Because we had to set the clock back by 1 hr we were able to depart at 7:30am. The road out of Dammam was clearly spelt out by the Hotel owner and together with the navigation system we were out of this big modern town (shopping malls, American fast-food outlets) in no time. Driving was well organized and the roads were not too congested at this time in the morning.
The main highway to the North (Kuwait) and turning off towards Jordan is a wide 4-lane highway. Mostly the road is 4- lanes but because of the frequent ongoing repair work, occasionally you had to share your road with the on-coming traffic. This was no problem. The trucks went to the side and you could easily overtake them. At some junctions there was a police check point, which required you to slow down. Unfortunately the black sleeping policeman was not always visible at 140 km per hr and the co driver, in hindsight, had told you to slow down (can you not read the signs…. after 7 hrs driving….Comment from co-driver: this just proved that men generally cannot multi tasking like we women do). The boys in the back did not even notice the bump. There is not much to say about the landscape you drive through. It is a large sandy gravel plain with not much features. Here and there, there are some irrigated farms where grass and barley is grown for the sheep and camels you see along the road. It is just a long 8+ hrs drive of 1028 km (average of 122 km/hr). Lunch was had in a Turkish restaurant in Hafr Al Batn, which was about half way. In Arar we stop at the first petrol station with guesthouse we saw. The 2 rooms cost us together about 32 Euro and we get what we pay for. Which is not very much. Diner was a doe it yourself in the roam using the left over bread from lunch and cup-a-soup.