New UAE visit visa extension rule: Oman cabs come to the rescue of local passengers

Bus tickets to the neighbouring country have been in high demand since the rule was revised, according to travel agents


SM Ayaz Zakir

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

People waiting for taxis to travel to Oman.
People waiting for taxis to travel to Oman.

Published: Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:39 PM

Buses from the UAE to Oman have been running at full capacity since the changes in visa extension rules took effect, according to operators and travel agents. With bus tickets sold out nearly every day, business and leisure travellers who frequently cross the borders now have to rely on Omani cabs.

Aoun Raza, a UAE businessman who travels to Muscat regularly, suddenly found himself hailing a cab on Friday instead of getting his usual seat on a bus.

"I needed to reach Muscat tonight (Friday). I tried my luck with an airline ticket and it was highly priced. The travel operator I used to go to, Khanjary Travels, said all their bus trips are fully booked. I had to rely on local taxi by paying a little extra," Raza told Khaleej Times.

The Omani cab fare from the UAE starts at Dh800 — but it can be split by four passengers, who will then have to pay only Dh200 each.

Raza had been postponing his trip over the last couple of days, hoping he could still catch a bus. “But the demand for bus reservations kept increasing which got me worried. So, finally, I decided to pack my bags and travel by taxi."

Travel agents have said that since Tuesday, visit visa holders — particularly in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah — can no longer extend their stay in the country without exiting first. This update has prompted operators to deploy more buses to Oman and create budget-friendly visa change packages.

“But still, the tickets are unavailable and the next bus was available on Monday as visa-issuing authorities are closed for the next two days,” said Hameed Alam, a Sharjah resident who was planning to exit the UAE via an Omani cab from Dnata on Friday.


Omani residents who are currently in the UAE for a family visit or a winter holiday said they are also facing difficulty in finding a transport option back to Muscat.

Manoj Korambeth, who was in Dubai on a business trip, said: “This is the first time I wasn't able to get a ticket for my return. The only option remaining for me was to hire the local Omani cab."

Shurook Mustafa, an Egyptian expat residing in Oman, was also left with no other choice but a taxi ride because he had to be back in the sultanate immediately.

“I arrived a few days ago to change my visa as I have secured a job in Oman. I'm supposed to join tomorrow (Saturday) so I have to be back on time. When I enquired about bus tickets, the agent told me they are fully booked. That's why I had to hire a cab," Mustafa said.

"My brother was ready to pick me up from Dubai if the cab wasn’t available," he added.

More news from UAE