The available ticket for the next date is only after a week, said the agents.
Visitors seeking to change their visas in this way are advised to plan well in advance due to the unavailability of tickets.
“Everyday we receive many phone calls for visa change and most of them want to travel by bus, as it is comparatively cheaper and the journey keeps the passenger busy,” Shaikh Abdulla, visa incharge at Al Jazeera Travels.
“People who wish to obtain a bus service for visa change must make reservations at least 9 days prior to their intended travel date to be on a safer side,” he added.
Al Khanjari Transport near Danata in Deira is the only service provider by road from Dubai to Muscat. Khaleej Times called the service provider’s office and learned that the next bus ticket to Muscat is available only on a night bus on August 29. The operator said, “Buses are running full to their capacity until August 28. I can issue a ticket on the August 29 bus, which is filling fast."
The service provider operates three buses everyday, round trip between Dubai and Muscat – at 9 am, 3 pm, and 9 pm, with a per ticket cost of Dh100.
Many passengers were seen queuing up at Al Khanjari Transport for a ticket. But most of them returned with no luck, unable to get a ticket for their preferred travel date. “I wanted a ticket on the 26th of this month to travel for a visa change as my visa is expiring on August 27,” said Abdul Hameed, who wants to extend his visa to appear for the second round of a job interview.
With no choice, Abdul Hameed opted out to change his visa by flying out of the country. “I have to spend Dh500 extra as I am planning to fly and return, and the total duration of the journey is nearly similar to the bus journey,” said Hameed.
Ramesh Muliyakkal, a resident of Sohar in Oman, expressed his displeasure at not being able to secure a bus ticket for his return. “I travel to Dubai every six months for business purposes. I manage to get the ticket two days prior to my travel date. However, it has been a concern now due to the unavailability of seats. I have to return by flight now,” said Muliyakkal, who runs a perfume store in Oman.
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