Here comes our memory of the road trip to Musandam-Khasab, Oman.
On Jan ’2014, one pleasant morning we started our road trip to Khasab from Dubai. It was one of our best and memorable trips in UAE.
There are lot of adventures and astonishment uniqueness in Musandam peninsula. It is one the must visit places in the region. Khasab is the main city and capital of Musandam province which is part of Oman and not in UAE. It is located in the Arabian Gulf next to Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), northern part of UAE.
There are two options to reach this place from Dubai; one is the road trip and second one is by boat trip (dhow cruise) by sea. Lot of tour operators are available to arrange these trips from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
We took Emirates road (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road) and the total distance from Dubai to Khasab is >200kms. Since it was a weekend there was not much traffic on Bin Zayed road. The speed limit is 120-140kmph. We could not find any restaurants throughout this stretch except few Petrol/Gas stations.
Weather was awesome, cool and equable weather throughout the drive. The drive after crossing the Omani border was great, as the road leads to breath-taking landscapes. We happened to pass through few villages after border crossing, where farm animals just wander on the road, we saw armed security guards on the way. It is recommended to use GPS navigator if you are not familiar with the routes. We lost the road and wasted 15-20 minutes due to road diversions in RAK.
Total distance from Dubai to Khasab: >200kms
Dubai to RAK: 110-120kms (1.30 hours)
RAK to Omani border: 40 kms (30-40 mins)
Border to Khasab: 45-50kms (45mins – 1 hour)
Total travel time: 3.30 hours (including the border crossing of 30 mins & on the way sightseeing activities)
Visa regulation, entry and exit at the border:
Once we cross RAK, there is an UAE border check post (Passport section) where we got the exit stamp and vehicle pass by paying AED 35. Since there was no queue we completed this process in 5 mins and approached towards the Omani border. We handed over this pass in the next check post.
There is no prior visa required for UAE residents (UAE visa holders). Tourists with UAE single entry visa are not permitted to cross the border.
After crossing the UAE border we stopped the car near the Oman entrance and took car insurance from Al Ahlia for 80 DHS since I did not have an Oman insurance. We submitted filled-in visa application form, paid 50 AED (per person) for the entry visa and got the entry visa stamped on our passports. It is wise to carry a pen, as these places remain deserted to even ask for help. It took almost 30-40 minutes to finish the visa stamping formalities.
Once we crossed the border it took 40 mins to reach to the top. On the way we stopped near a beach and clicked some photos and reached Khasab town by noon.
We took a half day package in Dhow cruise offered by Musandam Sea Adventures/tours. We couldn’t locate the harbour, so when we called the tour operator, they came to our location for assistance within 10 minutes. Finally we reached the harbour/pick up point at 1:30pm. There were only nine people on the boat.
The boat was clean with traditional carpets and comfortable cushions to sit. The helmsman and helper were very supportive and helpful. We were offered local tea/coffee, fruits and dates as compliments. There are other adventurous activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, banana boat ride and over-night camping in Khasab.
We were surprised to watch a pod of dolphins gliding and diving along our dhow boat very closely. They were all racing swiftly at the same pace, few performing high dives now and then. My three years old kid got excited seeing the dolphins in their habitat for the first time.
It was a pleasant experience with this service company and would recommend this tour operator for their service, as they waited patiently to spot dolphins and made our trip worthy.
Check my page for more photos – https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzoWdvvQYw7CaXNXSFphRWpRVW8
Things to remember:
- Carry your passports
- Keep AED to pay at border crossing. Check the tour operator for current fee
- Pen to write the passport details at Oman border
- Oman car insurance if you are driving in a car
- Camera, battery, memory card, lens etc.
- GPS navigator or Road map till Khasab
- Fill fuel, however spotted few Shell petrol station/Oman oil on the way
- Jackets if you are traveling in Dec to Jan
- Be at right time so that tour operator can assist you better