Why Go to Muscat?
Some UAE OFWs need a periodic visa run, while some will just want to travel for the sheer pleasure of it. You might also be based in Oman itself. Muscat is a great city; with historic mosques, souks, green oases, mountain ranges, and ancient forts.
In fact, I couldn’t decide which sight to zero in on as there were too many! There’s a sight for every one whether you prefer culture, nature, mountain, or sea.
The budget can be a low PhP 12,000 per person on a three-person trip. This is based on a three day weekend trip from Dubai by bus. It will also mean triple-sharing a room at an AirBnB rental and cooking most of your meals. Forego a guided 4WD trip to Jebel Shams by driving you and your barkada, and it will be even lower.
You can choose to drive yourself.
Checklist before you go.
You can get a visa upon arrival, but you must still check or call the nearest Omani Embassy at your area in case there has been any changes. Pack a swimsuit and a jacket as well as comfortable walking shoes.
Don’t forget your passport and ID. Photocopy your birth certificate as well as the relevant pages of your passport and stow it in a separate place. This is just in case your passport got lost.
- Book the bus to Muscat shortly before you go.
- Book the room of your choice at AirBnB way before you go.
- Correspond with your potential host. If the host is especially accommodating, he may even pick you up at the bus station.
- Check the house rules and amenities. Part of your budget involves cooking a baon/picnic. You can even pack frying oil, garlic, and onions to save on buying them in Muscat – Pinoy style, baby. Just don’t forget the tupperwares, water bottles, and the fork and spoon.
Muscat Long Weekend Itinerary and Budget
7:15AM – 2:00PM Bus from Dubai to Muscat (PhP 1,221.00 round trip)
2:00PM – 3:00PM Check in and freshen up at your AirBnB (PhP 1,826.00 for 2 nights/person)
3:00PM onwards Explore the city (Mosques, souks, market). Take this time to buy the food stuff you need. I trust that you’ll already have the menu prepared (usually Adobo as it doesn’t spoil). (PhP 1,000.00 more or less)
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Guided 4WD day tour to Jebel Shams (PhP6,500.00/person). This is the part where you can save a lot if you can rent a car instead at just PhP 2,000.00 per day. You can also ask your AirBnB host if he can recommend a taxi service that can take you there as well.
Start as early as you want for this self-guided tour to the Wadi Ash Shab. The car rent will be somewhere at the PhP2,000.00 range for a 2WD.
You can also opt to check out and then go straight to the bus station after the trip. Buses going back to Dubai leave at 3:00PM and 11:00PM. If you prefer to leave the next day, there is also a bus leaving as early as 6:00AM.
Enjoying yourself while working away from home is a must in order to survive as an OFW. Traveling is a way to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The material things you buy will long be forgotten but your time in Muscat will stay with you forever.
Picture attribution CC BY 2.0
flickr.com/prasad-om flickr.com/andriesoudshoorn flickr.com/andryn2006 flickr.com/xiquinho