Currently I have a UAE visa that allows me to be in the country for 30 days. There is actually a grace period of 10 days for a total of 40. Well when I went to Abu Dhabi to check into my hotel on Sunday (in preparation for an AIA CEU seminar) and then stay over for my Monday morning meeting, I was informed by the hotel staff that I could not stay in the hotel since my passport visa had expired two days earlier. The ten day grace period does not pertain to hotel stays. The hotel would be fined if the Abu Dhabi police authority found a guest staying on an expired passport visa. So I packed up the car and headed back to Dubai on Sunday evening.
Monday, bright and early I headed out to Hatta, Oman to get my visa renewed. The process is basically, you drive for two hours, cross the border into Oman, go to the crossing guard, he stamps you into Oman and then stamps you out of Oman and asks for AED50 ($13.70). Then back in the car for two hours to Dubai. Kind of a simple process it is just a big hassle to have to do it every 40 days. I am hoping that I can get my residency visa soon, so that I do not have to make the trek out into the desert. I have posted some photos of the stark contrast between Oman and Dubai. Oman reminds me of the desert area in Arizona and Utah leading up to Monument Valley.
Oman has some very neat resort hotels on the Persian Gulf. Maybe I can plan my trips better in the future and stay for a day or two vs. a few minutes. Miss MoneyPenny got me to and from Oman without a hitch. I think she is getting use to me turning the wrong way from her directions. She was testing me though…..when I got back in the car with my new visa stamp, she just said “continue to designated route”. She is assuming that I can get to the right highway without any help. Maybe she is trying to wean me off of the GPS and help develop my security in my own driving.