Travel Essentials

Visa and Passport

UAE: Citizens of the EU (except Ireland and the United Kingdom) do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period. Citizens of the UK and Ireland and persons holding British National (Overseas) passports may obtain a dubai visa free on arrival valid for 30 days. Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations do not require a visa; they may enter using a National ID card, and may stay in the Emirates indefinitely.

Oman: As of March 2018 one needs to apply for a visa online (HERE). The fee is 20 OMR (~£35) and the visa is send via email which has to be printed and presented when entering the country. No visa is available on arrival anymore.

Your passport should be valid for no less than 6 months from the date of arrival.

Customs regulations

Although it is allowed to bring in alcohol (4 bottles per person), we would recommend to avoid getting stuck with the customs in both countries. Avoid bringing in unnecessary medicines and drugs of any kinds. This is taken really seriously and one might face a jail sentence for breaking the law.

Language

The official language is Arabic. They speak a Khaleeji dialect in the Gulf. Due to a vast expat community, English is widely spoken. Here are some basic phrases which will always be helpful:

Hello  – Marhaba 

How are you? – Kaeef halak

Thank you – Shukran

Goodbye – MaAa es-salama

Excuse me – MaAzera

Sorry – Asef

Please – MinFadlak

Stop – Tawaqaf

Yes – NaAm

No – La

Time Difference

UAE and Oman are in the same time zone, the UTC +4. They do not switch between the summer and winter time, therefore in summer they are 3 hours ahead of the UK and in winter they are 4 hours ahead.

Money

The currency in UAE is the dirham (AED or Dhs). 1 dirham is around 0.2 GBP.

The currency of Oman is rial (OMR). 1 Rial is around 2 GBP.

Safety and Health

The Arabian Peninsula is hot or extremely hot year-round. Always carry drinking water with you and be wary of dehydration in high temperatures. If you’re not used to the heat it can sneak up on you and cause serious health problems.

Do not try to cross the desert on your own or in a rented 4×4. Travelling through a desert requires proper preparation. It looks easy, but if something fails you are suddenly blocked away from anyone to be able to help. Never go off-road alone, there should be a minimum of two to three cars driving together. Always check the car before embarking on desert trips.

Both Oman and UAE are generally very safe for travellers.

Driving License 

It is a legal requirement for visitors to have a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) in order to rent a car and legally drive in both UAE and Oman. All visitors who plan to drive here must make sure they obtain an IDP in their home country or country of residence before they travel. For renting a car a credit card and the passport will also be necessary to present at the time of picking up the car.

Telecommunication 

The international code for UAE is +971

The international code for Oman is +968

Insurance

We will strongly advise to have worldwide travel insurance in place when planning a trip abroad, including to UAE and Oman.