Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi a spectacular building to enhance your visit to Abu Dhabi

Qasr Al Watan (Palace of the Nation) in Abu Dhabi is open to the public. Check below for a Dress Code, Map, Information, Video and great Photographs.

Aerial view of Qasr Al Watan courtesy Ministry of Presidential Affairs UAE
Aerial view of Qasr Al Watan courtesy Ministry of Presidential Affairs UAE

Continue readingQasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi a spectacular building to enhance your visit to Abu Dhabi


Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger was born on 3 June 1910 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (then Abyssinia) into a life of privilege and aristocratic connections.

Wilfred Thesiger in Oman
Wilfred Thesiger is looked at by an Omani man

His father was the Continue reading “WILFRED THESIGER”

UAE AND OMAN BORDER crossing how to travel into Oman from the UAE - with maps below

The UAE AND OMAN BORDER crossing gives 7 options between the two countries.
Below I detail them –  in Musandam, Al Batinah (for Muscat) & Al Buraymi (for Nizwa, Ash Sharquiyah & Dhofar). I also give information for Oman Visa, Bus information, Insurance needed for Oman and British Embassy Oman Travel page.


My updated Bradt’s 5th guide to Oman 2022 has completely rewritten regional chapters and maps. These cover Oman from the tip of Musandam’s peninsula, through to the hotels near the border with Yemen. Available from June 2022 at most online book stores incl Bradt and Amazon. (my earlier 4th Edition of the guide is still available at Bradt and Amazon)

Here are both of the Oman UAE Border Crossings in Musandam below – with Maps.

The crossing from Ras Al Khaymah for Khasab. This is accessed using the Emirates Road (E611) and driving through Ras Al Khaymah to link with E11 , or take E11 from Sharjah. After exiting from the UAE the Oman border is very close & the road to Khasab dramatically hugs the coast.

The crossing at Dibba can be a bit confusing as there are two, 1 for GCC nationals only. The one for all non-GCC nationals is on the coast, taking route E87 from Ras Al Khaymah and then drive through Dibba.


Here are both of the Oman UAE Border Crossings on Oman’s Batinah coast. One from from Sharjah and another from Dubai – with Maps.

Crossing from Sharjah south of Fujarah at Kalba can be accessed via routes E102 & E84, then turn south to Kalba. Both border posts are close to each other. The Oman road south is in good condition.

The crossing from Dubai at Hatta through Al Wajajah means driving out of Dubai or Sharjah and take route E102 from Al Aweer to Hatta. The UAE exit is about 10km away from the new Oman border post. There are refreshments in the Oman border post & toilets etc. The road into Muscat is in good condition.

I list all 3 of the Oman UAE Border Crossings in Al Ain below – with Maps. 

Al Buraymi Gate
Al Buraymi Gate

The Sa’ara border point in Al Al Buraymi is now open for Omanis and expats, making it easier to travel to the UAE from Oman.

“Both Omanis and expats planning a trip to the UAE can use this new border point, which was opened on Tuesday,” said a Royal Oman Police (ROP) official in Times of Oman and quoted at length by the Khaleej Times in the UAE.

The Royal Oman Police have also announced the opening on Twitter.

With this announcement about the Sa’ara border point in Al Buraymi  (corresponding to Hilli in Al Ain UAE) there are 3 locations to cross between Oman & the UAE at Al Buraymi.

As you are visiting Oman – check out all my Blog Posts – on the top right. they take you throughout the country.

Here are all 3 of the Oman UAE Border Crossings from Abu Dhabi or Dubai at Al Ayn / Al Buraymi – with Maps and comments.

The Mezayad crossing through Al Buraymi / Al Ain is ideal to use if you intend to travel from Abu Dhabi & Dubai to Nizwa, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Wihaba Sands and down to Salalah (all covered in my guidebook available from Kinokuniya Dubai and worldwide  Bradt Guide to Oman and my guide to The Land of Frankincense covers historic sites in Salalah and Dhofar).

For Muscat and the Al Batinah regions of Oman the Dubai Hatta border (above) or Khatm Al Shikla (below) are used.

Below is the Sa’ara/Hilli border.

The Sa’ara/Hilli border is ideal to use simply to move in and out of Al Buraymi and Al Ain. If you want to go onto Suhar then you will also pass through another Oman border post at Wadi Al Jizzi.

Below is Khatm Al Shikla (Shakla/Shiklah ) which is paired with Wadi Saa or Wadi Al Jizzi.

Khatm Al Shikla leads to either Wadi Saa (the right turn after the UAE emigration), that is really little used and not suggested, or Wadi Al Jizzi (left fork and about 20mins farther on) that is by far the more used route.

Below is Mezyad in the UAE which is paired with Hafeet in Oman.

Although out of town these two immigration/ emigrations are the principal crossing points with excellent facilities and capacity for numerous vehicles, making the crossing quicker. As said earlier this route is ideal for Nizwa and Salalah. They are ideal to use as the staff in them are used to any type of crossing issue (passport, period of time, language etc) and the offices are very unlikely to close for administrative reasons. It is the one preferred by the UAE authorities.
The distance between the UAE border and Oman border offices at Mezyad – Hafeet is about 1500meters.

As always things may change and it is always advisable to check with the authorities to get information about the situation when you plan to travel.

Explore The Land of Frankincense with my book which is available as a paperback through Amazon worldwide  If you are in the UK – a full colour interior version is available here.

Check out some of my other posts on Dhofar – all the way back to 2006

For a broader perspective of Dhofar and the rest of Oman use my rewrite of the Oman Guide Book for Bradt available in paperback  worldwide here



For more information on bus from Dubai to Oman click here or  use the search box on the upper right of this page – or just for Taxi click here.

For Visa requirements, I suggest that you carefully review the impact of the new Visa Application procedure for Oman announced by the Oman Government.

You will also want to review your insurance for Oman and new government policies on the horizon. Also ensure your vehicle is permitted to cross out of the UAE.

Note should also be taken about travel advice from your own foreign ministry – I use the British Foreign Office.

To link from Al Ain into Dubai there is a fast highway at the north-east of Al Ain with 3 lanes in either direction.

Insurance for vehicles remains as before and covered on page 57 of the Bradt Guide to Oman.

When exiting from the UAE make certain you can pay the AED35 charge to the emigration authority.

Zodiacs onto Sir Bani Yas

The Zodiacs of the Clipper Odyssey (now renamed Silver Discoverer) ably lead by John Yersin came in handy to get us onto Sir bani Yas .

John and the Clipper Odyssey off Sir bani Yas
John and the Clipper Odyssey off Sir bani Yas

Once on the island I joined other Continue reading “Zodiacs onto Sir Bani Yas”

Abu Dhabi and Wilfred Thesiger

in a gallery in Al Ain

It was interesting to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi and Wilfred Thesiger exhibition in Al Ain on a trip from Oman.

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a remarkable contrast in most respects to the superlative Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque’s exterior is a brilliant white –its interior, in contrast,  is an equally brilliant poly-chrome .  The carpet uses the same company that was previously used for the carpet in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, not surprising as the Oman organisers completely re-organised their carpet production work-flow. Although completely different in design, the chandelier is from Faustig who supplied the magnificent ones for the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Almost overflowing with floral designs, the mosque sits opposite Continue reading “Abu Dhabi and Wilfred Thesiger”

Etihad to Muscat

A flight to remember for a lifetime

Taking Etihad from Heathrow to Muscat I was lucky to have a brand new plane, an Airbus 340 . It was a flying advert for the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix later this year.

As is often the case in The Gulf the flight attendants were from all over the world, mostly Far East, and I’m not certain if there were any Emiratis.

Will Smith in “I Robot” looks over my Etihad meal
Will Smith in “I Robot” looks over my Etihad meal

The meal was frankly poor – with rubber like Pasta – made worse by being served a couple of hours into the late evening flight. I found the entertainment selection extraordinary – 70films, 100 TV entertainment programs, no idea how many news Channels and presumably as many Audio choices. For a new plane it was a shock to have an aborted landing – with good recovery, thank you Mr  Pilot– because a wheel door apparently would not open. Our second attempt succeeded and it was comforting to see the fire tenders moving back into their sheds.

Arriving for transfer at Abu Dhabi into the new Terminal the Muscat flight was waiting in the old terminal – very nice because it’s distinctive. Flashing up on the TV – BBC breaking news Michael Jackson died. I can remember where I was the night Elvis (Presley) died and now will be able to add Michael Jackson to my life’s time line, through this flight.

The Jackson 5 and later Michael were not my favorites but his Music from ‘Off the Wall’ to ‘Thriller’ was so good. What a shock to his family and fans . He visited Oman a couple of years ago and I must say in Oman Michael Jackson was sooo popular that many people here will miss him.