Thursday, November 26, 2015

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.


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:,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.

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