Those moving to Dubai might find that they need to do a visa run once or twice before their residency visa is completed
22 January 2013| Last updated on 8 October 2017
There has been a lot of confusion recently regarding the border crossings between the UAE and Oman. In fact, there has been some reports of expatriates attempting to complete their visa run via Hatta being turned away.
Nonetheless, recent updates state that the Hatta route is NOT closed. Recently, 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.
Regardless, developments have occurred and new rules state that anyone exiting from ANY of the UAE borders by road towards Oman MUST pay AED 35 for the exit visa from UAE. This is additional to the AED 200 already required to pay for your Oman visit visa on visa runs.
ExpatWoman forum users have been discussing their journeys to Oman, which you may find here.
When completing a visa run, you will be required to take the following with you on your journey to ensure a smooth and successful trip:
- Your Passport
- A pen
- Cash/Credit Card/Debit Card
- Car insurance papers
You might also be interested in:
- Discuss your visa run with fellow EW members on our forum
- Your guide to driving in Dubai
- RTA and Dubai Police Traffic fines
Sharjah/Kalba Route to Oman
Turn left at the Al Madam roundabout and get onto the E55 heading to Al Malaiha. Turn into the Sharjah/Kalba road (signpost - Shawka). Turn rights towards Hatta onto the E44 after around 25-30 kilometres, thereby avoiding Omani territory and moving on to the Al Wajaja border post.
Taking this route will add only 30 minutes onto your journey, rather than an hour or two of extra driving when you're turned away and told to loop around.
- Avoid Al Madheef checkpoint (Al Ain/Buraimi border) as well as Al Hili border as these are only open to GCC nationals.
- The Dibba police post requires expatriates to have a hotel booking for the Golden Tulip or the Six Sense Zighy Bay or a dhow cruise booking to pass through.
- Nationalities belonging to the SCHENGEN AGREEMENT must be mindful that they CAN NO LONGER DO VISA RUNS for their tourist visa renewal, and only have a 90 day visa allowance in an 180 day period. However, they CAN travel for employment visa purposes, entry permit stamping or residence visa cancellations.
Hatta Route to Oman
Most people find it easiest to drive up to Hatta in Oman in order to do this. The process is not difficult although it can be time consuming. The drive from Dubai to Hatta is around 250km and the entire visa run process takes up to four hours, depending on the queues. Oman is a popular tourist destination so the border will be busier on weekends and public holidays.
- The road to Hatta is quite straightforward and the road signs in Dubai are visible. However it is advisable to download the route from Google or to use your GPS device.
- You will pass a few checkpoints where you may be asked to show your passport before you get to the actual UAE border.
- You will come to a customs checkpoint before you exit the UAE. Here the customs officials will check your car and issue you with a customs ticket for your vehicle. Keep this ticket with you as you will be asked for it when processing your passport.
- Next you will come to the UAE border. You will have to park your car and go to a window to take your UAE exit stamp. If you have overstayed your visa period you will have to pay all necessary fines before you will be allowed to move on.
- Get back into your vehicle and drive for around 10km until you see a large dome shaped building. Follow the signs that say “new visa.”
- Once you reach the building go inside and tell them that you are doing a visa run, they will immediately stamp you into and out of Oman. Remember to get you customs ticket stamped as well (the one you got for your car). The visa will cost AED50 – AED200 depending on the day. The cost of the visa changes at random but lately it has been AED50. Bring lots of money just in case.
- When you have the entry and exit stamps from Oman get back into your vehicle and drive towards Dubai. Park your car at the border again and proceed to the window of UAE immigration and get a new entry stamp and visa.
- Enjoy the drive back to Dubai.
SEE ALSO: 10 car safety tips for your pet
Some things to remember:
- Your visa is valid for 30 days. The government gives visitors a 10 day grace period without a fine. Thereafter you will be fined for everyday that you overstay.
- Remember to have your car insurance with you. If you own a car than your UAE insurance is acceptable in Oman. However rental vehicles will need additional insurance for Oman.
- Always be respectful and polite to the border officials. They can make your visa run smooth and they can make it a nightmare.
- Consider visiting Oman as a tourist for a night instead of just turning around at the border. Oman is a beautiful country with a rich history and an amazing sea.
Alternatives to Visa Run
The good news is, the UAE allows expatriates to change their tourist visa into a residency permit in-country, at the cost of a fee. This is also an option for renewals. Find out more about your residency visa and renewals here.