Umra By Road - Dubai to Makkah

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Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:54 pm

Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:34 pm

Good day everyone. It's that time of the year when most of us think to travel overland. And many of us also plan Umra by road.
so here's my contribution to this subject (my favorite).

I have been doing this run since 1999 with Family.
Umra usually opens beginning of December, end of Safar in Lunar Hijri year.

Following is the Dua (supplication) when you undertake a journey.

دعاء السفر : الله اكبر, الله اكبر, الله اكبر, سبحان الذي سخر لنا هذا وما كنا له مقرنين , وانا الى ربنا لمنقلبون , اللهم انا نسالك في سفرنا هذا البر والتقوى , ومن العمل ما ترضى, اللهم هون علينا سفرنا هذا , واطوا عنا بعده ,اللهم انت الصاحب في السفر , والخليفه في الاهل ,اللهم اني اعوذ بك من وعثاء السفر , وكآبة المنظر ,وسوء المنقلب في المال والاهل

1- You have to apply for Umra Visa from a Haj and Umra Agent - try Bilad Al Sham Transport in Sharjah 065730366 behind King Faisal Mosque for visa or ALTA travel agency in Dubai (Clock Tower) 04 2945666 - Mr. Hamza. No hotel booking required by them.

Documents needed: Original Passport, 2 photos white background, UAE ID, NOC from Sponsor and Vaccination Card.

2- Vehicle - If you are registered in Dubai - you will need a Carnet Du Passage (tripticket) from the Automobile and Touring Club. In Dubai its as follows - EMSF Dubai Building - From Almulla Plaza towards Century Mall, first signal, turn right, it will be on your left. its a traditional looking sand brown building - access from the side. Then, you need to take a Tourism certificate from RTA.

3- All other Emirates, simply proceed to the Traffic Department to issue the tourism certificate.

Documents needed: Original Registration card (Mulkia), Driving License, UAE ID, Passport Copy, NOC from Bank (if vehicle is mortgaged). Fees (Payable in Cash): 500 deposit (refunded after your return via cheque AFTER you hand over the carnet), 350 for the Carnet (no one ever looks for it), 80 for the Tourism Certificate - Total 930.

3- Route: Dubai - Shahamah - Mafraq - Tarif - Sila - Ghuweifat 460 kms.
Fuel Fillup from home, again at ADNOC after 230 kms (Good point for taking a fifteen minute break for the children). next fillup will be inside Saudi Arabia.

4- Once you enter UAE Border, Handover Mulkiya (registration card), Driver's License and Tourism Certificate for the Customs Slip (Paper) (check you have all your papers including the slip from Customs). Move on and park to the right. Take all your passports, the customs slip, and 30 Dirhams for each person as exit fees NOW PAYABLE ONLY BY CARD OR EDIRHAM (AVAILABLE THERE) and enter the Immigrations Building to get the passports stamped.


UAE Border is Ghuweifat _ Saudi Border is Batha

5- Enter Saudi Border - park and enter the Huge Building on your right MEN ONLY, take all the passports and go for Fingerprint and photo.
After you finish, give the females their passports for face verification by lady police, there's a small door on the left side of the huge awning (تطبيق النساء) for the women to get finger printed and passports stamped as (verified).

6- Move on to the Checking bay - then proceed toward Insurance kiosk. Insurance costs 150 Dirhams/Riyals for one week, 100 for a fortnight and 195 for a month.

After Clearing the border, there are three fuel stations on your right, SASCO (now closed for renovation), next Alsahab (recommended for food and Night Rest) and then, a new pump.

Here, you can exchange money too but it will be AED=SAR.

NOW, you have two choices to Riyadh:

Option 1 - The road on the left opposite Al Sahab Fuel station - Distance 520 Kms
Batha-Haradh-Alkharj-Riyadh - Single lane straight road mostly with a long stretch now double lane(as in March 2014) with a stretch of moving sand. Refuel at the Fuel Station on your right after 180 kms.

Route: After the second Pump, theres an exit on your left. Straight road - Follow signs to Riyadh.

Total 1860 kms one way.

Option 2- Distance 610 Kms Batha-Salwa-Hofuf-Khurais-Riyadh - Double lane road. Refuel in Hofuf. Frequent fuel stations on this road.

Route: straight 130Kms from border towards Salwa R/A (Qatar Border here). Left from R/A - follow signs to Hofuf (another 130 kms) then to Khurais and,on,to Riyadh.

From Riyadh:

3- Taif is 780 Kms approximately from Riyadh. Makkah Al Mukarramah is another 75 kms.

Total 1955 but higly recommended due to good,roads,and,frequent fuel depots.

You don your IHRAM at Miqat Sail Al Kabeer in Taif

4- Madinah Al Munawwarah is about the same distance. Look for signs - if lost, stop any Police Patrol and ask for directions - Don't follow other people's cars. On this route, from Riyadh to Medinah - the petrol pumps are not always on the highway itself but on the right side of the overhead bridges.

Golden Rule - never go more than half empty. Carry some fuel with you, even if a gallon only.

Praying during travel:

1- Fajr is to be prayed on time, Two Rakahs.
2- Dhuhr and Asr are two Rakahs each - with Niyah of Qasr (Shortening).
3- Maghrib is Three Rakahs and Isha is Two Rakah and Witr.
Depending on your School of Jurisprudence - Madhab (Hanafi, Shafai, Maliki, Hanbali), you can either pray Dhuhr / Asr together at either one's time and Maghrib / Isha together at either one's time or seperately (you can time it with fuel stops).


Calculate one hour for every 100 kms, including breaks and prayer stops.

Dubai to border , border clearance, prayer stops, one six to seven hour night stop, wearing Ihraam in Taif and reaching Makkah will take 26 to 27 hours. Non stop driving is HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED - I personally have seen a lot of fresh fatal accidents on that road.

General Tips:

1- Some fuel pumps after Riyadh don't accept UAE currency on the way, carry at least a few hundred Saudi Riyals.
2- Food is cheap and portions are large but make sure to look into the cooking area - don't buy like you do here, it may go to waste.
3- Saudi SIM Cards are now given against Personal ID and are not very easy to procure HOWEVER you can buy them from the Cleaning Staff at the Saudi Border, BE DISCREET. I recommend Zain Company, 2gb net for 35 Riyals a week with unlimited youtube
4- Don't leave valuables in your car.
5- Don't park in no parking zones when In Makkah And Madinah - the car will be literally crudely dragged away with substantial damage to front end.
6- Carry Pain relievers and some Imodium (for loose motions) and some Adol for the children in a cool bag.
7- After a long stretch of highway driving, do not switch off the car immediately, let it run for at least fifteen minutes with the hood open.
8- Don't let the car with the engine running unattended.

To avoid sandstorm damage to your front end, liberally pour and spread dishwashing liquid on your bonnet, fenders and side mirrors.

A few things I have learned to pack, over the years and are pretty handy:

1- A strip of Panadol
2- A roll of sterilised tape.
3- A retractable blade and a small knife,
4- A pack of hygenic wet wipes (for cleaning your hands after having a snack).
5- A packet of small blue plastic bags (like the ones in a grocery), for waste.
6- A small bundle of rope - to tie down stuff.
7- Prayer Mats, which can double up as hand rests or shoulder supports.

For those who flush the radiator and change hose pipes, please don't ignore the thermostat, if it gets stuck close, mushkila ....

Remember, in winter , pack something warm for the kids INSIDE the car.

You may call me anytime between 8 in the morning till 12 midnight - no worries - and I will be very happy to help with any info I have to offer.

musa hammoudeh
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:35 pm

Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:50 pm

Jazzaka allahu Khair
great writing and recommendations
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:30 pm

Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:09 am

Wish to do it
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:22 pm

Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:54 pm

I like this thread very much Maddie. You are right, planning an overland travel is very exciting, perhaps even as much as the trip by itself.
Thank you for this informative and usefull contribution.
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Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:54 pm

Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:16 pm

[quote=Camille;30369]I like this thread very much Maddie. You are right, planning an overland travel is very exciting, perhaps even as much as the trip by itself.
Thank you for this informative and usefull contribution.[/quote]

Thank you very much Camille for your comment. You are absolutely right, a well-planned trip is a lot of fun.
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Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:37 pm

Jazak ALLAH Kol Khair
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Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:15 pm

Alhamdullillah, ALLAH will bless u for this information.
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Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:56 pm

An Update

Abu Dhabi registered vehicles do not require a carnet anymore. You can simply proceed to Traffic Dept. and take atourism certificate.
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:49 am

Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:25 pm

Great thread Maddie, jazakom Allah khair wa taqabal Allah 2a3malakom!

May God bless you and be with you every step of the way (and all those going for Umra)
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Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:30 pm

Mashallah what a perfect guide step by step....May Allah bless you for this work.

I am planning to travel in April 2015 but lots of travel agents regret for only umrah visa due to some reason and insist me to travel in bus.

If anyone knows who can arrange only Umrah Visa for me and my family kindly give me contact.
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