The situation is difficult for visitors from the United Arab Emirates who wish to change their visa status by traveling to Oman by bus. This is because travel agents have reported an increase in demand, which has resulted in 'visa-changing packages' being completely booked.
With buses to Oman operating at full capacity, visitors from the UAE are strongly encouraged to make their travel arrangements well in advance. According to the experts, they are need to submit their application for the package "at least ten days before the expiration of their visit visa."
Buses operate at full capacity daily
The founder and chief executive officer of Tahira Tours and Travels, Firoz Maliyakkal, emphasized that "buses are running to their capacity daily," and that tourists who wish to take advantage of the service are required to make reservations for the package well in advance. The number of people who want to modify their visas so that they can travel to Oman by bus has skyrocketed. Over one hundred inquiries are being received by us.
Based on the information provided by travel agents, a private aggregator was formerly responsible for the daily operation of three bus services. In order to satisfy the demand, other private agencies have begun operating their own bus services.
Buses are fully booked
Additionally, Feroz stated that there are currently eight privately operated buses that are fully booked for the next ten days. These buses have a seating capacity of more than 300 people and operate from Sunday to Wednesday.
High prices for airline tickets
There is a correlation between the abrupt growth in demand and the rise in airfare, which has prompted individuals to investigate options that are more cost-effective.
The managing director of Rehan Al Jazeera Tourism, Shihab Parwad, stated that in the past, travelers preferred to alter their visas through the airport-to-airport service; however, the cost of this service has increased by approximately twenty percent.
"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."
The package price for visa changes by bus runs from Dh1,000 to Dh1,100, which represents a cost difference of Dh400 to Dh500 when compared to the cost of flights for changing visas from airport to airport. According to Parwad, the package includes travel visas to enter Oman, a visit visa to the United Arab Emirates valid for two months, exit taxes, and accommodations for one night in Oman within the package.
When using the bus services, tourists have the option of staying in Oman for a day or returning to the Emirates on the same day, depending on whether or not their visa for the United Arab Emirates has been issued.
Depending on the number of passengers at the border crossing, the private buses that depart from Fish Roundabout in Deira at ten in the morning and cross the UAE-Oman border at one in the afternoon. Following the completion of the border crossing, we begin the process of applying for a visa, which is normally granted within ten hours, as stated by Parwad.
Following the receipt of the visa, travelers depart from Oman and begin their journey back to the United Arab Emirates in the afternoon. In the event that there is a problem with the issuance of visas, they are permitted to remain in the Sultanate for a maximum of ten days. Therefore, beginning the following day, if you are required to extend your stay while waiting for the approval of a visit visa, you would be subject to a charge of Dh25 per day," Parwad explained further.