The thing about spontaneous trips is that, while you get to roll the day with no concrete plans, the more you get excited and look forward to exciting (mis)adventures. Such was the case with us as we left Dubai over the EID holidays, just a couple weeks ago. Although it wasn’t my first time to go on a road trip across Middle East, this one was so much different as it involved crossing the border by land, of course. So, in one stiflingly hot afternoon and with nothing but a small bag and my Google maps ready, away we go to the most unusual Middle Eastern destination – OMAN.
I wasn’t really aware of the primary border crossings between the UAE and Oman so it was only when after we set off that I started googling which route to take. Little did I know, we were in for a fail attempt of crossing the border just because of the wrong information that I got from the internet. So, the page which I was reading through says that expatriates have been advised to instead use the Sharjah route via Kalba Road, which avoids crossing into the Oman enclave between Al Madam and Hatta Road. And guess what happened next? We reached the said border only to be turned away (nice try, yea?).
Getting to the Al Wajajah border took us at least an hour and a half. This is basically the downside of not having plans at all – YOU WASTE A LOT OF TIME. In our case, we wasted one full day. But, as they say, if anything goes wrong, charge it to the experience.
So which is a SURE route to take?
Wadi Hatta – Al Wajajah Border (tip: type in Al Wajajah Border on Waze)
Note: Make sure that you have successfully downloaded the whole map of Oman on your Google Maps because you will sure need this once you get to Oman, trust me.
Step 1: Exit Dubai
It was at least convenient for us as we did everything from the car. Once met by the officer:
- Hand over your passport and/or IDs along with 35 AED in cash (exit fee)
- The officer should return your passport with a stamp on it and an exit sticker will be given to you
- Voila! You can now drive towards the border The Omani border post Al Wajajah is approximately 3kms over the border where you can park and do some paperwork.