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Middle East Topics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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  #16  
Old 10 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by brend View Post
hello
I have a few questions. We have 2 free weeks left when we are in aqaba. So maybe we want to drive to oman and UAE. Is it worth to drive all the way through Saudi-Arabia to see Oman and UAE?
I'm also interested in the distances in Saudi-Arabia. Is the shortest/fastest way from Aqaba to UAE 3000km? and is there anybody who knows the distance from oman (by example salalah) to aqaba?

Many thanks in advance

greetz brend
Oman is my favorite place in the Gulf, parts of it are beautiful.

I'd recommend flying to Oman and hiring a car there. Can you get transit visas OK? It's big miles from from Aqaba to Salalah, I drove from Riyadh to Muscat via Abu Dhabi and down the coast to Ras al Jinz and it was around 2250 km each way and took three days.

You'll be driving for a week there and back.
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  #17  
Old 11 Apr 2010
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Hi Red Snapper, thanks for the advice, all very helpful. I've been doing loads of route planning and the main issue seems to be the lack of places to stay between Al Jobayl (where my biker mate lives, not Damman as I thought) and anywhere else. I guess we could do Jobayl to Hafralbatin at 420km, then Hafralbatin to Hail, 770km, the Hail to Tabouk at 680km then Tabouk to Aqaba at 260km. That makes 4 days in all at a more realistic pace. We plan to depart May 2011, and yes we understand the heat and dont underestimate the effects, the main issue seems to be the huge distances between towns. Staying in Tabouk will give us planty of time to see the station and the remains of the Hejaz railway. We plan a shake down tour from Qatar to Oman this winter, no good for experiencing hot weather riding, but should at least allow us to work out how many pairs of underpants to pack! Thanks for all your advice, Rob
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  #18  
Old 11 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by QatarRider View Post
Hi Red Snapper, thanks for the advice, all very helpful. I've been doing loads of route planning and the main issue seems to be the lack of places to stay between Al Jobayl (where my biker mate lives, not Damman as I thought) and anywhere else. I guess we could do Jobayl to Hafralbatin at 420km, then Hafralbatin to Hail, 770km, the Hail to Tabouk at 680km then Tabouk to Aqaba at 260km. That makes 4 days in all at a more realistic pace. We plan to depart May 2011, and yes we understand the heat and dont underestimate the effects, the main issue seems to be the huge distances between towns. Staying in Tabouk will give us planty of time to see the station and the remains of the Hejaz railway. We plan a shake down tour from Qatar to Oman this winter, no good for experiencing hot weather riding, but should at least allow us to work out how many pairs of underpants to pack! Thanks for all your advice, Rob

You may be riding in temperatures of 110F / 40+ C so riding early morning/ late afternoon is best, getting out of the sun at mid day. The facilities at some of the roadside garages may not meet your standards

Camping is not usually a problem in KSA, it's huge and empty inland and if you get away from the main highway out of site you won't have any problems, unless you are in a restricted area.

Carry a shade cloth to rig between bikes if you break down or take time out of the sun.

The glare can be something else, good sunglasses are essential.

Lightweight riding gear in light colours, well ventilated is best to minimise solar gain.

Carry lots and lots of water and rehydration salts. You can get through 12 litres a day in the open in Saudi in Summer.

Relative humidity in from the coast is very low so look after your eyes. They can dry out and the dust can cause a few problems.

Good Luck! And if you go in may 2011 let me know, I might hook up with you through Saudi.
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  #19  
Old 12 Apr 2010
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Hi QatarRider, just a remark to the Hejaz station in Tabuk. In my opinion it is not worth a visit. The whole area is fenced off and is not open to the public. You can just look through the iron bars. Not much details of the station and the other railway installation are preserved. Suggest you visit the installation in Mada'in Saleh: station, workshops, railcar wagons etc are well maintained there.

As regards landscape: the part East of Ha'il is more or less flat and for me it was boring. However, around Ha'il and West of it (e.g. Al Ula) but also towards Jordan I enjoyed it - black rocks/mountains, hilly and this Spring in some places green.

I tried to enter Riyadh by my own car, but made a U-turn, some 5 km before the center - too risky.

You may want to consider also to spend a night in Al Majma'ha: small town where you will find your way easlily, with good infrastructure (incl hotel).

regards
Hans

PS. Crossed KSA twice this year: once in February and once in March
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  #20  
Old 18 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by Bin Ridin View Post
After Tabuk, which crossing are you heading for? You could follow north to Halit Amma where there are remnants of the Hijaz Railway., and 15kms over the border, there is a road to the West towards Wadi Rum. I did not try it as I was alone and I think it is not all paved. Would love to ride it next time. Stayed in Bait Ali camp, recommended. Good stuff on Google Earth.
Bin
This road from Halat Ammar border to Wadi Rum is in a very bad condition, the tarmac is flaked off and you only have the stony sub-strate to ride on. You cannot ride slowly cos all the undulations and huge potholes will wreck up your body, so u need to keep the speeds up (say 100kmph). The 50kms odd stretch was the toughest that i have ever ridden 2-up fully loaded on my KTM 990 adventure. After this stretch i had to take a break to relax my pumped up arms. NOT RECOMMENDED if you don't have a proper dual sport bike with long travel suspension.

PS : Hi Ric, how RUH treatin ya ? It rained cats n dogs 2 days ago and the weather is just fantastic (still !!!). Is it the same over there ?
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  #21  
Old 19 Apr 2010
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Hi All, many thanks for the advice, all useful stuff. I think I'll start a new thread on similar lines for each country, one per month, I have plenty of time before the 'off'!
For those of you with time on your hands, have a look at The Long Way Home - Home I've created a little website for the trip home. I rave about Weebly, I tried a few other blog/web sites, Weebly is so easy to use, well worth a try if you fancy letting the world know what you're up to.
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  #22  
Old 20 Apr 2010
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Location: Riyadh
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Originally Posted by vicky250gt View Post
This road from Halat Ammar border to Wadi Rum is in a very bad condition, the tarmac is flaked off and you only have the stony sub-strate to ride on. You cannot ride slowly cos all the undulations and huge potholes will wreck up your body, so u need to keep the speeds up (say 100kmph). The 50kms odd stretch was the toughest that i have ever ridden 2-up fully loaded on my KTM 990 adventure. After this stretch i had to take a break to relax my pumped up arms. NOT RECOMMENDED if you don't have a proper dual sport bike with long travel suspension.

PS : Hi Ric, how RUH treatin ya ? It rained cats n dogs 2 days ago and the weather is just fantastic (still !!!). Is it the same over there ?
Hi Vicky, sounds like a tough ride esp. two-up. Thanks for the info. bin
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