UAE to Qatar by bus
Have you made plans to visit Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022, but the flight ticket rates have skyrocketed? Don’t worry; we have got you covered.
The road trip from the UAE to Qatar is around 600 kilometres and should take six to seven hours, depending on border controls. But if you are driving to Qatar for the World Cup, it’ll cost you Dhs5,043 for international fans who are planning to drive their own vehicles.
So now, that leaves us with the cheapest option – Bus!
How to travel by bus from UAE to Qatar for FIFA
First and foremost, is your Hayya card ready? You probably know by now, the Hayya card is a mandatory document that is required for all international travelers planning to enter Qatar between Tuesday, November 1, 2022, and Monday, January 23, 2023.
Also with a Hayya card, you can invite up to three friends or family to attend the tournament, with the Hayya with Me (1+3) feature.
The next step is Saudi visa. The journey from the UAE to Qatar will take you through two borders – UAE To Saudi Arabia (Ghuwaifat) and Saudi Arabia to Qatar (Salwa). Hence Saudi visa is a must.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offers free electronic visa for all Hayya card holders (international fans). The country offers multi-entry visa for all Hayya card holders, which will allow them to enter and exit Saudi Arabia at any time during its validity period, from November 11 to December 18 of this year, which is the duration of the World Cup in Qatar.
Hayya entry permit is required to apply for the Saudi evisa. If you have an approved Hayya Card, Hayya entry permits will be emailed to you.
How to apply for Saudi evisa for Hayya card holders
To apply for your Saudi multi-entry visa as a Hayya Card holder, follow the below steps:
- Go to the Saudi Visa platform website: MOFA
- Click on “Services for Hayya Card holders”
- Click on the “Apply” button.
- Register to begin the process of applying for the visa.
- Fill up the application details, upload your photo with white background, Hayya entry permit, and your passport copy.
- Pay for the medical insurance and submit. The insurance amount is USD 24.
Note: Passport validity should be atleast six months or over, to obtain the Saudi visa.
You will receive visa status updates on your registered email. Usually, the visa is processed as early as 5-10 minutes from your submission.
Final Step: Book your bus from UAE to Qatar
Now that you have your Hayya entry permit and Saudi evisa ready, final step is to book your bus from UAE to Qatar.
Deira Saptco bus service from the Saudi government is the best and cheap option to travel from UAE to Saudi-Qatar border. It costs only Dh220 for adults and Dh150 for children 2-12 years. (04 271 0620).
How long is the bus journey?
Saptco bus leaves from Deira – Dubai at 2PM sharp. On the way, it picks up passengers from Abu Dhabi.
The journey from Dubai to UAE border (Ghuwaifat) takes around 4.5 hours. Once you reach Ghuwaifat, UAE immigration can be done very quick (there’s a charge of Dh40 per head at the UAE immigration counter).
Once you exit from UAE, next is the entry to Saudi Arabia. Passport stamping doesn’t take much of a time, but security check is little strict and quite time consuming. Every baggage that you carry is thoroughly scanned.
By 8PM (UAE time), the bus leaves for Salwa after Saudi check in and security check is completed.
The bus reaches Salwa by 10PM. There’s a free SAPTCO shuttle bus from Salwa that takes you to Saudi immigration checkpoint for the exit process and then drop you at Abu Samra border. The Abu Samra border crossing is the land port between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
You reach Abu Samra by 11-11:30PM. You need to present your Hayya card and valid passport for the entry at the checkpoint. Qatar has set up a comfortable tent to receive more than 4,000 people per hour, so the entry procedures are very quick.
There’s again free shuttle bus from Abu Samra checkpoint to Doha Central Station (Al Messila) or to the Family and Friends Meet and Greet Area outside the border at Al Qalayel, which is 2km away from the Abu Samra land border terminal.
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