If you are looking to include Musandam on an Oman road trip (which you should!), there are several options to get you there that will bring with them completely different experiences and costs.
There are three primary options for getting between Khasab (the regional capital of the Musandam Governate) and Muscat in the south-east of Oman. Here we will take you through excatly how to:
- Fly between Muscat and Khasab, Musandam
- Take the public ferry from mainland Oman to Musandam
- Road trip over the UAE from Muscat to Musandam (Dibba & Khasab)
You can also see our detailed guides to:
- Things to do in Musandam (coming soon!)
- Best places to stay in Musandam
- Best times to visit Oman
- Visit Oman with Kids
If you are driving to Musandam from Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE, you need this road trip planner guide for UAE to Oman.
Flying Muscat to Khasab
There is one daily flight between Muscat and Khasab operated by Oman Air.
The flight takes just over one hour and arrives into the tiny airport of Khasab nestled between the dramatic Hajar Mountains.
At the time of writing, this flight leaves Muscat:
- Sun-Wed, Fri: 7.30am, landing 8.35am
- Sat, Thu: 3.45pm, landing 4.40pm
Returning Khasab to Muscat, the flight leaves daily at:
- Sun- Wed, Fri: 9.35am, landing 10.40am
- Sat, Thu: 5.30pm landing 6.35pm
As you are flying domestically there is no border control. Prices are variable, so search current timing and costs here;
Public Ferry Oman to Musandam
Only marginally cheaper than the flight, and takes a lot longer, but a far more interesting way to enter Oman is to take the ferry service.
Note THERE IS NO DIRECT FERRY FROM MUSCAT.
No matter what way you try and tackle it, there will still be a bit of driving involved as the ferry departs from SHINAS which is on the north-eastern coast of Oman, about 3 hours further north of Muscat by bus.
You can make the journey self-drive, or take the Mwasalat Bus from Muscat (Al Athaiaba station) to Shinas. These services have been properly integrated for ferry connection times since 2017 as follows:
Fast Ferry Shinas to Khasab
Operated by National Ferries Company (NFC), the fast ferry to Khasab takes you through the fascinating Strait of Hormuz on one of their comfortable catamarans. You can board by foot or pre-book to take your vehicle with you.
Due to very low demand, the service only runs a couple of times a week in each direction. At the time of writing this services run:
- Sunday & Thursday 16:30
Fast Ferry Khasab to Shinas
The return ferry operates on:
- Saturday and Tuesday 13:00
Booking tickets for the Musandam Ferry
You can book for ferry tickets online using Direct Ferries, an online portal for ferry bookings around the world.
FROM MUSCAT you can also book tickets in person at the NFC office in Muscat which is near Muttrah Souq. You must have passport details with you to make the booking (even if you are travelling only domestically and not onward to the UAE) an pay by card, not cash.
FROM KHASAB you can book your ticket at the ferry terminal or online using the Direct Ferries portal.
You can find the full National Ferry Company schedule here which includes services which run:
- Shinas to Dibba, Dibba to Shinas
- Lima to Khasab, Khsab to Lima
- Lima to Dibba, Dibba to Lima
- Lima to Shinas, Shinas to Lima
Tickets and seating onboard National Ferries Company
- Seating comes in the choice of Economy, Business or VIP Class.
- A return ticket as at October 2019 in economy class is 35 OMR or 18 OMR one way. Children 3 to 12 years are half price.
- You can upgrade this to Business or VIP, the prices for the upgrade are highly variable by route and day
- The pricing includes the bus fare to/from Muscat
- You need to book your ticket at least 24 hours prior
- You need to be at the ferry 2 hours prior.
- Adding a standard car cost 4AED one way, or 6AED for 4WD vehicles.
Once onboard the ferry, customers are treated to comfortable chairs, TV’s meals are available.
At Khasab and Shinas you need to pass through police checkpoints (though not a formal border crossing) so do still bring your passports, as well as your ferry tickets.
There are obviously pros and cons to the ferry route. It certainly saves you time and you can take a vehicle onboard, but you are very restricted by operating hours of the ferry service.
If you are coming all the way from Muscat, the trip with wait times and transit still takes 7 hours, very similar to taking the road route all the way.
Muscat to Musandam by Road
The third option is to drive your own vehicle all the way from Muscat to Musandam. You will no doubt be doing this is part of a larger Oman or UAE road trip itinerary. The instructions here are for the quickest method of getting directly to Dibba or Khasab from Muscat.
If you are coming via Dubai, you can see Dubai to Musandam driving instructions here.
- Muscat to Dibba is 406kms and takes approximately 4 hours 15 minutes
- Muscat to Khasab is 535kms and will take about 6 to 7 hours
Khatmat Malaha, near the port city of Kalba, Sharjah is the quickest is border point for both Dibba and Khasab, taking the Muscat Expressway until Bu Baqarah just before the border.
NB the police checkpoint at Dibba is small; You must have pre-arranged permission to cross here, only guests of the resort hotels and tours.
The process of crossing the Oman-UAE Border – twice
- There is no exit fee from Oman and no entry visa fee for many passport holders into the UAE.
- Check what sort of UAE Visa on Arrival you can be granted at the border here.
- You must still go into both the Oman Border crossing office and the UAE office. Everyone’s passports will be stamped as exiting Oman and entering the UAE (everyone in the car must get out).
- There are no formal borders you crossing points between the Emirates in the UAE, continue your drive through to Ras al Khaimah.
- When you reach the Al’Darah border you will need passports out again and there are fees to be paid.
- You will pay 35AED per person exit fee from the UAE.
- If you are an Omani resident or GCC Citizen, there are no fees to pay to cross back into Musandam.
- Tourists who are not on a multi-entry Visa will need a new Visa for Oman, as the last single entry visa was cancelled when you crossed the border.
- Note your vehicle must be insured and you must have the vehicle owners permission to cross an international border. This will be checked, and some cars may be inspected more thoroughly.
Bus from Muscat to Musandam
Note, there is no direct public transport route from Muscat to Musandam. You can take a public bus as far as Dubai, and a further public bus as far as Ras al Khaimah, but this is honestly a very long route to take.
There’s no bus to take you that final leg from Al Hamra Bus station in Ras Al Khaimah to the final stop in Khasab. We’d strongly suggest taking your own vehicle or hire a car with the correct insurance and permissions to cross the border if you are taking the land-only route.
Further UAE & Oman resources
Check out these guides for more great ideas visiting both the UAE and Oman.
- Dubai to Muscat Road Trip Planner
- Best family resorts in Ras al Khaimah
- The UAE’s Best Family Beach Resorts
- Best of Oman with kids
- What to wear when visiting Oman
- Plan your trip to the UAE with kids