I entered Abu Dhabi 2 months ago with a tourist visa. I have exceeded my legally allowable stay in the UAE, thanks to the complicated processing of my marriage certificate. My new residence visa is ready but I still have to exit the country as a tourist and come in with my new visa.
A short legal talk:
Apparently, if you hold an entry-point visit visa, you can convert it to residence visa without leaving the country. However, only British citizens and some 33 privileged countries are given this advantage. The Philippines is not in the list. Filipinos entering the UAE require the sponsorship of a UAE resident (relative or friend), hotel, travel agency, or company, in order to obtain a visit visa known as the tourist visa.
All these legal stuff makes me appreciate diplomatic relationships between countries more. Philippines, you need to fix ties with these Arab nations to spare your citizens of so many legalities. Thousands of OFWs are flocking to the Middle East every year, and we don’t have essential diplomatic privileges.
Oh well, today I found myself boarding a plane to Oman, since she didn’t welcome me by land. I paid 700 Dirhams for my 6 days of overstaying (100 Dirhams basic overstay charge + 100 Dirhams for each day overstayed).
The plan is to fly to Muscat International Airport, visit the comfort rooms there then fly back to Abu Dhabi on the same day. This is what they call ”Airport to Airport” exit.
Here’s me patiently waiting to board my plane. This is also the last photo of my wedding ring.
The 48-seater Oman Air. It was small and wobbly but not as scary and smelly as Kish Airlines.
I wanted to take a photo of the pretty flight attendant. Hello, kuya stranger
Snack time! Everything devoured because I didn’t have time for lunch. My ticket was booked a few hours before the flight and I only had time to shower.
Muscat from the air. The city was like Lego land in dry sand. The buildings looked alike, all having the same heights too.
Airport touchdown. The flight lasted for only an hour and a half.
Metal chairs with soft pads. I like public seats like these.
My 2,000 Omani Rial Hazelnut Latte from Costa Cafe. I actually brought a 3-in-1 Nescafe sachet but was too shy to ask for free hot water. Haha.
The airport wasn’t spectacular but was fair enough.
The comfort rooms, however, were disappointing. I inspected a total of 3. Although they seem like they are being cleaned hourly, they looked old and abandoned. I had to pee as fast as I could.
The cubicles were rusty and musty.
Still, I like that there’s this spray-wash thingy. I still don’t know what it is called. (Edit: It’s called a handheld bidet. Thank you, readers)
That’s one of the few things I like in the UAE, comfort rooms always have spray-wash thingies, more convenient than plastic tabo.
This is what I came here for so I need to document myself.
My new-found friends.
Waiting for our trip back to the UAE.
I was in transit for 3 hours. A year ago I did an exit to Kish, Iran and stayed there for 3 days. Having gone through torments like that, I get to appreciate the short 3 hours I waited today.
There’s the guy who kept on staring at me the entire trip, might as well take a shot so I can stare back at him even in this photo only.
To be continued.