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Oman

Getting there & away

Sea

There are currently no passenger services to/from Oman, although Muscat is a port of call for cruise liners.

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Land

Oman borders the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Current practicalities mean, however, that you can only enter UAE and Yemen, and only through certain borderposts. The situation changes frequently, however, and it’s worth checking with the Royal Oman Police(24 4569603) before planning your trip to see which crossings are open to non-GCC visitors. Visas are obtainable at all Oman border posts.

Uae

Currently there are three border posts open 24 hours to foreigners; these are at Wajaja (for Dubai), Khatmat Milahah (for Dibba), and Al-Darah–Tibat (for Musandam Peninsula). It is likely that the Buraimi border (for Abu Dhabi) will open again shortly.

Yemen

There are two border posts with Yemen at Sarfait and Mazyunah. Both are open 24 hours. Sarfait is by far the best option as new roads lead to the post on either side. Mazyunah leads into unsafe territory on the Yemeni side.

Note that you cannot re-enter Oman on a tourist visa and, as a tourist in Oman, you cannot obtain a visa for Yemen from the embassy in Muscat. Most nationalities, however, can obtain one at the border.

Uae

The Oman National Transport Company (ONTC; 24 708522; www.ontcoman.com) has buses to Dubai (OR5, six hours, daily) departing from Ruwi bus station (24 701294) in Muscat at 6am, 7am and 4.30pm.

Comfort Line (24 702191), has a similarly comfortable service to Dubai at 6.30am and 4.30pm (OR5, five hours, daily). The bus leaves from a parking lot outside Moon Travels, two blocks behind the bus station on Way 2985 in Muscat.

The ONTC service from Muscat to Abu Dhabi (OR5, six hours, daily) leaves at 6.30am but check the status of the border in Buraimi first.

Yemen

The Gulf Transport Company (23 293303) has three buses daily per week to Mukhalla in Yemen (OR12, six hours) departing from Salalah bus station at 9.30am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Car

It’s possible to drive through any of the borders in your own vehicle if you obtain insurance to cover both countries.

You need extra insurance if you wish to take a hired car over the border to/from UAE and you must return the car to the country in which you hired it (unless you’re willing to pay a huge premium).

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Entering the destination

Entering oman

Entering Oman at Seeb International Airport (24 519223) is straight-forward. The small airport is surprisingly efficient, queues are kept to a minimum (outside holiday periods), staff are friendly and your luggage is often waiting on the carousel before immigration is complete. Most visitors require a visa upon arrival. This is easily expedited by filling in a form (in the immigration hall) and taking it to the clearly marked visa-collection counter before queuing up to have your passport stamped.

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Air

Airports & airlines

There is only one truly international airport in Oman, and that is SeebInternationalAirport (24 519223) in Muscat. That said, Oman Air sometimes runs direct flights between Dubai and Salalah Airport, but you need to have a visa for Oman before arrival. At the time of writing, these flights were suspended due to lack of demand. Preparations for a second runway and a new terminal building are currently in progress.

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