Crossing borders: Mussandam Peninsula, Oman

Well, If you have been living in the UAE city for a long time and bored with the skyscrapers, cityscapes, bars and shopping in the country, Oman’s Mussandam offers a different kind of promise to those who want to wander in the Persian Gulf – wilderness way.

Geographically, Mussandam Peninsula is separated from the rest of the Sultanate of Oman. It is located near at the east coast of the UAE and guarding the southern side of the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. It is a land of Majestic khors, tiny villages and dramatic, mountain-hugging roads. A fishing village and noteworthy travel stop in the Gulf Region.

Since we are amazed by the excitement of going to another country by bus, we kept looking for good promotions in travel websites. Two things we consider in this trip it should be off-duty worthy plus pocket friendly adventure. Musandam Sands tour via Groupon offers 225 AED per person from 515 AED it’s original price. It includes visa process, bus transfers, lunch buffet and dhow cruise. I guess real deal. So we grab them.

As an Expat in UAE, in virtue with GCC pact, we have the good access and no need to apply for Oman visa, but we need only an entry visa (or be in the list, I guess) just to enter the area for a day There is small border immigration who will inspect each vehicle along side with list of the tourists who will enter the peninsula. So for thse who want take this route, kindly contact on your travel agent for what will be the process on your entry.

We originally scheduled the trip on January 24, but only a week before that, we learned that it is a public holiday. Since we purchased via groupon and it’s terms and conditions showed not applicable during public holiday, we grab a call to the organizer if we can work it out and be exempted with it. As Nurses, finding Off request days same with your friends are precious dates. Luckily, Mr. Shammy agreed that we will be included with the tours in that date. Yalla!

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From our home in Al Ain, we leaved at 5.30 am and reached the meeting stop at Spinneys in Dubai at  7.30 am and we managed to reserve our seats in front of the pack in the shuttle bus.

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 Team Tawam Hospital Travelmates

After 2 hours of bus travel, we already reached the border of Dibba and Sharjah emirate, unfortunately travel misadventure begins. Supposedly, we have to pick up our list of visa prior to border inspection, without the list we can’t enter the Oman. I took us for more than 4 hours waiting on the area for the mismanaged travel itinerary happened. waiting for the list and long que for inspection. Plus communication barriers. Usually, when these things happened, I am the one who easily lose patience and reacts violently. I don’t know, but during these times I stayed calm and boost my patience. Might be a learning experience from past few days before the event that to accept things not going on the way you planned and yet a have a positive outlook in life. Although it is very reasonable to be angry during that time – I guess my travel mates and fellow passengers I rateness is more than enough for the organizer, I don’t want to add more. :/

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abandoned boat in the shore. Image

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The Busy Dibba Port

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 old and new  dhows at the port

When we reach the port of Dibba, we will grab a traditional Omani Dhow and cruise along the way to the mussandam site. It will took another 45- 60 minutes cruise ride and reached the dhow point. When we reached there, we will have the options to do snorkelling, swimming or boat ride to see the view. But since we are tired and hungry (We didn’t eat from morning until we reached the mussandam swimming area) so we just stayed at the dhow and splurged on the buffet while taking pictures.

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 Welcome to Oman! 

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 Lovers Dhow ride? ayt.Image

Mountan picturesque in Mussadam

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Travel kid at  DhowImage

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 With fellow Tawam Nurses in Actions:  Jade, Melch, Rhemson and Sir Alex

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It amazed me to see family and people in their vacation environment. So this is the time I do observe how fellow UAE expats enjoyed this elusive 1 day vacation with their families. We are joined with various nationalities in the cruise, and we are the only group of Filipinos in the dhow. But across cultures, what I observed was in the cruise. Holiday is best experienced with your family.

Around 6pm, we have to go back to the Dibba port and back to Dubai. This time, other way around happened from our regretful afternoon, we just pass by smoothly with the process and go.

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Bye Mussandam, Hello Dubai again

We reached around 9pm at Bur Dubai area, since we are hungry, we splurged on Filipino Favorite, Max’s Restaurant that is newly opened in the Emirates. And end our night with Shopping at Dubai Mall.

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Max’s: Sarap kapiling

Few suggestions to dear travel kids: I guess travelling in January you should think twice for two reasons: First, It is still winter months so it’s very cold and change of season is coming so – Fog across Emirates is an ongoing process, and we are not a fan of morning driving.

Go at Mussandam not during holidays to avoid rush of tourists, It is best experience with less people as you will find tranquillity and serenity during the cruise.

Bring some foods along the way, travel time is unstable and keeping your stomach working as restaurants and other food stores are scarce.

Till then!

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