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Driving Car from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi

Hi People,

It has been a while since my last post. Now, I feel a necessity to write information that i hope would be useful. If you are "lucky" that you are a citizen of a country that need to obtain visa before coming to UAE, then this article might be useful for you. I was dwelling around when applying this visa, I hope it does not happen to you. This is because that is not much information on internet.

I posted an article how to apply visa for Dubai in here. I thought it would the same process and website for Abu Dhabi. But, then I could not find Al-Gouifat Port as the arrival port. Al-Gouifat Port is the land border between Saudi Arabia and UAE. I chat with an UAE's MOI agent (you can find how in here), who tells me that for Abu Dhabi you need to use this website. If you are also planning to apply visa for your family, then you need to apply for your visa first, as your approved visa need to be attached on your family visa application. Don't apply your family visa along with your application. I'm not going to tell you step-by-step process, as it is really straight forward form, but I'll tell you few issues that I had and how to solve it in the process.

  1. Login to your account, scroll down until you see "Browse Smart Service" then choose Visa - GCC - Resident of GCC or Resident of GCC (Single Visa). It does not matter whether you choose Resident of GCC or Resident of GCC (Single Visa). However, once your visa approved, I'd prefer to choose "Resident of GCC" to apply for family visa, as you can apply and pay all processes in one time shot. Attached your passport, Iqama, Work Certificate, and Photo.
  2. Photo has to be really specific size and resolution, as requested on the website. I used, Windows 10 default Photo software to edit and Crop. On the top right corner of software, choose Edit  - Crop and Rotate - Aspect Ratio - Square, then save. Sizing the photo using Paint, then Resize. If I remember correctly the maximum resolution accepted by the website is 1200x1200. It happened to me that despite the photo seems to be already sized according to website requirements, but still I received error message. I solved it by using the Website editing software. After uploading the photo, then crop the photo by clicking on Edit button (the one with pen symbol), crop the image, save then download the photo to your PC, then re-upload.
  3. After your visa approved, then you can apply for the family by attaching your approved visa on their applications. I got mine within 30 hours and my family within 24 hour.
  4. It does appear disclaimer when you choose arrival port as yo can see on below picture.
Before I conclude, I just wanted to tell you that I went through Kharj Road all the way to Abu Dhabi. There was no issue at all, despite some concerns of small road, etc. But the road in my opinion is quite good with two lanes (two lane for Going, space and Two lane for return). With this road, i could save 100km rather than using Hasa road.

But, on the way back from Abu Dhabi, if you wanted to use the Kharj road, then you'll have to go left to take U-turn after seeing Fuel Station on your right (after passing Saudi immigration). This is a bit tricky, as there is no sign at all. The U-turn is small, and it's actually broken barrier. You'll see a lot of trucks passing this U-turn. The save way is keep your Google Map ready after Saudi Immigration if you don't want to miss this U-Turn. In case you missed, My friend told me that the next U-turn to Kharj is few kilometers away.

If I can recommend, don't drive at night time on Saudi Side, as it has no lights at all and you'll have to be cautious of our friends, the "CAMEL" passing the road. On Abu Dhabi side, it's just fine to drive at night as it has road lights.

Wish you an enjoyable trip ..