Yes since we didn’t have that desired residency stamp in the U.A.E, we needed to make a run every 30 days. There was a way you could go a government building and pay something like 300 dirham, but it could only be done one time.
The fact that you could pay 120 dirham a piece and do the run every 30 days made it the best choice. Of course, you have a bunch of places that offer to take you on the run, and the prices do range from the lower end to more expensive.
You could also rent a car and try to do the process yourself. After our first run, half way through it, we were happy we didn’t rent a car and drive.
You have to stop at many checkpoints. The driver handles the passports and questions at this point. Nice when you don’t speak Arabic!
The van we rode in held about 15 people. All of us from various countries. Most of us just sat and looked out the window, not talking to anyone but who we rode with.
It’s an all day trip for sure, once you get to Oman, you have to go and get two stamps. This was very important, that entry and exit stamp. If you were missing the exit stamp, they wouldn’t allow you back into the U.A.E.
(Some scenery from the visa run to Oman)
Thankfully, the driver of the van goes in with you and makes sure everyone has their stamps. It was at this point we began talking to two other passengers. They were a couple from the UK, and we had a lot in common with them.
This wasn’t the last time we would hang out with them. We explored new places to eat with them, and saw some movies, and just hung out many times.
To this very day we Skype with them as well. That one trip to Oman, gave us a chance to meet a great couple.
Also the drive back didn’t seem near as slow as the trip to Oman. We talked and chatted the whole way back. After we got back to the mall, we discovered that they lived about five blocks from us as well.
Talk about coincidences! Colin and Judith were easily one of the best experiences we had during our stay in Dubai. Lifelong friends that we met on a visa run, talk about luck!
Those visa trips for us continued, Colin and Judith had been making their last run. Lucky them! John and I had another 6 runs before we decided that Dubai just wasn’t the place for us and we moved on.
Next time a few little stories, some embarrassing, if I decide to include them! Along with how the teaching academy he worked with dangled the residency for a few months in front of him. This cost us another three months, staying in an expensive place, with hope of that residency stamp.
Also our choices after John got his TEFL, and various interviews, and choices of our next stop!