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How to get the Visa On Arrival for Oman at the border with the UAE

In this post, I will explain to you how I went from the United Arab Emirates to Oman by land and, although it may seem impossible, how much it cost me to get someone to stamp an Omani visa in my passport, even though I was already on their soil.


    Countries that can get the visa at the border

If your passport is from any of the other GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates) or New Zealand you will not need a visa to enter the country.

For all the citizens of the European Union, as well as those of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, Paraguay, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City or Venezuela, will be able to easily issue the visa on arrival at the same border or airport when getting to Oman.


    Open borders between UAE and Oman

To cross from the Emirates to the main part of Omani territory, you have the following borders available:

  • Hili border: You will find it in the north of the city of Al Ain. This was the one we took and I do not recommend it since, as I will explain below, they do not issue your visa in the border. They let you in and you have to go somewhere else to do it.
  • Mezyad border: in the south of Al Ain. This is the one we used to come back to the Emirates and is much bigger than the first one, and as I saw they were issuing visas here. I recommend taking this border crossing.
  • Khatam mahala, also called Kalba: It’s in the south of the city of Fujairah, already on the coast of the Gulf of Oman.
  • Hatta border: This last one is between Al Ain and Fujairah, and it seems that it is very popular to go directly from or to Dubai.


    Departure from UAE and payment of the corresponding fee

The first thing you need to know is that to leave the UAE by land, you must pay an exit fee.

For this you must go to the ‘Cancelation of visas’ room, where they will give you a paper that will be stamped by the border guards. Then you should go back to that first room and ask for a number. Once your turn arrives, deliver the paper stamped by the agents and pay the exit fee, which is 35AED per person (9.5 USD). A very important fact is that you can not pay in cash with any kind of currency, so you will have to pay it no matter what with a credit card.

We assume that these 35AEDs include not only the exit fee but also a card payment fee, since by paying both taxes out together we ended up paying 64AED instead of 70AED.

Once you have paid, you will be given a receipt with which you will be able to go to the end of the border again, and once you have shown it to the police, they will stamp your passport and they will let you through.


    Looking for a visa for my passport

Once passed the Emirati control happened something really strange and is that suddenly, without any kind of control, we were in Omani land. We thought we were in no man’s land and we started walking to find ourselves between small businesses, people up and down and even cars in the very same street we were. We were totally bewildered until we asked a local if that was already Oman and where was the border control. He said that, yes, that was Al Buraymi, the town that borders Al Ain and that if there were no policemen at the border that we should not worry about it and we should continue our journey. We asked several more people, and they all said the same thing.

It seemed so surreal to us. We went back to the Emirati part of the border and were told to go to the Immigration office in Al Buraymi, several kilometers from the border.

Still quite bewildered, we started hitchhiking to go there and suddenly stopped a car with a pair of Emiratis. When we told them that we were going to Ali Buraymi’s Immigration, they told us that we could also do the visa in a big border control that is on the highway that goes to the capital, passing by Sohar, and that is about 40 kilometers away from Al Buraymi. Finally, and still being a little afraid of it all, we were able to pay and get our visa for the next 30 days in Oman!


    Kinds of visas and prices

The first thing to know is that if you have entered the Emirates by Dubai and you have a visa to stay there for a minimum of 21 days, you will not need to do any visa to be in Oman during that time. In the same way, if you have a visa for more than a month to be in Qatar, you will not need to do it either.

It is also important to know that unlike other GCC countries, having in your passport evidence of having been in Israel will not cause you any problems.

That said, if you plan to do the visa at the border you should also know that you can not do it multi-entry.
You can do these two visas on arrival:

  • 10-day visa: 5 OMR (13 USD)
  • 30-day visa: 20 OMR (52 USD)

As we were told at the border, only the 30-day visa was extendable. However, we met people who told us that they had got in the country with the 10-day one and had extended it after.

Finally, if you are living in any of the other countries of the GCC the 30-day visa will cost you only 5 OMR (13 USD) showing your residence permit.


    Where to sleep?

If like me, you are happy pitching your tent wherever, you must know that in UAE it is forbidden to do so in any of the big cities, so unless you do it in the desert a few kilometers before Al Ain, it’s better that you cross to Oman and pitch it wherever you want, since it’s legal there. In any case, if you are the kind that prefers to stay somewhere with a roof but wants to keep under control his budget, here you have the two cheapest options I found:

    ➡ If you are still in Al Ain, UAE, you can check out Top Hotel Apartment. For 50 USD / night you have a double room with private bathroom, Wi-Fi, AC and flat screen TV. It’s in the city center next to the road that goes all the way to Mezyad border crossing point.
    ➡ If you are already in Oman you will have cheaper options, like Al Salam Hotel. For only 29 USD / night you have a double room with private bathroom, Wi-Fi and breakfast included each morning. It’s located in the main road of Al-Buraymi, only 400 meters away from the Hili border.
    ➡ If you prefer to keep on going and stay directly in Muscat, you may want to check Mutrah Hotel out, that as you will guess, is in the cool district of Muttrah. It’s the cheapest in town and actually it has a score of 8.1 on Booking, so it must good! For 40 USD / night you have a double room with private bathroom, Wi-Fi, AC and flat screen TV.

And well, that’s it. I hope you find this post useful and that you have a great time there!


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