UAE - The Khareef (monsoon) season in Salalah, Oman is anticipated by tourists all over the world, who flock to the Garden City of the Middle East to enjoy the beautiful weather and lush greenery. This means that airfares skyrocket during this time. However, UAE residents have the advantage of being able to travel to the summer paradise by bus for a quarter of the price!
The airfare in the first week of August is over Dh2,500 for a one-way ticket as listed on the website of a budget airline's website. Bus fares, on the other hand, start from Dh150.
Alemarat Express General Transport, based in Deira, offers three weekly bus services to Salalah from Dubai for residents who want to experience a pleasant change, turning dry landscapes into a stunning lush green paradise. Salalah becomes a haven for UAE residents seeking relief from the scorching summer heat.
The bus departs Dubai from the Gold Souk bus stand on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday at 2pm reaches Salalah at 7am the next day. “It’s a total of 17 hours of journey, but the travellers enjoy it, and it is not much tiring,” said Mohammed Kasem, manager of Alemarat Express General Transport, adding that the buses have been running full since early June.
Only for residents
With three stops on the way, refreshments and dinner, the bus route passes through Al Ain, the Maziyath border, Buraimi, Ibri, and a few Oman towns before arriving in Salalah. “This service is only available to UAE residents. A person must have a passport valid for six months and a three-month residency visa,” said Kasem, adding that visitors to the UAE cannot travel this way.
The fare of a one-way trip is priced at Dh150, and a round trip would cost Dh280. However, travelling by bus will incur expenses like exit charges and Oman visa fees, which can be issued at the border. “There are many options for accommodation upon arrival, starting from Dh100 for a room. The cost of food per day would be around Dh30. A round trip including everything would cost between Dh799 to Dh999,” said Kasem.
4 nights 5 days package starts at Dh 999
Considering the heavy demand from UAE residents, travel aggregators have introduced an affordable package to Salalah by bus. “Many residents are willing to go to Salalah for Khareef, but they are cancelling their plans due to exorbitant airfare. However, we have introduced a bus service considering the heavy demand from the residents, which is very affordable,” said Libin Varghese, sales director, of Rooh Travel and Tourism.
“The package will include travel by bus, hotel, visa, transfers, sightseeing, guide, and meals and will cost Dh1399 for 4 nights and 5 days,” added Varghese.
Ranju Abraham, manager at Tours On Board also caters to the bus service package from Dubai to Salalah. “We recently organised a bus tour to Salalah and it was full to its capacity. We have been receiving immense demand from the residents,” said Abraham.
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