Iran to UAE by Ferry: Q&A and updates

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Iran to United Arab Emirates by Ferry

Postby Fred » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:50 pm

This is a post regarding our experience on travelling from Bandar Abbas, a port city by the Persian Gulf in the southern Iran, to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by ferry in late December 2016.

The original post with photos is on ... s-by-ferry.

There are actually two ways to travel from Bandar Abbas to the UAE: by flight or by ferry. As you might have already noticed that Stacey and I always try to travel by land or by sea instead by air in our world tour, if possible. So, we farewelled to our hospitable Iranian friends and the peaceful country, and headed to the UAE on the other side of the Persian Gulf by ferry after an 1-month Iran trip.

Dubai or Sharjah in UAE?

There are regular ferries leave for Sharjah in the UAE from Bandar Abbas, and also ferries head to UAE’s Dubai from another port city Bandar Lengeh. In terms of this, before we bought the ferry tickets, the first question we asked ourselves was, “Where in the UAE we like to visit?”

For the reason of a lower cost of living in Sharjah than Dubai, we chose the Bandar Abbas - Sharjah route. Also, Sharjah is actually only 30 kilometres north of Dubai (comparing Bandar Lengeh is 185 kilometres away from Bandar Abbas), so it would be an easy travel in between two UAE cities when we want to.

Ferry Schedule

The ferry from Bandar Abbas (Iran) to Sharjah (UAE) departs every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 22:00.

The ferry from Bandar Lengeh (Iran) to Dubai departs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:00.

Ferry Fare

The ferry fares for “Bandar Abbas - Sharjah” route and “Bandar Lengeh - Dubai” route are the same at 2,900,000 IRR per person, if purchase directly from the ferry terminals. For a purpose of convenience, we chose to book early to secure the seats at a Shiraz-based travel agency with a price of 3,200,000 IRR per person. As you can see there’s a difference of 300,000 IRR as a commission for the agency.

To understand more about Iranian Rials (IRR), please visit the “Currency” section on [1].

Bandar Abbas to Shahid Bahonar Port

The Shahid Bahonar Port is the one where we boarded the ferry for Sharjah, UAE. It’s located about 10 kilometres southwest of the city centre. We stayed with our Iranian friends where is located 10K east of the city centre. For the time-saving reason we opted for travelling with a taxi at the price of 130,000 IRR (whole car) from friends’ home to the port.

To see the exact location of the Shahid Bahonar Port, please visit [2].

Shahid Bahonar Port

We were told by our travel agency to be at the port at least 3 hours prior the departure time (22:00) so we arrived at the port about 19:00. The main hall was quite busy with tons of passengers and luggage. We proceeded to the ticket counter on the right of the main hall to get our boarding passes, and then went to the customs for the paper work as well as luggage scanning. Male and female passengers are separated before the customs but freely to sit together at the waiting area.

There’s NO money exchange at the port, so you either change before in the city (preferred), or change in the UAE like we did. We took some time and visited many money exchange offices and finally found one in Sharjah which accepts Iranian Rials. See the location on [3].

The Ferry Journey

The ferry trip took about 13 hours, from departure at 22:00 to ferry docked at 11:00 next day, including a long waiting time outside Sharjah’s Port Khalid for some reason (maybe due to the heavy fog?).

Two meals, dinner and breakfast were provided and included in the fare.

Make and female passengers are normally sitting in different areas on the ferry. Men are in the back side and female passengers and also passengers with a family are in the front. For non-Muslim female tourists, it’s okay to not to have hijab (headscarf).

The ferry is fitted with seats only but not like the cargo ship we used to cross the Caspian Sea with private passenger cabins fitted with beds [4]. So passengers either laid on the empty seats, or went straight to the two prayer rooms and slept on the floor.

Port Khalid in Sharjah, UAE

Visa on Arrival (VOA) is issued at the port customs so we had no problem on receiving visas with our Aussie passports. If your nationality is eligible for the VOA you should also be able to get it too on arrival. Also, it’s free! Nice.

We didn’t see any ATM or money exchange anywhere inside or outside Port Khalid so we requested our taxi driver to take us to an ATM when en-route to our destination in the city. All taxies in Sharjah and Dubai are fitted with a taximeter BTW.

[1] The Iran we don’t know, ... -dont-know
[2] Shahid Bahonar Port,
[3] Salim Exchange,
[4] Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan by Ferry, ... n-by-ferry
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See ya on the road -

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Re: Iran to UAE by Ferry: Q&A and updates

Postby cyclolenti » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:53 pm

Just to add few information and confirm others:
-Al rais agency in Dubai is in front of Abbra bus stop on Baniyas road, nearest metro station: Baniyas Square.
-Boat leaving from Sharjah to Bandar-Abbas are on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 9PM, but you have to be there at 4PM. Around the 21st march (Persian new years) not all boats are rumning.
-Price ticket: 300dirham each person which include 75kg luggage (i confirm bicycles included)
-everyone have to pay 35dirham at Port Khalid/Sharjah UAE immigration service (valid for any border when you live the UAE) so don't forget to keep enought money.
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