If you live in Dubai and need to renew your visa, there are two main routes which are both driving day trips. The one that most people use is the route via Hatta. I usually do this with Go Tours and you can read about my experience with them and the trip here. On the last trip with them, we went via Ras Al Khaimah. I hoped that this would be my last need to do a visa run, but this weekend on checking my passport realized that I needed to do one more trip. Go Tours had sent me a reminder, I read it out and about and forgot about it, so finding that they were fully booked on the day I needed, I decided to drive and do the trip on my own here’s what you need to do.
Note : Effective October 2018 – It is possible to extend your visit visa without leaving doing a visa run by paying an extension fee of 600/AED which gives you a 30-day extension. You can do this two times, both times cost 600/AED. Personally whilst this is convenient, the Visa Run (either self-drive) or with a Visa company is more cost-efficient and typically takes just 5 hours of time. Details in this article
Fees: Dh600 per renewal; Dh100 per day fine for violators which will take effect ten days after visa expiry
Update: January 2020 – the end of walking across the border
There are mixed updates about this crossing: some people are saying that you can’t walk across the border anymore and instead you need to drive (it literally takes a few minutes at most) others are saying it was still walkable. The rules seem to be in the process of being changed so it’s best to go prepared.
If you need to drive across in a hire car you may need a NOC (No objection certificate). As far as I can tell you don’t need Oman insurance, as you are literally turning around at the border, but it might be worth checking before you travel.
I’m also hearing mixed reports about whether they will accept cash or not at the border, so go prepared to pay by card and/or cash.
I’ll update this post if I hear any more news.
The border is at Al Dhara which is at the far end of Ras Al Khaimah which is about 160km’s from Dubai and about a 2 hour drive depending on traffic. I input Al Dhara Border control into Waze which is my preferred on-line map system and set off on the E311 – Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road Emirates Road towards Ras Al Khaimah. You can also go via the E611 – Emirates Road which is a few kilometers longer. The drive is fairly easy, there’s usually a bit of a hold up going through Sharjah (depending what time you travel) and after Sharjah, the road clears and is an easy drive. Once you hit Ras Al Khaimah you then have to take the E11 (Al Rams Road) and drive to the border post – there’s usually some traffic congestion in Rak, Waze usually picks this up and tries to navigate you through as quickly as possible.
At the Border
I always do this on foot as it’s very easy and doesn’t require any Insurance etc.
Exit Dubai – Walk to Oman Border * (see January 2020 update above)
Park up then walk to the Dubai Immigration Centre ahead of you.
Enter the building and pay your exit fee to the guy at the counter on your left (35/AED) – this time he said you can’t pay cash you and you need an E-Dirham card. Thankfully he had a stack of these so I handed over a few extra dirhams and got a E-Dirham Card.
Take your passport to the counter and hand it in for stamping.
Collect your passport and a small slip which which is your permission to exit card.
Walk out of the building and head towards the security booth. Hand in your card then walk across the car park to the Oman border – it’s a few minutes walk at most.
Oman Border Procedure
Enter the Oman Border Control building and complete a visa form – they are usually on the table but you might need to ask for one
Take your passport and visa form to the counter and tell them you want to enter and exit at the same time (this time there was some friendly banter as the guy wanted to know why I wasn’t spending time in Oman, I told him next time for sure)
Once you have got both stamps (entry and exit) you need to pay 50/AED for the visa. TIP : Take correct cash if you can as they often don’t have change. I also found out on this trip that they also take credit cards and will debit 5/Omani Rial (50/AED) if you use your card.
Before leaving check that you have both stamps – entry and exit (as you can’t enter Dubai unless you have both)
Exit the building (door to the left) and walk back across the car park towards Dubai.
Update : with effect from 24th April 2017 the fee for the visa is now 200/AED not 50/AED – NOTE wef June 2018 it’s back down to 50/AED – which just goes to show that you need to keep up to date with the rules.
Walk back across the car park towards Dubai Immigration and enter the Immigration office (it’s signposted as Arrivals)
Hand your passport in at the counter and get your entry stamp (30 days)
They will also give you a pink slip of paper which you need to keep with you
Leave the building and head back towards your car across the car park.
You will need to hand the pink slip into the Police checkpoint which is on the right hand side.
Walk back to your car – I usually park outside on the sand
That’s it – you have sorted out your visa – job done !
Timing at the border & Fines
I’ve done this checkpoint twice now, you can read about my first trip with Go Tours here. This time, it was a weekend the entire process took no more then thirty minutes, but I guess it could take longer if it’s busier.
Note : If you have to pay fines, you pay as you exit Dubai – I couldn’t see any ATM’s – not sure if they take credit cards. If not there are some ATM machines a short drive away which you will pass as you drive to the crossing.
You can read more about the Visa process e.g. who is eligible, timelines and fines etc on the Go Tours website – it’s updated regularly so do use it as a source of accurate information as they take people to the border on a daily basis.
Back to Dubai
From here, I drove straight back to Dubai, this time via the E611 which seemed a quicker route as it doesn’t go slow at Sharjah. Door to Door the trip took a little over six hours including 2 stops – 1 for fuel and 1 for coffee (actually coffee on both!). Since I drove myself the only costs were fuel as well as the exit fee (35/AED) and the visa fee (50/AED – UPDATE April 2017: The cost is now 200/AED). There are plenty of places to stop along the way, either for fuel and food or if you have more time, for casual lunch or to buy fruit and veg from some of the roadside stands. Unfortunately this time, as the trip was unexpected, I didn’t have time to stop.
Would I do it alone again? Absolutely, it’s an easy drive and the whole process is very straightforward. Having said that, without some information on what to expect it might have been a bit daunting so I’m glad I did the trip once before with Go Tours. I still recommend Go Tours, particularly if you just want to sit back and relax and not have to worry about driving etc. But if you want to go it alone, then the process is quite simple and since you walk across the Border there’s no need to worry about having to purchase Oman car insurance, etc.
NEW VISA RULES: January 2018 / Tue 02 2018
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: ‘The New Rule is that the following nationalities receive 30-day single-entry visas.
Every time you enter UAE or re-enter UAE you will get a new 30-day visa. There is currently still a 9 day grace period, so overstaying the 30-day visa is an option, however, this grace period is not officially mentioned anywhere we can find and might be canceled without notice.
Overstay fines can be high even just for a few days over. We recommend all our customers from the countries above to travel before the 30 day visa expires.
How to count days
The date of the entry stamp in your passport (or the day you entered the airport via an E-gate) is counted as day number 1.
Cancelled Residence Visa / Change of Visa Status
If you have a cancelled residency visa and need to exit to change status you will need to exit before the expiry date of yourCancellation paper. This is usually a 28-30 day period from when the visa is cancelled to when you need to exit the country.
Entry Permit for new Residency Visa
If you have an Entry permit for a new residence visa, you can travel with us (Go Tours) at any time to change status from tourist to resident, but its recommended to do it as soon as possible otherwise your entry permit may expire and you will have to re-do the whole visa application process.
Schengen nationalities(all the EU countries excluding Great Britain and Ireland)
Receive 90 day multiple-entry visas. These are issued every 180 days. Days spent outside the UAE during the 180 day period do not count towards the total of 90 days permitted.
Do Check out the current rules and regulations about Visa entry requirements as they change regularly,' this excerpt is taken from Go Tours website.
It is still possible to do a visa run in the normal way and Oman visas can be applied for on arrival at the border post on the day of the trip. This applies only to the nationalities listed here: gotoursdubai.com/questions All other nationalities need to apply in advance.
VISA CHANGES to RULES etc
This post was originally posted in December 2016 and has been updated to include new regulations as I become aware of them. I will endeavour to keept his post up to date, but please do check the regulations BEFORE you travel or make visa plans as they may change without me being able to keep this post updated.