Take your vehicle to the traffic dept at Madinat Khalifa 10 days before you leave – but not to the main building. The correct building is on the opposite side of Khalifa St, take a right just before D ring road, then 1st right again. From here you buy insurance (to cover you for 10 days while on export plates), change your plates and get your export certificate. Total cost of all this was about 500 QR and it was straight forward. Paperwork required was only ID and istimara.
Get a refund on your existing insurance as this is no longer valid due to changing the registration of your car.
Apply for Saudi transit visa. I used Ihsan Al Khaleej and got my passport back in 2 days (don’t forget about weekends). 150 QR agency fee/visa cost plus 100 QR health insurance (Bupa not accepted apparently). Documents required are passport, ID copy, vehicle export certificate, 2 photos. You must get your vehicle export certificate before applying for Saudi visa as the car registration number is printed on the visa so this needs to match your car. 30 day validity, 3 day duration.
Cancel Qatar visa.
Cancel kahramaa and ooredoo. Send these documents and your visa cancellation to landlord to get rent cheques returned if necessary.
Exit within 7 days of visa cancellation and 10 days of vehicle export insurance. Paperwork required is passport with Saudi visa, export certificate and visa cancellation copy. Start early – total door to door time from Qatar to Dubai was 18 hours.
Navigate customs and immigration on the Qatar side of the border (200QR fees)
Navigate customs and immigration on the Saudi side of the border (400QR fees and 150QR insurance)
Transit Saudi (approx. 1.5 hours)
Navigate customs and immigration on the Saudi side of the border (no fees)
Navigate customs and immigration on the UAE side of the border (5% duty on car value, plus other charges and insurance amounting to about 600 QR). Collect Vehicle Clearance Certificate (VCC). UAE customs took a long time. It was only possible to buy insurance valid for 10 days at the border. You must have a valid employment visa in place in order to clear UAE customs and bring the car into the country.
Drive to Dubai (approx. 5 hours).
Renew insurance before expiry of the 10 day insurance purchased at the border. I used ADNIC since they were able to insure my vehicle whilst it was still on export plates and the same insurance was valid following UAE registration, 12 months insurance period.
Obtain UAE residency permit. On the same day I exchanged my UK licence for UAE driving licence, which was 16 days after arriving in the country. As far as I know my Qatar licence (and therefore also my UAE insurance) was valid for this period.
Register vehicle in UAE. Documents required: Passport with visa, UAE residency permit, UAE drivers licence, VCC, vehicle inspection report, insurance. It is possible to do the inspection, registration and number plates all at the same location (Tasjeer) – I used the branch near Mall of the Emirates which was open on Saturday mornings. This was a straight forward process. Registration cost 450 AED, but this is only 120 AED more than renewal so there is little cost involved in registering a new vehicle.
Overall exporting my car from Qatar to UAE was fairly straight forward. The only difficulty was the effort required to navigate customs through four border crossings, which was laborious and time consuming – 18 hours door to door. If you are not relocating to the UAE then the trip is far easier as no customer are involved – all you need is your istimara.
My total car related costs were around 2000 QAR in fees plus 5% of the value for UAE duty, but by having my car from day one in UAE I avoided 2000 AED for UAE car rental and I was able to bring a car full of personal belongings with me. Plus I avoided the hassle of selling in Qatar and buying in UAE.
One thing to consider however is the value of the vehicle in Qatar vs UAE. Cars are typically more expensive in Qatar so there may be a hidden cost in value reduction.
Another thing to consider is that this trip is not possible the other way round if the velicle is more than 5 years old.