access to Dibba climbing areas

Over the summer months, various people have reported problems entering the Oman side of Dibba. Specifically the men with uniforms and guns (*) managing the two border crossings have been turning back expats unable to evidence a hotel stay or pre-booked activity with a known Dibba Omani company. This is obviously awkward for climbers who are unlikely to be in either category. As so often in the UAE, this “rule” is not being applied systematically, so some people are getting through OK.

A few other things that I have read about this:

  • people on tourist rather than residence visas aren’t having the same problem. [don't rely on it]
  • Oman-side businesses don’t like the situation and are lobbying to have it relaxed. [we hope]
  • Sharjah is building its own tourism “island” on its slice of Dibba bay, and so may have vested interest in keeping people on the UAE side of the border. [this is conjecture, of course]

If it becomes a permanent constraint, it is pretty bad news for “UAE” climbing, as Wadi Khab Shamsi and other wadis inland from Dibba have been a major focus of new route development in recent years. Then there’s the DWSing, though I guess it may be easier to produce paperwork for the border people for those trips, as they are almost always pre-booked with Omani dhow operators (if rather informally …)

* I have never been sure to what extent these are UAE military or local Sharjah police? does anyone know for sure?

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