UAE visit visa update: Buses to Oman "completely scheduled" amid airfare raise
UAE visitors seeking to change their visa status by traveling to Oman are encountering a challenging situation as travel agents report a surge in demand, resulting in fully booked "visa-change packages."
Surge in Demand for Oman-bound Buses for Visa Change
With buses operating at maximum capacity, travelers are advised to plan well in advance, applying for the package "a minimum of ten days before their visit visa expires," according to experts.
Booking Challenges Amid High Demand
Firoz Maliyakkal, founder and CEO of Tahira Tours and Travels, highlighted the overwhelming demand, stating, "Buses are running to their capacity daily, and visitors wanting to avail of the service must reserve the package well in advance. The demand for visa change by bus traveling to Oman has shot through the roof. We are receiving over 100 inquiries."
Increased Bus Services to Cope with Demand
A private aggregator once operated three daily bus services, and numerous private agencies have initiated their own bus services to address the increasing demand. Feroz further mentioned, "At present, eight privately operated buses, each with a seating capacity exceeding 300, operate from Sunday to Wednesday and are completely reserved for the upcoming ten days.
Rise in Demand Linked to Cost-Effective Alternatives
Airline prices have risen in response to the unexpected uptick in demand, so many are looking for cheaper options. Rehan Al Jazeera Tourism's managing director, Shihab Parwad, made the following observation: "The affordability of bus travel packages to Oman has become a preferred option for many, leading to a notable increase in the demand for this mode of visa change."
Cost and Inclusions of Bus Travel Packages
If you want to alter your visa from one airport to another, you may do it for a package fee between Dh1,000 and Dh1,100, saving you Dh400 to Dh500 compared to flying. Parwad noted that "Travel visas to enter Oman, a two-month UAE visit visa, exit fees, and one-night accommodation in Oman are included in the package."
Flexible Options for Travelers
Passengers using the bus services have the option to spend one day in Oman or go back to the Emirates the same day, based on when their UAE visa is issued. Starting at 10 a.m., private buses leave from Fish Roundabout in Deira. They pass the UAE-Oman border by 1 p.m. Usually, the visa application procedure is finished within 10 hours after crossing the border. Tourists can remain in the Sultanate for up to 10 days without a visa, and each additional day costs Dh25.