*last update 28 December 2017
Most people travelling to Oman from the UAE use a land border crossing which requires formalities at two posts – a UAE one, which will charge you 35aed to leave the country, and an Oman one, details below.
If you hold a GCC residency visa you will most probably be able to obtain a visa on arrival, however there are some exceptions, such as those with manual jobs such as labourers and carpenters, and certain nationalities (vary from time to time). Cost is 5 OMR for up to 28 days. You might like to check out my blog – GCC Foreign Residents: Enter Oman for FIVE OMR for up to 28 days!
If you are on holiday in the UAE and wish to cross to Oman the good new is that citizens of 66 countries can obtain an Omani visa on arrival. Cost is 20 OMR or up to 30 days.
Some Oman border posts may require you to pay the fees by credit card, others will happily take cash. Don’t be surprised to get change in AED if you pay in OMR! Make sure you take some cash as well as a valid credit or debit card so you are not caught out.
Returning to the UAE there is no fee to be paid for residents and tourists from the 49 countries which are granted a visa on arrival.
Gwaifat 24.12696 51.61975
I shall start with the one that is least-used for expats and it does not even cross to Oman – the Gweifat/Al Bat’ha border with Saudi. You can only enter Saudi with a pre-arranged visa – which is hard to obtain if you are a non-muslim expat. Did you know that pre-1974 you could drive from the UAE to Qatar; the late Sheikh Zayed made a trade with Saudi which saw them give up any claims to land within the Buraymi Oasis and Al Ain, in exchange for a corridor of land between the UAE and Qatar.
If you follow the fence round the UAE until the next open border post you will travel 600kms!
Mezyad-Hafeet Border 24.02230 55.84722
Normally one of the best borders to do visa renewal trips, this is also the border of choice if you are travelling to Nizwa or central/southern Oman. Unlike the other borders in Al Ain, the UAE and Oman border posts are very close together- only 1.3kms – and can be walked in the cooler months for those doing visa runs.
Al Ain: Khatam Al Shikla UAE Post 24.21142 55.95365
Although popular with trucks, many cars choose this crossing as it is generally quite quiet. This is the point you depart/arrive in the UAE, there is no Oman post immediately over the border so you need to head some 30kms to the Omani Border Post at Wadi Al Jizi to be officially stamped into Oman.
This is a throwback from the days when you could freely travel to Buraimi from Al Ain, do your shopping/visit friends and then return to the UAE, all without requiring a passport stamp. This came to a halt in 2013 and now once you depart from the UAE you need to be stamped in and out of Oman before receiving a new entry stamp for the UAE.
Al Madheef Border 24.23184 55.7695
For GCC Nationals only – they don’t need passports to cross as their ID cards suffice. You may find that your GPS takes you here so avoid if you are an expat.
Hili Border 24.26248 55.76648 – This will be closed to tourists and GCC residents from 1st January 2018
Between 2007 and 2013 it was possible for UAE residents to pass through here by showing their passport, yet not having it stamped. Sadly in July 2013 the rules were changed and now you have to park your car (easier said than done when busy, not enough parking spaces) and queue at the immigration office to obtain an exit stamp. As with Khatam Al Shikla, you then need to travel to the Omani border post at Wadi Al Jizi (24.22423 56.16256) to be stamped into Oman. This post can become extremely busy and personally I prefer to cross at Mezyad as it is much quieter – there even during peak times such as Eid I have managed to go through border formalities in only an hour.
Hatta/Al Wajajah 24.80672 56.20138
The most popular crossing for Dubai residents; tourists arriving from Dubai should get a free Oman visa if they transit this point, providing they have 21 days left on their Dubai Visa (in other words, have arrived in Dubai in the last 9 days). However I have recently heard of someone being refused this, having been told they need a “special 30 day visa”.
Note – the border posts are approximately 3kms apart.
UPDATE NOV 15 – the border “post” on the E44 is now restricted to GCC citizens. Previously you could cross into Oman to reach the Hatta Fort Hotel and pools without getting your passport stamped but this is no longer possible. If approaching from the south, you now have to go North on the E55, head east on the E102 before heading south to rejoin the E44 and transiting the Hatta/Al Wajajah border posts.
Kalba/Katmat Milahah Border 24.98430 56.36126
The most northerly crossing into “mainland” Oman, this entry is from the UAE emirate of Sharjah.
Dibba 25.62563 56.2707
This is not a full border post, merely a Sharjah Police post which requires non-GCC citizens to make advance arrangements to pass through. If you are an expat you can only go through this post if you have a hotel booking for either the Golden Tulip or the Six Senses Zighy Bay, or alternatively a dhow cruise booking. These must be booked at least 7 days in advance, along with a scanned copy of your passport so the hotel/tour operator can arrange permission to cross.
Dara/Bukha (Musandam) 26.04990 56.08761
This is the only border accepting non-GCC residents travelling to Musandam. The UAE and Oman posts are close to each other and if you go when it is quiet you can transit quite quickly.
Taking your car.
If it is a rental, then you will need written permission from the rental company – there is likely to be a fee for this.
You must take the original registration card with you – in the past rentals would provide you with a photocopy and this would suffice, but now the rules have changed and the original card is essential. For this reason, some rental companies are now refusing to grant permission to take their vehicles to Oman (Avis for sure, but there could be others, so please check before you book.)
If you do not own it then you should take written permission from the owner; I’ve never been asked for it (except one time I was travelling back to the UAE from Oman with my husband’s car, go figure!) but it is good to have.
Update June 2017
If your car’s mulkiya (registration card) has expired this will be picked up at the customs point before you leave the UAE and you are unlikely to be permitted to take it across the border. To clarify, I mean the “exp. date” on the card, not the “ins. exp.” which extends one month beyond the registration date.
If your car insurance does not cover Oman, then you can purchase third party insurance for a nominal fee (currently around 100aed for up to a week’s cover) at the border – most have an insurance company based there especially for this.
What you shouldn’t carry:
- Firearms or weapons
- walkie talkies
- anything that is illegal in either country
- don’t take firewood from Oman back into the UAE.
Taking guests across
Make sure everyone has at least 6 months left in their passport and that they have a space for the Omani visa to be stamped. If you are taking a child who is a relative but does not have the same surname as you, then it is recommended that you take written permission from their parent/guardian.
Ensure that your medical insurance covers you whilst in Oman (most do, but worth checking).
Citizens of the 49 countries who are lucky enough to qualify for a tourist visa on arrival in the UAE can renew this visa by doing a “border run” every 30 days. Apparently there are 10 days grace, ie you are allowed 40 days but I not know if this is written into the law and it could change at any time without notice. If you overstay then you will have to pay 100aed per day of overstay. Please note that the rules for visa runs arriving by air are different, and you should check before booking your flights.
Providing you are not working, in which case your employer should provide you with a residency visa, you can do border runs indefinitely, and some do.
There are private companies including which can take you across the border for visa renewal – you can find them by doing a google search.
Alternatively, why not go to Oman for the weekend with a group of friends and get the necessary stamps then – as well as having an amazing adventure? Don’t know where to go? Check out my Oman Mountains and Plains and also Oman Seaside posts.
Thank you very much for reading this blogpost – I cannot claim to be a legal expert regarding Oman Visas so if you have a specific query please contact the Omani Embassy in Abu Dhabi. They are located in Al Mushraf Area, Al Saada Street 19, Abu Dhabi. Their phone number is 02 4463 333.
Good luck with your trip, have a safe one, and if you have found this blogpost useful, please can you share it on social media? Thank you!