What really is a Visa Run?
A Visa Run from UAE is when your tourist visa or visa on arrival is expiring and you need to exit the country and re-enter immediately to activate a new tourist visa. If your tourist or visitor visa is expiring, check how much overstay fines you would have to pay using our UAE Overstay Fine Calculator.
Only specific nationalities get visa on arrival.
My awesome experience with Go Tours Dubai. Here are your options for the rides:
- Shared Van
- Morning Option to Ras Al Khaimah Border. Driver waits at the UAE border post and doesn’t exit with you. 5-10 minute walk from the UAE border post to the Oman Border Post
- Afternoon Option to Hatta Border. Driver exits with you.
- Private Car
- Pickup and dropoff at your residence
- Only goes to Ras Al Khaimah
- Pickup and dropoff at your residence
Car Seat is mandatory for children. Bring your own or they can provide 1 car seat for 30 AED
I booked online. Their seats fill up fast. So I was lucky I booked and paid online through Paypal for 2pm for pickup from Dubai Marina Mall.
Reached at 1:50pm. The van marked Go Tours Arrived at the entrance of the Dubai Marina Mall at around 1:52pm.
We gathered around the van. The driver introduced himself as Mohammad, and got us seated.
All the expected passengers had arrived and we actually left earlier than scheduled at 1:55pm.
When we got to know each other, I found some interesting facts:
- We were a total of 8 passengers + 1 driver and a fun mix of nationalities:
New Zealand: 1
- The passenger from New Zealand was doing this visa run from Go Tours Dubai for the 4th time.
- New Zealand citizens are exempted from paying the Oman Entry Fee of 50 AED (5 Omani Riyal).
- The other passenger from USA was an elderly lady in her 60s and this visa run was her 3rd time, and she was really happy with Go Tours Dubai and the driver Mohammed.
- Citizens of many European countries also do this visa run regularly since they get 90 days Visa on Arrival in UAE.
At around 3:05pm, we arrived and stopped by at ADNOC in a city called Maleha. Here’s an exact location:
At this location,
- The driver tops off his fuel tank
- You can get off and take a washroom break, and buy something to eat if you like (There’s a KFC here)
- The driver then collects all the fees as cash from you
Go Tours Dubai Fee: AED 150 per passenger (I paid online, so I didn’t have to pay this here)
UAE Exit Fee: AED 35
Oman Entry Fee: AED 50 (5 Omani Riyal)
- The driver also gives you the Oman Entry Form to fill out. See picture below
- We were back on the road by 3:20pm heading to the Hatta Border
I’m not sure if you know but Hatta is a very beautiful city with amazing mountain ranges and a serene drive through them.
I also managed to grab a pic of the iconic HATTA sign on the mountains.
We reached the UAE Exit post at 4pm. Once we’re done, the driver parked the car and at this location:
- At the car check of the exit post, we were 5th in line, and this took a good 10 minutes.
- After we reached the post, the driver paid 35 AED per passenger and got receipts for each.
- The driver then parks the car and gives each passenger that receipt to submit inside the UAE / Oman Border Control building
- We stood in line inside and the Immigration Officials exit our UAE passport from their system. This took around 10-15 minutes for all 8 of us.
- We’re back on the road by 4:30pm towards the Oman Border Post.
It’s another 10 minutes drive into the mountains to reach the Oman Entry Border post. At this location, it’s very important to know
- The driver will give you 5 Omani Riyal to submit at the counter
- Make sure you tell the Oman Immigration official that you’re only here to entry/exit Oman.
- Make 100% sure that the Oman Immigration official puts 2 (TWO) stamps on your passport – one (blue) for entry and one (red) for exit. Without the exit stamp, you will NOT be allowed entry into Dubai, and you will have to go back to Oman Border Post to get this.
- It took another 10 minutes at the Oman Border Post, and we got back into the car.
- Before we leave the post, there’s a security checkpoint where all cars and passports are checked again.
- And we’re on our way back to UAE
In 10 minutes, we arrived at the same UAE Oman Border Control building as before, this time through a different entrance for passengers entering UAE. At this location:
- You stand in line for immigration.
- They check your Oman Exit Stamp
- They enter your passport details for visa on arrival in their system. And optionally may say how many days you have on this stay. In the case of USA and New Zealand, they said you have 30 days + 10 days grace period for your stay in UAE. Read my post here to see the exact date that you can stay in UAE until.
- This took around 15 minutes, and we’re finally on our way back to Dubai 🙂
- Everyone in the car is super relaxed at this point and we had some fun conversations.
We reached back at the Dubai Marina Mall around 7:15pm, and said bye and we were off on our own. I was home by 7:40pm.
It was a wonderful overall experience and I’m so glad I did it. It was a good trip. I met new people and I learned about their culture. I came across some amazing views of UAE and Oman. And it was way cheaper than renewing it online 😉 (AED 235 vs AED 790)
Have you ever done a visa run? Share your experiences in the comments below. Or if you have specific questions about visa runs, feel free to ask in the comments.
Note: ThePointsHabibi is not a qualified immigration or legal counsel. Please consult with accredited lawyers for your specific visa needs.