Where to go without a car?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Aug 6, 2012 1:12 PM Last Post By: estebandepraga
Aug 5, 2012 3:26 AM
Where to go without a car?Hi all
I have the chance to spend some time in the UAE in late Oct/early Nov before stating a new job in Vietnam
I will spend some time in Dubai as I have 2 friends there and free accommodation; I will also travel for some days to Oman and do as much as I can WITHOUT a car(I don't drive!).Here's my question: Should I fly to Doha(Qatar)and/ or Bahrain to visit each place for a few days? Since I have to fly, does the visit of either of the places warrant an approx$200 usd r.t ticket?
Also any suggestions for UAE and Oman without a car are greatly appreciated I have read many threads and would like to see many places but on public transport Im rather limited; the idea in Oman of busing it to Salalah 12 hrs each way doesnt sound too much fun as well as prices for accommodations in these places!
Thanks to you all and happy trails
Aug 5, 2012 2:05 PM
1Since Dubai Metro opened, getting around Dubai without a car is pretty easy. Also taxis and buses are fairly cheap in Dubai and there are good buses connecting Dubai with Abu Dhabi and a few other Emirates.
If you want to go to Salalah, you can fly there either from Dubai or Muscat. Getting around Oman without a car is not impossible but it's far better with a car. For that reason if you can't drive and don't want to use buses I would just visit Muscat and Salalah and do some local tours or jump in a taxi to see the sights.
I would also argue that Oman is much more interesting to visit than Bahrain and Qatar but it's difficult to advise without knowing your interests. There is nothing in Qatar that you won't find in Dubai.
Edited by: dxb1969
Aug 6, 2012 2:28 AM
2Thanks so much for the thoughts
I will definitely consider them.
My interests are art, architecture, culture, of course Id love to to see some great sand dunes or other natural wonders but not willing to pay"through the nose" to see them or walk hrs to reach them!
Can, knowing what I told you, a visit via $$ plane to Salalah warrant the expense?
Do you think that I can easily cover the sights on Easy or Big Bus in Dubai via bus,metro and an occasional taxi?
Aug 6, 2012 6:27 AM
3I second dxb1969's thoughts on Dubai - the absence of a car is no hindrance to making the most of Dubai, and to a large extent, the rest of the UAE as well.
Oman is harder to arrange without transport, but it is definitely still possible to see some of the real highlights. With a bit of effort, you can navigate your way around Muscat via shared taxis and minibuses, and up to Nizwa, and if you want to spend some time in the desert, the overnight camps in the Wahiba are infinitely better than the "desert experience" style arrangments available in Dubai. I know that several of the desert camps will arrange transport from Muscat although it doesnt come cheap.
I've stayed with these guys a couple of times and they've always done exactly what they said they would, they're not the best, and they're not the cheapest, but a good middle ground:
If you planned it cleverly, you could do a 2 day / one night in the desert booking with them, and then get them to drop you off in Nizwa on the way back instead of taking you to Muscat, which would make things even easier. You could easily do a 6 day trip with 2 days Muscat, 2 days on a planned tour in a 4x4 and then 2 days in Muscat (one to explore the town of Nizwa, the fort and the souq on foot), and a second to visit Jabreen and maybe the Hoota Cave by taxi / minibus. Several people have talked about hitching lifts up on to the Jebel Akhdar plateau as well which would be well worth the attempt.
Although you can fly down to Salalah easily and cheaply, I think it would be much harder to get any value from the trip without any transport - you really do need a car to get to almost all the places worth visiting, so although I love Salalah and would go at the drop of a hat, I would say its probably not worth it for you.
And based on your stated interests of art, architechture and culture, I'm going to make a rare divergence from dxb1969's advice and say that I think a trip to Doha would be well worth it. Specifically, the slightly Disneyfied and oversanitised (but still interesting) Souk Waqif is by far the most extensive and accessible reconstruction / rehab of a traditional souk in this region, and is well worth a day of wandering, and the museum of Islamic Art is wonderful - I could happily spend a whole day there. I wouldnt bother with anything else, but with the frequency of flights between Dubai and Doha you could easily do a two full days and one overnight stay trip and get a lot out of it. The souk and the museum are very close together on the corniche so if you get a hotel close by, at that time of year, you could do everything on foot with no need for transport at all other than taxis to and from the airport.
Aug 6, 2012 10:34 AM
Aug 6, 2012 12:26 PM
5Hi, to respond to your question in post #2, in Dubai it is certainly possible to use metro, bus & the occasional taxi to cover all the places visited by Big Bus or EasyTour, but I don't think you will save much money if you literally visit all the stops. If you just visit the highlights - Burj Khalifa, Gold Souq, Burj Al Arab, Dubai creek/museum, then it will certainly be cheaper using public transport. For example, a one day pass for the Dubai metro is around AED16.
A visit to Salalah is probably not worthwhile given your interests, but I would certainly take a look at Muscat and Wahiba Sands if you can get there. Failing that there are some great dunes at Liwa Oasis in the UAE, but it's 2 hours from Abu Dhabi. You can probably book a tour from Abu Dhabi, but I'm not sure whether public buses go there and there is no budget accommodation.
I had originally advised not to visit Doha but if you're interested in art/architecture/culture then Genghis is probably right - you might enjoy going there. Plus if you check out fares on low cost carriers like Air Arabia and FlyDubai, you should be able to get a fairly cheap fare. There is also some interesting islamic architecture and museums in Sharjah, which are often overlooked by tourists, just a short bus or taxi ride from Dubai.
Aug 6, 2012 1:12 PM
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