The First Leg – Riyadh to Jordan

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Chinese Proverb: The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step…

Should we follow Route 1 , the ‘first step’ is to leave Saudi Arabia and head towards Jordan. This will be done over two days

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Day 1 – From Riyadh to Tabuk – Approximately a 13 hour drive and 1,390km / 860 miles

1 – Leave Riyadh northbound on Route 65, and head towards Hail.( Riyadh to Hail = 5hrs 52 mins / 632kms / 392 miles ). For those of you familiar with Riyadh, this is Exit 4 on the main Northern Ring Road, the big junction with King Fahd Road, next to the Kind Abdullah Financial District. Here, take the northbound motorway towards Qassim (Route 65)

Bear in mind that the Speed Limit on Saudi motorways is 120kmph (Approx 75mph ). More and more roads and motorways have static speed cameras and mobile cameras are also on the increase.


2 – Continue North ( after refuel at Hail ) and head towards Abu Ajram ( Hail to Abu Ajram= 3hrs 42 mins / 392 kms / 243 miles ). This is apparently an isolated road, due to the shifting sand dunes, so I’ve been reliably informed that there are no service stations on this stretch. Therefore, advised to refuel at Hail.

3 – From Abu Ajram, and another half refuel, go west and head towards Tabuk. (From Abu Ajram to Tabuk =  3hrs 45 mins / 365 kms / 226miles )

Arrive tired and weary in Tabuk for an overnight stay. Of all the routes I’ve planned so far , this is the single longest driving day by far – and it’s day one! At least all the other driving days will be easier after this one, eh?

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Day 2 – From Tabuk to Jordan

Awake refreshed after a good nights kip, and leave Tabuk heading towards the west coast of Saudi to the town of Haql. Drive along the coastal road to the border with Jordan.

1 – Tabuk to Haql: 2hrs 21mins / 231 kms / 143 miles )

2 – Haql to the Durra Border Crossing with Jordan: 20mins / 11kms / 6 miles

We could cover almost 15hrs worth of driving before we hit the coast in Saudi. Granted, it’s the longest route to the coast we’re taking, but helps to illustrate just how big a country Saudi actually is.

Some of you may have heard of the huge development in building a band new City and entertainment centre in Saudi, which is named NEOM. This will be built around the same region and area of Haql, so hopefully, we will be be able to pass through without too much diversion and inconvenience due to the impending development and construction.

Into Jordan, depending on what time of day we actually get into Jordan, we’d either drive straight to Amman ( Durra to Amman is 4hrs / 350kms / 217 miles ) or maybe stay the night at Aqaba and then the day after to Amman. All depends on if we have the energy for another few hours driving.

Out of interest, the  coastal destinations within KSA from Riyadh are:

Jeddah: 9hrs 25 mins / 983 kms / 610 miles

Dhahran / East Coast: 3hrs 56 mins / 396 kms / 246 miles

Jizan : 12h / 1,259 kms / 782 miles