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Middle East Topics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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  #1  
Old 2 Nov 2006
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The Official Word on Saudi Visas

After 13 months of effort I have finally given up on trying to get a Saudi visa. I spoke to the number 2 at the Saudi Embassy in Abu Dhabi who gave me a rundown on the general policy.

The Saudis are concerned about the safety of motorcycle riders in the country and will not approve visas for their unaccompanied travel across the country. Riders can get a visa if they satisfy all of the following: 1) travel in a group; 2) be part of a "round the world" trip (I have no idea why this is relevant); 3) are doing the ride to raise money for charity; and 4) remain with the organised police escort when in the country. There is a separate form for those who want to ride through the country rather than drive.
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Old 2 Nov 2006
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Depending on which company you work for, you might want to try to get a business visa and just show up on the border on your bike and play dumb. I'd give it a better than 90% chance of working as long as you have valid UAE plates on the bike.

Depends on your employer though if they're nice enough to arrange the visa for you.
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Old 3 Nov 2006
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Cool

In my opinion, they are wary over solo travellers wandering around unsupervised. Better to keep tabs of people if they're in large supervised trips such as cruise ship passengers or bus tours.
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  #4  
Old 4 Nov 2006
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Question

What if you don't tell them you are riding a bike or even arrive at a land border? If you have a visa, can't you just turn up at the border?
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  #5  
Old 5 Nov 2006
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...because there is a special visa for bikes. You can't just turn up with a standard visa and expect entry. I am convinced they would have no qualms about making you wait for a few months at the border before refusing entry.

cheers
Brett
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Old 6 Nov 2006
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Makes sense

I wasn't aware about the special visa for bikes. I always had residency in Saudi so they couldn't turn me back at the land border or any other border. Considering the hoops they make you jump through just to get a bike license in Saudi it makes sense they'd be wary of non-resident bikers roaming their holy roads.
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Old 7 Nov 2006
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Refused Saudi transit visa

Hi Brett
Just seen your post having been refused a Saudi transit visa this morning at the consil in Doha. I wanted to go between Qatar and the UAE. They explined that the bike was the problem, plus I'm not resident in either Qatar or UAE. Do you know of any ferry/freight services between Qatar and the UAE that I could travel with the bike on?
Thanks
John
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Old 10 Nov 2006
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Cool Saudi visa

Hi Brett
Albert Wildgen got a Saudi visa (see Sahara Travel) over the counter in Khartoum, so if you drove over there via Yemen, got the visa and the ferry back, easy!
Bruce
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  #9  
Old 11 Nov 2006
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John, I don't know of any ferry between Doha and UAE - not really any point I guess. There are passenger ferries to Iraq and Kuwait so I guess it's possible. If you contact the Dubai ferry terminal they'll fill you in (can't get the number at the moment as I'm in Iran). Might be worth going to the local souq or truck stop and looking for a truck that will carry it for you. I did this in Abu Dhabi and arranged freight from Amman to Abu Dhabi for USD300. I'm astounded you can't get a visa to cross the strip. Dang Saudis.

Cedar, I must remember if ever I meet Albert that I'm not speaking to him...
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