Coordinate Turn to Road 10: N 25 21’52.5″ E 49 23’20.1″ – to make sure that you turn right to Road 10.
7. Now you are on Road 10 already. Continue driving 34km on Road 10 to see North Hofuf/Cement Company Interchange (this is how I call it; not the official name). Keep right to follow sign to Baqiq/Dammam/Bahrain. After the interchange you will see Saudi Cement Company on your right. Coordinate: Road 10 after Hofuf/Cement Interchange Via Point: N 25 40.308′ E 49 30.484′
8. About 68km and 75km from turnoff to Road 10 (from Road 85) you’ll see the first and second Abqaiq interchange respectively. KEEP STRAIGHT IN ANY INTERCHANGE. Coordinate Via Point Road 10 after First Abqaiq Interchange: N 25 55.952′ E 49 37.409′
9. Continue driving 62.7km until you find an interchange to Road 95 that leads to Causeway. TURN RIGHT TO ROAD 95. Coordinate slip road to transfer from Road 10 to Road 95: N 26 18.139′ E 50 02.757′
10. Driving Road 95 for about 22km to find a Causeway Toll Gate. Pay 20 SAR to enter King Fahad Causeway.
Coordinate: Saudi Tower at Causeway: N 26 11.031′ E 50 19.288′. Coordinate: Saudi Immigration at Causeway: N 26 11.101′ E 50 19.331′
DAMMAM – BAHRAIN
Saudi-Bahrain Causeway Immigration Process (outbound)
1. Police/Vehicle Clearance. Get exit paper.
2. Passport check
1. Visa on arrival. Stay in the car. Produce passports. Pay 6 BD for 3 days or 12 BD for 7 days.
2. Customs Inspection. (Note: In my case, they didn’t even bother to check my car but I saw some undergone thorough inspection tough; travelling with kids/family will normally ease the inspection).
3. Pay Insurance. 3 days for 2 BD
Back to Causeway, you need to pay 2 BD at the toll gate. No ticket/receipt is given so don’t wait.
Bahrain-Saudi Causeway Immigration Process (inbound)
1. Traffic booth: Exit vehicle registration. Keep the paper.
2. Passport check and stamp
3. There are custom gate but no body attended so we just pass by.
1. Passport check
2. Customs check. Exit paper stamped. I went to the custom officer after called as no one came up to check.
3. Exit paper taken.
Dammam Back to Qatar
- Road back to Qatar from Causeway is basically following the same departing route. From Causeway driving up to Dammam on Road 95 then turn left in Road 95 – Road 10 Interchange, follow Road 10 direction Hofuf passing Abqaiq.
- It is recommended that you fill your fuel tank up before entering Road 10, although there are petrol stations in Abqaiq, but you need to detour from Road 10 to Abqaiq city center.
- Driving Road 10, approaching Saudi Cement Interchange or North Hofuf Interchange, keep right to follow sign to Qatar/UAE (Batha). Then you will find Road 10 to Road 85 Interchange. Turn into Road 85 and follow the same departing route from Qatar.
- The idea is to only take Hofuf ring road route and avoid any attempt to enter Hofuf Center. Once you enter Hofuf city center you may easily end up losing 1-2 hours due to construction work, road closing or change of traffic way.
- I myself detoured to Hofuf City Center , purposely to visit Jabal Qara, east of Hofuf. And it’s not easy to find it due to above. (read more in other post)
Saudi-Qatar Immigration Process
1. First Booth: Exit Vehicle Registration. Keep the exit paper.
2. Second Booth: Passport stamped
3. Third Booth: Present exit paper and passport
Qatar Border Process:
- First booth: Passport stamped
- Second booth: Produce exit paper.
- Insurance Booth. Ignore it if you have Qatari vehicle.
- Third Booth: Passport check. [I’m sorry but I can’t remember where the exit paper from Saudi was taken in Qatar border booths L. I assume at the last booth as it is normally the case in any country border ]
Welcome back to Qatar!