Thursday, November 26, 2015
11

Lately there has been a lot of confusion over the border crossings between the UAE and Oman. Currently I don't have full details on all crossings, but I'm sharing what I do know here, if you have any relevant first hand experiences, please do feel free to share them here so others can see.

1. Here is a list of all border crossings between mainland Oman and the UAE that I'm aware of:

a) GCC only at Buraimi - Al Ain (Hili) - Map here
b) "Truck route" (and Expats allowed) at Buraimi - Al Ain (Khatm Al Shakla) - Map here
c) "Dubai route" (and Expats allowed) at Al Wajajah - Hatta (Wajajah) - Map here
d) "Dubai route - Checkpoint" (and Expats allowed) at Hatta - Madam/ Hatta (Wajajah) - Map here - it's the bit of Oman you go back into after leaving Oman for the UAE at Al Wajajah.
e) "Fujairah route" - the way to Musandam - Khatmat Malahah - Kalba - Map here
f) Ras al Khaimah at Aswad - al Nasla - Map here - I've never taken this route, and I've no idea if it's open and you can cross here or not.

2. Visa on arrival by air is being granted how it was before. Passport holders that always did get visa on arrival presumably always will (even after the e-visa system is reimplemented) be able to get visa on arrival.

3. Yesterday, Wednesday, the route b listed above, at Buraimi (truck route) was OPEN to expats driving across the border. There were a lot of very thorough checks taking place and the border was very slow to cross through, 2 hours to do so at midday.

4. I understand that route d listed above, the dubai route checkpoint via Madam is currently CLOSED to expats driving across the border (it might in fact be closed entirely). I don't know if it is still closed and I don't know if it's closed to all expats (eg holders of valid visa on arrival countries - eg UK/USA etc).

5. I have no idea about the Khatmat Malahah route to Fujairah / Musandam, I've heard it's still open but only open for trucks, but no idea if that is accurate.

6. The route f noted above, between Aswad and Al Nasla, certainly looks like a nice drive through the mountains, but then again - no idea if it's open, I never even knew it existed until very recently.

7. The current best way to get to the UAE by road is to cross into the UAE at the usual Wajajah border post (the first border to the UAE on the Dubai road) and then turning RIGHT (North) before Hatta at the roundabout and to head off to Sharjah - map here. This route then cuts out the need to go back into Oman, and then back into the UAE (and thus eliminates the need to go through the checkpoints). It's also a nicer drive, seeing more mountains than sand that you would see by going through Madam.

So there you have it! If you are driving up next week for the long weekend (and the 7s) - or this weekend for the F1... then aim to go via route c (wajajah) and then drive up through Sharjah - or just fly! If you have any updates to the situation on the borders, please feel free to share them here!

le fin.

11 comments:

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Our GPS always sends us to a closed border... which looked like smuggling was going on last time we were there.... Super sketchy. Have no idea which one it is of your list or if it is different one. It USED to be a border station I guess... I'll ask my husband for the corudinates... don't go there! Since it was so sketchy...

While still an expat the Emiratis almost always let me go through when I end up at a non expat border.... But I was turned away once and had to go back (Al Ain one I guess). That was when UAE was all "no Canadians allowed" though.

Anonymous said...

I came back to Oman from UAE the other weekend and ended up at the Hilli (al Ain) border by accident and went through no problem.

Anonymous said...

Drove to Dubai today (usual route from Sohar) and routed through Sharjah ...

Anonymous said...

Updating your post slightly:
a) The Buraima – Al Ain crossing is confirmed GCC only.
b) The Truck Route (Buraimi – al Ain) is confimed open to all including expats.
c) There is a third crossing in the Al Ain area: Mezyad - Hafeet to the south of Al Ain on the road to Ibri & Nizwa. This is also open to expats.
d) The checkpoints on route D are open only to Omanis & Emiratis, and to cargo since Sunday last week. All expats are being turned away. I’ve been told it will be closed to expats for at least 1 month.
e) The Khatmat Malahah / Kalba crossing is open to all traffic, including expats.

If you use the Hatta / Wajajah crossing into the UAE, dont turn right before Hatta. The best route is to go straight through Hatta as normal and then turn right at the next roundabout, which takes you straight onto the Sharjah - Kalba tunnel road. It's a faster route than the one you suggested.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and a map for the 3rd Al Ain crossing here: https://www.google.ae/maps/@24.0198244,55.8475814,1709m/data=!3m1!1e3

VizFish said...

Adding to previous comments; About 6 months ago I accidentally missed the left turn at the roundabout nr Shinas towards Hatta (there were a lot of roadworks so it all looked unfamiliar and my sat nav was telling me to go straight) we ended up at the Khatmat/ Kalba crossing - we were turned back because both my wife's and my Oman visa had less than 3 months before expiry. We went to the Wajajah-Hatta crossing and were able to cross to UAE with no problems.

However whilst the above and many of the previous posts may be of historical interest, I would very much like to know what has happened regarding the news that 'visa on arrival' would no longer be available from October 1st for GCC residents wishing to travel to UAE. It would be very useful to hear any experience of; Oman resident visa holders that are passport holders of countries that are not in the approved list but had been able to purchase 'visa on arrival' at the UAE border. Similarly any experience of non GCC residents ie tourists or visitors to Oman and are passport holders of the approved country list (List 1?) who wish to cross the land borders - no visa purchase was necessary when travelling from Oman to UAE but had been able to purchase 'visa on arrival' at the Land border entry point when returning to Oman.

Jax said...

There are two Buraimi - Al Ain crossings in Buraimi proper (not truck road) one has always been GCC only and one allows expats. No e-visas needed for GCC residents serving in occupations on the list... Nothing has changed...

I(ndo)migran said...

Recently gone to Dubai during 44th UAE National Day holidays through Wajaja/Hatta border. After passed the UAE immigration border, we're expecting another check point. When about to cross, the army told us to turn back and continue through Sharjah - Kalbah road. The same happened when we went back to Oman, the Madam road is closed for expats (non-GCC) hence we've been told to take road to Malehah and continue to Fujairah or same Sharjah - Kalbah road and we took the later.

We dont know when the Madam road will be opened for other expats traveling from Oman-UAE vice versa. The army didnt say anything tho'. :)

For expats requiring visa prior to visit UAE, it can be done within 2 days (in my experience). This pre-approved visa makes your journey less hassle and alot faster in the UAE Hatta border.

Anonymous said...

@I(ndo)migran, have you noticed some people applying for visa-on-arrival to go to UAE? I managed to get my e-visa before, but after that, somehow my application got into some problems and was not returning any status - approved or not and unfortunately I paid and lost that money. Now I am planning to go to the UAE again to spend the Christmas with my wife and is torn to apply again online or try my luck with a visa-on-arrival.

Peter said...

Thank you for sharing this information. It works very well for me.

smartmallu said...

TIPS FOR ANYONE TRAVELLING FROM SOHAR TO AL AIN THROUGH HILI CHECKPOST :
I,an expat, travelled with my family by car from Muscat to Al Ain yesterday.Got online visa through an agent ( It can be done online for 27.50 OMR, I being a lazy guy paid 35 to the agent). Before applying for visa, make sure that the passport is valid for 6 months and GCC residency card for 3 months.
A wise thing I did just before travel was to update my Garmin GPS navigator ( Had to pay 60 OMR for lifetime update of MENA region)
The checkpost on Omani side is Al Jizzi ( about 70 Km from Sohar)
Once they stamp exit at the Omani side ( which usually should'n't take more than 10 minutes), they will give a small chit which you must show at the gates to pass further. This route takes you through Buraimi and its about 40 Km and its a long stretched road through scenic mountains and wadis.
The border checkpost on the UAE side is at Hili and its not very difficult to find.
The place at Hili checkpost where they stamp for entry is quite crowded and there is not enough space for parking and there are no proper signs or instructions to get your work done. I had to cross the temporary checkpost without stamping as I was following other cars and then had to take a U turn and come back and join long line of cars. Finally after waiting for nearly 15 minutes got a parking place( there is space for only 10-15 vehicles) and luckily got the visa process done in about 30 minutes. The whole exercise took about 1 hour( It was a Thursday)..They will do an eye scan also.
-------------
Return journey:
It took quite a while to find the Hili border post while travelling back from Al Ain to Muscat. Wasted almost 30 minutes circling round the city finding the place ( Garmin doesn't show Hili checkpost). Basically you will have to follow the signs which show Dubai route and then turn towards right from a roundabout after a petrol pump ( sorry for the vague directions). If you see any sand dunes you can be sure that you have missed the exit and is going to Dubai.From the city centre it should not take more than 20-30 minutes to reach the checkpost.
UAE charges 3 OMR for exit to Oman, even if you are resident of oman.

I had great problem getting coordinates for the the two checkpoints as it will not show up in Garmin and google also was of no use. The coordinates I managed to get in google were all inaccurate showing unpaved roads.

HERE IS THE ACTUAL COORDINATES OF THE CHECKPOSTS IN OMAN AND UAE SIDE FROM MY GARMIN (as I was standing in front of the offices respectively)
(In google maps , check for 'UAE Hili border' for Hili checkpost and 'OMAN UAE border post' for Oman checkpost.)

Al Jizzi Border N24.22403 E056.16227
HILI border N24.26261 E055.76759

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