Unwinding on a Boat in the Arabian Fjords

Three years ago, aboard the Dhow Cruise in Khasab, Oman  the second time around, I watched the dolphins play around and spent the afternoon snorkeling with colorful fish in clear azure waters 

In case you're a resident, an expat or a tourist stopping over the U.A.E. for several days with one free day where you have no idea how to spend it,  relax and head off to the small enclave of Oman at the northern tip of the United Arab Emirates.  

The Travel Plan
Being a resident, I usually book the full-day dhow cruise via Golden Tulip Resort tourism counter by phone a week before or the earliest I can.   The boat trip  is a 6- 7-hour tour of the fjords in the Arabian Gulf.  It includes Arabic coffee with sweets and a buffet lunch.  The boat tour usually costs Dhs 250 (USD $ 70) per adult.    There are snorkeling gears that can be rented additionally while life jackets can be provided in the boat.   You can pay with Dirhams (UAE Currency) in Khasab and the exit fees at the border with a credit card.

How to get there?
Self Drive (Those traveling with their own vehicle)
Be sure to leave Dubai more than 2 hours before to get to Al Dara border north of Ras Al Kaimah.   At the gate, you can obtain an entry visa to get to Khasab, Musandam, Oman.   Check whether your car is insured for Oman.   A passport, a pen, car insurance and car registration are required. Expect queues at the Immigration after completing a form during public holidays so be sure to be there before 7:30AM. You'll spend roughly about Dhs 85 (USD $ 24) for the exit fee if you're a resident.   In case your car is not insured, you can purchase a 10-day insurance there worth Dhs100 (USD $ 28)  for saloon cars.  There's still 45km of meandering single lane cliff side roads to drive to the port after the border.  The boat leaves the Khasab port at 9AM sharp.  The jetty is located a few blocks away from Golden Tulip Resort.

{ Note: Feb 10, 2013 - There has been some new changes in the Immigration at the borders of UAE and Oman towards Khasab.  They have implemented new rules. Proof of hotel and tour bookings for application of Oman entry visa via Ras Al Khaimah border are required. Please check the visa formalities with the Oman embassy weeks before your trip to ensure you don't miss this trip during your UAE visit.}

16 km Fjords. These rocky mountains must have been submerged during the pre-historic age.

Tours (with pick up at your hotel and drop off in Dubai)
If you're a tourist and prefer a more convenient mode of traveling without renting a car to drive to the border, you can book the Musandam Khasab Oman cruise via tour companies.  They'll pick you up at your hotel and organize the entire trip. The tour package roughly costs between USD 137- USD 200 (Dhs 500-700) per adult.  It was much cheaper a long time ago.  However, the visa fee is usually not included in their package so consider that as an add-on. You will need your passport, pen if you're a UAE tourist visa holder.  For a tourist the exit fee allow approx USD  $24.  Checkout approved nationalities for entry visa before going.

**The prices may be subject to change beyond the published period of this blog post.
Telegraph Island
What really happened?
At 6AM (which was already a bit late) we met my sister in-law and her family (who drove all the way from Abu Dhabi)  at a gas station along Emirates Road, outside the city of Dubai.  The plan was to drive altogether on a convoy to the border of United Arab Emirates for another 120km.  Guess what?  Yohann and I realized that we forgot to bring our passports!    You wouldn't believe that in a matter of a good hour, we were able to go home and caught up with them in Ras Al Khaimah! I will not reveal as to what speed we were driving at but I would tell you that it was insanely fast.

After crossing the border, due to the very long queues at the immigration, we missed our boat! 
We were standing at the pier watching the boat sail away.  

 Luckily, they were able to arrange another boat for everyone who got stuck at the border like us and we sailed happily for one relaxing day under the sun.

This is the perfect season to start boat trips. 
Lounging around and just jumping out of the boat for a swim.

Happy Monday!

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  1. Oh that looks really wonderfully fun - you go on such great adventures!

    1. Thanks Rooth, I owe it to my outdoorsy other half who makes me go beyond my comfort zone and I end up having great fun almost every time. :)

  2. I love the color of the water there! It looks like a great place to SCUBA dive!

    1. Hi Sherry, I think you'll have a great time diving here. :)

  3. Wow it looks absolutely amazing. One of my closest college friends grew up in Oman - and I've always had trouble picturing what that would look like - and now I know at least part of it! BeautifuL!

    1. Thanks Deidre, love your name by the way. Oman's landscape is just relaxing.

  4. great post honey, i really love the photos :P

    1. Hi Tere, thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful week!

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  6. Greatly written article. highly appreciated. Musandam Khasab is a great place

  7. I always spent mу half an hour to read this webpage's content all the time along with a mug of coffee.

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  8. As a European we don't know so much about Middle East countries, I was in Iran, in 2014 and Love it, right now I was wondering to go to Omã but I never though in there the waters were so clear, so beautiful and so calm. One reason more to go there soon :)

    1. Iran must have been quite an adventure. The rocky landscape of Oman makes it quite unique. A big contrast to the flat desert landscape of most countries in the gulf.


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