Tourists flying to Oman can still get visas on arrival after a temporary counter opened at the New Muscat International Airport terminal.
Visa on arrival counters have been set-up in case of emergencies for eligible tourists who are not aware of the new electronic visa system that was officially launched by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) on March 21.
“We are still keeping the visa on arrival option for a short span of time for people who are flying to Oman and are not aware of the new rule. The counter will then be moved once the message is sent across. But we highly recommend to all nationalities to start applying for e-visa starting from today,” said a spokesman from Oman Airports Management Company.
The e-visa service is introduced to facilitate the passengers’ journey and to prevent unnecessary queues at the visa on arrival desk at the airport’s counter, according to the statement released by the authorities.
- Analysis: Why 2018 Will See an Uptick in Tender Prices
- Video: EgyptAir Unveils Official World Cup Plane for National Team
“The 21st of March marks the transition day of tourist, and express visas from counters to online,” according to an official at the ROP.
Major steps have been taken in this regard since the news of e-visa broke in January, 2018.
Many travel agencies in Muscat have already asked their clients to obtain an electronic visa to avoid any complication at the immigration counters.
“Since the news of e-visa broke in the Sultanate, we advised all our clients to apply visa online despite their nationalities to be on the safe side. We don’t want to provide any convenience by assuring the eligible tourists the possibility of obtaining visa on arrival when the situation of e-visa is not clear yet,” said Michelle Callaje, Senior Travel Consultant, Travel City.
“However, some of our clients faced difficulties submitting the application online mainly due to the system,” she added. “We received a bunch of complaints from our clients who failed to upload the visa application.”
“Per our information the new rule stated that there will be no ‘on arrival’ visa counter at the new Muscat International Airport. Therefore, we have informed all our clients to apply for e-visa before flying in to the Sultanate,” said Hanan Abdullah, Travel Executive at a private travel agency in Muscat.
Ali Jaffar from National Sunshine Travel Agency said: “As far as I am aware ‘on arrival’ visa is still operating for a limited period of time to the authorised nationalities listed in the category to attain visa on arrival at the new airport. I just booked a flight for a passenger flying from Nice, France, on Wednesday and she purchased visa on her arrival at the new Muscat International Airport.”
Moreover, Faisal Al Balushi, owner of Faisal Travel and Tourism also started to inform his clients about attaining electronic visa since the beginning of February as well as provided them with services of e-visa.
“Many a times clients complaint about not being able to submit the visa application form online,” he explained. “Therefore, the company offered them with both flights tickets and e-visa services packages.”
© Muscat Media Group