5 Epic Middle East Road Trips Every Car Lover Needs To Go On
Road tripping in Saudi Arabia or any other country in the Middle East is easier than you imagine. All you need is a passport, a Saudi Arabia eVisa (or a visa to whichever Middle East country you are visiting), a little cash to pay for a rental car, and an international driving permit. And in case you are wondering whether the region has any epic driving roads that can excite a road trip enthusiast like you, well, the serene seas, vast desert, and rocky cliffs that define the Middle East will make your road trip the most memorable you’ve had yet!
This article explores 5 epic Middle East road trips that every car lover needs to go on. But before that, it is important to mention that you will need a 4×4 drive for most of the trips we’ve listed here. A lifted Toyota Hilux or a Nissan Patrol will do. Now let’s dive into the meat and potatoes of this topic:
1. Saudi To Bahrain
This border crossing twists and turns through the Arabian sea, the city of Al Khobar, all the way to the Island Kingdom of Bahrain. You will love the raw beauty of the iconic 25-km-long King Fahd causeway, as you enjoy the cool breeze from the Arabian Sea. However, there are way too many riders plying this route during peak seasons/hours, so you need to confirm with your local tour guide on the right time of day to take the trip.
2. Dibba, UAE
Dibba is 130kms from Dubai and 285kms from Abu Dhabi. There are several epic roads from Dibba that go around the UAE’s east coast. Road tripping here is your chance to escape the hectic city life and enjoy the country’s panoramic views at a laid-back pace. You can go all the way to Oman, but you must have your passport with you otherwise you will be denied entry into Oman.
3. Saudi to Oman
This is the longest road trip in Arabia. It passes via the metropolises of the UAE before entering Oman. Even with its small landmass, Oman is arguably the most historical and most beautiful nation in the Middle East. That means charming coastal towns, breathtaking mountain ranges, endless nature reserves, and dramatic trekking trails. You will encounter all those and more on your road trip to Oman. You can also take breaks for fishing and bird watching.
Note: There are future plans to create a direct route to Oman from Saudi, via the Rub Al Khali desert. Road trippers will surely love passing through the desert.
4. Ittin, Salalah, Dhofar, Oman
Ittin is located in Dhofar, on the mountains above Salalah, which is approximately 1,000 kilometers from the capital of Muscat. It receives the most rain in the whole of the Middle East (which makes it the greenest spot in Oman) and experiences strong winds all year round. Ittin has a religious significance because according to history, Ayoub (or Job in English Bibles) took this road thousands of years ago.
If you can drive for 1000 kilometers, just rent a 4×4 drive and hit the road. It will be tiring, maybe it will take you a couple of days to reach Salalah, but the fun is worth it. Besides, the landscape here is always lush, pleasant and vibrantly green, which is a sharp contrast to the popular brown landscape of the Middle East.
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5. Amman to Petra, Jordan
You can either take The Desert Highway 15 or the King’s Highway to Amman from Petra, and vice versa. The routes are filled with touristy sites, including the Umm-ar Rasas, the Kerak Castle, and the Shobak Castle. Both routes pass through northern Jordan before heading south all the way to Wadi Musa in Petra. The King’s Highway connects with Highway 47 to continue to Aqaba so, if you still have some energy to spare, by all means, drive to Aqaba. You will enjoy the view of endless valleys and hills along the way and if you choose to drive at night, you will be mesmerized by the beautiful star-lit sky.
The Middle East is home to archaeological ruins, ancient towns, and epic pathways- Just the right ingredients for an epic road trip. The region is opening up for tourists, so most of its cities are inter-connected by good road networks. You can bet that you will have a great time!