Morocco to dubai/abu dhabi

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1. Posted by Chrisandchill (Budding Member 4 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Hello everybody! I want to play a trip starting off in Casablanca to Dubai/Abu Dhabi for the summer of 2019. I want to do it by motorcycle. I would like to fly into Casablanca, go to Marrakesh, plan on going through Algiers then Tunisia, through Tripoli, up to Alexandria, down to Cairo, up through Jerusalem, maybe Beirut, to Amman, then somehow make it to the United Arab Emirates, where I would fly back home to the states. I have a ton of questions. How much should I budget for, not including plane tickets to Morocco and back from United Emirates? I know there is constant turmoil between all the warring states from the arab springs, but is there any particular country I should look out for as of right now? I am a white male with a red beard and blue eyes, not sure if that would matter. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I know I am being vague but I am just starting research on this trip, but am dedicated to do it. Thanks in advance!

2. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 488 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

You'll need to do a great deal of research and planning if this trip is going to work.

1. I assume you're not intending to ship your own bike from the US so you will first need to investigate the cost, legal requirements and sheer feasibility of purchasing a bike in Morocco or wherever (you won't be able to hire one for such a trip). Then you need to research the legal requirements for riding the bike in each country which you plan to travel through. You also need to research the cost and availability of the bike insurance you will almost certainly have to have in most, if not all, countries. As you are not a resident of any I suspect getting such insurance may be difficult, especially if you neither speak nor read Arabic.

2. >fly into Casablanca, go to Marrakesh, plan on going through Algiers

It is my understanding that the border between Morocco and Algeria remains closed to all land traffic, as it has been since the 1990s. You will have to make alternative arrangements for that section at least.

3. You will not be able to enter Lebanon with an Israeli stamp in your passport. Make absolutely sure you get the stamp on paper (I believe this is normal practice nowadays). Having stamps from your planned previously-visited countries may result in additional questioning when you enter Israel.

4. Driving laws, signage (can you read Arabic?), standards of driving and road conditions in many of the countries you plan to visit are not the same as the US. It is absolutely essential that you have travel medical insurance which not only covers medical care but also includes repatriation and covers you for motorbike riding. Such insurance will not be cheap but, like the bike insurance, is something which you must research and factor into your budget. You simply cannot risk the cost of treatment and/or your medical (or worse) repatriation falling on your family.

5 >is there any particular country I should look out for as of right now?

As you are (I assume) a US citizen you should check the US travel advisory for each country you plan to visit regularly from now on. Circumstances and consequent advice can and do change very quickly indeed:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html

Whether you personally agree or disagree with the advice is irrelevant: it is as it is. You can ignore it if you wish but be aware that travelling into a country (or part of a country) where your own government has advised against all or all but essential travel can ...and very often does..invalidate ordinary travel medical insurance. So, if you plan to do this, you must be certain that your travel medical insurance will cover you. You'll almost certainly need specialist insurance and, of course, the premiums will be increased, probably substantially. It certainly won't be cheap.

6. As well as taking your own licence you should also get an International Driving Permit, which you must get via the AAA or the AATA before you leave the US. An IDP provides a legal translation of your licence. In some countries it is the law that an IDP is carried but even if it isn't legally required, having a legal translation (and an extra piece of ID) is very useful indeed.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Oct-2018, at 12:08 by leics2 ]

3. Posted by Chrisandchill (Budding Member 4 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

First off, I want to thank you for such a quick reply with a ton of valuable information. As I have now seen from multiple resources, the border is definitely closed via roadway to Algeria. Not including the turmoil and advisories in Libya, it makes a trip via bike almost impossible, which puts a damper into my plans. Now planning an itinerary will have to include multiple plane trips to get from country to country, including a visas to both Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, looks as if I cannot get through Saudi Arabia without a tour guide. Israel seems as if it is a huge complication regardless if I get a stamp on a separate piece of paper or not, I might have to skip that all together. Which leaves me having to fly from Amman into the United Emirates. So in turn maybe traveling by motorbike was a bit ambitious, I thank you for the initial information you have given me to shoot down that dream . But! this will not hinder me from still planning a trip to these countries. Putting the motorbike idea to the side. Do you have any other suggestions for me leics2?

4. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 488 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

I think you are sensible to forget the motorbike idea for now, though I'm guessing you have several decades in front of you in which (hopefully) that dream might be more feasible. :-)

It's not a bad idea to miss out Israel, though you might consider it as your final departure point, entering from Jordan or Egypt (with the caveat about potential questioning that I mentioned above).

Flying from country to country is a good alternative. There are no cheap walk-up tickets so do some research using www.skyscanner.net to see which airlines fly from where to where and to investigate fares. Book on the airline's own website.

I have to stress that I'm no expert, though I have visited several of the countries you mention.

If you want to see more than the city in which you land you'll need to research what public transport options each country has. All have local and long-distance bus services, some (e.g. Tunisia) have feasible trains and you'll be able to hire cars (though my comments above about roads etc apply to cars just as much as to bikes). If there is something special you really want to see it can be worth investigating an organised tour or hiring a car + driver (likely to be cheaper than the US but not necessarily 'cheap'). Although English is quite widely spoken in the more visitor-popular locations it is (obviously and understandably) not necessarily so elsewhere, so you'll need to think about that aspect too.

I wonder how much travel experience you have?

I don't know your particular interests but I wonder if it might be better to reduce the number of countries you 'tick off' on this one trip? If you're into history, for example, Tunisia + Egypt + Jordan would make a good combination.

5. Posted by Chrisandchill (Budding Member 4 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Haha, yes I hope I have a few more decades in front of me (:. I like the idea of Israel being my final departure point, yet I still wanted to see the UAE, which is a bit out of the way. But, besides flying straight into Dubai or Abu, It doesnt look like there will be an easy way to get there, with Saudi having restrictions on who can enter, and Iran being in such turmoil. Coming up to the trip, I will have hopefully taught myself some arabic, although I know some slang in the Jordanian/Palestinian dialect, which i know is completely different from Morrocans and Egypt. Reading will be a different story. Public transportation definitely seems as if its the way to go, and maybe a Casablanca - Egypt - Jordan - Israel trip would probably be more feasible, maybe by planes and/or ferry's.
I actually dont have any LONG distance travel experience, nor do I have a lot solo. So this is a big step forward, and maybe my aspirations are a bit too high . I want to spend the most time in Jordan, I do know a girl that's from Amman and will be traveling back there during the time of my trip, considering I am in love with her (although I am not Muslim . Regardless if it works out between me and her or not, I plan on going on this trip as its something I have always wanted to do. I just wish there was a way I could do it by bike

6. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 488 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

If you have no long-distance travel experience it's easy to underestimate the differences you'll encounter in any country and in all aspects of life, not just language. None are insurmountable but the more you know beforehand, the easier things will be. That's why doing as much research as possible beforehand is a good idea.

So, if you really want to tick off the UAE maybe flying into Dubai or Abu Dhabi is the best option for now?

I found Jordan to be a very welcoming country with some fantastic sights & sites. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. When it comes to love, religious belief is of course irrelevant. I hope your feelings are ..or will be...fully reciprocated and that things work out well. :-)

I'm sure other TP members will make helpful replies to this thread (we have to take account of member time differences). Do ask more questions as your plans develop.

Good luck with your research & planning! :-)

7. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 576 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Lots of info about motorcycle travel on advrider.com and horizonsunlimited.com
People on there will have done some (or maybe all) of that journey before (maybe in different times though!).

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Oct-2018, at 17:01 by Andrew Mack ]

8. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 640 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

I love the ambition;) but like everyone else I echo the sentiment that it is probably not theat feasible Anyway is a few things I know about travelling the region that may help.

Morrocco does have a pretty good rail netwrok if you are looking to travel between cities and from what I hear it is not too expensive.

If you do travel Algeria and Libya, stick to the coast and don't try for the desert. A lot of organised criminal networks rule the desert regions of those countries and kidnap for profit is big business especially in Libya.

Saudi Arabia does not allow independant travel period. The closest you can get is the Hajj but that is restricted to Muslims and it does not allow access outside of Mecca. Unless you can find a local that can invite and host you in Saudi Arabia there is no way to freely travel independantly around the country

As long as you avoid most of the border regions Iran is actually not that turmoiled;). In fact it is ranked as one of the safer and more stable countries in the Middle East. While I don't know if you can rent a motorcycle you can certainly rent a car and drive yourself around that country.

As others have said really research the visa issues. I'm not up on the latest developements since it is a fluid situation but you can find yourself barred from countries because of the political conflicts. Even the UAE has turned people away for having Israeli stamps and lately even Qatari ones If there is one thing you should do is have a plan B in mind just in case you do get turned away at a border.

9. Posted by Chrisandchill (Budding Member 4 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Yeah, I have done a ton of research already thanks to the help of the forums and you guys! Thanks so much. Now, I am in the process currently to recite my shahada for my Muslim certificate. Will that change my entry into Saudi Arabia? or still not considering I am from the US. I think I am actually planning on skipping over Algeria and Libya unfortunately do to the fact of the borders being closed and the kidnapping etc. Also Iran is a bit further then I want to go on this trip. My plan now is Morocco - Egypt - Saudi from Luxor(IF I can get into mecca that is) - Jordan - Jerusalem - Tel Aviv back to the states. By visiting Israel last I rid of all complications with any neighboring countries. As far as my plans go for motorbikes...I plan on spending the most time in Jordan for personal reasons, so I might just end up renting one there and traveling the countryside that way. I like the idea of plan B's, as of now I havent even thought that far ahead, although it should be something that I am always thinking about.

10. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 488 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

>Will that change my entry into Saudi Arabia? or still not considering I am from the US.

When it comes to visas for anywhere, not just the UAE, it is always your citizenship which is of primary importance.

The official website for the Saudi Embassy in the US gives details of what visas are available and the requirements for each. Even getting a Hajj visa (Hajj 2019 is 9th > 14th August) is quite a lengthy and complicated process. Meeting the visa requirements does not, of course, automatically mean you will be granted a visa (for anywhere, not just the UAE):

https://www.saudiembassy.net/visa-application

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Oct-2018, at 12:38 by leics2 ]