Driving From Dubai To Oman: What You Need To Know

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Looking for information on how to travel from Dubai to Oman by road?

Whether you live in Dubai, or are simply visiting, a trip to Oman is a must.  Best of all, you don’t need to fly.  Driving from Dubai to Oman is fairly straightforward, and a great adventure.  There are only a few things to bear in mind.

Read on for all the information and tips you need to help you plan your Dubai to Oman road trip.

For tips and inspiration to help you plan the perfect Oman road trip from Dubai, also check out this article.

And see here for the best family-friendly places to visit in Dubai.

Driving From Dubai To Oman: Route Options

First of all, there are a few different route options when driving from Dubai to Oman.  

The two countries share several border crossings.  However, only certain border crossings are open to tourists and non-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Counsel) citizens.

Of these, there are three main crossings to consider.  Which one to take will depend on where you’re coming from/going to.

Me-driving-in-oman-with-a-camel
Watch out for camels on the drive from Dubai to Muscat

Note: if you are travelling from Oman to Dubai by road, these are also the three main border crossings I’d recommend you use.

Hatta – Al Wajajah border crossing

This is the border crossing which is closest to Dubai, so might make the most sense if you are pressed for time.  From the centre of Dubai, it’s 140 kms to the border and takes about 1 hour 40 mins.

Do not attempt to use the border crossing at Al Madam, on the E44 road, as this is only open to citizens of GCC countries.  Instead, take the E102, bypassing the small “spur” of Oman which sticks up into the UAE, before joining the E44 to cross the border at Hatta/Al Wajajah.  (See below map, which shows this more clearly.)

Once you’ve been stamped out of the UAE, you need to drive 3 kilometres down the road before you reach the Omani immigration post.

From here, it’s 85 kilometres to Sohar (takes about an hour), or 310 km to Muscat (about 3.5 hours).

Using this route, the total distance from Dubai to Muscat by road is 450 kilometres.  

Assuming the Oman border crossing is smooth and hassle-free (see below), the journey from Dubai to Oman by road should take between 5-6 hours.

Meyzad – Hafeet border crossing

Personally, I think this is a more interesting option, as you get to see a very different part of the UAE before crossing the border.  It’s also a better option if you’re planning to head onwards towards Nizwa, Jebel Shams, or other destinations in central/southern Oman.

The Mezyad crossing is just the other side of Al Ain, the largest inland city in the UAE.  If you have the time, it’s worth breaking the journey here and having an explore. 

Al Ain, known as the “Garden City”, is an attractive place, built on an oasis in the desert, with lush greenery and tree-lined avenues.

It’s 160 kilometres from Dubai to the Mezyad border crossing, via the E66, and takes about 2 hours.

This is also a good crossing point if you’re coming from Abu Dhabi (190 kilometres, takes 2 hours).  If you are travelling from Abu Dhabi to Oman by road, the border formalities (see below) are the same as for driving to Oman from Dubai.

Khatm Al Shiklah border crossing

This is another crossing close to Al Ain, and takes a similar amount of time to get to as Mezyad.

The main difference is that, unlike Mezyad, the UAE and Oman border posts are nowhere near each other.  Once you’ve been stamped out of the UAE, you need to drive almost 30 kilometres before you reach the Omani border post.  (This confused me a lot – I thought I’d accidentally driven into Oman without a stamp, but then didn’t know what to do about it so carried on driving…!)

As a result, this isn’t the best option if you’re simply driving to Oman from Dubai for a UAE visa run.  But on the other hand, this crossing is usually less busy than the others, so you’ll probably get through more quickly.

Driving-in-Oman
Driving from Dubai to Muscat

Driving From Dubai To Oman: Border Formalities

The three border crossings noted above are usually hassle-free and fairly easy to navigate.  

When crossing from the UAE to Oman by road, you’ll need to complete an immigration form.  Customs officials may also want to have a look inside your car.  (It’s best to avoid any obvious evidence that you’re carrying alcohol, if indeed you are.)

How long the formalities take depends on how busy the crossing is.  If possible, try to avoid weekends (Friday-Saturday) and public holidays, when there are often long queues of people travelling from Dubai to Oman by car.

Depending on the traffic, the crossing can take anything from 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Exit fees

At the UAE border, you will need to pay an exit fee of 35 AED.   Card payments are usually accepted, though it’s a good idea to also carry cash, in case the card machine is having a bad day.

There is no fee to exit Oman.

Visas

Citizens of many countries can obtain an Omani tourist visa on arrival.  This costs 20 OMR and is valid for up to 30 days.  You’ll need at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your passport.

Certain nationalities can apply for an Omani eVisa in advance, which speeds up the process considerably.

** I always use, and strongly recommend, iVisa.com.  Their online visa processing service is quick, secure, and easy to use. **

If you do opt to get a visa on arrival, you should be able to pay using credit/debit card.  Failing that, most major border crossings have ATMs, and/or money changers where you can exchange AED to OMR cash.

When (/if) you cross back into the UAE, you’ll be given another UAE tourist visa on arrival for free, unless you were previously travelling on another type of visa (in which case, double-check that it allows multiple entries).

How To Travel From Dubai To Oman By Road: Car Hire In Dubai

Muscat-highway-gate
Awesome road trip to Oman

(This is important!)

Not all car hire companies in Dubai will allow you to drive their cars into Oman.

If you’re planning to hire a car in Dubai, you must check with the hire company that they’re happy for it to be taken to Oman.  It’s a good idea to mention this to them when you’re shopping around for quotes, before you commit to the rental.

Some companies allow it, but others don’t.  Unhelpfully, companies tend to change their policies on this fairly frequently, so it’s not really possible to provide a definitive list here.  Always check before committing to the rental.

The best deals on car hire in the UAE are usually found on localrent.com They compare the prices of local car rental companies, which tend to be significantly cheaper than the big international hire companies.

Click here for the latest prices.

You’ll need to ask the hire company for an NOC (No Objection Certificate), giving written permission for you to drive the car into Oman.  There may, or may not, be an additional fee for the NOC.  Border officials will almost certainly ask to see a copy of this, so make sure you get one!

You must also ensure that you take the car’s registration card (called a mulkiya) with you.  You need the original card (not a photocopy, which probably won’t be accepted by the border guards).  Also check it’s still in date and hasn’t expired!

If you’re driving a friend’s car, you should have their proof of ownership, and their written permission for you to take the car into Oman (unless they are with you).  This isn’t always asked for, but I’d recommend having it in order to avoid any potential awkwardness at the border.

Oman Car Insurance

You will need valid Oman car insurance that explicitly covers you whilst driving in Oman.  

Some Dubai car hire companies can provide this (ask for written proof of coverage).  If not, you can buy Omani third party insurance at the border.

Not all insurers cover off-road driving.  If this is something you’d like to do, check whether the insurers in question will cover you.  

And you’d obvs need a 4×4. 🙂

Desert-driving-in-oman
You don't need a 4x4 to travel to Oman from Dubai

Driving From Dubai To Oman: Other Practicalities

Driving from Dubai to Oman is, in general, very easy.  Most main roads are paved and in excellent condition.

A 2-wheel drive car is fine for accessing most locations.  A 4×4 is only necessary if you want to head off road into the desert.

Once you get out of the main towns and cities, phone signal can be intermittent.  Download offline maps in advance (e.g. Google maps offline) if you plan to spend much time outside of the main population centres.

In both countries, road signs are written in Arabic and English, and traffic drives on the right.

It’s not technically illegal to bring small quantities of alcohol with you across the border, but I wouldn’t recommend doing this, to avoid any issues with customs.  (And if you do, keep it hidden.)

It’s obvious, but don’t drink and drive.  Both countries have a zero-tolerance limit (with stiff penalties), and you are likely to be breathalysed if involved in an accident.

Make sure your medical travel insurance covers you whilst in Oman.  Policies that cover the UAE probably also cover Oman, but it’s always worth checking.

Oman-road
The drive to Oman from Dubai

Dubai To Oman By Bus

If you don’t want to drive, Mwasalat operates a direct coach service from Dubai to Muscat.

However, I don’t really recommend this option unless you only want to visit Muscat.  The public transport network in Oman isn’t very comprehensive and you might struggle to get around without a car.

In Dubai, you can catch the coach from Abu Hail station (in Deira), DXB airport T2, or Rashidiya Metro Bus Station.  The service terminates in Muscat at Azaiba bus station.

Tickets cost 60 AED one way, and 95 AED return.  However, you must purchase a ticket before boarding the bus.  You cannot purchase a ticket online or on the bus itself.  Tickets are available from Abu Hail station and the Mwasalat Office in Deira.

Check here for latest timetable information and further details.

Accommodation And Tours In Oman

Where to stay

You’ll find a wide range of accommodation options throughout Oman to suit most budgets.

As with most countries in the region, there aren’t many ultra-cheap/shoestring options.  However, whether you’re looking for a simple guesthouse, a mid-range hotel, or a luxury five-star palace, you won’t struggle to find somewhere decent to stay.

Click here to compare the latest prices and more details.

Tours

Oman is a very safe country and is easy to explore independently (provided you have your own car). 

However, if you would prefer a guided tour to see the country’s highlights, there are many excellent companies to choose from.

Click here for more information.

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32 Comments

  1. Hi Alex,
    thanks a million for your very interesting and useful blog! We hope to be able to travel to Oman in January (if Covid lets us in;-). We’ll first fly from Europe to Dubai, and hope to find a rental company which allows us to drive their cars to Oman. May I ask you a couple of questions as you seem to know A LOT about UAE/Oman: among the 3 border crossing points you mention, do you know if they are all ok for European tourists with a UAE-Dubai-rental car or would you recommend one of them? Do you know if it is possible to get the Oman-visa at the border crossing points too (and not at the airport since we would enter the country by car), or would you advise to apply for it online? I read that a visa for up to 10 or 14 days is free of charge for EU citizens at the Mascate airport, but was not able to figure out if the same conditions apply for land crossing points. THANKS A LOT IN ADVANCE for your help, and best regards! Anne (from Brittany, France, best place on Earth hahaha)

    • Alex Tiffany

      Hi Anne, glad to be able to help.

      All 3 of the border crossings I mention in this article are fine for European tourists with a Dubai rental car.

      In terms of which of the three crossings to use, the Hatta – Al Wajajah crossing is the closest to Dubai and probably the most popular one to use.
      However, the drive from the Meyzad – Hafeet border to Muscat is more scenic and interesting. Personally, I’d use the Meyzad – Hafeet border, though any of those 3 are fine.

      If you’re a French/EU citizen, unless the Omani authorities decide to change the rules last minute (always a small possibility), you should be able to get a free visa on arrival at the border (applies to land borders and airports equally). You’ll either get 10 or 14 days — I can’t work out whether there’s a rule on who gets 10 and who gets 14… but if you’re only planning to be there for 10 days or less, you’ll be fine either way 🙂

      You could apply for an e-visa in advance if you prefer, but it’s not technically necessary, and I don’t think it’s free. Personally, I think it’s fine to just get the free one at the border (though keep an eye on the news in the days running up to your trip, in case there are any changes to the rules). I’d also definitely bring a couple of printed passport photos with you. They have photo booths at the main border crossing points, but you can’t always rely on these to be working.

      You’ll need to show the immigration people QR codes confirming you are fully vaccinated against covid, and have received a negative PCR test result (taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Oman).

      Before entering Oman, you also need to complete a pre-registration form at the eMushrif website (https://covid19.emushrif.om/) and upload your vaccine certification and PCR test result.

      In terms of car hire, not all companies allow you to take their cars from UAE into Oman. The list of companies which allow it does change periodically, so you should call them up and check before paying for one. Bigger international companies like Avis and Hertz are more likely to say yes than small local ones, but definitely call them to check first!

      Enjoy your trip! Oman is awesome

      • If traveling by land, from EUA to Omand without any covid -19 vax certification what are the issues if any? Thanks

      • Muhammad Haider Gul

        Hope you are good, and really appreciate for in-depth info, just wondering that if i have a bank mortgaged car on my name is it ok to travel to oman in the same car or shall i be requiring any sort of NOC from the Bank.

    • Hi Anne

      We’re planning a trip to Oman in February 2022. We also want to rent a car in Dubai to cross the border to Oman. The car rental I normally use doesn’t allow to cross the border.
      Can you tell me the name of the car rental you used?

      @Alex: your detailed information about crossing the border is so useful to plan our trip. Thanks!

  2. Chandra Mohan Ganapathy

    Many thanks Alex for the blog which I found very useful for my recent road trip from Dubai to Jabal Al Akhdar in Oman. We used the Mezyad crossing as you suggested and it was really quick both ways. We left early around 5 am on 1 December, the beginning of the 4 day long weekend in UAE, expecting long queues at the border. But barring a pack of bikers, which marginally delayed the departure from the UAE side of the border, it was a very smooth exit. All counters were drive through (unless you don’t have an evisa for Oman in which case you will have to leave the car at the parking lot on the Oman side to walk to the visa office). There were 2 on UAE side, one to check and stamp the passports and the next one to validate. On the Oman side, you first drive to the counter where the vaccination records and pcr reports are checked. Then drive to the passport control counter where your evisa, passport, vehicle registration and drivers license are checked. It is best to obtain an evisa, otherwise you will need to drive to an adjoining visa office, apply and get one on the spot. On busy days, this can be delayed. Then drive to the vehicle inspection bay where you may be asked to open the boot and perhaps the bags as well for customs. It took us just below an hour from the beginning of the Mezyad border post on the UAE side to the end of the Oman side of the crossing.

    Returned today (4th December), through the same crossing. Took less than 5 minutes on the Oman side of the immigration (drive through) and another 20 minutes on the UAE side. We are a family of 4 so on the UAE side we were asked to park the car and go to the departure hall nearby where passport control formalities were completed in 5 minutes. Then we drove to the medical counter where our pcr and vaccine records were checked and finally car contents checked at the last stop. All in all very smooth exit and entry back to UAE.

    One point to note is that on the Oman side after the border crossing, there are no good cafes or restaurants. So best to stock up on food and drink.

  3. Hi Alex,

    we are planning to stay in Oman for 6 days.

    Do we (currently) have to take a PCR test before going back to the UAE?

    Thanks!

    • Alex Tiffany

      Each of the emirates has their own rules regarding testing for (re)entry. For example, Abu Dhabi has stricter rules than Dubai.
      But my understanding is that most (if not all) of the emirates currently require you to show proof of a negative PCR test, taken no more than 48 hours before travel.
      I’d recommend checking the health section of the official website for the emirate you will be returning to, to ensure you have the most up to date information. For Abu Dhabi, it’s https://visitabudhabi.ae/en/plan-your-trip/covid-safe-travel

  4. thanks a million Alex for all your hints!!
    Great to see the other message concerning border crossing Oman/UAE, too, very useful.
    Best regards from Brussels!

    Anne

  5. Pratheep Kumar

    Hello Alex,
    This is Pratheep, I am planning to visit Muscat with my family, driving my car that is still under bank loan. Do we have to carry NOC from the bank to cross the border?
    Kindly advise
    Thanks
    Pratheep

    • Alex Tiffany

      Hi Pratheep, I don’t have any personal experience with this I’m afraid.

      My understanding (from doing some online research) is that it depends on the terms of your mortgage with the bank. Some banks require NOCs, others don’t. Each bank will have its own rules, there’s no hard and fast rule that covers all, unfortunately. You could ask your bank and see what they say?

      Many people appear to have done the crossing without obtaining a NOC (even if they technically should’ve had one), with no issues. This might be a breach of the terms of your mortgage agreement with the bank (depending on what it says). I’m afraid I can’t advise whether it’s worth taking that risk, it’s up to you. I’m sorry that’s not a perfect answer.

    • Planning to drive to oman after obtaining thr dubai/oman join visa at arrival DXB will be driving to buriami via hatta/AL wajajah border on a rental car. Do I need a NOC as well as an orange card ?

    • Hello Pradeep,
      Can you tell me about your experience on taking ban financed car to Oman?
      It is allowed? Do we need letter?

    • Going to Oman with a mortgaged car is allowed as long as it belongs to you or your spouse. You don’t need any additional document apart from Registration card and and insurance that is valid in Oman.

  6. Hi Hanne,
    Unfortunately, we ended up cancelling our trip to Oman in January because of a major incident in our family, but do hope to be able to go in March. So I can not give you any feedback about the car rental company and how it worked out the cross the Omani border. The company’s name is Dollar Car rental. They have several offices at the airport and downtown Dubai. You can check online for their deals.
    I might come back to you later in February, maybe you will be able to tell me how it worked out for you. We should be leaving on March 4th. Enjoy your trip !! Best regards, Anne

  7. I need to know the method for a US citizen who once visits Dubai, stays there for 30 days, drives to Oman and return back to Dubai getting a re entry for UAE for 30 days the same day.

  8. Hi Alex,

    Great article! Much appreciated.
    I have two specific questions:
    – If I do pcr in Dubai and will get to Oman and back within 72 hours, will it work on the bordeR?
    – I’ve seen some mentioning about “Oman exit permit”, is it required for a Oman-UAE crossing?

    Thanks,
    Aleh

  9. Hello Alex, excellent post, could not have been more helpful in helping me understand what is required to get into Oman from Dubai. My wife and I are planning a trip to Oman (Muscat) from Dubai this month and in mapping the route, I discovered a border crossing you did not mention – Khatmat Milaha. Do you have any experience with this one? If so, what should I look out for? I will be driving my sister’s car (not traveling with us).

  10. Hakeem Anderson

    Hey Alex, thank you so much for the guide! This looks like it was a really cool trip. You’ve inspired me to go on a similar trip on the future. Keep up the fantastic work!

  11. do a UAE resident needs a PCR to travel to Oman?
    can we take the car insurance from the boarder?

  12. can i have noc letter format for using my friends car

  13. Hello!
    If someone is driving in their own car with valid registration and insurance, do they need another insurance to enter oman? Is that optional ? How much can we expect for 3rd party insurance?
    Thanks
    Inayat

  14. Ramkrish Trivikraman

    Hi Alex,
    I’m planning to go to Salalah during the EID holidays. As it is going to be a loooong drive I’m planning to start at 2 AM from Dubai. My question is are insurance companies open at Al Mezyad border at this hour. I will probable reaching the border around 3.30 AM. Also is it possible to buy Omani sim card at the border crossing at this hour.
    Thank you.
    Regards
    Ramkrish

  15. Dr Shamsul Islam

    July 12 I want to visit Oman with my family’s members 5
    We have full vaccinated as Sinofarm Pfizer.its ok for tour?
    Now need PCR?
    My own car models 2004;it’s ok?

  16. Hi,
    Can I drive company car to Oman?
    If I can then what are the documents required? please suggest me
    Thank you

  17. Good day Alex,
    Is it allowed to cross into North Oman from Dibba by car ?
    My understanding is you can only enter from RAK side as the border in Dibba is only for locals or if you have a Dhow cruise booking.
    Can you please advise,

  18. Very thankful for you to share all the things required to go from Dubai to Oman via road, I am leaving in Oman but I haven’t visited Dubai yet and I was planning to go but now I am clear that I will go from road and enjoy my trip thanks for sharing this information.

  19. Hi, im planning a trip in October and would like to know if the border is open for driving with your own vehicle and do i need a special letter to produce at the border or just the normsl mulkiya etc. Also confirm the fees applicable/visas.

  20. Hi Alex,

    Great information! Here is a question: for renting a car in Dubai to drive to Oman, is there any reason/benefit to me bringing proof of insurance in my home country (Canada) from my insurance company here? I.e. is Omani auto insurance cheaper if I do?

    We will be renting and driving across in November this year…definitely planning on the route that lets us stop at Al Ain on the way to Muscat.

    Thank you,
    Shawn

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  • I’m Alex Tiffany.  Former corporate city robot; lifelong travel addict.

 

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