“Exit” (exiting UAE) or visa run is a procedure you have to go through to change your visa status in Dubai. 3 years ago, when I was a newbie here, I would hear stories from fellow kabayans about their experiences when they had to exit the country. Some of them flown either to Kish or Qeshm in Iran. They have to stay there until the day that they have a new visa. Normally, they’d stay there for a night or two. But some unfortunate ones got to stay there for weeks, months, years and some of them, I think, were doomed to stay there forever.
So when I learned that I have to exit the country, I felt nervous and scared. The first time I changed my visa from employment to residence, I did not do this process. It’s still a question for me why I had to this. Some of my friends told me that it’s a new rule. Fine. At least I made it back. And at least it’s Oman. And it’s A-to-A (airport to airport). If I got stuck there, it’s easy to find my way out.
Anyway, here’s a quick run through of my recent “trip” to Muscat International Airport. Seriously? Yes!
Too early to get up on a Friday morning. Plus it’s the first day of Ramadan so I should have eaten before heading out.
Arrived two hours early at the airport for my 7:00 AM flight. I was booked for a flight to Muscat via FlyDubai. There’s a special counter for those who are doing visa runs. But it’s not properly indicated on the board above the counter so I refused to believe it’s a special counter.
It’s just a quick “trip” so I didn’t bother bring any stuff with me. Just my passport, employment visa and my mobile phone. Be reminded that it’s better to bring extra money because if they found out in the immigration that you’ve been overstaying in Dubai, you have to pay a fine. Heard the cost is 100 AED for the first day and 25 AED on every succeeding day.
Flight to Muscat. Nothing to see but pure desert.
See you later Dubai!
Arrived at Muscat International Airport. Got picked up by a bus that brought the passengers to the airport building. Headed straight to the Transfer Desk, picked up my boarding pass and queued for boarding. Whut?!
Well, what do you expect? It’s the same plane and the same flight attendants. Ta-da!
Left for Dubai. Very funny. It’s like we just went to Oman to breathe. Another hour spent in the plane, doing nothing but sleep lest I want to pay 30 AED for the flight entertainment.
Touchdown Dubai. Went straight to the iris scan. I remember doing this the first time I came to Dubai. “Open your eyes. Bigger! Bigger!” After the iris scan, went to the immigration, got stamped and voila, visa run, khalas (finish in Arabic)
Out of the airport!