7 Best Road Trips Across the GCC for Ultimate Exploration and Unparalleled Beauty

From the majestic dunes of the desert to the tranquil shores of the Arabian Gulf, the GCC offers scenic routes waiting to be explored

by Priyanka Fernandes
7 Best Road Trips Across the GCC for Ultimate Exploration and Unparalleled Beauty

Setting out on a road trip across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region is an invitation to discover unparalleled beauty and adventure. From the majestic dunes of the desert to the tranquil shores of the Arabian Gulf, the GCC offers scenic routes waiting to be explored. Here are the seven best road trips across the GCC, promising a journey filled with history, culture, and natural splendour. Get ready to buckle up and embark on an unforgettable adventure through landscapes that will captivate at every turn.

1. Doha To Dubai

Dubai To Doha Road Trip( Salwa Palace)
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Embarking on a road trip from Doha to Dubai promises an epic journey spanning 441 miles and approximately 8 hours of driving time. This route, which includes a stretch through Saudi Arabia, offers diverse landscapes and cultural experiences. The well-maintained Salwa Road (Qatar Route 55) provides a direct path, showcasing picturesque desert landscapes and glimpses of traditional Qatari life. With stops at attractions like Aqua Park Qatar, the Mall of Qatar, and the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, this adventure is a must-do. Plan thoughtfully, savour the journey, and indulge in every moment with planned breaks and side trips.

Time: Approximately 8 hours
Distance: 710 km
Route: Via E11

2. Riyadh To AlUla

Riyadh To AlUla
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

AlUla in Saudi Arabia has become a top attraction, hosting prestigious events like fashion shows and concerts. With iconic sites such as Elephant’s Rock and the Maraya mirrored structure, it’s a journey worth taking. The 10-hour trip over a 1,041-kilometer route offers glimpses of wonders like the Hail A’Arif fort. AlUla offers diverse experiences, from poolside retreats at Habitas to adventurous rock climbing. Consider an overnight stop in Hail, known for its historic fort and souks.

Time: Approximately 11 hours
Distance:  1041 km
Route: Route 65 and Route 70

Also Read: 6 Most Exciting Road Trips From The UAE To Take Up On The Long Weekend

3. Bahrain To Kuwait

Bahrain To Kuwait( Skyline of Kuwait)
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Start your journey with a stunning view of the Arabian Sea before driving onto the King Fahad Causeway and the expansive desert roads. Prepare your playlist and gear up for a serene drive. The journey begins on Bahrain’s shores, crossing the King Fahad Causeway into Saudi Arabia, then a 470 km drive to Kuwait City. Start early for the 5-hour journey. Once in Kuwait, savour the local delicacy “zbey-di” and browse “El Mbarkeya Souq” for souvenirs, enjoying bargaining in Kuwait’s markets.

Time: Approximately 5 hr 55 min
Distance:  550.2 km
Route: Via Route 5M/Route 95

4. Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) To Oman

Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) To Oman, Wadi Al Arbeieen
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

A GCC road trip is a beautiful adventure, especially when you take the time to enjoy the open road. As you journey towards Oman from Saudi (Riyadh), you can expect a smooth and well-paved highway to guide you. Passing through the UAE, take a break and rejuvenate in Al Ain, an oasis city perfect for relaxing and recharging before continuing your journey. When in Muscat, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Oman, from the serene beaches to the majestic trees of Wadi Al Arbeieen. Take in the sights and sounds while feeling refreshed and energized.

Time: Approximately 14 hours
Distance:  1243.3 km
Route: Via Route 10/Route 90M and Route 95

5. Qatar To Bahrain

Qatar To Bahrain
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

To reach Bahrain from Qatar, your journey will take you through Saudi Arabia via the Abu Samra border and then across the King Fahd Causeway, a 25 km bridge connecting the two countries. After exploring Bahrain, you’ll drive back to Saudi Arabia and cross the Causeway again. Reflect on the sights, sounds, and experiences as the road trip concludes. Enjoy your final day in Bahrain by visiting a waterpark, the Bahrain National Museum, and the Bahrain Fort. Known as the Pearl of Arabia, Bahrain offers many cultural experiences worth savouring.

Time: Approximately 4 hr 35 min |
Distance:  379.6 km
Route: Via Route 5M

6. Dubai To Khor Fakkan

Dubai To Khor Fakkan
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Perfect for those seeking a brief yet picturesque journey, the Dubai to Khor Fakkan road trip reveals stunning scenery in just 90 minutes. Transitioning from Dubai’s urban skyline to the quaint charm of Khor Fakkan, renowned for its pristine beaches, the drive offers a delightful change of pace. Upon arrival, indulge in various water activities such as sailing, kayaking, and scuba diving, or opt for a leisurely dhow cruise. Whether you’re casting a line at fishing spots, zooming across the waves on a jet ski, or treating yourself to the luxurious amenities of the Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort and Spa, there’s something for every traveller to enjoy

Time: Approximately 1 hr 30 min
Distance: 132.3 km
Route: Via Khorfakkan Rd/S142

Also Read: 8 Must-Visit Destinations For Nature Lovers In the UAE

7. Abu Dhabi To Al Ain

Abu Dhabi To Al Ain, Road trips In GCC
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

When you reach Al Ain Road, the urban scene transforms into serene greenery. The ‘Garden City,’ Al Ain, is known for its natural springs, oases, and magnificent mountains, making it a unique road trip destination in the UAE. Explore historical sites like the UNESCO World Heritage Site Al Ain Oasis or enjoy thrilling activities at Wadi Adventure. Don’t miss the chance to drive Jebel Hafeet, renowned as one of the world’s most incredible driving roads.

Time: Approximately 1 hr 30 min
Distance: 154.4 km
Route: Via E22

Whether cruising along the Salwa Road from Doha to Dubai, traversing the scenic routes from Riyadh to AlUla, or embarking on the breathtaking drive from Dubai to Khor Fakkan, there’s something for every traveller to discover. Plan your itinerary thoughtfully, savour every moment on the open road, and immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of the GCC. With each destination offering its treasures, your road trip across GCC promises to be an unforgettable journey of exploration and discovery.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva Stock Images

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