Abu Samra Crossing Your Guide to Driving from Qatar to Saudi Arabia

How to Travel to Saudi Arabia via Road from Qatar?

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By Hamza

Contemplating a road trip adventure from Qatar to Saudi Arabia? The Abu Samra Border crossing streamlines your journey, offering a convenient land passage between the two nations.

This guide unravels the visa process, explores the Abu Samra border crossing, and equips you with everything you need for a smooth journey across the peninsula.

Documents required to travel to Saudi Arabia by Road from Qatar

Before embarking on your road trip to Saudi Arabia, it is crucial to gather the necessary documents to ensure a smooth and seamless experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Qatar Identification Document (QID): As a resident of Qatar, your QID serves as a vital form of identification and must be carried with you throughout your journey.
  • Passport: A valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity is an absolute must. Make sure your passport is up-to-date and easily accessible.
  • Driving License: If you plan to be the driver during your road trip, don’t forget to pack your valid driving license. It’s a legal requirement to operate a vehicle in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
  • Valid Visa: A valid visa for Saudi Arabia is a non-negotiable requirement. We’ll delve deeper into the visa application process in the subsequent sections.
  • Valid Vehicle Documents: Whether you’re traveling in your own vehicle or a rental, ensure that you have all the necessary vehicle documents, including registration and insurance papers.

How to Apply for a Tourist Visa to Travel to Saudi Arabia?

As a GCC resident, you are eligible for the convenient Tourist Visa (e-visa), which can be obtained either online or through the Tasheer Visa Center in Doha. Here’s how you can go about the process:

Online Visa Application

  • Visit the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and follow the prompts to apply for your e-visa.
  • Confirm your eligibility by checking the “Visa Requirements” page on the Visit Saudi website.
  • Note that the e-visa can be used for tourism, events, or Umrah purposes but cannot be utilized for the Hajj pilgrimage.
  • The e-visa fee is QR 290.59 (SAR 300), excluding the medical insurance, which starts at QR 36.5 ($10) and may vary based on the insurance provider.

Tasheer Visa Center in Doha

  • If you prefer assistance with the visa application process, visit the Tasheer Visa Center at Ezdan Mall Gharaffa.
  • Submit the following documents: original passport (valid for at least 6 months, except for American nationals), a recent photograph with a white background, and a copy of your valid Qatar ID (valid for at least 3 months).
  • You can book an appointment online or visit the center directly to secure one.
  • On your appointment date, visit the center to submit your documents and complete the biometric procedure.
  • The application process typically takes one day, after which you can collect your passport from the visa center.
  • The visa fee at the Tasheer Visa Center is approximately QR 522, inclusive of the visa cost, service fees, medical fees, and Enjaz fees. Additional charges may apply for lounge services.
  • The visa center accepts cash payments only.

What Vehicle Documents are Required When Traveling to Saudi Arabia via Road from Qatar?

Vehicle Registration

  • If the vehicle you’re traveling in is registered under your name, ensure you have your Vehicle Registration (Istimara) with you.
  • If the vehicle is not your own, you’ll need to obtain an authorization letter from the vehicle owner.

Vehicle Insurance

  • Vehicle insurance is mandatory, and you can purchase it easily at the Abu Samra Border.
  • The cost of vehicle insurance starts at QR 116.48 (SAR 120) for one week and varies based on the duration of stay and vehicle type (private, taxi, truck, motorcycle, or bus).

What is the Procedure at the Abu Samra Border?

Pre-Registering Your Vehicle

To enhance your border crossing experience, you can pre-register your vehicle for Abu Samra Border crossing through one of the following portals:

  • Metrash2 (for residents)
  • Hayya portal (for visitors)

While pre-registration is designed to streamline the process, it is not mandatory. You can still complete the registration directly at the Abu Samra Border if you prefer.

Exiting Qatar

  1. Upon arrival at the Abu Samra Border, approach the first booth, which is Qatar’s immigration checkpoint. Here, you’ll need to provide your personal documents for validation.
  2. Drive a short distance to the next stop, the Saudi Arabian immigration/customs building, where you’ll complete the biometric procedure (fingerprints, eye scan, and photo capture). Note that there are separate buildings and queues for men and women, as well as GCC citizens and GCC residents.
  3. If you’ve applied for your visa through the Tasheer Visa Center, you won’t need to complete the biometric procedure again, as it would have been done during the visa application process.
  4. Once your biometrics are complete, your personal documents and visa will be checked by immigration officers.
  5. Proceed to the next checkpoint, where your vehicle documents will be inspected and validated. If you haven’t purchased vehicle insurance yet, you can do so at this point. Remember to hold onto your insurance receipt, as you’ll need to present it upon your return to Qatar.

Re-Entering Qatar

  • Multiple routes can be taken from Saudi Arabia when returning to Qatar, depending on your starting point.
  • One option is the newly opened Al Uqayr-Salwa coastal road, which connects Dammam to the Qatar border in approximately 2 hours (timings may vary).
  • If you’re a Qatari resident or citizen re-entering Qatar via the Abu Samra Border, the only procedure required is the scanning of your QID and passport.
  • If you’re a visitor to Qatar on any type of visitor visa, you’ll need to go through the immigration procedure at the Abu Samra Border.

By following these guidelines and adhering to the necessary requirements, you can embark on an unforgettable road trip from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of the Arabian Peninsula’s cultural wonders and breathtaking landscapes.

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