Oman’s capital city, Muscat has transformed over the past decades but still retains a pleasantly relaxed atmosphere, as well as many reminders of its long and cosmopolitan history. The city carries its charm compared to other Arabian countries because of its unique culture and heritage. In this blog, we will let you know of the best day trips to Oman from Dubai and the details you would need to know.
In case you wish to drive to Muscat from Dubai or Abu Dhabi or take a day trip to the fascinating Arabian city of Muscat, here are the details you would have to keep in mind.
What is the distance from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Muscat by car and by flight?
Muscat is at a driveable distance from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it takes about 5-6 hours from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to cover 500km. The air travel (bird fly) shortest distance between Oman and Dubai is 414 km and takes 1 hour and 10 mins. You would also need to consider the time to check in at the airport. Dubai operates daily flights from the Dubai International Airport to Muscat.
What documents do you need to enter Oman by Car from UAE?
Since you will be crossing the international border of UAE to enter Oman, you will need:
- A valid passport (with 6 months validity)
- Payment in AED for the exit tax from the UAE
- Visa and fee to enter Oman (AED or Omani Royal)
If you are driving by your own car, you would additionally need:
- Proof of ownership of the vehicle (or proof that you have permission to drive the vehicle if the owner is not present in the car)
- Insurance that covers your vehicle in both the UAE & Oman
Where can you cross the border to enter Oman?
Ignoring Musandam and other enclaves, the main border crossings open to all tourists and non-GCC citizens from Dubai are:
Wadi Hatta – Al Wajajah – closest to Dubai & Sharjah. Note the E44 Hatta route is not an option for tourists, program Hatta Fort Hotel in your GPS/Google Maps/Waze for the most accurate route.
Kathm al Shukhla, Al Ain – note the Oman crossing is in Buraimi, some further 30km away! As this is a popular truck route option, it can be the quieter, easy route for cars.
Meyzad – Hafeet, Al Ain – closer crossing for Abu Dhabi residents and if returning from Nizwa / Jabal Shams direction.
Below are the day tours that you can take from Dubai to Oman:
- Day Trip to Musandam and Dibba Port
Day trip to Musandam is a wonderful way to visit pristine natural beauty of Oman. Musandam has an unspoilt landscape with stunning views and water. Oman’s pristine natural beauty.
Dibba is a coastal town in Musandam, Oman and is home to some natural scenic beauty. Musandam is surrounded by sea on one side and the UAE on the other side. It takes about two and a half hours to drive from Dubai to Musandam through Ras al Khaimah, to get to Dibba. You don’t need to get your passports stamped if you are visiting Dibba from Dubai. The drive doesn’t feel long because you see a great view that adorns the route.
The Dibba fort, built during the time of the Portuguese still stands in Dibba. The landscape of Dibba is for those who love nature. This place is full of natural waters and fjords suitable for fun activities like snorkelling, hand line fishing, and swimming. A dhow cruise is essential to enjoy these emerald waters. Giant sea turtles are often seen on Hafa beach as they come out of water in the evenings to lay eggs in the sand.
In order to make the most of your Oman trip from Dubai, it’s also important to take everything you’ll need with you: swimming gear, sun lotion etc. and of course your camera.
Dibba is a wonder for the fact that such a place exists so close to the arid deserts of Dubai. It is a perfect weekend getaway for UAE residents because of its proximity and ease of access. You can go there driving or through a tour company.
We would recommend you take the Oman Khasab Tour, priced at AED 275 per person and is a highly reviewed tour or Dubai: Full-Day Sea Safari to Musandam.
- Take a Guided Muscat City Tour from Dubai
A guided tour from Dubai is one of the ways to discover the city of Muscat and we recommend you take the Muscat Oman City Tour From Dubai. Your pick-up would typically be around 8:30am from your hotel in Dubai in a luxury car. Pick-ups can also be arranged from other parts of UAE as well.
After a 20-minute drive to the Oman border, you will finish the visa formalities with the help of your guide and then proceed with the tour, passing through different towns and villages like Sohar, Saham and Al-Seeb.
Your day trip will include several stops like Qurum Beach & Nature Reserve, Mutrah Corniche and Souk, Sultan’s Palace, the Royal opera House, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and many more! You will also stop at Haramel & Sidab Fishing Village. Lunch at a local restaurant is also included in the tour.
Tour ends at 10:30pm with a drop-off at your hotel. Cost for the tour is AED 999 (visa fee included) and tour duration is around 15-16 hours.
We are sure you will get a flavour of Muscat on this tour and see the contrast the city has with Dubai.
- Go for a Cruise
Oman is reachable from Dubai by air and road, but if you’re looking for luxury and adventure, our favourite way to get there is via sea.
MSC Cruises is a family-owned company that has been operating for 45 years. They have a proud Mediterranean heritage and offer many cruises in that region. They bring this Mediterranean warmth to their Middle Eastern cruise as well. The stops on this 7-day cruise include Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; Muscat, Oman; Khasab, Oman and Dubai, UAE.
The cruise takes place on the MSC Splendida, a 138,000 tons ship that can welcome over 4000 passengers. In keeping with the UAE’s focus on clean energy, the ship boasts a variety of environmentally friendly technologies. The ship also promises great entertainment, with live music, a disco, a casino and a theatre. If you’d prefer a more tranquil way to unwind, there is a relaxing spa offering massages, a sauna, a Turkish bath and the latest in advanced beauty treatments. The food is fantastic, ranging from authentic Mediterranean to trendy Tex-Mex. And to burn off the calories, you can make use of the state-of-the-art gym. The squash court or one of the four swimming pools can also be used by guests.
Costa Cruises is an Italian cruise line that offers a 7-day cruise with stops in the UAE and in Oman. This cruise is particularly noted for its excellent dining options, as the various restaurants pay homage to the company’s parent company of Italy. Whether it’s fine dining or a pizzeria, you can enjoy world-class cuisine from chef Bruno Barbieri, who boasts 7 stars to his name.
Costa Cruises is great for anyone who worries about possibly getting bored upon the ship. If you’re a sports fanatic, there are various sports pitches that allow for team sports. The ship has its own on-board shops if you’re a shopaholic and if you enjoy a spectacle, the ship hosts its theatre shows. If you love to dance, you’ll find that the ship has its own themed parties and discos. And if you just want to relax, the ship’s wellness centre offers a steam bath, sauna, Jacuzzi and hot stone massage.
- Travel to Muscat by bus and Go for a self-guided city tour
Travelling to Muscat from Dubai has become a lot easier with the RTA Buses that run daily from the Abu Hail bus station (next to the Abu Hail Station MRT station. Tickets can be bought directly from the RTA stand (exit 2).
Alternatively, you can board the bus at Rashidiya bus station, buy a ticket before getting on the bus as you cannot buy one in the bus itself. Ticket costs AED 55 (one way) per person.
If you travel from Muscat to Dubai the price is 5.5 Omani Rial for a one-way ticket and 9 Rial for a return ticket.
There are 3 buses a day in both directions. The Mwasalat bus from Dubai to Muscat departs at 7.30am, 3.30pm and 11pm. The Mwasalat bus from Muscat to Dubai departs at 6.20am, 3.20pm and 11.20pm from Azaiba Station in Muscat.
Once you reach Muscat, you can roam around the city. We would recommend you use refer our blogs on Top 10 things to do in Muscat and Top free things to do in Muscat for a great tour.
Day Trip to Sohar
Suhar or Sohar is the capital and largest city of the Al Batinah North Governorate in Oman. An ancient capital of the country that once served as an important Islamic port town, Suhar has also been credited as the mythical birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor. You can easily take a day trip to Sohar from Dubai. Should you wish to drive, it will take you about 3 hours from Dubai to Sohar or alternatively you can take the bus. If you are heading to Oman for a day trip or a weekend getaway, you can also visit the Sohar town along with Muscat.
There is plenty to see and do in Sohar- the handicrafts markets, the fort and much more. If you are traveling to Oman, then you must experience shopping at the Sohar Handicraft Souq. You can find this in the region of Al Hajra. The Sohar Fort is one of the most exquisite historic landmarks in Oman where you get to truly understand the life of soldiers in the early 14th century. There is a museum inside so tourists can get a glimpse of the local life in Oman. You can also find a tunnel inside the tower, which was used as an escape route at times of a siege. Camel racing competitions have become a crucial part of the local life of Oman and when in Sohar, make sure to keep an eye on the camel racing events happening.
With proximity to Dubai, and an easy visa process, we are sure you include a day trip to Sohar in your travel list!