Advice on Muscat

Old Feb 27, 18, 11:44 am
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Advice on Muscat

Hi Fellow FTers,

I am heading to Muscat with the family on the way to Asia. I have a few questions which I hope people can answer:

1. Am I correct in understanding that there is a 10 day visa available for 5R?
2. We are booked into the Sheraton and would appreciate any dining suggestions.
3. What suggestions do you have for the day or evening in Muscat?

Any other valuable trinkets of information welcome such as for transfers etc.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by ExpatSomchai View Post
Hi Fellow FTers,

I am heading to Muscat with the family on the way to Asia. I have a few questions which I hope people can answer:

1. Am I correct in understanding that there is a 10 day visa available for 5R?
2. We are booked into the Sheraton and would appreciate any dining suggestions.
3. What suggestions do you have for the day or evening in Muscat?
1. The short-term visa is no longer available. GCC residents can get something similar, but most passport holders have to pay a chunky visa fee. Entry directly from a stay in Dubai or Oman is free. Note that visitors are being pushed towards getting an evisa rather than acquiring one on arrival.
?ROYAL OMAN POLICE

2. There are doubtless many reasons for staying in Ruwi at the Sheraton, but its location for tourism isn't top of the list. Unless you have Starwood status, or are using points, you might be happier in Shatti al Qurum or one of the big-name resorts.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 4:07 pm
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Hi Ian

Thanks for the help. Do you know if when applying for the visa you can obtain multiple entry?
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Old Feb 28, 18, 12:51 am
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Originally Posted by ExpatSomchai View Post
Hi Ian

Thanks for the help. Do you know if when applying for the visa you can obtain multiple entry?
I'm pretty sure you can now. Otherwise it would be expensive, and a disincentive to the tourism they want to promote, to stop off in both direction if the transit version were no good. There again, multiple visits might be linked to business visits. The link above to the ROP has a pretty comprehensive list of visa types, but it's not well explained.

Multiple entry used to be available on the VOA, system, but only once you could satisfy them you were making frequent visits: at least that was more or less how it worked for me - at the whim of an immigration man, who said "why not?".
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Old Feb 28, 18, 2:42 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
I'm pretty sure you can now. Otherwise it would be expensive, and a disincentive to the tourism they want to promote, to stop off in both direction if the transit version were no good. There again, multiple visits might be linked to business visits. The link above to the ROP has a pretty comprehensive list of visa types, but it's not well explained.
I just tried to go on the Omani e-visa page and the very first time, I was offered the option of applying for a multiple-entry visa (valid 1 year for 30 days per visit) for 50 rials, but subsequently no matter what I do I can't get the website to give me that option again, and only the single-entry visa for 20 rials is available.

Are you sure the common visa with Dubai is still in effect, and how is it going to work after visa on arrival is abolished?
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Old Feb 28, 18, 11:04 am
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Had a good look last night and the 23 visa for transit is still showing....so confusing as not available !! Another data point is that there will be no VoA after 21st March.

Oman Is Implementing New Visa Rules, No Longer Allowing Visa On Arrival - One Mile at a Time
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Old Feb 28, 18, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
.....Are you sure the common visa with Dubai is still in effect, and how is it going to work after visa on arrival is abolished?
You simply do not require a visa if you already have one (or an entry stamp) for Dubai or Qatar, and you travel directly to Oman from either of those places.

Last edited by IAN-UK; Mar 3, 18 at 1:49 am Reason: correcting a mistake!
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Old Feb 28, 18, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
You simply do not require a visa if you already have one (or an entry stamp) for Dubai or Oman, and you travel directly to Oman from either of those places.
I thought I read that the entry stamp needed to be anointed with a special comment last night?
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Old Feb 28, 18, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I just tried to go on the Omani e-visa page and the very first time, I was offered the option of applying for a multiple-entry visa (valid 1 year for 30 days per visit) for 50 rials, but subsequently no matter what I do I can't get the website to give me that option again, and only the single-entry visa for 20 rials is available.
I think the e-visa pages might have some bugs. I checked the flashy new portal, where it gives you the visa types available to your passport and country of residence: the UK does not allow multiple entry visa, though the preceding text says it should, as a G1 country. And other G1 passports are offered this facility. So it's probably a "feature" yet to be ironed out.


The old website still contains visa forms for completion:
https://www.rop.gov.om/visa/english/...tion_main.aspx
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Old Feb 28, 18, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by ExpatSomchai View Post
I thought I read that the entry stamp needed to be anointed with a special comment last night?
OK, I dragged myself over to the the ROP website. The only conditions I can find governing the "joint visa" agreement are:


Possession of a valid visa does not guarantee that a traveller will be granted entry to Oman. Entry to Oman is at the discretion of the Royal Oman Police officer at the port of entry.

Traveller must arrive in Oman from Dubai (at Al-Wajajah land crossing, or at Muscat airport, or at a seaport).

Dubai visa must still have 21 days validity remaining on entry to Oman.

Passport must be valid for at least 6 months on entry to Oman.

Visa can only be used for a single entry to Oman.

There is no fee to enter Oman on this visa.

The stay in Oman cannot be extended.

Length of stay in Oman is 21 days.

If the visitor overstays in Oman, there is a fine of OMR 10.000 for each day of overstay.

Must be a citizen of one of the Dubai-Oman joint visa countries.

Must already hold a visit visa from Emirate of Dubai.

This visa does not require a sponsor in Oman.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 5:57 pm
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By the way, in case you are flying with WY, they have a stopover promo. You will still need to organise your visa, but at least accommodation is partially paid for.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
You simply do not require a visa if you already have one (or an entry stamp) for Dubai or Oman, and you travel directly to Oman from either of those places.
Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
OK, I dragged myself over to the the ROP website. The only conditions I can find governing the "joint visa" agreement are:

...
Traveller must arrive in Oman from Dubai (at Al-Wajajah land crossing, or at Muscat airport, or at a seaport).
...
Sure, I know that and have done it (except that part of the rules in the quote - scuppers my plan to avoid the visa fee by flying from DXB to SLL)

But firstly that info is only on the "old" site although as we can see the new flashy site isn't full ready yet.

Secondly I recall a post on here, and one on another forum, about failing to avoid the visa fee when entering from Dubai in the past few months, so wanted to see if anyone has a recent experience.

And regarding the e-visa I assume airlines will now need to check for it upon boarding - which is why I wonder how it will work in practice. When flying from DXB, only a small group of people (out of those with the appropriate passport) are eligible for this. Anyone in transit won't have entered Dubai and GCC residents need the 5 rial visa so all a bit complex.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
But firstly that info is only on the "old" site ...
No. I copied it in from the smart new e-visa site. It's visa type 21. And type 20 is the Qatar version.


​​​​​​​
Originally Posted by :D! View Post
...And regarding the e-visa I assume airlines will now need to check for it upon boarding - which is why I wonder how it will work in practice. When flying from DXB, only a small group of people (out of those with the appropriate passport) are eligible for this. Anyone in transit won't have entered Dubai and GCC residents need the 5 rial visa so all a bit complex.
Again, you need the Dubai visa/ entry stamp. It's no use transiting (airside) at DXB, arriving via an aircraft change at DXB doesn't satisfy the letter or spirit of the regulation. You need to enter UAE through Dubai to get your passport stamped. That entry stamp serves as your entry visa for Oman.

And you must travel to Oman from Dubai: I used Sharjah once (cheaper ticket) and it was only the goodwill of the Muscat immigration officer that got me through.



At the end of the day they could change/scrap this at any time. But it was implemented to facilitate visits to Oman from the millions of tourists Dubai hosts each year. And as the sultanate is pushing hard to generate tourism revenue, it would seem odd to stop this modest stimulus.

But there again, the scrapping of the short term OMR5 visa works against that idea, so who knows?
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Old Mar 1, 18, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Again, you need the Dubai visa/ entry stamp. It's no use transiting (airside) at DXB, arriving via an aircraft change at DXB doesn't satisfy the letter or spirit of the regulation. You need to enter UAE through Dubai to get your passport stamped. That entry stamp serves as your entry visa for Oman.

And you must travel to Oman from Dubai: I used Sharjah once (cheaper ticket) and it was only the goodwill of the Muscat immigration officer that got me through.
What if I did this:
  1. Buy a ticket to MCT on Emirates with a layover in DXB
  2. Make sure the layover in DXB is long enough to go through immigration (>2 hours for example)
  3. During the layover, go through immigration, even if I had to turn right around and go back through because of flight schedule
  4. Enjoy free entry to Oman
Would this work? It would obviously only be profitable for someone who does not need a visa for UAE. I am American, so I don't need one.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 1:02 pm
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Lots of day trips in Muscat
1. Tour the city. We rented a taxi for the day. You can get hotel to organise, we used the taxi driver we got from airport. See the Opera house, the Grand Mosque, the harbour etc. It was cheaper than the hop on/off bus and no waiting.
2 Go to Wadi Shab. Stunning and completely unexpected in a desert. We went with "The Guide Oman", pick up, guide up the river to the, lunch and drop off..You can self drive but we all enjoyed a nana nap on long drive home.
3. Dolphin watch followed by snorkel. Lots of really good safe snorkeling for family. Again we used "our" taxi driver to drop us to harbour and pick up at end of the day.

We really liked Oman. Great vibe from the locals, unlike Dubai.
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