A GCC road trip is not for everyone, it is in fact, a trip for adventurous souls. It requires heavy planning, patience, and quite a bit of free time.
Once the plan is set into motion, however, it is beyond rewarding. The GCC is without a doubt home to beautiful scenery and smooth roads, making it the perfect route for a road trip or two.
So next time you see a road trip themed movie, consider having one in your own backyard. Here is a GCC road trip that will take you from Bahrain and back and take you through all that the GCC has to offer.
1. Bahrain to Kuwait City
Distance: 494 km
Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
The first leg of the journey kicks off on Bahrain’s tantalizing shores, starting with 25 km on the King Fahad Causeway to Saudi Arabia. From there, about 470 km stand in the way between you and Kuwait City.
It is best to start your drive earlier on in the day, as it can take over 5 hours. Once in Kuwait, treat yourself to a local fish dish known as “zbey-di”. Almost exclusively served in Kuwait, it will put a smile on your face.
Choose one of the many cafes that line the seafront and visit “El Mbarkeya Souq” for a reasonably priced souvenir. Remember to bring your bargaining skills to one of Kuwait’s oldest markets.
2. Kuwait City to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Distance: 646 km
Time: 5 hours 57 minutes
Whether you choose to spend the night in Kuwait or continue on to Saudi Arabia is entirely up to you. Make sure you are well rested because this part of your GCC road trip may take anywhere between 6 and 9+ hours.
It will take you from Kuwait and across Saudi Arabia’s desert terrain. You will be driving along the coast of the Arabian Gulf before making your way through the desert. The scenery may get dull at times, so remember to have an unending music playlist.
In Riyadh, there’s plenty of sightseeing to keep you busy. From museums, parks, and citadels to air-conditioned mega malls.
3. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Muscat, Oman
Distance: 1353 km
Time: 11 hours 16 minutes
A GCC road trip would not be complete without a significant number of hours spent on the road. Accordingly, the remainder of your trip will be spent mostly on smooth, paved roads.
To make your way to Oman, you will first have to cross through the UAE. We highly recommend you stop and rest in Al Ain, UAE for a few hours, or even an entire day.
You will probably be tired after spending all that time in a car, but you’ll need to refuel yourself because Muscat has plenty to show you. Oman’s natural scenery is breathtaking, from the tranquil Qurum Beach to the majestic trees of Wadi Al Arbeieen.
4. Muscat, Oman to Abu Dhabi, UAE
Distance: 489 km
Time: 4 hours 53 minutes
You didn’t think you would only drive through the UAE, did you? It is a crucial stop in your GCC road trip. Your drive will take you through the beautiful countryside along the coast of the Gulf of Oman.
The most direct route will once again take you through Al Ain before continuing on to Abu Dhabi. You may be tired enough to want to rest in Al Ain again, although the trip isn’t as long as the last one.
In the capital city of Abu Dhabi, there are endless activities to indulge in. Such as fine dining, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, not to mention its soft golden beaches.
5. Abu Dhabi, UAE to Doha, Qatar
Distance: 606 km
Time: 6 hours 01 minutes
In order to visit the last country on this GCC road trip, you must make an uneventful drive that will take you from the UAE across Saudi Arabia and into Qatar. It is recommended to make this drive during the day.
En route, you may bump into a few camels, but overall, the scenery is mainly of the desert as far as the eye can see. Don’t lose your head, however, because Doha will make it up to you.
Doha is a beautiful modern city, one that is very passionate about the arts. Make sure your visit takes you to the Museum of Islamic Art and Souq Waqif.
6. Doha, Qatar to Bahrain
Distance: 444 km
Time: 4 hours 38 minutes
This road trip comes to an end with a drive back to Saudi Arabia and all the way to Bahrain. It will also take you across the King Fahad Causeway just as it had started.
With the road trip coming to an end, you will have enough time to reflect on all you’ve seen. Whether it’s the inspirational scenery, the friendly locals, good food, or even the fascinating desert dunes.
In Bahrain, give yourself one last exciting day by visiting a waterpark, the Bahrain National Museum, and Qal’at al’Bahrain. Properly dubbed the Pearl of Arabia, this culturally-rich metropolitan state has a lot more to offer.
Road trip Tips:
- The driving time does not take into consideration traffic, stops, and any time spent at border control. The time calculated is based on a driving speed of 120 km/h, please respect speed limits.
- Please carry all necessary documentation and check if you require entry visas before arrival.
- Always check your tires, fuel, and overall car safety before driving.
- You may choose to fly from one destination to the next and simply rent a car where possible. There are always cheap flights between GCC states.