When I entered Dubai for the first time, I received a stamp on my passport that allowed me to enter the UAE for 30-days as a visitor. Now that my 30 days in Dubai have come and gone, I had to get another stamp on my passport to remain in the country legally. The process to becoming a resident of the UAE is long and time-consuming, and although Anthony just got his Emirates ID card, Micah and I are still waiting on ours.
My good friend Mignon pointed me in the right direction to a company that has daily visa runs, where they drive you to the border and then all of the stops you need to make in order to legally leave and then reenter the country for another 30-day stamp on your passport. In this case, we were going to Oman.
Oman is the nation next to the UAE, as you can see in the map below:
Since the trip can get long, the company doesn’t allow children, so I had to take Micah to another office in Dubai and pay around $200 (800 AED) for a 30-day extension on his visitor’s visa. In the interest of saving us money, I opted to pay the $50 for the visa run and signed up on a Friday (our weekend) so Anthony could watch Micah.
Seven other people were also on the trip and it was only supposed to take about 4 hours from Oman back to Dubai. Once we started driving, I couldn’t help but be excited about what sights I was about to see.
There was desert.
Lots and lots of desert.
I’ve done multiple trips to Las Vegas and route 15 takes you through some pretty desolate desert, but this kind was different. I was still amazed looking out the window and seeing the dunes… and little surprises like this UAE flag painted on a mountain side:
There was also a beautiful little mosque that was in the middle of nowhere (the photo at the top of this post).
And THERE WERE CAMELS!!!! I’m not sure if they were wild or not. Are there wild camels in the desert? Perhaps that’s a stupid question. But I was so excited when I saw them! Too bad we were driving too fast and I couldn’t get better photos of them:
We made multiple stops at different locations brimming with tourists, natives, and tons of security. There were signs that prohibited cameras, and I didn’t dare test them. Thank goodness too since a few days after I went, this news story went public about a man who was jailed in Abu Dhabi over taking a prohibited photo.
Thankfully nothing too dramatic occurred during my Oman trip (one girl in our van was sick and vomited a few times AND I made a new friend with a 3-year-old who Micah and I just met for a play date!). Due to the fact that there were weekend crowds also trying to get in and out of the UAE, the whole trip to Oman took 6 hours. I was exhausted and hungry by the time we got back, and I never thought I would be so happy to be back in the hotel room! We’re still working on getting my paperwork done to become a UAE resident, but hopefully I don’t have to do this trip again.
Once is enough for me. 🙂