UAE & Oman Trip: Crossing 16 Borders – A Step-by-step Process

Update 14 April 2012. See the latest update on Qatar-Saudi-UAE border crossing processes from my recent driving trip to UAE.

14 Dec 2010. Updated with UAE/Musandam Border based on information provided by reader. Thanks Shatha Mustafa for feedback!

Crossing 4 countries (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE & Oman) and because of geographical location of Oman where some parts of the country is separated by UAE made us to deal with many borders. Total of 16 borders we had passed through excluding 1 accidental border passing! (see story about border blues in Al Ain later). Processes may vary from time to time, as I heard from my friend previously visited Saudi, and different countries has different process flows. Saudi Arabia border process is quite simple (due to pre-obtained transit visa), followed by Oman, and then UAE.

But one thing to be emphasized is be nice to immigration officer and they will be nice to you too. Some Arabic vocabulary and greetings would sometime make a border process smoother.

As for location, generally one country’s border is next to other country’s. However, in some cases they can be separated by as long as 39 kilometers.

The following are step-by-step border processes arranged in sequential order as we had passed through them.

A.      Border Qatar/Saudi at Salwa

  1. Exit Qatar

-          First counter vehicle paper check, produce istimarah and passports. When I asked exit letter for vehicle they didn’t need it. (Note: the vehicle is in the name of the driver)

-          Qatar immigration: all passport stamped. Ensure exit permit(vehicle export white paper) sought

-          Recheck of passport by Qatar immigration

2.    Enter Saudi (next 10 km from rest area before Qatar border)

-          First counter, produce Qatar immigration paper and passport. Park your vehicle in the middle lane, or right side. Have yourself eye scanned and finger printed. Eye scan/finger print for women is in a separate area. Children are not required.

-          Second counter, Saudi immigration, followed by customs. You must park your car in the inspection area and go out of the car to get a stamp from one of the inspectors.

-          Next buy insurance for Saudi at the check point after custom. The cost is 70 Saudi Riyals for 7 days.

-          Final check point: check of passports and collection of the white paper with stamps.

Total duration time: 54 minutes (Qatar + travel + Saudi)

B.      Border Saudi/UAE at Al Sila/Gheweifat

3.   Exit Saudi (Coordinate: 24 07’48.3”N 51 34’21.8”E)

-          You get a white paper for vehicle export, which is stamped at the various points through the border crossing. At the final checkpoint they keep the paper.

-          Saudi Immigration: Check and stamp passport.

4.   Enter UAE (right after Saudi Immigration)

-          Park your car and enter the white immigration building on your left to complete your immigration to UAE

-          Inside the building, go to one of the desk and produce your passport. You will get one visa application form for each pax. You don’t need to fill in “Travel with/accompany” section as your wife/children has their own form. Then adults go for eye scan in a room on the left side of the building. Make payment AED125 per member in a counter opposite immigration desk. The officer will post sticker on visa form. Go back to the immigration desk to have your passport and visa stamped.

Tips: Have passport information handy for filling in visa forms and have your wife to help fill in to speed up immigration process.

-          Drive your car to customs and park your car in the inspection area (in the shed like structure). Go get out of car to get a stamp. Observing us travelling with family they don’t even bother to touch/even ask about the luggage.

-          After customs (out of the shed), you need to buy insurance for UAE. There are four insurance agent counters right after customs on your left. Choose anyone. Insurance cost AED100 for 10 days (minimum)

-          Final checkpoint: check of passports and collection of the white paper with stamps.

Total duration time: 61 minutes (mostly occupied in UAE Immigration)

C.      Border UAE in Hili (Al Ain) & Oman

5.  Exit UAE (Coordinate: 24 15’49.8”N 55 46’02.7”E)

-          When we arrived at UAE border in Hili (near Hili Fun City), gate was closed and we dispatched to other road. We made U-turn and got back to location, parked our cars in front of shop and walked to the officer. We understood from the officer that system was down!

-          We stated our intention, in the most polite and innocent like way, that we were coming from Qatar and would like to go to Oman and therefore we needed to cross this border. They gave us direction to go to the portacabin office to meet another officer. We again stated our intentions and directed to another office to make payment for exit visa (departure fee).

-          Finished with payment (AED20 per pax), we got back to the immigration office and produced all passports and papers with departure stickers.

-          After passport stamped, we showed finished passport and papers to gate keeper and stated that we needed to get back to our cars and crossed the gate.

-          Gate keeper opened the gate for us while others could not do it! Yiiha…..

Note: This is we believe a special circumstance that may not be repeatable. Follow normal immigration process in the future. This situation also reminded us to act in the most polite and innocent way when dealing with the immigration officers.

Total duration time: 36 minutes (should have been shorter if system was not down)

6.  Enter Oman (located in Wadi Al Jizi, road to Sohar, about 39.6 km from Hili UAE Border. Coordinate:  24 13’27.9”N 56 09’41.1”E)

-          Park your car and enter the immigration building to complete your immigration to Oman

-          Produce all your passports to the immigration desk officer. You will get visa application forms for adults only. Complete application forms.

-          Buy insurance in nearby counter. Insurance costs us OR10 for 10 days.

-          Back to the immigration desk, pay OR3 per adults (children free).

-          Go back to your car, drive through drive-in counters. First counter, check all passport, visa. Second counter, stamp. Final counter, final check and collection of paper.

Total duration time: less than 40 minutes (

Note: As I drove a mud-painted car, I was reminded by the immigration officer that I should clean my car prior to entering Sohar, otherwise I could be fined. That’s what it called “Dirty Money” – fine for driving dirty car.

 TIPS:

Grab free Oman maps and travel guides provided by Oman Tourism Office at the corner of Immigration Building, just opposite immigration/insurance desks!

D.  Border Oman & UAE in South Al Ain (Hafeet/Mazyad). Coordinate: 24 01’33.5”N 55 50’47.3”E

7.  Exit Oman

-          You get a white paper for vehicle export, which is stamped at the various points through the border crossing. At the final checkpoint they keep the paper.

-          Oman Immigration: Check and stamp passport. Pay OMR2 for vehicle exit.

8. Enter UAE (right after Oman border post)

-          Park your car and enter the immigration building (on your right) to complete your immigration to UAE

-          Produce all your passports to the immigration desk officer. You will get visa application forms for all pax. Complete application forms. Adults went for eye scan.

-          Pay entry visa fee in a counter across the road.

-          Back to the immigration desk, produce all passport and visa forms.

-          Go back to your car, drive through drive-in counters. First counter, check all passport, visa. Produce istimarah and get white paper. Next counter, customs, where you must park your car in the inspection area and go out and get a stamp from one of the inspectors.

-          Buy insurance if yours is expired or you don’t have one.

-          Final counter, final check and collection of the white paper.

Total duration time: 1 hour and 17 minutes (mostly occupied by UAE Immigration and due to waiting time of another family travelled with us)

Note: You don’t need to fill in Travel with/Accompany section in the visa application forms. Otherwise you will be asked to complete a new one. Payment counter officer also reminded us that doing so will incur us another cost. This is not the case in Al Sila/Gheweifat border. To be safe, leave it blank.

E. Border UAE & Oman (Musandam) in Al Dara/Thibat. Coordinate: 26 03’01.4”N 56 05’14.2”E

 For this particular immigration process, not much I could remember, although it was pretty straightforward. So, don’t take my explanation for granted. If you happen to experience the most recent process, please do let me know.

When you approach UAE border you will see 3-4 gates in which one gate is dedicated for Visitor (non-UAE citizen/residents). You need to go to immigration building on your left to complete entry card (although you are exiting) and pay AED20 per passport. Then with this card, go to exit gate for stamp.

Not far from this gate is Oman/Musandam entry gate. In here, the process is very fast. What I could remember I went to one of the booth, got entry card (only for adults), filled them in inside my car and got back to the booth and paid only 2 OR per adult (children no need to pay). Then got all passports stamped and run into another checkpoints for insurance, stamp and luggage. If you don’t have Oman insurance you need to get one from a counter near Omani immigration booth (on your right if I am not mistaken).

From Shatha Mustafa on 14 Dec 2010:

We crossed Aldara border on November 19th, 2010 from RAK. We paid an exit fee, I can not remember the total fees. We had to park the car and enter the building. It took about 5 minutes to go through the process, we are a family of five and US passport holders. As soon as we exited the Omani border was on the right. It is a small temporary building. The visa was 20 OMR or 200 AED per each passport. We filled out the white forms. There was a small line and 1 serving window so it took about 45 minutes.
As soon as we entered Oman, the beautiful beaches with facilities were on the right. We stayed at the Golden Tulip Resort and took the diving tour located at the hotel itself. We had an excellent time

F. THE REST

The immigration processes for the rest of the trip are the same as previous ones.

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26 thoughts on “UAE & Oman Trip: Crossing 16 Borders – A Step-by-step Process”

  1. Hi,

    I am very interested in:
    Section E (Border UAE & Oman (Musandam) in Al Dara/Thibat

    Can you please complete it?

    I would like the info because I am planning a trip to Musandam for the coming weekend. Would be very pleased to have your experience sharing.

    Thanks,
    Sophia

      1. Pak Wahyu, apa kabar?
        saya berencana ke Dubai bersama keluarga dari KSA menggunakan Avis Rental Car. Saya sudah dapat permit paper untuk cross, yang saya mau tanyakan visa UAE, karena thn 2008 saya ke Sharjah by plane hanya membayar 100 dirham utk visa on arrival. terima kasih, mudah2an saya bisa berkunjung ke doha di lain waktu.

    1. We crossed Aldara border on November 19th, 2010 from RAK. We paid an exit fee, I can not remember the total fees. We had to park the car and enter the building. It took about 5 minutes to go through the process, we are a family of five and US passport holders. As soon as we exited the Omani border was on the right. It is a small temporary building. The visa was 20 OMR or 200 AED per each passport. We filled out the white forms. There was a small line and 1 serving window so it took about 45 minutes.
      As soon as we entered Oman, the beautiful beaches with facilities were on the right. We stayed at the Golden Tulip Resort and took the diving tour located at the hotel itself. We had an excellent time.

      1. Dear Shatha, thank your for sharing your experiences in Aldara border. I updated this post with your experience for the benefit for other readers. Hope you don’t mind. Glad to hear that you had an excellent time. Musandam is a really beautiful area worth visited.

  2. Hi there – I was hoping for a little advice in the KSA – UAE border crossing.

    We are British, living in KSA, and want to drive to Dubai, we have been informed by a few people that the Gheweifat border is only for GCC nationals and not GCC residents, would you know if this is correct? Also regarding insurance, my husbands car insurance is for all GCC countries so would we need to buy further insurance at the border as well?

    many thanks
    Ellie

    1. Hi Ellie, the fact that I could drive pass through Gheweifat border is proof that this border is not only for GCC Nationals (I am Qatar resident of Indonesian nationality). Many of my friends were also able to pass through. However, I never find any written statement defining limitation in this border.
      For insurance, if it is applicable to all GCC countries then you don’t need one. But in case they demand you to buy it’s no harm to entertain. It’s only 70-100QR any how. Good luck with your trip.

  3. Hi there – I was hoping for a little advice in the UAE – KSA border crossing.

    I am INDIAN, living in UAE, and want to drive on road to Saudi, i am purchais manager visa holder ,can you please send further information by e mail.rabbudxb@gmail.com

    many thanks

  4. Hey Wahyu!
    Thats a really interesting post, thank you for posting it. However I have question. We are planning to go Oman this Friday for a hiking trip in Jebel Shams (fun :D). So I am taking my moms car, which is till on the loan and therefore not cleared from the bank. I was wondering if that would be an issue exiting UAE and entering Oman? And how much is the Oman visa fee? We are all students and traveling in a big group :) Please, let me know, thank you! :D

  5. Hi Wahyu,

    Me and my family are planning to travel from Qatar to UAE and back by our own car. Read your travel experience and tips but got confused about something in section A. Border Qatar/Saudi at Salwa. About the ”Ensure exit permit(vehicle export white paper) sought” . This vehicle export white paper, where do i get it? Is it normally obtained when you purchase a new car without loan? And do we need the original or copy of it?

  6. Hi, vehicle export white paper will be obtained from immigration. This is different to exit permit for driving a car still under loan. Hope it clarifies

  7. Hi wahyu,

    How did you manage the visa to and from Saudi? You enter twice for this return trip.

    Appreciate your response..

    1. Hi Ray, it’s called Saudi Transit Visa and it shall be pre-obtained prior to departure from any authorized agents in Doha (check my post regarding Preparation). Make sure that it is a round trip transit visa. It is valid for 30/60 days since issuance and once you enter Saudi you shall get out within 3 days.

      1. Hi Wahyu,

        Thanks for the information. Like all your write-up and trips, if you have any future trips in or outside Doha, i will be keen to join if you dont mind. Do keep me inform ray_toh@hotmail.com

        I am from Singapore, working for TEPQ.

  8. pak wahyu..singkat saja…untuk tranasit di negara yg kita lewati kita hanya perlu “TRANSIT VISA” ?
    dan itu bisa di urus di travel agent di qatar? dan untuk kendaraan yg kita pakai kita perlu “vehicle export” form….dan itu di urus nya di border negara yg kita lewati? dan negara yg jadi tujuan akhir kita tetep kan kita perlu visa?

    1. Betul Pak. Saudi transit visa diperlukan karena kita lewat Saudi untuk transit sebelum ke negara tujuan (i.e. Bahrain, UAE, Jordan dst). Transit visa ini bisa diurus lewat agent di Qatar, mereka sudah familiar dan biasa kok. Vehicle export form (saya kurang tahu apakah istilah ini tepat … karena form ini didapat dari counter vehicle exit registration) didapat dari negara yang kita tinggalkan. Negara tujuan akhir tetap perlu visa.

  9. Wahyu can i have an info . I want to drive from UAE to Qatar crossing saudi border. I heard long Ques of kms are there in saudi border for trucks. Is there any other seperate ques for cars and publics or we have to follow the same truck que.

    1. Hi James, fortunately there are separate lanes for truck and private vehicle/car. The long queue was due to detailed/tightened custom inspection by Saudi border.

  10. Hello Wahyu,

    Thank you for this comprehensive info! We are about to drive via Ras al Khaimah into Musandam and then returning the same way the next day. Some of our group has UAE Tourist Visas, while others of us have UAE Resident Visas. Do you know what the fees for this will be? I imagine we’ll pay a UAE Exit fee, an Oman Visa fee (which I believe changed in price in March?), and then the opposite leaving the country.

    Any thoughts or links would be hugely appreciated.

    Best,
    Carly

    1. Hi Carly,
      The fees will be:
      - UAE Exit Fee (20 AED)
      - Oman Visa Fee (was only 2 OMR, my blog reader advised that it’s now 20 OMR!)
      - UAE Entrance Fee (135 AED)
      - Car Insurance Fee (in average 10 AED per day)

      Please do not take this as granted as I am not fully aware of recent development. Can you please let me know your feedback on these fees once your trip is over so that I can update this post accordingly?. Have a nice trip.

    2. Hello Carly,

      I have a question for you. You say that some of you travelling to Oman were visitors to UAE. I have a similar situation, my friends who are Qatar residents are visiting us and we pan a road trip to Oman.l Can i exit UAE into OMan and the Return to UAE. Do they cancel the UAE visit visa (not mutiple entry) while exiting and do they give a new visa on arrival while entering back into UAE?

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