Looking at spending a weekend in Musandam, or breaking up a trip to Dubai with a short break in the mountains? Here’s exactly how to get to one of the world’s most dramatic beauty spots, the Musandam Peninsular, Oman.
If you are looking to travel to Musandam from Muscat or elsewhere in the mainland of Oman, pop over to this guide.
On this page, we will only be talking about land crossing into Musandam from Dubai or any of the other Emirates to Khasab in the north & Dibba in the east.
You can also see our guides to;
- Best tours and things to do in Musandam, Oman
- Best places to stay in Musandam
- Best times to visit Oman
- Visit Oman with Kids
Where is Musandam?
The tiny Omani enclave of Musandam sits on the very northern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, jutting dramatically into the Strait of Hormuz. The UAE sits between mainland Oman and Musandam Governate (with a tiny exclave, Madha, sitting within Fujairah).
The only way to access Musandam for the UAE is by road. (Or parasailing in, but we’ll cover this further on!)
Remember you are crossing an international border! Passports are essential.
Dubai to Musandam by road
In this guide we’re going to talk you through how to get to Khasab, the regional capital of Musandam in the very north, facing towards the Arabian Gulf, and Dibba on the east coast, facing the Gulf of Oman.
Most visitors will start their journey from Dubai, so we will use this as a reference point. If you are coming from Abu Dhabi Airport add 1 more hour, or 1.5 hours from downtown Abu Dhabi.
Dubai to Khasab is approximately 2 hours, but as an international border crossing is required, the journey can take 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours (or even longer on popular holiday weekends).
Dubai to Dibba is shorter, 145kms and about 1 hour 45 minutes.
A guide to border crossing into Musandam
The west coast crossing into Musandam if you are headed to Khasab is via the Al Darah border post, at the northern tip of Ras Al Khaimah emirate, literally where the mountains start touching the ocean.
The crossing posts for UAE and Oman at Al’Darah are immediately next to each other so its a popular spot for tourists in Dubai and the UAE to do ‘border runs’ (extending their 30-day tourist visas) as you need only stop once and walk between the entry and exit offices. if you are not a GCC resident, then the border crossing involves two stops in each direction.
Here’s what you should expect at the Musandam border crossing:
- The Oman entrance fees are 5 OMR (approx 50 AED) for GCC residents on a 10-day visit visa or 20 OMR (200 AED) for a 30-day tourist visa.
- You can now apply for your Oman e-visa in advance.
- Leaving the UAE you will pay a 35AED per person exit fee (included in airline tickets so you don’t normally notice).
- For all of these border crossings, foreigners must go inside the office to have their passports stamped and to pay – everyone in the car must get out, you can’t send someone in on everyone’s behalf.
- Check your vehicle is insured to be driving in both the UAE and Oman. If not, you will need to purchase insurance (and make sure you have the vehicle owners permission to cross the border – eg if you have a hire car)
- There are no exit fees from Oman or re-entry fees to the UAE but make sure you pull over and get passports checked at both with your insurance docs.
Planning a trip to Dibba, Oman
(Note that the town of Dibba crosses between the UAE and Oman; part of the city is in Fujairah, partly in Sharjah (Dibba Al-Hisn) and part in Oman)
This is not a full border crossing post, only a small police station checkpoint. You must have pre-arranged permission to access the border crossing at this point, either via your accommodation or tour provider.
If you are staying at the very luxurious Six Senses Zighy Bay on the Dibba side of Musandam but over the border, they will take care of your visa’s for you some 7 days in advance, same with Dibba Beach Resort (you can read more about Musandam’s resorts and hotels here).
Some day trips to Dibba may leave from the UAE side and not touch land, preventing the formality of border crossing on a day trip.
Those visiting Six Senses Zighy Bay will be given the choice to parasail or speed boat into the resort, instead of taking the 4WD track!
See and do on the way to Musandam from Dubai
Although many will wake very early and head straight across the border on a day trip, we suggest taking your time and making some stops along the way.
It takes less than an hour from Dubai to cross into Ras al Khaimah where there are many historic sites to see along the way. A convenient stop just before the Al’Dahra crossing is Dhayah Fort in Al Rams.
We’d also highly recommend a tour of Suwaidi Pearls. These two activities could easily fill a morning. Enjoy lunch at the Suwaidi Pearl farm then continue onwards to Khasab later in the afternoon.
You can see our complete guide for things to do in Ras al Khaimah for all the Family here.
Other practical information and resources for visiting Musandam, Oman
- A standard saloon car will easily get you up to Khasab with sealed roads all the way (and extensive reinforcement works going on to stop the cliffside drive from collapsing!),
- If you want to explore any further in land, particularly from the Dibba side you will need a 4WD.
- Don’t forget your passports! Although the border connections might seem fairly seamless and it’s hard to believe you’re in another country, you are!
- The official currency is Omani Rial (OMR) but your dirhams may well be accepted by local operators (they get a slight upside in the exchange rate using 10AED:1OMR)
- Power plugs can be the round 2 pin, not the British 3 rectangular pin; from the UAE you might need an adaptor plug. See a Middle East plug guide here!
Check out rental hire costs for this drive
Further UAE & Oman resources and inspiration:
Check out these guides for more great ideas visiting both the UAE and Oman.
- Best family resorts in Ras al Khaimah
- The UAE’s Best Family Beach Resorts
- Dubai to Muscat Road Trip Planner
- Dubai to Fujairah Road Trip Planner
- Best resorts and family accommodation in Muscat
- Best of Oman with kids