April 12, 2013

Crossing the Border- The Not So Exciting Story

Being the lady I am and always up for an adventure, I gladly jumped at the opportunity to do a border run with Jen and her hubby.
Lest you get as excited as I did, I will fore warn you that this trip sounds more exciting than it really is.

A border run is a trip one makes over the Oman border in order to extend their visitor's visa in the UAE.
When you get to the UAE intitially you are given a thirty day visiting visa. If you aren't going back home and your visa expires or is about to expire you can simply leave the country and re-enter thus renewing your thirty days here.
For many people it is often cheaper and easier to drive through Al Ain and over the border.
I suppose if we had made better plans and thought it through it could have been a more exciting trip but since we were all suffering the after effects of the previous night's shenanigans no one was up for the 6 hour drive that would have been necessary for the trip to be more adventurous (into Muscat).

The process was relatively simple and we had the advantage of going on a day that was not busy. We drove to Al Ain and I slept most of the way since it was not a scenic drive. We found the border with little difficulty and did our business.
There are a few steps in the process which can make it tedious but for the most part it is relatively easy. You stop on the UAE side and pay your money to get an exiting stamp then drive over to Oman to pay more money for an entry stamp in your passport.
Then you go to the other side of the room to get a departure stamp from Oman. After that you drive back to the UAE side and get an entry stamp in your passport. Haha so exciting...not.
Thankfully the process was quick and hassle free.

On our way back home we stopped at the Mercure Hotel in Al Ain which is located on a mountain called Jebel Hafeet. The view on the drive up was lovely and we thought that it would have been worth the efforts to go up the 1240 meters to have luch at the hotel.
Unfortunately, we we super disappointed. The view which I am sure at nights is spectacular was just okay due to the hazy conditions.
Lunch proved also to be a dud as the restaurants' menu had little that appealed to us and the prices were super exorbitant for lunch.
We settled on moderately priced  pizza which was just ok and continued our journey home.

Despite these slight disappointments I enjoyed my day with my friends. Wee laughed and talked and it made the trip fun.
It just goes to show that the company of good friends can make any situation seem not so bad.

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