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West and South Asia From Turkey to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Ladakh and Bangladesh
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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  • 3 Post By -Roland-
  • 1 Post By eurasiaoverland
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  #1  
Old 20 Dec 2022
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Crossing the Persian Gulf: Iran to the United Emirates. December 2022

Doing my trip from the Netherlands to South Africa I decided to go for the Iran-> UAE-> Saudi-> Sudan Option. Meaning that I needed to cross the Persian Gulf. I managed but with a lot of hassle and in the end pretty expensive. A lot to talk about the procedure. Especially the Dubai part is worth knowing.

There is one ferry between the countries: valfajr.ir. Friendly people that are quick on responding to emails. Though they did give me some wrong information.

I emailed them that I would like to join the ferry from Bandarabbas(Iran) to Sjarjah (UAE), they replied that the ferry is not going until at least end of January 2023. But the ferry from Bandar-e Lengeh to Dubai was possible. I asked for confirmation if this was possible with my bike. Answer was Yes, but I needed to be a day early in the port for all paperwork.

Arrived on Saturday the 10th for the Sunday ferry but it was cancelled because of weather conditions. They also told me that it is not possible to go with my motorbike as Dubai customs does not accept vehicle from that ferry (a bit of annoyance with the manager when I showed my email). They offered an alternative, sending my motorbike separate by cargo to Sjarjah and take the passenger ferry the next day. Shipping the bike would be done by another company. Cost for shipping the motor bike would be 400 dollars, this should include everything. After a bit of thinking I agreed on this.

I Went for the weekend to Bandarabbas and was back on Tuesday morning.
Getting the bike shipped.

I arrived at the Valfajr office. Got some tea and waited for the agent to help with the bike. Surprisingly the cost of shipping went down from 400 to 300 dollar. Always nice.

Shipping the bike
I went with my bike to the port, I was not really allowed into the port. My bike was just parked after the gate. The agent took my papers and we went to different offices. When in Iran I mostly had the feeling that people really want to help but just don’t know what to do, I felt it was the opposite here. They know exactly what to do but are not willing to help. A lot of unnecessary waiting. I prepared for this, so it was fine.

After the paperwork I wanted to ride the bike to the warehouse. This was not allowed and I had to leave the bike at the gate. I did not feel comfortable with this. My bike is very high and starting Is difficult after somebody broke my bike hitting it when parked. They told me they were going to push the bike.

Initially I wanted to leave all not needed luggage on the bike. They told me to remove everything as that would be safer (I think you can leave it).

I had to leave the Carnet and keys with the bike. They promised me to send the papers over WhatsApp. I did not receive any papers. Just an UAE phone number without any explanation.

So, I left the bike, keys and Carnet at the port and did not get any paperwork in return. A lot of trust is needed. I paid the agent after this was done. Later he came to the hotel as my dollars were old and not accepted by the bank. Those notes came from the ATM in Turkey. As I did not have new dollar notes anymore, I paid 200 dollar and 100 Euro.

I was at the port at 8 and back in the hotel at 12. All in all, quicker than expected.

Shipping my self
I was told to be at the port at 7am. The port was already full of people and lots of luggage. I learned later that many Iranians go up and down every week for trade brining goods from Iran of UAE and vice versa. More a cargo ship than a passenger ship. Except for me there was another motor traveller from Pakistan, a few Russians hitchiking and a German on his way to Thailand using only public transport. Only the second time I saw other travellers while in Iran.

Getting stamped out of Iran was easy, unfortunately they kept the visa.
The ferry should leave at 9, however boarding started at 10 and we left the port at 1pm. This because there was too much luggage/cargo on board. We arrived at 6 pm in Dubai but were only allowed at to leave the boat at 10pm. In batches, woman first. I could leave at 11 and was through immigration at midnight. Before we were allowed to leave the boat all luggage had to be checked. As I understood because of drugs and the embargo.

So, took only 17 hours to travel 157km. Was a long day :-)

Getting my bike in Dubai.
When I just boarded the ferry one of the boats engineers came to tell me that my bike was not going to Sjarjah but to Dubai instead. Same port as where we would arrive. At that time that was nice news and I even hoped to get on my bike that day (not).

So, the next morning I texted the number I received but the guy had no idea what I was talking about. Texted over Instagram the valfajr guys (no reply).

I will do it myself. I got a UAE sim, googled Dubai customs and went there by taxi.

I was at the wrong place and they send me to the security gate. That was walkable. First question was the boat name of which my bike arrived with. I had no idea and did also not know the shipping company so they could not help me. Texted the number I received again as he did not pickup the phone but he really did not understand anything I said. I was a bit stuck. However, 5 minutes later he texted me that 2 bikes had arrived. He texted me another number that I should contact. I did, this guy replied immediately that I should go to “North Sea shipping”, deep into the port. Took a taxi and went there.

First relief, they had my Carnet and it was stamped correctly.

First disappointment. I had to pay 700 dinar (190 dollar) to the shipping company. I negotiated as I already paid 300 dollar but that did not work.
The guy came and I asked him wat to do, he told me to go back to the security gate, get the day pass and then I could get my bike. This is wrong! I messed up here thinking that the guy that came was the second number I got but it was the first. I should have stayed at the office and waited.

It took some time to find a taxi. With the shipping papers I got my pass and again I took a taxi to gate 4. The taxi dropped me at the wrong point (not his fault) so I had to walk 2km. During that walk there was the second relief. I saw my bike at the other side of the fence :-). Arriving at gate 4 they did not want to let me in as I did not have a yellow security jacket. I lost it a little bit, but the guy was quick telling me that I could buy one a few 100 meters away (I thought I had to go back).

Within the port I walked a km back and found my bike. The key was even there (I did bring my spare key) and I rode to the gate. Asking to be let out to go to customs. No, customs needs to be done first and there is an office within the port.

I went there and a nice guy told me that it is not as easy as stamping the carnet and that I need my agent. I texted him (the second number), he did not reply but the customs guy had already called him and he was coming. Only when he came, I realised that I had mixed up people and that I should not have listed to the guy that had send me to the security office. Anyway, he quickly explained to me that everything that came from Iran need to go through a special process and that this could take up to 5 days :-(. He pointed to a camper from Italy that was already a week at the Port and mentioned some motor bike travellers from Argentina who completely lost it when they heard about this. But I should not worry as I had the right papers and they did not (spoiler, my papers were not correct).

This agent dropped me at another office. A fixer for this kind of things. Here came the second disappointment. Extra costs of almost 1500 dinar (408 dollar). 500 for the government, 500 for different things as tax, parking costs, inspection and 500 dinar fee for him.

I quickly agreed as I did not know how else and I did not have the energy to find another fixer. When doing the paperwork it turned out that chassis number on the shipping bill was not correct. There were 2 typing mistakes. He made a few calls but it should be fine. He told me that it could take 3 days but that he would start work immediately and that I should wait, which I did. It was around 3 pm.

Procedure is simple and automated. Just put everything in an online system, get approval, do the same in another system and get approval again. All automated and should never take 3 days. After this Customs need to inspect the bike. You can not get the approval yourself as you need special software (not sure if I believe this, worth Googling if you plan to go this route).

At 5 pm I was done waiting and I told fixer that I would come back the next day. Was fine, he would call me after the inspection.
However, when waiting for the taxi the second approval came and we could go for the inspection inside the gate. Of course, the inspector was busy, so we had to wait another hour.

When he arrived, my fixer became nervous. The inspector is a tough local guy that does not like fixers. My fixer got it from him, he had put my name on the forms instead of the companies. Made sense to me but not to the customs guy. If something would be wrong, they should contact him, not me. The guy also saved me 300 Dinar as he thoroughly checked the prices.

Without checking the bike he stamped the Carnet. Only on the piece that he should keep but stamped the correct part when I asked him. He was not interested in keeping a part of the paper.

Now I only needed a pass to leave the terrain. This was not possible as the frame number on the shipping bill was different from the number on my bike. In Iran they needed to make a new shipping bill. The Carnet guy jumped in and made sure I got the pass telling my fixer he needed to get the correct shipping bill the day after. At 9 PM I left the terrain on my bike. Utterly happy.

Procedure in Dubai (pretty simple if you know it).
- Make sure you know the shipping company and boat name.
- Go to the shipping company to receive your Carnet and pay fees
- Get you bike import approved by the government. There are different fixers that can help, you just need to find them. (The Pakistan motor traveller found a cheaper one, however it took more time)
- After approval get a yellow jacket and day pass (or go with someone that has a pass) to get in the customs area.
- Get your bike inspected and your Carnet stamped.
- Get your leave pass and ride out.

Total costs:
Iran motorbike: $300
Myself: $80
Shipping company: 700 Dinar, $190
Fixer, government tax, inspection, tax: 1240 Dinar, $340
Total of $910.
I spent another $80 om taxis.

This did hurt but already forgotten and I enjoying Dubai.

Last edited by -Roland-; 20 Dec 2022 at 15:18. Reason: Typing and grammar improvements
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  #2  
Old 20 Dec 2022
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Great that you share such detailed information.

But wow, what an enormous hassle. I would rather go through Iraq and Kuwait to Saudi for a fraction of the cost/aggravation!

Best of luck with your onward trip!

EO
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EurasiaOverland a memoir of one quarter of a million kilometres by road through all of the Former USSR, Western and Southern Asia.
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  #3  
Old 20 Dec 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eurasiaoverland View Post
Great that you share such detailed information.

But wow, what an enormous hassle. I would rather go through Iraq and Kuwait to Saudi for a fraction of the cost/aggravation!

Best of luck with your onward trip!

EO
That is kind of message I am sharing. Don't do this :-)

I did think of that route but also read on this forum that the border between Iraq and Iran is closed.

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 20 Dec 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Roland- View Post
That is kind of message I am sharing. Don't do this :-)

I did think of that route but also read on this forum that the border between Iraq and Iran is closed.

Thanks!
I remember it closed for a day a few months ago.

For some reason, people love pedalling out of date/false information about travelling to Iran.

EO
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  #5  
Old 12 Jan 2023
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Iran to Jordania

Hi

So, what would be the best way for you to go from Iran to Jordan in your own car.

Option 1. Ferry Bandarabbas to or Sjarjah and cross Arabia to finally reach Jordan

Option 2. Iran->IRaq->Kuwait->Arabia->Jordan

Option 3 Iran-> Iraq-> Jordan through the "treibil border" crossing

The interior of Iraq is safe right now. You can go to Ramila and then turn towards Ar Rutba and continue to the border.

Do I have to have an escort or do I need a special permit?

Thanks
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  #6  
Old 1 Jul 2023
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Hey guys
but is it possible to transit between iran-iraq kuwait-south arabia? visa irak problematic for the south on the border?
I also want to take Toyota to Saudi Arabia but I don't know where to go for sure

A friend of mine has transited by ferry bandar abbas-dubai, but he tells me just luck
thanks
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  #7  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Roland- View Post
Doing my trip from the Netherlands to South Africa I decided to go for the Iran-> UAE-> Saudi-> Sudan Option. Meaning that I needed to cross the Persian Gulf. I managed but with a lot of hassle and in the end pretty expensive. A lot to talk about the procedure. Especially the Dubai part is worth knowing.
Hello Roland, I am thrilled to come across this article as I am looking to plan a trip similar to yours. Before reading your topic, I was feeling a bit anxious about it being my first experience. Do you happen to have the phone number for the ferry you used between Iran and UAE? Thank you!
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  #8  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Hi, I managed to take the Toyota from Iran to Dubai through the Strait of Hormuz
the ferry leaves every Thursday and Monday, the cost for the car is €500, €98 per person, I bought the ticket via tap persia
efficient service
t is necessary to be on site the day before departure for customs formalities
https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cwczy...on_share_sheet
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