Stage 1: Dubai to Riyadh


We depart from Dubai at 8 in the morning, after loading the car with all the camping gear, cameras, drone and other equipment to survive along these 10 days. The roads in Arabia are mostly straight when they go along the desert. No obstacles to get around, no turns to entertain your drive. It is very boring and you need to have energizing music (see playlist down below) to stay awake.

It takes us one hour to cross the border, even with only 4 people before us. These days, on top of the visa and registration in the system you have to show the vaccination passport and the PCR test that have to be stamped in a different office. Then you go through customs where they inspect the luggage. We are lucky as they don’t search the car. Finally, you have to buy an insurance for the car and go through a third checkpoint. All the Saudi officials at the border are very friendly and willing to help.

Old petrol station on the road to Riyadh

After crossing the border there is barely nothing on the road except a couple of petrol stations. We stop at what the navigator shows as a petrol station and rest area. To our surprise, it had been abandoned many years ago. There is still a workshop working, but the few houses and the mosque have been eaten by the sand.

We stop at another ruined petrol station where there is a small supermarket and an “amazing” restaurant. We eat a delicious grilled chicken on rice, which is like a delicacy for us, given the time and the long hours driving.

The “terrace”
The waiter
The fabulous chicken

We finally arrive at Riyadh at 6:30 pm after almost 11 hours that don’t feel so long at all.

Data of the trip

Total distance: 995 km; Total time: 11 hours; Moving time: 8h 55m; Average moving speed: 122 km/h.


During the trip we listened to:

  • John Lee Hooker – Live in Montreux
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith – Breathe
  • Deep Purple – Machine Head
  • Led Zeppelin – Long Beach 1975
  • Nick Mulvey – Wake Up Now
  • Late Night Tales: Nightmares On Wax

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