2 Days Solo Backpacking in Winter Oman via Crossborder Bus Trip

sightseeing Muscat and Oman's highest peak - Jebel Shams
March 17 to 18, 2017

“Those who have achieved their dreams didn’t do it sitting in a comfort zone. They challenged the status quo.” - Sheikh Khalfan Al Esry

My 51st solo backpacking trip, 30th in Asian continent (11th in the Western Asia and 4th in GCC Countries), 59 countries visited so far and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure. This trip is the first country I visited on the new beginning of my expat life and to accomplish the highest summit hike of Oman. 

Interesting Facts about Oman: 
1. Crime In Oman Is “Extremely Rare”
2. Omanis Breed The Finest Arab Horses
3. Oman Has Only One Public University
4. Oman is also one of the oldest human-inhabited places on the planet.

timezone - +0400H UTC;   capital - Muscat;   language - Arabic

currency - Rial (OMR) 1 OMR = 2.6 USD = 10 AED
visa - GCC Expat Professionals are visa on arrival

2 Days Solo Backpacking in Winter Oman via Crossborder Bus Trip (Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque)

Abu Dhabi's Awesome Fun Runs in 1st Quarter of 2017

Adventure fun-run in Abu Dhabi Emirate of United Arab Emirates
January to February 2017

I joined the 32 Floor level of Climb to Abu Dhabi 2017 Vertical Run, open sprint 7km with 19 obstacles of X-Dubai Spartan Race and untimed night run of Electric Run in Yas Gateway Park.

Climb to Abu Dhabi Vertical Run 2017 held last January 27, 2017 with categories climb up 82 floors / 1,617 competing in a 32-floor / 720-step challenge. Registration fee was 175 AED that includes Event Bib and finishers medallion, Shoe/timing tag (to be handed in at the finish line), Official race t-shirt by Reebok and Healthy Breakfast pack inclusive of a fresh coffee or juice.

Spartan Race is the World’s Best Obstacle Race. Spartan Race is a true adventure that anyone can do filled with mud, water, and signature obstacles designed to help you discover your inner Spartan. Spartan Race Abu Dhabi held last February 24, 2017. Registration fee was 315 AED that includes Finisher Medal, Finisher T-shirt, free professional photos and Bananas at the finish line.

The world's brightest and most exciting 5km night run. Electric Run 2017 held last February 24, 2017. Registration fee was 215 AED that includes Electric Run shirt.
 
Abu Dhabi's Awesome Fun Runs in 1st Quarter of 2017 (Spartan Race)

Road Trip and Short Trek to UAE's Highest Elevation, Jebel Jais

18-February-2017 Saturday in Ral Al Khaimah Emirate, United Arab Emirates

My 50th solo backpacking trip, and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departureThis was just a short day trip just to see the glimpse of Ras Al Khaimah and without a concrete itinerary, just go where my gut feeling wanted that day. Since my initial plan was to scout for possible trekking routes in Hajar Mountains on cheapest way, I decided to negotiate a cab and go straight up to Jebel Jais highest elevation.

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The emirate is in the northern part of the UAE, bordering Oman's exclave of Musandam. Ras al-Khaimah has the most fertile soil in the country, due to a larger share in rainfall and underground water streams from Omani mountains. Jabal Jais, is a mountain on the border between Oman and United Arab Emirates, with an elevation of 1,911 masl. The highest point of this mount is located on the Omani side, but a secondary hill (in the same mountain) west of this peak is considered the highest point of the United Arab Emirates, at 1,892 masl.

JEBEL JAIS BUDGET SOLO DAY TRIP ITINERARY:

0630H ETD Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal 30 AED
0900H ETA Sharjah Al Jubail Bus Terminal
0930H ETD Sharjah Al Jubail Bus Terminal 25 AED
1030H ETA Ras Al Khaimah Bus Terminal
1100H ETD Ras Al Khaimah Bus Terminal 5 AED
1115H ETA Ras Al Khaimah Nakheel
walk to Manar Mall; lunch 30 AED
1230H ETD Nakheel; negotiated round trip taxi to Jebel Jais 140 AED
taxi all the way up to highest elevation; summit not accessible yet due to road construction
1500H ETD Jebel Jais
1550H ETA Ras al Khaimah Bus Terminal
1600H ETD Ras Al Khaimah Bus Terminal 25 AED
1730H ETA Sharjah Al Jubail Bus Terminal
1800H ETD Al Jubail Bus Terminal 30AED
2030H ETA Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal
TOTAL EXPENSES: 255 AED
 
Road Trip and Short Trek to UAE's Highest Elevation, Jebel Jais

Short Visit to Sharjah

10-February-2017 Friday in Sharjah Emirate, United Arab Emirates

This was just a short day trip just to see the glimpse of Sharjah and without a concrete itinerary, just go where my gut feeling wanted that day. Visited first the Central Souq, Flag Island, Corniche, Al Noor Mosque then the Al Noor Island. Photography and video taking is allowed inside.

Sharjah (capital of the Sharjah Emirate) is the third largest and third most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, forming part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area.

SHARJAH CITY BUDGET SOLO DAY TRIP ITINERARY:

1020H ETD Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal 30AED
1230H ETA Al Jubail Bus Terminal; Lunch 20AED
Flag Island, corniche, Central Souq
Al Noor Island Entrance 50AED; KFC snacks 18 AED
1730H ETD Al Jubail Bus Terminal 30AED
2000H ETA Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal


TOTAL EXPENSES: 148 AED

Short Visit to Sharjah (Corniche)

Walking to the Winding Road of Jebel Hafeet (1,249masl)

04-February 2017 Saturday in Green Mubazzarah, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi Emirate of United Arab Emirates

Jebel Hafeet (1,249masl) is the highest mountain in Abu Dhabi Emirate and the 2nd in United Arab Emirates (following Jebel Jais at 1,934masl). From the base, walking to the top or the highest viewing deck is 11km, which took me more than 3 hours including photo taking break. Bring plenty of water, though there are 2 cafeteria located above (1st one is around 10km and the 2nd one is at the last). Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with magnificent views over Al Ain. This walk is ideal for relaxing and very easy training of uphill walking.

How to Go to Jebel Hafeet;
From Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal, there are every 30minutes daily departure to Al Ain Bus Terminal (2.5 hours travel time at 25 AED). Then, walk going to main road and wait for bus #970 (every 30 minutes departure at 2 AED for 45mins travel time going to Green Mubazzarah). Start walking to the sign Jebel Hafeet, free admission.

DAY TOUR ITINERARY TO JEBEL HAFEET

0900H ETD Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal 25 AED
1130H ETA Al Ain Bus Terminal
1215H ETD Al Ain City Center; bus #970 2 AED
1300H ETA Green Mubazzarah picnic area bus stop; lunch at KFC 25 AED
1345H start walking from Green Mubazzrah picnic area going up
made few stops for photo-ops and short rest
1730H ETA Jebel Hafeet highest viewing deck; sunset photo-ops
1800H ETD Jebel Hafeet; start descending or walking back
1900H random stranger kind offer hitchhiking going back to picnic area
1920H ETA Green Mubazzarah picnic area; dinner at Hardees 20 AED
1955H ETD Green Mubazzarah 2 AED
2055H ETA Al Ain City Center; walk fast to Al Ain Bus Terminal
2105H ETD Al Ain Bus Terminal 25 AED
2325H ETA Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal
TOTAL BUDGET: 99 AED
 
Walking to the Winding Road of Jebel Hafeet (1,249masl)
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