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Middle East Topics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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  #1  
Old 27 Jan 2006
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U.A.E / OMAN

Hey all, I will be doing a 3 week self drive tour from Dubai into Oman in July with the intention of looping back to Dubai.Im just looking for info good routes which i could take primarily in Oman??Also info on petrol costs,security visas etc.I have sorted out my rental car and insurance for Oman.Is the border with Yemen stll closed to Foreign traffic??
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  #2  
Old 28 Jan 2006
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Without wanting to state the obvious but...do you realise that this area is close to the hottest on the planet in July? High 40's with 80% plus humidity every day has even the locals departing the country in droves. The heat is VERY hard on vehicles. It melts the tyres and stresses cooling and AC systems. Seriously, if you can postpone it for a few months you'll have a much better time.

That said, if you are determined to go, petrol costs are low (about $1.50 a gallon), visas are easy to get at the UAE/Oman border (you might have to buy insurance - about US$30). Security is not an issue as it will be far too hot to camp. Hotels are expensive and often full so this might be an issue.

There are plenty of posts on where to go in Oman. A very good book is "the Oman Explorer" which is available everywhere in the Gulf and probably Amazon. I haven't driven into Yemen so I don't know but a search will turn up lots.

I would again recommend you delay your holiday for a few months - you have no idea how unpleasant this place is in summer.

cheers
Brett
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Old 10 Feb 2006
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Brett, why are accomodations so hard to come by that time of the year?

Is it just a question of very limited supply of places to stay in these countries?

I would think the the heat would make most stay away during those months.

-thanks
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Old 10 Feb 2006
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The problem is the speed of development. There is a general lack of capacity in the hotel sector. Couple this with a govt encouraged tourism and conference sector, and an endless stream of business and govt people trailing through looking for a piece of the pie, and accomm can be difficult to get. There is such a shortage of capacity that hotels are also full during summer.

At work, we are used to prices doubling overnight due to some conference in town, or to every hotel being full. This is a problem in UAE, Qatar, and Oman. Bit of a drag, but booking WELL ahead should secure a room at a regular price.
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Old 10 Feb 2006
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Brett, the hotel scenario in UAE sounds like a challenge for anyone on a budget regardless of time of year. Are you aware if Oman has the same issue?

In your experience, do hotels "lose" reservations because a conference is in town and they can raise the rates?

-thanks
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Old 10 Feb 2006
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Hi Pac

Hotels are expensive and frequently fully-booked in Oman also.

In my experience, bookings are not cancelled to make way for higher-rate paying customers. However, conference events are known to the hotels a long way in advance and you might find rates are double even when you try to book six months in advance. (this mainly applies to the UAE rather than Oman)

(really) Crap hotels begin at about $US50 in UAE and Oman (assuming no clash with major events). There might be cheaper places around but I don't know of them.

If I were to do a budget ride to this part of the world I would come in the cooler months and camp out, with the occasional night in a hotel to scrape off the grime and wash the gear.

Oman is a fantastic place to visit, but coming in summer will be expensive and physically unpleasant.

Then again, lots of people like it tough. If you can handle the hardships, and summer is the only time you can go, then you gotta go - Oman is a must-see-before-you-die place I reckon.

cheers
Brett
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  #7  
Old 11 Feb 2006
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Brett, thanks for the background on hotels in UAE & Oman.

Outside of the typical guidebooks is there a good resource for hotels for either country? I haven't been able to find much in the way of specific hotels on this board from other members the way there is for other parts of the world.

I'd be interested to get your recommendations for travel destinations & rides in both countries.

I saw on another thread that your upcoming trip might take you by ferry back to Oman from Iran. Will you be heading straight back to Abu Dhabi or are you intending to spend time in Oman if time allows?

Anyone I have talked to about the place has raved about the beauty of Oman. Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 23 Feb 2006
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Listen mate, UAE and Oman is verry interesting but let me tell you, summer is not the time to visit, unless you have been here in summer and know exactly how hot it realy is. I've been on a ride during August and by 10AM you cannot enjoy it anny more. It was 45 Deg and the bike ran hot (BMW) and we were wet in our sweat, and verry exhausted.

The only place worth visiting that time is Salalah, when tempratures are in the 20's and monsoon rain falls every day and scenery are green, July to September.

UAE tempratures are close to 50in the day and 'cool' down to 35 at night. you switch your warm water geaser of and use the 'cold' water as hot water.

It is up to you, just wanted to share that with you.
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