Guide to Doha – Bahrain by Road: Part 2 – Route and Immigration Processes

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.

Doha-Bahrain Route. Numbers correspond to the steps below. Flag A is Qatar border. Flag B is Saudi-Bahrain borders (Source of map: Bing Maps)

Qatar-Saudi Border

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:

  1. First booth: Present istimarah (car registration). Get vehicle exit paper. Keep it.
  2. Second booth: Produce exit paper and passport for stamps
  3. Third booth: Recheck exit paper and passport

It is suggested that you zero your trip meter once you pass Qatar border.

Saudi 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.

Qatar Exit Vehicle Registration Paper

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.

  1.  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.
  2. 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″
  3. 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″

The first petrol station in Road 85 Hofuf, 20km from Qatar border
Long way to go….[this sign is located between Saudi border and the first petrol station
Road 85 to Hofuf prones to sand encroachment from sand dune on the road side
The first interchange in Hofuf. Go straight and avoid suggestion to Hofuf center
Second roundabout/interchange near Airport. Turn right here.
After right turn in airport roundabout and driving 6.5km you will see this overbridge. Turn left to follow Riyadh sign.
Make next fuel stop here. This is located 300m down after making left turn on overbridge on Road 85


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′

Interchange to transfer from Road 85 to Road 10. Make right turn here.
Approaching interchange before Saudi Cement Company. Turn right. Go straight will lead you to Riyadh
Road 10 varies from 2 to 3 to 4 lanes. Some undergoing maintenance work. Expect detours. Seen here Saudi Cement Company on right.
Interchange to transfer from Road 10 to Road 95. Turn right
Road 95 to Causeway. Keep left to go to Bahrain
Toll Gate Ahead information board on Road 95
King Fahad Causeway. Approaching Passport Island where Saudi-Bahrain immigration/borders located at.
On Passport Island approaching Saudi border side. Turn right to go to Saudi Tower or left to go directly to Saudi immigration


Saudi-Bahrain Causeway Immigration Process (outbound)

Saudi Border:
1. Police/Vehicle Clearance. Get exit paper.
2. Passport check

Bahrain Border:
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)

Bahrain Border:
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.

Saudi Border:
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

Saudi Border:
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:

  1. First booth: Passport stamped
  2. Second booth: Produce exit paper.
  3. Insurance Booth. Ignore it if you have Qatari vehicle.
  4. 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!


26 thoughts on “Guide to Doha – Bahrain by Road: Part 2 – Route and Immigration Processes”

  1. i would like you to send me the copy of your trip this is a big help for me because i have a plan to go to bahrain and visit my brother thank you very much for sharing your trip to bahrain ang you really give us an idea and guidance. more power

  2. Hallo Wahyu,

    Good job for all the new travellers. I am willing to travel from saudi-khobar to Doha-Qatar tomorrow. I would like to know more about border crossing procedure at Salwa border. If you can send some steps , it willhelp me a lot. Thanks and appricited your work to keep such Good explainetory info for travellers. Prakash

    1. Hi Prakash, the saudi-qatar border process is explained in the bottom part of the post. The only difference is that you need to have Qatar insurance because you drive a non-Qatari vehicle. Good luck and be safe!

  3. Great write-up.
    We [myself, my friend and her husband] are planning a road trip to Bahrain this EID. We plan to rent a 4×4. Could you suggest any rentals and the approx cost for a 6 day rent.
    Also suggest me the places of visit in Bahrain for adults, and the approx cost for the total trip. we can manage a place to stay through friends.

    1. Hello Bobby,
      First I think you need to make sure that your car rent agent allows you to take the car to Bahrain from Qatar. A typical car rent cost for sedan is between 80-2000QR per day, while 4×4 may go as high as 450QR a day, with in average around 300QR.
      Cost associated with road trp to Bahrain from Qatar can be seen here:
      Bear in mind that during Eid, causeway to Bahrain may be so crowded and therefore longer immigration processes.
      Places of visit in Bahrain can be read from my other post (Bahrain Day 1, Day 2). To me regardless age, the followings are a must: Bahrain National Museum, Tree of Life, and Bahrain Fort. For Adults, nightlife in Hoora (The Exhibitions Avenue) is probably on the top list. If you have time a visit to La Fontaine Centre of Contemparary Art in Ras Ruman, Hoora Avenue.

      Hope this helps.

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for the comprehensive guide you posted.

    We’re planning a trip inshallah from Bahrain to Doha, and would like to confirm the number of fuel stations on the way through. Both ways, Bahrain-Doha, and Doha-Bahrain.

    I would very much appreciate it if you can reply to me by email, but i’ll try to check this page again if i didn’t find anything in my email.

    Thanks again.

    1. Dear Mahmood,
      You shouldn’t worry much about fuel stations as they are many along the road and Bahrain-Doha is quite a short distance. One full tank at the time of departure plus one more fuel stop will do.

      Bahrain-Doha: there is a fuel station right after causeway. Ican’t remember but for sure there i fuel station along Bahrain-Abqaiq. There are two stations at Abqaiq (you should make detour). At Hofuf, there are at least two on Hofuf outer ring road. Few km before Saudi-Qatar there is one fuel station.

      Doha-Bahrain: one fuel station about 10km after border. Then one in Hofuf after airport. Then the same stations in Abqaiq.

  5. 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.

    1. Hi NIlesh, thanks for the feedback. At the time of my driving that ring road wasn’t finished yet. It is good that it’s now ready for bypassing Hofuf. Again thanks for update. I’ll use this info to update the guide.

  6. hi gus
    pls let me know ,i want to go to baharain by land from qatar.i have QID.but my pathaka catagary is low.

  7. Sir may I ask ? The car is not under my name .. But I have no objection certificate from the car owner.. May I ask do I need to get other documents for the said travel ? I’m planning to go to alkhobar this coming October 1 by road trip.

    1. Hi Edward, I guess you need copy of car owner’s ID, and obviously car istimarah. Let me know how it goes…

  8. Dear Wahyu,
    Salam Alikom , Mashalla you’re great help for every body, I can not find any thing like this any where in the net. it is encyclopedia for the first time traveler. mashalah you reflect real helping Muslim personality, Jazzak Allah Khair.
    I’ll copy and paste all of this and print it due my trip next month inshalah.

    would you suggest any apartments/restaurants/places to go/ in Bahrain?
    Thank you

    1. Dear Assam. You may continue reading posts about Bahrain. See under “Bahrain & Eastern Saudi” category.

      1. Dears,

        Shall i knew the safety of driving from saudi border to hafuf travel which takes around 120 km in complete desert in day time

  9. Hi,
    It should be line. The road – although not in prime condition – is dual-lane dual carriageway. However no median barrier. So beware of vehicles making illegal crossing or U-turn. You can still expect load of traffic in daytime between saudi border and hofuf including heavy truck. Dunes may encroach road at some parts for that warning signs are given. Petrol stations are available (at least 2-3).

    Have a safe driving

Comments are closed.