Many tourists visiting Dubai and Abu Dhabi opt for a short break into Oman since crossing the border is easy for “westerners” and some other nationalities; the tranquil beauty of the Omani mountains and sea can be a welcome time-out from the bright lights and hustle bustle of the UAE’s largest cities.
It is possible to fly to Muscat (MCT) or Salalah (SLL) but a lot opt to drive there, taking in the grandeur of the Hajar mountains, the Middle East’s very own “Rockies”, on the way.
Until recently, almost every UAE car hire company allowed their cars to be taken over the border and would issue insurance and paperwork (at a moderate charge) to make this possible. However, late in 2016, reports started coming in from tourists denied entry to Oman with their hire car.
n the UAE & Oman we do not have paper registration documents but instead are issued with a “Mulkiya”, a plastic ID card for your vehicle. In the past, a photocopy of this sufficed for border formalities, but nowadays the original card must be shown; many rental companies believe handing over the card to clients brings a higher risk of the vehicle being stolen/re-registered in Oman and no longer allow their cars over the border.
Some hire companies still permit their cars to be taken to Oman, Dollar Rent A Car being one of them. I asked them to quote me for rental of a) Toyota Corolla and b) Jeep Wrangler for a week, with 7 days in Oman.
7 day hire of Toyota Corolla or similar 1625aed; collision damage waiver (full protection) 360aed; Oman insurance 850aed; vehicle licensing fee 25aed; a total of 2860aed.
7 day hire of Jeep Wrangler 3998aed; collision damage waiver (full protection) 560aed; Oman insurance 850aed; vehicle licensing fee 25aed; total 5433aed.
Mileage based on 2000kms (trust me, it is easy to run up a massive amount of kms when in Oman. I have only lived in small countries – Scotland and UAE – and Oman is at least four times the size of these). So if you plan on seeing a decent amount of Oman, then you can budget 1AED extra for every km.
Some companies ask you to buy Oman insurance at the border – this is quite easy to do as the offices, like the borders, are open 24/7 BUT you can only buy third party insurance, not fully comprehensive. It may be that the hire company covers you in both the UAE and Oman for “at fault” damage, but it is best to check with them, or hire from a company who will issue you full insurance for both countries at the time of hire.
Once you get across to the UAE, why not pick up a camping hire pack from Ibex Adventures? We provide everything you need for wild camping from a quality Colemans tent right through to a kettle and a chopping board! 3-day hire from 46 OMR. Please enquire by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other alternatives? Fly to Muscat from Dubai or Abu Dhabi – it’s a short flight typically around 500aed – and pick up a hire car in country. Ibex Adventures have partnered with a company which will rent a toyota landcruiser out for 50 OMR per day, with unlimited miles (email me to find out more),
So there you have it – get yourself over here and come and enjoy one of the most beautiful, friendly and safe countries in the world!