Is it possible to go on a road trip by car from, let's say, Berlin, Germany to Doha in Qatar or Dubai in the UAE?

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    According to most evaluation I have seen you are 20 years late. I am pretty sure this question, or a near copy, has been asked before on the site.
    – Willeke
    Feb 10, 2023 at 7:57
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    There is for sure a road connection, just try Google Maps. However, you will need to cross Iran or Irak and Saudi-Arabia. So it's a question of visas, if they let your car in and, of course, safety.
    – 8192K
    Feb 10, 2023 at 8:53
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    A similar question, but by train not by car: Quickest way from London to Dubai without flying? From there, a second hop leads to Road journey from Europe to Mecca?
    – mouviciel
    Feb 10, 2023 at 13:04
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    Does this answer your question? Road journey from Europe to Mecca? Feb 10, 2023 at 15:46
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    @Willeke that's too harsh. The world is constantly changing. 20 years ago, Syria was safe (a relative of mine cycled all the way from Europe to Jerusalem via Turkey, Syria and Jordan) and Saudi Arabia was all but inaccessible to tourists. Now it's the other way around. Feb 14, 2023 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


You obviously don't want to enter Syria and Iraq. Don't even think about it, these countries are off-limits due to countless reasons.

The best you can do is an overland journey via Turkey to Iran, and then a ferry across the Persian Gulf. Looking at a map, I see a ferry route between Bandar Abbas, Iran and Khasab, Oman. From Oman, you can continue overland to the UAE, Saudi Arabia or Qatar. (There might be other ferry connections as well.) Since 2019, after decades of isolation, Saudi Arabia is now quite easy to get into using an eVisa.

I have no idea about the paperwork you need in order to get your car into Iran and the Gulf countries. It's doable, but probably not easy. However, you should keep several things in mind:

  • You will need to get an Iranian visa from an embassy. A visa on arrival to Iran is only available if you fly into Iran, not when you enter the country by car.
  • Visiting Iran will forever "taint" your travel history. It'll make you forever ineligible for the United States ESTA; you will have to mention your visit to Iran every time you want to visit countries such as Canada, Australia, Israel etc. and it might lead to additional questioning. If you fail to mention it when asked and they find out, you could be forever banned from visiting the country in question, or any other country it shares information with.
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    travelling to Iran is not really recommended right now
    – njzk2
    Feb 14, 2023 at 20:03
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    To avoid Iran, they might want to do Marseilles to Algiers (or Italy to Tunis) via ferry, then take another ferry from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.
    – Chris
    Feb 14, 2023 at 22:35
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    @Chris that would mean travelling via Libya, correct? IMO Libya is much worse for tourists than Iran... Feb 15, 2023 at 8:30
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    @njzk2 personally I would never go there, but it's much safer than Iraq, Syria or Libya. The Mahsa Amini Protests seem to be over. Feb 15, 2023 at 8:42
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    @A.R. That part of the Sahara not only has no real roads, but it's controlled by various Islamic State affiliates and is probably more dangerous than all other options combined. Jan 26 at 22:16

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