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Confusion as checkpoint of Hatta-Oman closed

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com Filed on December 3, 2015 | Last updated on December 3, 2015 at 07.40 am
Confusion as checkpoint of Hatta-Oman closed

(Google Maps)

According to several travelers, they were turned away at the checkpoint and asked to use the Sharjah route via Kalba to enter Oman instead.

Border crossings between Oman and UAE via Hatta maybe closed for traffic, according to travelers.

Since November this year, there has been a lot of confusion regarding the border crossings between UAE and Oman, via Hatta.

According to several travelers, they were turned away at the checkpoint and asked to use the Sharjah route via Kalba to enter Oman instead.

Khaleej Times tried to contact immigration officials in Dubai for comment on the issue, however, there was no reponse.

Other routes into Oman from Dubai

> Al Ain border with Oman connecting Buraimi (As per recent restrictions only for UAE nationals)

> Jebel Hafeet border - Al Ain

> Khatmat Malaha - Fujairah

> If you want to go to Musandum (Kasab - Oman) then take Ras Al Khaimah border

Due to the long National Day holidays as well as the upcoming Christmas holidays, security personnels on both sides are conducting more stringent security checks, according to official sources. Travelers on that route and hoteliers in various tourism destinations in Oman are also speculating that the roads could be closed due to the holiday rush and to ensure safety for all those traveling.

Many people on their way to Oman said that they have to travel an additional two hours to get to Oman via the Kalba road and it is extremely confusing because most travelers are not familiar with this longer route.

The drive from Dubai to Hatta is around 250km and Oman is a popular tourist destination for many expatriates, so the border is usually much busier on weekends and public holidays.

Expatriates are apparently not being provided any kind of explanation as to why they are being turned around from the Hatta-Oman border. However, tourists are being allowed to enter the popular tourist destination Musandam and Khasab in Oman without any hassle.

"The problem is only on the Hatta checkpoint," said Omani resident R.A while he was visiting Dubai on a one-day trip.

He told Khaleej Times: "I left from Dubai to go to Muscat at 3.30pm and arrived at the Hatta-Oman border at 5pm, after meeting with a patch of traffic at Al Aweer"

R.A had problems even while he was entering the UAE via a Hatta checkpoint. "I was asked to go towards the Kalba exit even as I entered the UAE. I wish authorities notified travelers because driving to Kalba is an additional two hours and it is a waste of time. I would've taken a flight instead," he said.

On his way back, the border guards asked him to take a u-turn from the Hatta border and take the Sharjah route via Kalba instead.

"The Kalba route is very confusing.No doubt it is a straight road, but there are no street indicators, and the roads were deserted.Cars were going at the speed of 130-140 km/hr and it was impossible to stop someone and ask for directions," he added.

Another traveler Fehmida Mohammed Rafi, a Dubai resident and housewife, was on her way to Oman for the long weekend.

"My husband, children and I were on our way to Oman for the weekend and when we reached the border crossing, we were asked to turn around," she said.

Like several other travelers, Rafi had to travel an additional two hours causing much confusion.

"As we checked into the hotel, the owner informed us that there have been 10 cancellations from visitors in Dubai due to this problem," she added.

However, according to a Times of Oman report on November 22, it was said that more Omani police forces would be deployed at the border to coordinate incoming and outgoing traffic. Several UAE and Omani residents have taken to social media to ask questions about the closure of these roads.

Another traveler T.J said: "I was asked to turn around and finding the way to the Kalba exit was very difficult. I got lost at least four times."

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88





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