Hit the Road this Eid: Top Destinations for Your Road Trip Adventure

Hit the Road this Eid: Top Destinations for Your Road Trip Adventure

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

By Dipti Nair

Eid al-Fitr is just around the corner, and we are all excited about a well-deserved break. With the upcoming holiday coinciding with the weekend, you'll have a generous 4-5 days to embark on a getaway from Qatar to nearby tourist hotspots. With airfares reaching the sky during this peak season, this might be a good time to get your car serviced and head out on an adventurous road trip. Here is a selection of our favorite spots to drive to from Qatar.

 

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabia border is at Abu Samra and takes just over one hour to drive from Doha. During Eid holidays, there could be a huge rush at the border crossing and can take between 2-3 hours. Plan your journey accordingly. You can also avail yourself of the pre-registration services for the Abu Samra Border Crossing through Metrash2 to complete departure and arrivals procedures at the border through a fast lane.

 

Hofuf

Distance from Doha: 265 km

Drive Time: 3.5 hours

Main attractions: Al Qarah Mountains, Al Ahsa Oasis

Hofuf, also known as Al-Ahsa, is a short drive from Doha and has a blend of historical sites, natural wonders, and cultural attractions. It is one of the oldest inhabited areas in the world and boasts a rich history and cultural heritage. The Al Qarah Mountains are a unique natural landmark featuring a series of caves that were once inhabited by ancient civilizations. Also drop in at the Al Ahsa Oasis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the largest date palm plantations in the world.

 

Dammam

Distance from Doha: 335 km

Drive Time: 4 hours

Main attractions: Dolphin Village, King Fahd Park, Half Moon Bay

Once you enter Saudi Arabia, follow on the sign boards towards Dammam. It’s a broad, coastal road and very scenic. There are not many petrol stations enroute, so it is better to fuel up at the petrol station, close to the border. The drive time is around 4 hours. Dammam, located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, may not be as famous for tourism as other cities in the region like Riyadh or Jeddah, but it does offer some interesting attractions like King Fahd Park, Half Moon Bay, Dolphin Village, Corniche, and the Regional Museum.

 

Riyadh

Distance from Doha: 590 km

Drive Time: 7 hours

Main attractions: Kingdom Tower, Edge of the World, Boulevard World

 

The drive to Riyadh is much longer than Dammam but the roads are similar – long and deserted for the most part. There are fewer petrol stations enroute so remember to fuel up every chance you get. Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, stands as a symbol of the country's rich history and rapid modernization. It’s a business hub and offers diverse attractions. The Riyadh Season is on till the end of April, and it might be a good time to experience it.

 

Bahrain

Qatar has no direct land border with Bahrain, so you must go through Saudi Arabia and that means crossing two land borders, at Abu Samra to get into Saudi Arabia, and then you will need to drive to the King Fahd Causeway, a 25-km gorgeous bridge connecting Saudi and Bahrain. Most of the journey is through deserted Saudi roads, so ensure to stock up on supplies and fuel. While the drive time is only 5 hours to Bahrain, keep in mind that you need to cross two land borders and during Eid al-Fitr there might be a lot of delays.

Manama

Distance from Doha: 380 km

Drive Time: 5 hours

Main attractions: Bab Al Bahrain, Bahrain Fort

 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

UAE is an ideal tourist destination, offering a mix of culture and modernity and each of its seven Emirates is worth a visit. You can drive to UAE from Qatar, via Saudi Arabia, crossing the Abu Samra border in Saudi and then proceed to the Al Batha/Ghuwaifat border to get into Abu Dhabi. The Ghuwaifat border in Abu Dhabi can be very crowded during Eid with many from Saudi Arabia also travelling to UAE for the break. Factor an additional 2-3 hours into your travel time to accommodate border delays.

 

Abu Dhabi

Distance from Doha: 610 km

Drive Time: 6.5 hours

Main attractions: Ferrari World, Louvre Museum, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, boasts a unique fusion of ancient cultural landmarks and modern skyscrapers. As the largest of the Emirates, it offers many iconic attractions including unique mosques, museums, and theme parks.

 

Dubai

Distance from Doha: 740 km

Drive Time: 8 hours

Main attractions: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Museum of the Future

Dubai, one of the most popular destinations in the Middle East, boasts lavish architecture, amazing skylines, giant shopping malls and world class tourist attractions. From the tallest building in the world, to the largest aquarium in a mall and deepest pool in the world, Dubai is all about being the best and most extravagant.

 

Oman

Driving to Oman from Qatar will test your adventurous limits as it’s a unique and thrilling journey through vast barren deserts interspersed with stunning views of sand dunes and mountains. You must again go through Saudi Arabia to get to Oman, through a road called the Empty Quarter. There are not many petrol stations during this stretch, and it is advisable to carry extra petrol with you for this trip. You also need to exercise caution during the drive as sandstorms are common, especially at night.

Muscat

Distance from Doha: 1100 km

Drive Time: 12 hours

Main attractions: Grand Mosque, Wadi Bani Khalid, Royal Opera House

Muscat, the capital of Oman, is an ancient city nestled between rocky mountains and vast deserts. The architecture of the city has Arab, Portuguese, Persian, Indian, African, and modern Western influences.

 

Salalah

Distance from Doha: 1800 km

Drive Time: 19 hours

Main attractions: Museum of Frankincense Land, Al Baleed Archeological Park

Salalah is full of lush mountains and greenery that comes alive during the monsoon season. Unlike any other city in Oman, its rich culture and history are evident in museums, forts, mosques and souqs.

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