Updated July 2023
Embark on an unforgettable journey from the UAE to Qatar by road and indulge your passion for driving. With smooth highways, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural gems to explore, this cross-country adventure promises an exhilarating and fulfilling experience on wheels.”
Are you looking to take the road from the UAE to Doha? Here’s Wego’s quick guide that tells you everything you need to know before your road trip.
Please note: Qatar’s Ministry of Interior has announced that Qatari citizens and GCC residents will be allowed to enter the country without a Hayya card. Only non-GCC tourists and visitors will require the Hayya card.
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How long does it take to reach Doha from the UAE?
While flights take only 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach Doha from the UAE, airfares have been skyrocketing following the increased demand for flight tickets. Instead, driving to Doha is cheaper and enjoyable, too, especially for those with a passion for driving.
Dubai to Doha: 693.9 km
Time duration: 7 hours
Speed: 90-100 km/h
Abu Dhabi to Doha: 588.7 km
Time duration: 6 hours
Speed: 90-100 km/h
How to drive to Doha from the UAE?
After acquiring proper vehicle insurance and visa, you can easily drive your way to Doha from the UAE.
To reach Doha, you will have to travel through Saudi Arabia after crossing the Ghuwaifat border post, the border crossing to Saudi Arabia on the transit road to Qatar. After crossing Salwa, the Saudi Arabia-Qatar border, you will be entering Qatar. The transit road, which is around 120 km between these two borders, is in excellent condition, and you can have a hassle-free drive.
However, border clearance in Ghuwaifat and Salwa may even take upto two hours, depending on traffic and scrutiny.
Crossing Abu Samra border
According to officials, the Abu Samra border crossing is now available to visitors and can now handle 4,000 travellers per hour thanks to enhanced facilities and free parking. According to the latest provisions by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MOI), you can skip immigration queues at the border by pre-registering your vehicle on the Hayya portal.
Pre-registering your vehicle
In order to pre-register your vehicle to pass quickly through the Abu Samra border, go to the official Hayya portal and click on “Abu Samra border pre-registration”. You will be required to sign in with your email address and portal. If you do not have an account, sign up using your email address and a verification code sent to you.
Once you have logged in, click on the “Add vehicle” button and enter the details of your vehicle. The details required are:
- car name – car model and manufacturer’s name.
- vehicle owner’s name and mobile number.
- which GCC country the vehicle is registered in.
– If you selected UAE, select the Emirate that the vehicle is registered under.
- car’s plate number.
– Select the vehicle type as ‘Private’ and select the plate colour.
You will receive an SMS once the details are verified, after which you are required to send the following documents:
- A passport copy.
- A Qatar entry permit for GCC residents – you must apply for the visa before pre-registering your vehicle. .
- UAE residence visa or GCC resident permit (if you are a GCC resident).
- After you have submitted the application, you need to make sure you complete all your vehicle insurance payments 24 hours before your arrival at the Abu Samra border check point, according to MOI Qatar.
After submitting the documents, you’ll receive a tracking number via mobile and email. Once approved by Hayya Portal, an email with the vehicle entry permit grants access to the Pre-Registration lane at the Abu Samra border crossing.
For GCC nationals, residents, and anyone with Qatari ID cards (cars with Qatari number plates)
They must enter the country as frequently as they would under normal situations, provided that:
- They must be driven in a vehicle with a Qatari license plate.
- The use of a Hayya card is optional.
Arriving to Qatar by bus
The following prerequisites must be met in order for fans arriving by bus to enter:
- All passengers are required to carry a Hayya Card.
- Reach the arrivals hall at the checkpoint to complete the entry procedures into the country.
- Take the Qatar buses from the border to Doha Central Station (Al Messila) or to the Family and Friends Meet and Greet Area outside the border at Al Qalayel.
Commercial trucks will be allowed to enter through the Abu Samra Border Crossing from 11PM to 6AM from 15 November to 22 December to ensure smooth entry for football fans.
Emiratis will need a visa to travel between countries, and this can be easily applied for online. However, they must have third-party insurance to cover them for the GCC.
Those looking to enter the Kingdom by road need to have a valid visa for both countries.
Hayya Card is mandatory for entry to Qatar. UAE residents are eligible for visa-free entry into Qatar for upto 30 days. Visitors wishing to avail of this visa scheme may be asked to present official documentation stating their profession upon entry to Qatar.
Vehicle insurance is necessary to enter Saudi Arabia and Qatar. All travellers, upon reaching the Saudi border, will be required to buy mandatory vehicle insurance for around 220 SAR, which will be valid for 15 days. While returning back to the UAE through Saudi Arabia, if your insurance had expired by then, you will once again be required to buy insurance. To avoid this, it is recommended to get GCC-wide insurance, either for a few months (at around AED 190) or year-long insurance (at around AED 500).
If you do not own a car, you can go for car rentals, which start from about AED 200 per day. However, make sure to check that the rental company allows you to drive the car out of the country, as only a handful of car rentals in the UAE permit drivers to do so. Keep all necessary documents like rental agreement and car ownership ready, along with insurance.
Most rental companies will ask for the following:
- Sufficient available funds for the car’s deposit.
- A valid driving license.
- Passport or any other ID the rent company needs to see.
Parking your car in Qatar
If you bring your own vehicle to Qatar, you will need to pay AED 5043 for the vehicle entry permit. This exceptional entry permit will only be granted to fans with confirmed accommodation for at least five nights. There must also be a minimum of at least three passengers in the car when crossing the border. You have to pre-book your parking space as well.
This requirement only applies to fans outside of citizens, residents and GCC nationals who have a Qatari ID card driving a vehicle with local number plates.