Road trip to Salalah

Just returned from a trip to Salalah in Oman [Wikipedia], if you have never been there and are planning to go by road then there are few things you need to know, this post is meant to serve as a guide, hope you find it helpful.

Before you go

Remember that Salalah is located at 1000Km from Muscat and that is probably going to be the longest drive you did in one go (it was for me) so prepare yourself and the car. An SUV/4×4 is recommended but not required, the point is if you have a comfortable and reliable vehicle then you are good to go.

Do yourself a favor, pick up a full map of Oman and Salalah each, I got the map of Oman from the reception desk of our hotel in Muscat from our last trip and a friend gave me the detailed map of Salalah, these two turned out to be valuable resources.

Leave early in the morning, we left at around 7-ish and reached just before sunset (October) at 6pm.

On the way

There are few petrol stations but there are patches where you wont find any, I didn’t let the fuel tank reach even half before I filled it up again, I recommend you do the same.

Speeding: It’s a single road to Salalah from Nizwa, you can go as fast as you like without worrying about speed cameras, because there are none (at least at the time of this writing, so don’t blame me if you are fined :). Note that some parts of the road are under construction so you’ll need to slow down. Also a big part of the road needs repair so the ride there will not be very smooth and comfortable, be ready for that.

There are 4 Omani Army check posts on the way, that’s something we were not aware of and they come out of no where. Keep your passports, drivers license and vehicle registration card handy, you will need to show it to the officers at each post, also you might be asked to open up the trunk of your car to check your luggage, don’t panic. Common questions were (in Arabic offcourse) “Why are you visiting Salalah?” & “Where are you coming from?” be ready to answer them.

About half way from Muscat to Salalah, there is a relatively big town name “Hema” or “Haima”, we spotted few restaurants there and it was almost lunch time when we got there, that made it a perfect spot.

Sight seeing

Salalah itself is a small coastal city, it’s the neighboring Dhofar mountains where all its beauty is.

Mugsayl beach – is located at 47km west from Salalah on the way towards Yemen, the road goes through mountains and the drive is very scenic.

Marnif cave – it is located at Mugsayl beach (just turn left on your way up on the mountain), though we couldn’t find the cave (partly because I read somewhere that its not worth visiting) it’s the view of the beach and the mountains that made it a great spot for some photography.

Ain Homran – is located on the east of Salalah on the way to Taqah and Mirbat, though we couldn’t find a spring “ain” in October

Wadi Darbat – is the most beautiful of all, its located in the east on the way to Taqah and Mirbat, the place is surrounded with trees and has miles of unspoiled greenery, on the top it also has a lake that is surrounded by mountains.

Towi Attair – is located on the way to Wadi Darbat, we went up for quite a while before we decided to return, there is a Sink Hole (and a cave that we couldn’t find), the road goes left just before the police station and is signposted after that, ask for directions if you are unsure.

Taqah Beach – is a beautiful bird watching spot.

Nabi Ayub’s Tomb – is located on the north east of Salalah, though we didn’t go there but the road is quite pretty.

Ain Jarziz – on the way to Nabi Ayub’s tomb you will find the way to this valley on your right, it has a natural spring and is surrounded by mountains on three sides.

Khawr Rawri (Samharam) Archaeological site – its located on the way to Mirbat and is worth visiting, specially if you are interested to know the history of the place which dates back to 5 century AD.

Magnetic Mountains – is the place where you car speeds up to 50km by itself, because the place is not sign posted I couldn’t get there even though I asked for the directions few times (its located near Al Maha petrol station on the way to Mirbat, that’s what they say)

Haffa Souk – we visited some shops in Haffa souk near Sultan’s palace in downtown Salalah, was surprised to see so many women shopkeepers.

Al Balid/Baleedah Archaeological park – I couldn’t see this one but my local contact told me that its worth a visit.

That’s all the major locations in and around Salalah.

On the way back

If you are coming back to Dubai through Muscat-Sohar-Hatta route and are in mood for an adventure and want to drive on the road that goes through mountains, then before Sohar turn left from the roundabout in Al Khaburah town, the road to Al Ghizayn is not very smooth and first it might not feel like a good choice but it gets better before the mountains, the road can be long and tiring but we loved it, this road takes you to Ibri then turn right to go to Mezyad border in Al Buraimi, the treat is that this road is speed camera free so you can speed up.

Enjoy your trip!

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114 Responses to Road trip to Salalah

  1. Noorudeen says:

    Thanks for your information. I have a plan to visit Salalah from Dubai by road.

    • kamranhashmi says:

      Hi Zubair, Hope you are doing good.

      I need some guidance, I am planing to visit salalah with my friends family but want to stop in a hotel on a way, like after 5 to 6 hour drive in Oman. Please advise some reasonable hotels or location where I can find some good options. I want to journey my day on next morning.
      If possible you can send me your whatsapp . 056 2794897

  2. lea says:

    hello traveller!
    really good advices here – thanks for that!
    what would you recommend for a roadtrip and why? From Dubai to Salalah or is it better from Salalah to Dubai?
    Best wishes from Switzerland

    • Naheed P. says:

      Thanks for your nice and helpful input! My family is planning a trip this summer. Is it a better idea to travel by plane since we have limited time?
      Thanks again, from CANADA

  3. zubairdotnet says:

    Hi lea,
    Not too sure if I understand you, depends on where you really want to start, Dubai or Salalah thats up to you,

    Also I just returned from an awesome trip to alot more greener and scenic Northern Pakistan (blog post coming soon) so do keep them in mind.

  4. Hammad Salar says:

    Awesome advices 🙂 m also planning to travel on 23 Jan 2013 i hope it will be a good xperience 🙂

  5. Ali says:

    Hi Lea
    In 2011 I traveled from Sharjah to Salala with only one stop in Al Ain.I had my dinner in Mubazzara (Al Ain) and then started towards Oman,I was almost at midnight crossed the border from Mezyad post.
    You should have tea/coffe and some snaks with you.Fill the fule tank at every filling point.If you feel tired,stop the car and take rest or it will be better if you take rest in some rest areas on the way.(They are not a lot but dont miss the chance of keeping yourself relax).
    Last petrol station befor Haima was closed when I passed at 0330 am and my Land crousir main tank was 50% and sub tank full,I have done this mistake and wanted to gain time,then I was driving with both tanks empty for a quite long time till I reached Haima.
    For coming back I prefered to have a visit to Muscat ,stay there for 2 days and then go back to Dubai.It will be more comfortable.

    Thanks
    Ali

    • kamranhashmi says:

      Hi Guys, I am planing to visit salalh during this Eid Holidays, I am planing this holday with my friend so we have two cars.

      Plan is like this, we will leave from Sharjah like 4 in morning on Friday, we will reach the border and after entering in Oman we want to drive for 5 to 6 hour and then we are looking for a reasonable hotel.
      we want to stay there for that day and planing to leave next morning from there straight to salalah. so that will be saturday morning. The reason for stay is me and my friend we both have infants with us so it is mandatory to stay for some rest and this way we will be able to focus more.
      But unfortunatley we can not find any hotel in Haima or nearby place since we are checking online.
      Does any one knows any reasonable hotel apartments or hotel rooms in Haima. please advise.

      • jeslibabu says:

        In sha allah…i would like to go Salah by bus or public travel, because i have no car or else. if you knw any travel agent contact number…pls rply 0563316393

      • Suryakumaran says:

        Instead of staying in Haima stay in Nizwa which is a well populated town, check out the hotels there!

  6. Anis says:

    Hi,
    We are planning for a road trip to Salalah from Dubai via Muscat during Eid Al Adha holidays. Can some one tell me the road conditions and number of petrol stations en route to Salalah. I’ve a Hyundai Tucson 4WD, is ok or I need a bigger 4WD.
    Thanks
    Anis

    • zubairdotnet says:

      Anis I am not aware of the recent road conditions it’s been almost 3 years since I went, though the last stretch of road about 150-200Km was superb the first part was just ok there were a few rough patches too but nothing serious if you pay attention to the road.

    • zubairdotnet says:

      There were not many petrol stations and each one was about 80-90Km apart so even if my car reached half-tank I kept filling it up just to avoid any surprises ahead of us, I suggest you do the same. Hyundai Tuscon should be enough though I am not sure you have cruise control on your model which I think is needed if traffic is light, enjoy your trip.

  7. Atif Hasan says:

    HI guys I am also planning to Visit Slalah from Dubai, I have a 2014 Cheverlet Tahoe 4WD. We are five family members, Me, my wife and three kids (16, 12 & 9 years) do you think its good to travel this long with kids, we are planning to visit Salalah during Eid Holidays in October 2013.
    Regards
    Atif Hasan

    • zubairdotnet says:

      Atif I think your car is good its seems like you are the only driver in your family so I suggest you focus on the road and avoid distractions from your kids, as the road could be really dangerous specially when crossing heavy vehicles on this road, also I presume there must be traffic due to holidays as opposed to when I traveled in off season.

      Enjoy your trip

    • Fareeha says:

      Hi Atif!

      I’m also planning a last min trip to Salalah with my family (2 kids) this Oct eid break. What’s the route you’re taking? Are you planning any nightstay/stops en-route?

      Thanks!

      • shafee says:

        hi fareeha,

        Which date your goiung to salalah.. bcoz myself and my family (Wife and kid ) are planned to move on 14th or 15th of oct. plz call me for more discussions..

        shafee
        0562195192

  8. Reblogged this on Cross Border Business Consultants and commented:
    It is the Eid and some lucky ones in UAE will have more than a week off from work. Those who are planning something out of the normal routine activities here’s an article about Salalah, Oman. A road trip to Salalah would be a great adventure. Read this article for more….

  9. Nice read and good suggestions. We have re-blogged this article on our WordPress blog.

  10. Ameer says:

    Hi Guys,
    We are family of four. Two adults and two children. We are planning to hit the road on 10/10/13 early morning in our Pajero. My question here is on the route. Is it advisable to take the Salalah route from Ibri (highway 29) skipping Nizwa and Adam? It saves almost around 60KMs. Have any one taken the route?
    Regards
    Ameer

    • Fareeha says:

      Ameer,

      I’ve also heard of this Ibri route but haven’t managed to get any info recent. If you do, do share kindly. Thanks.

      Are you planning to drive in one go or planning a night stay somewhere?

      Regards!

    • zubairdotnet says:

      The problem with that route back then was that I couldn’t find a single petrol station may be that has changed now, also I dont recommend you travel to Salalah non-stop, this can cause fatigue (~14-15h of driving)

  11. Sabry Awf says:

    Thanks … this was helpful as i just returned back from Salalah… it was a wonderful experience … a proper road trip if you are a fanatic of driving

    We started on 13th Night and 9.30 pm from Jebel Ali Dubai and reached Salalah at 12.10 Noon on the 14th
    it was little scary while entering Salalah as it was night and the road was fully dark with only headlights / Upper on and reduce them when vehicles comes in front.. that was a hec of an experience…

    our tanks were full before reaching half as we made sure that fuel was filled at most of the pumps on the way since there are pumps between 150 to 250 KM

    SALALAH is the Dream Paradise of the Desert as after a stretch of drive in the thick desert, you will find greenery and beauty at your step

    while returning back, we made it to Dubai in 9 and half hours as we left at 12.30 pm in the afternoon and reached by 10.00 pm in Dubai (Its not advisable to reach so fast as we were crossing 200 KMPH) , do not drive in that speed with your family and kids on board… 160 KMPH is fine.. (No Cameras :-))

    PS – Don’t worry on the places to visit in SALALAH as every hotel will provide you with the MAP of the places to visit which is very easy to find as the sign boards are perfect !!!!

    All in All SALALAH is a must Visit place and please try to go by ROAD which is something special !!!

    • zubairdotnet says:

      Awesome, seems you enjoyed it and glad the post was helpful too.

      I have a few questions for you

      Are there still any military checkpoints?
      What about road condition, are there any repairs going on or damaged roads?

      • Sabry Awf says:

        Hi.. No there was no military check points at all till we enter the salalah city…
        There are few road works going on while we enter from Nizwa to Salalah near to ADAM and then in between some diversions in SALALAH road due to road work which is very little but still the roads are good and carpeted..

  12. aziz says:

    thats brilliant complete informative post, i have few questions if someone can give their good advise
    is this place good for budget traveler?
    any budget accommodation available?
    how much hotel accommodation would cost for a couple?
    is camping allowed there? rather than (if) staying in expensive hotels
    as i got to know good time to visit is during july – august, and so im thinking to out few days there with my yaris ;D i can afford to make as many stop as if i can find safe place to have my tent setup.
    i would appreciate your valued thoughts or opinions

    • zubairdotnet says:

      I would suggest against camping, though no offence to my Omani friends but I think there have been incidents of theft and staying on the way to Salalah is a NO-NO because you are in the middle of nowhere, I am sure there must be budget hotels and apartments, let me find the name of one I used which was pretty reasonable. In July/Aug expect to pay more for hotels but during Sep/Oct prices should drop. Salalah is good for budget traveler I think you dont have to pay any entry fee everywhere you go and food is cheap.

  13. subhadip banerjee says:

    Dear Mr. Zubair Ahmed,

    Thanks for your advise.Can you please help me in one respect?
    I want two maps what you have with you.Or else if you advise me from where I can get the map, I will purchase.It will be great if you can send me the scanned copy if possible.
    My mail id is subho819@gmail.com

    Thanks again..

    Subhadip Banerjee

    • zubairdotnet says:

      Subhadip it’s difficult to find those maps, sorry however as one of the commenter noted that every single hotel will provide you with a map to Salalah, from Dubai to Salalah it’s just single road and Google maps on your smartphone should be enough. Enjoy your trip.

  14. Nazakat says:

    Assalam wa alaikum Zubair bhai,
    I have one question on the check-post. Is there a crowd for on-arrival-visa at the borders?. I will be travelling from Sharjah via the Al Ain borders towards Ibri.

    regards
    Nazakat

  15. Ritayan Biswas says:

    Thanks for the tips Zubair, most helpful. I am planning on a road trip next week.

  16. Tauqeer says:

    Zubair Bhai

    Assalamualikum – Thanks a lot for sharing information about Salalah trip. I am planning to visit Salalah from Muscat during coming Eid by Sedan car Honda Civic with my family and kids at early morning 4.A.M.. Will you guide us which route is better. If we look at the map there are two routes One 31 route and other coastal route. What precautions I have to take during travel. I need information about stay in between the travel and availability of Petrol stations. Your kind advise will be helpful.

    • zubairdotnet says:

      WASalam Tauqeer,

      I am only aware of one route, I believe the coastal route you are talking about goes near Sur, I am not aware of that so I will only advise you take the well known route through Muscat-Nizwa-Salalah. I believe leaving at 4 AM is a good choice as this will give you ample time in sunlight before reaching Salalah. I just met an Emirati two days ago who has gone after me and said the roads are better now (he’s going again this Eid) so that is very tempting and also informed me that UAE govt offered Oman to built this road to Salalah.

      So let’s assume roads have not changed since I went, I noticed that petrol stations are few and far between ~60-90KM apart if I remember correctly. Like I say in the post the biggest town I could find is “Hema” which is about ~500KM between Nizwa and Salalah. As for precautions the road can feel very dry to the eyes and sleeping behind the wheel is easy, so please keep a cool head, talk to your family, if you have more than one driver please switch often to avoid fatigue, speeding is tempting and necessary to make time but please drive carefully as this is a single road all the way (as far as I know). Drive safe.

      Enjoy your trip.

  17. bilal says:

    hi Mr. Zubair,
    iam planning to drive to salalah the day after tomorrow, could you please offer me a good hotel to stay in

    • zubairdotnet says:

      Hey Bilal,
      I am so sorry I don’t remember the name of the hotel apartment I stayed in but since lots of people visit Salalah every year you should be able to find hotel accommodation that suits your budget.

      Enjoy your trip.

  18. Hassan says:

    Assalamwalaikum Zubai Bhai,

    We are two families planning to visit Salalah on 22 Aug.’ 2014. We are 4 Adults + 2 Kids who is 7 Year + 3 Year. Can you advise me whether it is adviseable to travel with these kids and we are two drivers, most important we want to know the route to travel from Dubai, which route is better from Hatta boarder then via Muscat or from Hili Boarder directly to Nizwa then Salalah. If we travel without stop how much time it will take and whether it is advisable to do that or we have to halt at Nizwa or Muscat on that day and travel early in the morning next day.
    If some can sugest the budget 2 Bedroom Hotel Apartment or service apartment in Salalah.

    Waiting for your immediate and valuable reply…..

    • zubairdotnet says:

      WASalam Hassan,

      Yes you can travel with kids, two driver is even better, just avoid distractions. I suggest you stay in Muscat/Nizwa for a night and commence your journey early in the morning next day specially because you have kids. Depending on the place you choose to stay I suggest you take Hatta route for Muscat and Alain/Buraimi for Nizwa, I have no idea how long it will take without stop Google maps says 15-16h.

      I can’t suggest budget hotels so sorry.

      Safe travels and Enjoy your trip

      • Hassan says:

        Thanks for immediate reply…

        Zubai Bhai,

        Let me know if i will travel from Hatta Boarder, i have to go to Muscat to take a route to Salalah or is there any direct road from Hatta boarder which directly goes to Salalah and on the way. Can you tell me if go via Hatta or Alain i have to go through Nizwa at both the conditions or i can skip Nizwa, so that i will plan my stay accordingly.

        Thanks & Regards

  19. zubairdotnet says:

    Muscat is closer from Hatta border I believe, if you check Google Map you can see that the road to Salalah actually starts from Nizwa no matter if you take Alain or Hatta borders

    • Hassan says:

      Is there any readers who can sugest the cheaper two bedroom hotel apartment in Salalah, and is there any Hotel in Nizwa.

      • Hassan says:

        Zubair Bhai,

        Thanks for your all immediate replies,

        Please can you tell me how many days we need to see the Salalah, and let me know it is necessary to have 4WD vehicle to visit all the places in salalah or it heavy duty saloon car (Dodge Charger) is fine for the trip. We will go by one car.

        Is there any family travelling during 22 Aug.’ 14 and return back after 3 days. Let me knwo if any intrested to travel during these days.

      • zubairdotnet says:

        About 4/5 days should be enough to see it, 4WD is not required like I say in the post

  20. syed says:

    salaam Zubair

    Is advisable by going small car like yaris? Have you spotted any small sedna during your trip?

    Thanks
    Syed

    • zubairdotnet says:

      No, I will advise against it, no offence but I think Yaris is a uncomfortable car for long drives, I suggest you take a bigger more comfortable ride to avoid fatigue.
      Safe travels

  21. Adventurer says:

    Hello i was wondering if i will survive going to Salala with Toyata Yaris ?

  22. Hi Zubair thanks for precious information,
    I have Hyundai Tucson and I am in Abu Dhabi
    my friend advice me go by road to muscat.. then go salalah by air because ticket is very cheap from Muscat to Salalah only around 400AED return, if you go from Abu Dhabi or Dubai its will come 1500AED
    I prefer to go by road to muscat then take fly to Salalah,
    can you tell me where I will park my car in muscat?

  23. Kamran Ahmed says:

    Dear Mr. Zubair,

    Great effort on your behalf for such an informative blog. i have a few question. will be travelling to salalah during Eid ul Adha hoildays. Leaving on 5 oct, 2014.

    1) Please guide me about the weather? will it be green as it is during monsoon season?
    2) Can you please provide with the list of places one must visit in salalah?

    Regards,

  24. Muhammad Sheraz says:

    Very Nice Bro. But can you please let me know how much it total cost you ? Petrol , Visas etc etc ?

  25. anu says:

    Hi, my husband an i are planing a road trip to salalah on 3rd Oct,2014….We plan to leave early morning at 4am…and reach the boarder soon so there is less line for visa..lol…can you plz guide us as to what time whould we carry with us….both of us drive and we will be alone….this is the first time we will drive so far….we have a ford explorer….kindly advice…even for visa..can we take a visa before hand…thank you

  26. ad0428 says:

    I must say this blog is very useful for me.Thank U Zubair for this info..iv been surfing the net since i planned to go….n im go excited about this whole trip…plz if anyone can plz tell me the weather too during this time of the year!!n if thrs any festival or fair or some programmes goin on ……

  27. Shibu says:

    We r planning to travel salalah from Dubai on 2 nd oct 2014.we want to stop over at any hotel for night .i want to know which place come halfway between Dubai and salalah

  28. Adnan says:

    Hi
    Must say it is really great info site & impressed with detail.I am planning to go salalah with my wife and daughter on 2nd of October 2014 early 4 am. Same reason trying to get before line got to big for visa.Friends told me that i can get visa on boarder & i do need to make insurance again in Oman boarder with cost 165 dirhams also customs check as well. Just wanted to know this correct.

  29. Liji says:

    Hi,
    I must say this blog was very useful. We are planning to go to salalah on 2nd Oct. We had been to salalah earlier, we had no issues as only my husband and i traveled. Now we are 4 families going. Have couple of questions to ask regarding visa and vehicle permit, if someone could help me it would be great.
    1) We have 2 kids whose uae residence visa will expire in feb, therefore would like to know if that is ok or should they have atleast 6 months valid uae visa?
    2) we are planning to take our friend’s tahoe 2009 model,and the friend isn’t accompanying us. Will the car be allowed to enter oman or will we face any obstacles? Please advice.

  30. Usman says:

    I am also travelling from Abu Dhabi to Salalah on 2nd October. Will start in the afternoon and will reach Nizwa in 6 hours by the night arrives. Will stay overnight in a hotel there and will leave for Salalah early morning. From Nizwa to Salalah its about another 8-9 hours drive, which is all in desert. Thats the most tiring part, hence, I recommend everyone to take an overnight break at Nizwa which is almost half way between Dubai-Salalah.

  31. Rao says:

    Hello I am planning to go Salalah on 28th Oct 2014 & return on 31st Oct 2014 by road. I have Hyundai Santafee. which is the best way from dubai to salalah, because many people tell me different ways1) Via Muscat, 2) Buraimi, 3) Ibri. which is the shortest route & how are the roads now. what time should I start to reach at 1600hrs to 1700 hrs, so I can take good rest for the night.

    Is there anyone interested as a convoy. I am the only driver in my car. Pls suggest me the best possible.

  32. Sadanand says:

    Where I can get bus for Dubai to salalah

  33. Abdul Salam Asif says:

    Dear Zubair Bhai,
    Thanks for the useful info.
    Just wanted to ask about visa.
    UAE residents require visa in advance from embassy or they can travel through & get visa on border.
    Please reply soon as I am planning a family trip after Ramadan.
    Thanks
    Asif. Sharjah

  34. Ahmed says:

    are there the checkpoints still from muscat to salalah

  35. chandu says:

    Hello Zubair, Ramdaan Kareem

    We are planning for a road trip to salalaha from dubai,
    We already booked the hotel.
    we are planning to travel by night only… is that fine or u prefer day time travel ?

  36. Suryakumaran says:

    Ramadan Kareem and greetings!

    We are a group of 12 planning to visit Salalah. Could you advise the ideal time to visit, family places to stopover and other valuable information?

    Regards
    Suryakumaran

  37. Suryakumaran says:

    Stopover places on the way from Sharjah to Salalah

  38. AC Samuel says:

    Dear Zubair
    Thank you for sharing your expirence, thx all for writing useful info
    i am planning to drive to salalah from duabi can anyome plan a trip or advise i like to start on Thursday 2nd July 2015 back on 5th July any maps or easy way.
    Regards
    A.C. SAMUEL

  39. derrick says:

    Hi, Can any one advice – if we are not booking a hotel in advance and are planning to visi
    t salalah in 01st week of Aug, we will be able to get a decent place..( affordable )..?

    • AC Samuel says:

      Hi Derrick,
      Download Apps Trivago and hotelscombined this should be useful

      Regards

    • Francis says:

      Hi derrik, we are planning to go to salalah too in the first week of August, maybe we can plan and go together if possible. 2 cars are better than 1 for such trips. email me at francis1619(at)gmail(dot)com

  40. Anand says:

    Is there any on planning to visit salalah on 17th July 2015 by road . If yes please cal me on 0506439729 . It would be better to drive in group

  41. saleem raza says:

    Thanks
    this information give me lots help .

  42. kiran says:

    I want to plan a trip to salalah somtime in the month of Sept.so any one planning a trip ,let me know please.

  43. Amjad says:

    I’m planning a trip to salalah starting 18th Sep till 24th Sep…..This will be my 2nd trip in last 2 years…..we are planning to leave Dubai at night and aim to reach Ibri by 5:00am morning so that we can reach salalah by 3:00PM max and cover most of our journey during daytime…..anyone interested can join us.

  44. Rishi says:

    We are planning to do Dubai – Salalah from 20th to 24th september 2015. We will be starting from Dubai on 20th night and plan to reach salalah at around 3pm on 21st. Anyone doing the same by car can join us.

  45. Suryakumaran Nair says:

    We, a group of 12 travelled to Salalah and back in June. Took the Hatta-Sohar-Seeb-Nizwa-Haima-Salalah as Ibri road was not good. We started our journey at 5pm and reached Salalah at around 12.00 pm next day, including 5 breaks totalling almost 2 hours averaging 120km/hr excepting the 100 km stretch approaching Haima and after that which needs to be driven very carefully. We never let the fuel level go less than 50% and carried petrol in a 5 litre can. Some Omanoil pumps accept Visa debit cards, Shell and Maha did not. Ate lots of fruits, nuts and drank plenty of water and fresh juice to stay energetic and alert. Adam-Seeb-Nizwa was covered at night, with moderate traffic that time. Truckers were very understanding and did give as much space as they could to allow overtakings. Flashing headlights from behind helped them understand our need and allowed us to overtake safely by using their indicators as well as moving over to yellow lines so that we may pass by with lots of space. Thank you, generous truck drivers! We took Seeb route as it gave us two-lane traffic for quite a distance instead of two-way one-lane traffic through Ibri. Police patrols could be seen for assistance, if any and at one place they helped us by giving permission and direction to pump personnel to fill up petrol in our can as we parked our car at a distance from the pump. Replenish stock of water and snacks from the petrol pumps. It is advisable to check vehicle condition thoroughly, check oil levels and wiper conditions, air and ac filters, radiator etc. We stopped our vehicles for a while after driving for 500kms at a stretch and checked tires whenever we stopped at the pump or at the lay-bys at every 10 kms seen after Nizwa. If you feel sleepy pull over at any open, well lit pumps and do get a good nap. In mountainous regions, don’t try out your vehicles 4X4 capabilities if the ground is quite wet by drizzling or covered with water. The kind of mud is quite super sticky and very difficult to move about for vehicles. Drive slowly and carefully enjoy a great trip!

  46. Mohammed says:

    Dear All,
    It was indeed a pleasure to read your comments, much interesting also!
    After reading so many comments, I m lost when I reached towards the end…. Would appreciate if someone can provide his latest kind advise and suggestion as we are planning to go to Salalah by road on 25th Sep 2015. My queries are as follows:
    1. The most easy and convenient route from Dubai to reach Salalah (desired destination)…?
    2. Are the roads and surroundings safe and secured….? In case of emergency (God Forbid) which # to reach…?? Is it safe to be road in case of some emergency or issues…?
    3. I shall be travelling with kids, all below the age of 6, therefore quite worried in terms of safety and security….
    I would be very thankful if you can kindly leave your reply on mohdvalli@yahoo.com.
    Many Thanks!!!!

  47. Shivas says:

    I do have a plan for a Salalah drive from Abu Dhabi during this Eid holidays. This is my 2nd drive to Salalah in 5 years. Last time we explored the Ibri-Haima alternative route which saved 90 to 100 kms. Started 6AM from Abu Dhabi and reached Salalah by 8pm. Stayed at Hamdan Plaza hotel which was reasonably good. Right now I have a concern, my wife’s and son’s UAE visa validity is until Jan 21st 2016. For me and my daughter we have an year validity. So Zubair, do you have any idea whether they permit my wife and son? They have only 4 months left on the travelling date. Please advice if you have any info. on this.

    • zubairdotnet says:

      Shivas, I think this should be fine but find out from a travel agent.

    • Rajesh says:

      When i approached the authorities for visa, they insisted on having 6 months validity for residence visa and hence not advisable to take a chance.

      • zubairdotnet says:

        Yup it makes sense not to take a chance

      • Shivas says:

        As per the information I have gathered, by road Oman entry, if your dependants UAE visa is atleast 3 months valid they will allow. The sponsors visa must have 6 months validity. Any one planning to travel by road from Abu Dhabi, if willing to join me are welcome. My plan is to be there in Mezyad boarder by 6AM on 23rd wednesday.

      • Shivas says:

        I did it, no issues as such since family/dependents are under your sponsorship. They mainly check the sponsors visa and it has to be 6 months valid. The border formalities took 4 hours. Went through the Ibri – Haima shortcut, all the road works finished and the roads are excellent. Even the Salalah highway is in good condition compared to before. Did the Ibri – Salalah stretch in 8 and half hours with minimal halt at fuel stations. Enjoyed every moment in Salalah as it was greenary every where during mid September due to late rains. Even drove up to Yemen border and it was really breathtaking mountain drive – 300kms from Salalah.

  48. Fawad says:

    I’m planning a trip from Abu Dhabi to Salalah via Nizwa on 18th afternoon and a night stay in Nizwa. Next morning will start for Salalah. Return on 24th morning from Salalah and a night stay in nizwa…..If someone has a same plan can join us…tc

  49. Shaun Tait says:

    It’s a great blog very informative in fact, I was looking for such kind of a blog since morning because I have also decided to visit Salalah (Muscat to Salalah). My stay at Salalah will be from 23rd Sep to 26th of September including two days of travelling from both side. One thing which I wish to ask is the order of visiting those above discussed location which one should visit first, second and so on. I am gonna visit below locations kindly guide me I will be thankful to you.
    1-Wadi Darbat
    2-Dalkut
    3-Ain Homran
    4-Ayn Razat & Magnetic Mountain
    5-Hazrat Ayyub tomb & Mughaysail beach & Marnif cave
    6-Towi Attair
    7-Taqah Beach
    8-Ain Jarziz
    9-Haffa Souk
    10-Hatta pools
    11-Tomb of Nabi Umran
    and 12-Sultan Palace.

  50. Shareef says:

    HI, We are planning to Move from Dubai on 23rd Sep 2015 at 6AM to Salalah,can any one give me the route map to reach in Salalah from Dubai. like Dubai-Which road- Border Name-Next City that I have to look – Next city – Next city – Salalah.

  51. yohanes says:

    Hi Zubair,
    I am planning go to salalah from Muscat, I will plan to go by the car, my questions :
    1. is it qatar driving license valid in Oman ?
    2. I will plan to go from Muscat, Sur and then Salalah, is it safe road ?
    3. How much the cost for rent car with type of car is 7 seater ?
    Thank you

    • zubairdotnet says:

      Hi,
      I think Qatar license should be valid, like UAE drivers can drive anywhere in GCC with their license but please do check before you leave.
      I am not aware of the Muscat-Sur-Salalah road so I can’t comment on that, however the most popular road Muscat-Nizwa-Salalah is totally safe
      I am not aware of the rentals costs, sorry

      Enjoy your trip

  52. Siraj says:

    Hi Zubair
    Can I plan a trip from RAK to salalah in bike 😛 ? Can you please comment,is it safe if I belongs to a above average rider. And of-course please mention availability of petrol pumps as in bike one can stretch not more than 150 kms with a full tank.

  53. SALMAN says:

    Hi
    Can you please tell me if I am travelling with my Toyota Corolla 1.6 to salalah it will be a problem

  54. SALMAN says:

    Many Thanks

    I want to know is there additional insurance needed at the border even if my car is cover with Oman and UAE insurance.

    Second thing is it possible i can buy Visa or get approval on before.

    Thanks

    • zubairdotnet says:

      No additional insurance for your car is required on the border as long you have an Arabic insurance paper stating coverage in Oman. For Visa I am not the authority but if you are UAE resident generally you get visa on arrival against a small fee at the border, unless your UAE visa is in certain categories which are not allowed such as labor or sales agent etc, please confirm it

  55. Syed says:

    Hi,
    Can you please tell how much AED on average would road trip to salalah cost?
    And accommodation etc.

  56. Sheraz A. says:

    Hi / Salams all … Excellent blog by Zubair and likewise contributions by all. I am also planning on taking this journey with my family (5 altogether) from Al Ruwais Abu Dhabi on the Sep 2016 Eid holidays. We plan to start our journey on 9th Sep and would take a break at Ibri and then head to Salalah next morning fresh. And hopefully after a nice break at Salalah for the eid holidays we’ll be heading back same route on 15th Sep 2016 taking a break at Ibri again and then heading back to the UAE next morning fresh.

    Kindly share any recent updates on Ibri to Road 31 directly (as shown on google maps) instead of taking the slightly longer Ibri – Nizwa – R31. Should I take it or go through Nizwa. And any recent travel updates on the road conditions and things to do at Salalah.

    Thanks all .. n enjoy.
    my email sheraz90@hotmail.com

    • Suryakumaran says:

      Ibri route is scenic and mountainous, at the same time, time-consuming and at night confusing too if you do not know the place well. So if travelling with family try to cover this region before evening and make sure that the vehicle condition is quite good too! If you think that you might save some time by taking the Ibri route, then the time traversing the mountains would even out the advantage of saving some 100 kms distance. Nizwa would be an ideal place to take a break if you are quite tired. We took the Hatta-Muscat Expressway-Nizwa-Adam-Thumrait-Salalah route and covered it in less than 20 hours with at least 2 hours good sleep at a fuel pump and an hour break for food and exercise!

      My general advice would be: Check the vehicle condition, carry an additional 10 ltr petrol filled can, drink lots of water or fresh juices instead of sugary drinks, eat nuts, fruits and less starchy and oily food while travelling, avoid burgers and chips, take some necessary medication, raincoats or umbrellas, drive not too fast but carefully, and if feeling sleepy pull up and take an hour or so sleep at some fuel pump, and do check tyre condition, and try not to overtake on an impulse, and also be aware, there are now mobile speed cameras and hand speed radars in use! And be a great vacationer by keeping the environment clean and pristine, Take care!

  57. Suryakumaran says:

    and returned via Ibri region!

  58. Samir says:

    we are planning to travel by road to salalah from dubai this coming Eid in September2016. Which router is advisable and where halt would be ideal….Please advise. Also if anyone is travelling during this time, let me know…. SAMIR 050-2426700

    • shivas says:

      Ibri – Haima shortcut is better, i have been through this roads during sep and dec. last year. Road condition is excellent in this stretch now. Around 100kms you can save by selecting this route. From mezyad borded it is 399 kms to join the Muscat-Salalah highway 200kms before Haima. There are 4 to 5 petrol stations after Ibri in this stretch. Make sure you fill the tank in all stations. Once you join highway then there is no fuel station until Haima (around 200kms). Ibri Haima shortcut is not having street lights. Also beware of camels throughout,;every now and then they use to appear from no where. Also there are mobile radars throughout now. I have been caught twice in my previous trips,10 riyals they charge for the offence. 120kmph is the allowed limit with 20km tolerance beyond which is an offence. Between Alain and Ibri follow the speed limits. There are radars throughout. Alain – Salalah @ 120km/hr with minimum break at fuel stations and an hr lunch break can be covered in 11 hours. It is dual carriage highway throughout so drive carefully follow speed limits and enjoy your trip.

  59. Mohammed Imran says:

    Assalam’o’alaikum,
    Please advise which way will be better from Abu Dhabi to salalah. Is it advise to drive as you mentioned last patch of 450 km is without lights and single.
    Regards
    Imran

  60. It is very informative. Do you recommend for night driving starting around 10 pm and reaching Salalah around 10 am morning. Is there lot of petrol stations working 24hrs on the way? Is night driving secure? Please suggest.

    • zubairdotnet says:

      No I absolutely do not recommend driving at night and petrol stations were deserted even during the day let alone at night, this is a long single road with zero lighting, drive safely

  61. Muhammad Ahmad says:

    Dear Zubair,

    I am planning to travel Salalah by road on 16th Dec. 2016 with my family in which two kids both are below seven years. Which route is advisable from Dubai Hatta or Al Ain.

    I am having 4×4 vehicle X-trail, what you suggest shall i stay in “Nizwa” or go early morning and reach Salalah in evening.

    I would be very thankful if you can reply on.

    Regards,
    Ahmad.

  62. ashma says:

    hi i am planning to visit salalah during new year holidays by road. please suggest me about visa. I have resident visa of uae with ‘administrative officer’ designation. do I need prior visa from embassy or I can get on arrival.

  63. Shibu Vasudev says:

    Not required, u will get visa from the border provided your passport is valid for 6 months and UAE residence visa having 3 months validity (eventhough it is mentioned as 6 months).
    January is off season in Salalah, very windy and not best for site seeing.

  64. Leena Dutta says:

    Hi

    That’s was a lovely piece of information.

    Could you please tell how much was the total expense.

    Tha ks

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