Dubai- Jabal Akhdar
The family tradition of road trip continues this summer as well, this time in the Gulf. We are going to visit the Alila Hotel which is among the most luxurious hotels in the world. It’s located on the highest mountain in Oman, “Jabal Al Akhdar”. We started our day early as always, woke up at 3:30am to leave maximum by 5am.
We hit the roads towards Dubai-Al Ain Road just before 5am. I was highly anticipating a beautiful sunrise over sand dunes but disappointed as clouds decided to hold it long but we could have a glimpse.
After we reached Al Ain, kept going towards Jebel Hafeet. Just make sure to take the exit to Mezyad and head towards Mezyad Border post, you would find Barari Mall on the right.
Barren lands from the end of the end, only one of the tiny shredded tree dares to boost its existence in this desert land. It’s 8am so roads are pretty clean, no traffic. We didn’t take much time at the border, just the border post was a bit hard to find.
Flags have changed, we are now in another foreign land, follow the sign towards Dhank. Going forward there are date trees on both sides on the road, there were a few shops and a petrol pump a few km after the border post.
We have decided to go the old fashion way today and following printed directions and boards instead of digital. Once you reach Dhank, head towards Ibri, roundabout straight, the mountains are ahead of us and look welcoming. Passing through the small city, we are excited to make our way to Alila Jabal Akhdar. We have arrived in Ibri, seems like a big city with shopping malls.
We are now on the road embraced by rugged mountain terrains. Mountain ranges overall, differentiating in size n texture.
We have arrived in Nizwa, the base town of Jabal Al Akhdar. Another of nature’s paradise, traces of water in the past. Climbing up the Jabal Akhdar mountain is like sitting on a roller coaster. It’s fun and adventurous. We are 2020 meters above sea level.
We are at Alila finally, the weather here looks much cooler than Dubai, heard Dubai has a dusty weekend. I’m glad, we escaped.
Once you are in Alila, you will feel as if you are a part of nature. There is nothing else nearby but just paradise, glittering stars and warm hospitality. One day at this resort is not enough.
We extended one more day at the newly opened Sama Hotel and enjoyed cool surroundings. After spending 2 nights in Jabal Akhdar, we drove to Muscat. 4 WD on low gear, steep gradient, bends, twirling roads, it’s more than a rollercoaster ride. The temperature is changed already, 34 degrees here while above it was 26, we still haven’t reached the base of Jabal Akhdar.
Phew, we arrived at the base, at the check post of the mountain! It was kind of scary but full of adventure drive to Jabal Akhdar, feels like an achievement to conquer the mountains.
Jabal Akhdar to Muscat
Now we are off to Muscat from Jabal Akhdar, the route is filled with pebbles, there is no one around us, I’m not sure if we have taken the right path. We drove around 12 km in a noman’s land and finally found a good road, GPS is working but only with a preview. We somehow managed to find a highway to Muscat, the drive is about 150 km from here through picturesque mountain terrains. It is somewhat similar to the drive in Fujairah. We are passing through small villages and towns like Izki, Imti and Al Ayn.
Music is loud, with kids dancing on the buckled back seats, they just finished watching a movie and in a mood of listening music right now. I am adoring nature, I’m thinking Mother Earth has her own miracles, we’re so blessed to have her heritage.
Scenic drive with untouched natural beauty but humans have made their abode wherever possible. Oman is a nature-rich country with ample oil. The government has made sure that all villages get electricity and water even on top of Jabal Akhdar and even the internet. The roads are well maintained, cleanliness is everywhere.
Only 64 km to Muscat now, cannot wait to explore another city! Looks like we are close to Muscat, mountain view is now subsided and man-made landscaping is now visible. Habitat is now larger than before. Filling the gas now, they also accept UAE dirhams here.
More greenery, high rises and city vibes follow, we are almost reaching our hotel, Park Inn by Radisson in 12 km. Look forward to enjoying Rezidor hospitality for next 2 days in Muscat.
Muscat to Dubai
Our trip and the long weekend in Oman is now ending and we’re now on our way to Dubai to go back to work tomorrow. The drive from Muscat past Barka was quite boring with just barren lands. Drive back home after an exciting road trip is always boring.
The desert dunes are running through the highway with the backdrop of farsighted mountains. There are no gas stations on the highway since we left Muscat. We are thinking to take an exit to a town to stop by for lunch. It’s 1:33pm and quite hot outside. The sun which looks relaxing at dawn and dusk now looks very harsh.
There is a small village on the left and mountain territory begins again. Oh, what, it was just a showcase and we are back to the no mans land. We are 145 km on the highway and there is no petrol pump. There is another 100 km before we take an exit, make sure to fuel up the tank before leaving Muscat.
Guys, Google maps don’t work in Oman, there is another App called WAZE. Make sure to download it if you need help with the directions. We got a roaming package from Etisalat and WAZE is working very well, alas we only found out this morning.
Mountain terrains are making sure to see us through off and on to make sure we are entertained. Highways are all well maintained. There is so much empty land in Oman, huge potential for growth in the future.
We are only 100 km away from Al Ain, UAE Oman Border. I just saw a gas station but after an exit in a small town, again not on the highway.
Driving from Muscat to Al Ain Border UAE on Muscat Expressway which has no Petrol pump on the highway. Make sure to stock up on petrol, water n snacks for kids. It’s been more than 2 hours with nothing on the road.
We exited the Muscat Expressway through Majjan Road and now on Sohar- Buraimi Rd, this road begins with landscaping, hoping there will be something on road.
250 km on the highway and finally found a petrol station on the road but nothing else for lunch. They only accept UAE dirhams, next station in 3 km.
We fuelled up at the next petrol pump and got some snacks and now on our way to the check post. Sara Border post on Buraimi road put an exit stamp on the passport but there is no entry in UAE. We drove past Buraimi city, quite a large town and found another Check post, they don’t allow entry so we are advised to go to Khatam Al Shaklah Border post. Luckily, WAZE is still working. We were quite confused about the process so didn’t stop anywhere for lunch.
Reentered through, Khatam Al Shaklah Border in the UAE and it feels like home, phew! It’s not advisable to enter or exit through Hatta Border anymore, we were told to go to Al Ain Border to be safe.
A memorable road trip through mountain terrains, wadis, abdoned villages and coastline come to end. Will be back with the new travel story soon.