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Middle East Topics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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  #16  
Old 27 Nov 2012
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Joachim,

thanks for a very concise and helpful guide! I'm sure it will help us and others.
We've put a delay in our travels and stored the vehicle for a few months, so we won't be in Sudan until November/ December 2013 now.

Thanks again, Ian
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  #17  
Old 10 Dec 2012
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Sorry I might have missed it but were all the visa hassles for Saudi just for 4wheel drive cars? Is it easier to get a bike and tourist visa rather than a car and tourist visa?

Thanks for the help!
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  #18  
Old 10 Dec 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingyak.org View Post
NO you cannot take a motorbike into Saudi. only cars/4x4's/trucks.

One couple managed to jut sneak through, but it won't happen again.
Shit, there goes that idea. I'm trying to get to India via Turkey and the Middle East this spring. I needed Saudi to make it work.

Any advice would be much appreciated!!!
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  #19  
Old 18 Dec 2012
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Saudi - no thanks

I work in Saudi and can tell you this
1. You have to get a letter of invitation from someone within the Saudi
2. You have to apply for visa in your country of residence
3. You have to complete the online regsitration process through Enjaz first, pay 130$# USD then go to the embassy to complete the visa application you will need a copy of your passport and travel documents then you will have to wait a min 10 working days.
4. Tourist visas are not available, only through registered travel agancies who are responosible for you durring your stay.


Saudi is the most unfriendly place who hate westerners and will try to run you off the road, its the most islamic nation so their laws are enforced also weomen cannot drive, are treated badly.

You would need to apply for a driving licence which they will not give you.

You cannot even swim in the sea except in special beaches, there is nothing to do as fun is not allowed.

People only go there to work(petrol industry) or visit the mosque if you are islamic

Try to miss this if you can its not worth the grief!!

The only one good thing, petrol is cheap I filled my 65L petrol tank up under 10$

P.S
Go to Bahrain its more western and easier to live in just pop over the causway into saudi if you have the permits or take a toursit trip.
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  #20  
Old 18 Dec 2012
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Dear RoadTrekker,

I don't know what exactly your point or message is. But your post is a mix of misguiding and partly wrong information and highly prejudiced and useless personal hatred against Saudi Arabia.

Firstly, your info about visa does not help because it is worthless for "normal" travellers. Most travellers will limit their stay in Saudi Arabia to the usual transit time of three days. The way to get a transit visa has been described above.

There are ways to get a visitors visa which de facto means a tourist visa if you are invited by a Saudi organisation or institution or by a foreigner living in Saudi Arabia. I have met a few tourists during my transit through Saudi Arabia. They were in the country as private visitors and no travel agency was involved! So your point 4. is just completely wrong!

The rest is just awful! It goes without saying that Saudi Arabia's human rights and womens rights record is disgusting. But to state that all Saudis hate Westerners and try to run you off the road is equally utter nonsense! Some youngsters who have too much testosterone are driving in a crazy way - OK, but you meet these guys in most countries of the region. Many other Saudis are friendly, others are just shy to talk to you because they have no experience in dealing with foreigners and / or don't speak English.

As a tourist you don't need a driving licence and nobody even cares whether you have a national or an international driving licence. I have stayed in Saudi Arabia for only three days and met a number of people who have stayed for decades in Saudi Arabia with no relation whatsoever to the petrol industry.

That women are treated in an unacceptable way goes without saying. But travelling in Saudi Arabia has been really interesting and much easier and more rewarding than expected. May be you should give it a try before judging the country.

No traveller can go to Bahrain without transiting Saudi Arabia. So this idea is equally nonsense.

Sad to see a posting like this!

Greetings
Achim
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  #21  
Old 9 Jul 2014
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Question Motorcycle

I would like to have some up to date clarification on whether or not we can apply for the Saudi Arabia Transit Visa if we are crossing on motorcycles.

Thank you,

CapeTownNorth.com.au

Last edited by CapeTownNorth; 9 Jul 2014 at 12:45.
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  #22  
Old 10 Jul 2014
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HI CapeTownNorth

Hi
for sure it’s not possible as they are not issuing transit visa on Bikes for foreigners.
the only option you have is either ship the bike throw sea or air fright from Sudan or Ethiopia to Dubai, UAE if you are coming from their side.
then you can enter Iran and from their up to Europe.
Please contact me if you need additional info's
i will read your webpage now
Regards
Saleh


Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeTownNorth View Post
I would like to have some up to date clarification on whether or not we can apply for the Saudi Arabia Transit Visa if we are crossing on motorcycles.

Thank you,

CapeTownNorth.com.au
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  #23  
Old 10 Jul 2014
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I spent a year in Saudi and I'm American (which means your methods may vary). If you're not from one of the neighboring countries and Muslim, Saudi won't give you a transit visa. They might tell you that it's possible in other countries at consulate offices and embassies, but when it comes down to it, they'll say no.

I hadn't tried, but I'm on Couchsurfing and I'd let people on HU know that if they got in, I could put them up. My story comes from people who tried to take me up on the offer.
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  #24  
Old 16 Jul 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSmith View Post
I spent a year in Saudi and I'm American (which means your methods may vary). If you're not from one of the neighboring countries and Muslim, Saudi won't give you a transit visa. They might tell you that it's possible in other countries at consulate offices and embassies, but when it comes down to it, they'll say no.

I hadn't tried, but I'm on Couchsurfing and I'd let people on HU know that if they got in, I could put them up. My story comes from people who tried to take me up on the offer.
Hi Dave
Does this apply to a RH overland vehicle(4x4) as well.
I have heard that one can get a transit visa through a tried and trusted person in Khartoum, he can organise visas ferry booking and transport for right hand drive vehicles. Others have used him with no problems.

Any idea of what would all this entail in terms of cost, custom clearance and lorry for transit?
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  #25  
Old 16 Jul 2014
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I'm not sure if you can bring in stuff with 4 wheels. Saudi doesn't like foreign visitors except during Ramadan. Even then it's Muslim only and it's limited numbers (something like 10% of overall Muslims per country).

We had a teacher who said he was Muslim even though he wasn't. I have no idea how they check that and back to being a resident of a neighboring country.

Sorry, not much help here.
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  #26  
Old 15 Sep 2014
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Hello

Does anyone have any recent information on getting a transit visa for Saudi Arabia and crossing by motorbike?

I met a Dutch couple (2globetrotters - ga met ons mee op wereldreis) a few weeks who got there's in Muscat in 2013, but they were driving a 4x4.

Any info would be great. Thanks

Mark

fishernz@gmail.com
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  #27  
Old 19 Sep 2014
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Hi Mark,

I am sure that you have just overlooked the abundant information concerning your question on this thread and elsewhere like this one only a few postings up

Quote:
for sure it’s not possible as they are not issuing transit visa on Bikes for foreigners.
This is true and has been true kind of forever. The same is true for RHD vehicles.

Nevertheless, it is not true what Dave Smith has written (and I am surprised that no other HUBBer has rectified it in the meantime): Saudi Arabia does issue transit visa - the problem is: where and how?

In general, it is easier to get a transit visa in your country of origin (as is today the case in the majority of countries, including Europe for Africans, Arabs, or other non-Europeans!). This usually proves difficult or impossible for long-term overlanders.

Then, the embassy in Khartoum obviously still provides visa for people taking the ferry from Suakin to Jeddah and further to Jordan. Since few people have other destinations than Jordan, information is hard to get.

By contrast, the embassy in Abu Dhabi today usually only provides transit visa for RESIDENTS (not nationals or Muslims as Dave said). Very rarely have travellers recently succeeded in getting the transit visa here. A recommendation letter from the traveller's own embassy is necessary (which Germany, for example, refuses to issue pointing to an agreement with KSA).

End of 2012, I was told by the Saudi consulate in Amman, Jordan, that they would issue a transit visa for any destination country other than Sudan (I was a resident in Jordan at the time, though). I have not come across any updated info from this consulate since.

I am sure that Dave has not referred to transit visa but to normal visitors' visa which are indeed next to impossible to obtain unless you are invited by a Saudi or a foreigner resident in the country.

Greetings,
Achim
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  #28  
Old 22 Sep 2014
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Hi Achim,

I don't mean to misinform. I only know what I saw, but I'm hopeful there's a way in. I was talking about transit visas as well as tourist visas.

I had a few non-Muslim folks from HU who wanted to stay at my place when I was there. No one was able to get a transit visa or tourist visa. They would be told "Yes, no problem but you need to pick it up at another embassy/consulate closer to KSA" and when it came down to it, "Sorry, no".

I was told by Saudis if you were from a neighboring country that they'd give a transit or tourist visa. I saw a lot of cars/pick-up trucks from UAE, Yemen and Oman and where I was, the only traffic I should've seen should have only been from Yemen.

I was also told that KSA keeps a tight lid on tourist visas and they're offered to 10% of whatever countries Muslim population. I had a few non-Muslim co-workers who couldn't get their wives into the country, but a few that did (took months). One had an open offer of 10,000 riyals to grease the wasta wheels, but no luck.

I'd love to hear from someone who got into Saudi and would love details.

Dave
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  #29  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Hi all,

The beginning of this month I traveled from Qatar to UAE on motorcycle, transiting via KSA. No problem for me obtaining a transit visa and the check-points at each border crossing were quick and efficient.
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  #30  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Nice job, Ben!

Would you share some details?

Where did you get the transit visa? How much did it cost? What country is your bike registered? Do you have a Gulf Coast ID card? Are you Muslim?

If you're around the Middle East, I'm in Oman for the next year or two. No bike here yet, but I have an open bed, plenty of parking, and a liquor license.
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