Can you drive from Kuwait to Iraq by car?

drive from Kuwait to Iraq by car

Exploring the possibility to drive from Kuwait to Iraq by car is a topic of intrigue for many travelers. This route, steeped in history and flanked by unique landscapes, offers a distinct perspective on the shared narratives of both nations. But is it feasible to undertake this journey? Let’s delve deeper into the details.

Drive from Kuwait to Iraq by Car: A Comprehensive Guide

Traveling by road from Kuwait to Iraq is not merely about covering the distance between two points; it is a profound journey that dives deep into the region’s rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural allure. As you navigate this path, every mile resonates with stories of the past, whispers of ancient civilizations, and legacies of historic events. The road winds through landscapes that have witnessed pivotal moments in time and have stood as silent witnesses to the ebb and flow of empires.

Alongside these historical echoes, travelers are treated to a vivid glimpse into contemporary life, showcasing how local communities have melded their age-old traditions with the demands of the modern world. Indeed, this road trip is a harmonious blend of the past and present, offering a multifaceted exploration of the soul of these lands.

The Route

The main road linking Kuwait to Iraq is Highway 80, which many people call the ‘Highway of Death’. It begins in the busy center of Kuwait City and takes you all the way to the border at Safwan in Iraq, and then continues to the busy city of Basra. If you drive the whole way, it’s about 398 miles (641 kilometers) long.

A Road Steeped in History

The significance of Highway 80 extends far beyond its asphalt layers. In 1990, it became a strategic pathway for the Iraqi armored divisions during their invasion of Kuwait. Not too long after, during the Gulf War, it was along this very stretch that the American-led coalition forces mounted a counteroffensive against the retreating Iraqi troops. The aftermath left haunting visuals of destruction, forever etched in the memories of those who bore witness, either in person or through media depictions.

Travel Memories

A lot of brave travelers have taken this road and have different tales to tell. One person, who traveled by motorcycle in January 2023, said the trip feels very different now compared to the past. This traveler stressed that having all your papers organized is key for a smooth crossing at the Abdali/Safwan border.

Safety While Traveling

Safety While Traveling

Before traveling to Iraq by car from Kuwait you must have a valid Kuwaiti driving licence or IDP from Kuwait. Highway 80 has been fixed up and is working well, but travelers should still be careful. There are warnings about traveling by road between Kuwait and Iraq. It’s a good idea to only stop when you really need to, especially at resting places. When driving in Iraq, be extra careful. It’s best to stay away from roads that don’t have regular patrols. There are many security checkpoints, and sometimes you need special permission or even an armed guard to travel between cities. This shows that safety can change and can be hard to predict.

Here are some additional safety tips:

  • Avoid driving at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for suspicious activity.
  • If you see a checkpoint, pull over and follow the instructions of the officials.
  • Do not take any unnecessary risks.



The possibility to drive from Kuwait to Iraq by car is indeed a reality, with Highway 80 serving as the main connector between these two historically and culturally rich nations. This journey offers travelers a unique perspective into the intertwined histories, landscapes, and cultures of both countries. However, while the road has been rehabilitated and is functional, safety considerations are paramount. Anyone considering this journey should remain updated on travel advisories and take all necessary precautions. The drive from Kuwait to Iraq by car is not just a mere transportation route but a voyage through time and legacy, provided it is approached with awareness and prudence.

Faisal Nazir
Faisal Nazir shares his insights and experiences to help readers discover the hidden gems and vibrant culture of Kuwait.


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