Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday Feature(Opps late!)-Oman Border Run, FUN!

Asalamu alaikum,

So we have been here in the UAE for a bit more than a month now. Since we are still working on the residency visa for me and Saad, we had to go on a "visa run" to Oman. I have posted a couple times before about this you can see older posts here, but I thought I might write up a little outline of how the whole process works.
Saad shows off his new water bottle on our recent trip.

Americans, and some other nationalities are granted visit visas that are good for thirty days on arrival in the UAE. So if you want to stay longer than that you have to exit the country and re enter to get a new thirty day visa. The whole process takes a couple hours. For us the easiest way to do it is to drive to Al Ain(about an hour from where we live, and about two hours from Abu Dhabi).
A truck full of goats, one was particularly curious.

From Al Ain you go to the Hilli Border Post, at the gate you show your passport and tell the guy you need an Exit stamp, then he will point you to the left where there are a couple of buildings. Go inside and tell them you need an exit stamp, they will check your passport, charge you a Dhs 35 fee for leaving the country, ask how many people are in your party(all must have passports and if they are normally resident their sponsor must accompany them) and write it down on a little slip of paper, possibly ask where you are going(for border runs we just say"visa renewal"), then he'll stamp your passport and you go get back in your car.
I love the sand dunes on the way to Al Ain.

You drive back towards the gate that leads to the UAE, and turn left behind the buildings and back around behind the first gate you came through, give them your slip of paper and they will wave you through to Al Buraimi.

Al Buraimi is a border town, technically in Oman, but the Omani border post is actually about 45 minutes away. So drive through town, if you feel like a snack, they have lots of little "refreshment" places where you can get a snack and a cup of chai.

Once you find the main road out of the city, just stay on that road and drive. Currently they are re doing the road so there is a lot of construction. After a break in the mountains that looks like stairs, there is a roundabout from which you make a left turn. Keep going until you reach the "Wadi Al Jizi Border Post". Go inside and get on of the little forms from the counter and fill it out.
Wadi Al Jizi Border Post, just so everybody knows I took this photo before we got to the
"No Photography" signs

Take your passport up to the counter and tell them you want "Enter and Exit". The guy will take your passport, and scan it, type a bit, then you have to pay. The fee is 20 Omani riyals(Dhs 200), but you should bring a credit card as they are starting to not accept cash. If you don't have a card, you should stop in Al Buraimi at an exchange and turn your dirhams to riyals, as they might not be able to make change.
Four types of currency in my purse! We got the Omani riyals at the border, because they had no change for dirhams, the rest is US dollars, Pakistani Rupees, and UAE dirhams.

I am sure the price increase has been slow and steady while we were in Pakistan, but the last time we did this(October 2009) it was 6 riyals or 60 dirhams. That is quite the increase!

Anyway, after you get your entry and exit stamps you can head back to Al Buraimi. While there you could buy some live chickens! This is my brother in law's favorite part, he loves chickens and keeps several in our yard.

After checking out Buraimi a bit, head back to the Hilli border post, to the same building where you got your exit stamp. Hand over your passport, get your stamps, tell him how many in your party, get your ticket and passports back and head out the exit to Al Ain.

Yay! All Done!


Umm Mini said...

Salaam alaykum,

Is this the easiest way? Then you have to do this drive every month. I have no idea about it, but isn't it easier and cheaper to go for a longstay visa?

Thinking said...

Aishah said...


@Umm Mini- Yes, it is easier, and cheaper. InshAllah we won't have to be doing this very much more. We got a copy of our marriage certificate attested in the US, but didn't get one for the baby's birth certificate. So that's the reason we had to do this, InshAllah, my mom(in the US) is getting us an attested copy so we can go and get our residence visas, and not have to do this again.

Anonymous said...

There's a different border post on the road leading past Bawadi mall. The 2 border posts (Emirates and Oman) are pretty close to each other. Don't know if the visa run can be done from that border as well, or if the other border is more convenient for you. Inshah'Allah, you won't have to do it again!

Aishah said...

Salams, We've tried the other border post, but it is only for UAE nationals. They can come and go with out any need for entry or exit stamps, so there is no official there to do it, just border guards to check passports.

I think it just helps to take the pressure off to have two border posts, this way one can just be for people who need to pop over the border real quick, without the wait that can happen at the other post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the posts..
My husband is on his visa run/ exit at buraymi this very moment because his tourist visa has expired. But i already finished the immigration process and got his residence entry permit. i already sent him his visa thru email. Question - do i need to go to the border to hand in the original entry visa? How strict are they in the uae entry in hili? How can i go to buraymi from al ain? Please advise.

Aishah said...

Hi anonymous,

sorry I wasn't able to answer earlier, I am sure you've finished up by now. I don't actually know what you would have had to do as I never ended up getting the residency visa, I live mostly in Pakistan now, so don't really need to do border runs any more.

The only thing that I remember is that my husband had to leave the country once his residency visa was ready. So you most likely have to bring the actual visa paperwork to the border.