New to Oman

Discussion in 'Africa & Mid East' started by JBanar, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. JBanar

    JBanar n00b

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    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM/San Carlos, MX/Sur, Oman
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    </style><style>*<!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style> My wife has taken a position in Sur, Oman and we will be coming to Oman late in August. As she will have a work/resident visa and drivers license my status, as husband, is unclear. I may have to be in country on 30 day renewable visa’s using an international drivers license. That said, I have read all the threads regarding Oman and am interested in touring the country by motorcycle but need more information to get started.

    What are the license/registration/insurance requirements to ride in Oman?
    Is there a cc cutoff below which there are no requirements?
    What are the relative availabilities of 250cc, 650cc, 800cc dual sport bikes and any info on costs? Here at home I currently ride a F800ST but really don’t want to get into much bigger bikes. Most of the trips I have in mind are day trips with the occasional to 2/3 day trip, any recommendations on best size?
    I cannot find much about riders groups in Sur or Muscat so any information or contact would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all for any help and I look forward to the possibility of meeting fellow riders in the coming year.

    Joe Banar
    #1
  2. richeyroo

    richeyroo XT6-- 34L, CRF450X

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Muscat, Oman
    Hi Joe

    Oman is a great country and a fabulous place to live and own a motorbike. It is a pretty well structured and organised country, pretty much along Western lines really, you need to do everything properly, licence, insurance, not drinking and driving, wearing a helemt, just normal civilised stuff really. Except for chicken chasers (50cc mopeds) everything has to be properly registered else the police will feel your collar

    You may want to have a bit of an investigation into what status you have here - your wife will get a residents visa and card, and you definately need both those to leap through all the admin hoops. You need your residents card when you buy insurance, register your car/bike etc although I guess your wife could do it all in her name and just let you hoon around on the bike all day

    When my girlfriend used to visit me here, on 3 month visas, she would use my Land Rover no worries at all. The vehicle is what is insured not the driver, so if the vehicle is insured, you are good to go.

    There are plenty of biking options out here, some easier to source than others. There are tons of Harley Davidsons around, and a lot of guys go cruising on a Friday morning. There are sports bikes galore, mainly ridden very fast by lunatic locals and there are a lot of CRF450Xs which are perfect for hitting the Wahiba Sand Dunes. These tend to get trailered to where ever you want to start, and whizzed round for a couple of hours.

    If you want to do all your exploring by bike only, KLR650s come up for sale quite regularly and they are the perfect dual sport for out here, although a bit of a handful in the sand and a million miles behind the CRF in offroad ability

    The distances in Oman are pretty big (well they are for someone from the UK) and I used to find I got pretty hacked off with having to ride for a couple of hundred K's to get somewhere new on a chugger like a KLR650, which I guess is why a lot of people prefer to take a 4WD and a trailer and a CRF and a ton of beer and head off somewhere interesting.

    Its a great country, I spent an hour before sunset this evening whacking around the dunes on my CRF and it felt good.

    Oman is a friendly happy country and a great place to be a keen biker. But one word of caution, the standard of driving is outrageously bad and there are over 1000 road deaths a year, with a population of under 3 million folks. In the UK, it is 2500 road deaths a year with a population of well over 60 million. I can't do the maths, erm, suffice it to say, you gotta take it very very cautiously if you ride on the road a lot. Which is another reason for having a big 4x4, a trailer and a CRF

    But whichever way you go, it's all good
    #2
  3. JBanar

    JBanar n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
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    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM/San Carlos, MX/Sur, Oman
    Richeyroo
    Thanks for the info. I know my status in country will be a big factor in how things get done. I am looking forward to being there and will give you a heads up after we get settled.
    Joe Banar
    #3
  4. phoenixdoglover

    phoenixdoglover Where to next?

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
    Hi Joe,

    Richeyroo gives good advice. Just a few additional tips based on my experiences in Oman.

    If you are based down in Sur, you may not find much of a market there for motorcycles. There are dealers in Muscat (Harley, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha...not sure about Suzuki at this point, no BMW, no Triumph, no Ducati, no KTM). There is also a fair used market, with the main sources being the Dubizzle web site, the notice boards at Al Fair supermarkets in Muscat, and word of mouth. Only the Harley dealer seems to offer used bikes, and then only cruisers/choppers, if any.

    Prices for motorcycles in Oman tend to be higher than US for new ones, and similar to US for used. Availability of certain makes and models is limited or nonexistent, so don't get fixated on a particular bike. An alternative is to go to Dubai where selection is 10 times greater. I bought a Moto Guzzi Stelvio there and had it transported to Oman for a reasonable price, and there is very low import duty because the countries are both part of "GCC".

    If you buy a bike in Oman, chances are it will be emissions approved for Europe and not the US. So you can't ship it back to the US. That makes buying a used one a more sensible approach.

    I ride with various guys here in Muscat. There is a Harley oriented club if you're into the weekend pirate lifestyle. I am not aware of another organized group.

    As for the visa situation, you should insist that your wife's sponsor also get you a spouse visa. You can't renew that tourist visa indefinitely.

    Enjoy your time here!
    #4
  5. Where's Wal?

    Where's Wal? n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3
    Dear Phoenixdoglover,
    Nice to know Guzzi's are here already.
    I am a Muscat resident looking to import a Moto Guzzi V7 Classic from Dubai.
    Grateful on how to approach the import duty paperwork. Did you have someone coordinate this?
    Any mechanical support here?
    Advice welcome and best regards.
    #5
  6. Datan556

    Datan556 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Muscat, Oman
    Hello there

    If you want to hit the off road trail and weekend off road trip you can get in contact with a club called Dirty Rider Oman. Sur is a great place to start on a bike, so much around there to ride and explore. Where as we in Muscat have to drive there first and then explore on bike. (makes it part of fun though)

    These roads are retarded with mobile phone drivers and people who do not obey traffic signs and rules. Get something big and brute, dot think economy wise when buying a car here!! That's beside the point now...

    Licence is a quick eye test and 20 Rial, you are legally allowed to drive 6months with your overseas license.

    Off road bikes are the most practical I think in the country because there is so much to explore where cars cant go!
    #6
  7. Where's Wal?

    Where's Wal? n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
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    Hi, I have lived here for 4+ years, with visits back to 1999. I know Sur well and did the 4WD trip before the autobahn was installed. I am a Guzzi nut and will look at getting one for MCT. Just assessing the paperwork stuff for delivery from Oman. If t's too process driven, I will probably look for something locally. It's the journey!
    #7
  8. Datan556

    Datan556 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Muscat, Oman
    Indeed it is about the journey. When you get that guzz inform me so I can slobber over it. Cant afford them, so thats my working progress mission in life. (To own a guzz 7)

    When you succeed in obtaining one let me know the steps of getting something over here from dubai, cause KTM Dubai was a bit vague when I phoned!

    cheers and good luck
    #8
  9. muddysoles

    muddysoles The cubicle traveler

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Bangalore,India
    How does one go about importing a bike from UAE? :ear

    There are tons of used BMWs/KTMs there. :tb
    #9
  10. Where's Wal?

    Where's Wal? n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
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    Grateful to know the process followed to import the bike and pay import duty so I can follow your example.
    For example, did you need to provide any ID documentation to the carrier to clear the boarder and how is import duty assessed and paid? I presume you prepaid the carrier? Much appreciated.
    #10
  11. deepstar

    deepstar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    Muscat
    For Cars (I am assuming Motorbikes).... it goes like this

    Find Car in UAE - and buy/get Export Plates Sorted out. This will be more of a pain than you think - because OM and UAE have different weekends.....

    Take the vehicle (and temporary Insurance) - plus as many documents that relate to how the vehicle was imported into the UAE as possible that you can get.

    Proceed to Hatta Border - UAE Customs will inspect the vehicle and give you some more paperwork.... hopefully you can drive over the border now....

    As Soon as you go over the border - stop and Buy Oman Insurance !! The ROP will check (If your bike is on a trailer - it does not need at this point to be insured).

    Next is ROP Customs.... they will assess the vehicle - in reality ask you for the UAE bill of sale.... if all those other documents do not prove the GCC Customs duty was paid on this vehicle - then you will be charged 5% on the Bill of Sale amount....

    The ROP may not put their brightest on the border - but bringing a Ducati XXX in and only paying 500 AED will not work,,,, they are not that dumb.

    Assuming you pass this stage.... You need to go to Sur/Muscat, get Proper Insurance then go to the ROP Vehicle Inspection/Registration - Here you get the forms for registration, they will inspect the vehicle, and issue a license plate.

    It sounds terrible - but if you keep calm, smile, and are lucky - it is not a major issue.

    Hops this helps

    T
    #11
  12. kokos79

    kokos79 Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Salalah, Oman
    They don't issue export plates for motorcycles anymore. At least in my case, they didn't.

    I am currently waiting for my 2002 R1150GS to arrive in Salalah from Dubai. They just issued an export certificate and sent me on my way. My company arranged for transportation of the bike to Salalah by trailer. Once it gets here, and assuming I complete all the formalities, I will let you know.
    #12
  13. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,030
    Location:
    Riyadh, KSA, Cuernavaca, Mx, Houston, Tx
    I'm in the last stages of finalizing a contract to come to Muscat for the airport expansion project. I look forward to meeting some of you when I get there.

    I've been meaning to learn to ride off-road, and this might be the perfect opportunity!
    #13
  14. Musties

    Musties n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Muscat, Oman
    #14
  15. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,030
    Location:
    Riyadh, KSA, Cuernavaca, Mx, Houston, Tx
    Will do. Thanks!
    #15
  16. phoenixdoglover

    phoenixdoglover Where to next?

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
    Hi Craneguy,

    You will have fun on that airport project. Will it ever end? :lol3

    Welcome in advance to Oman. Plenty of dirt roads, wadis, and other places to go and wallow in the sand and gravel, if tht is your preference. A fair choice of regular roads as well. When you get a bike, post here again or send a PM, and I can make some suggestions for rides to get you going. Or just find As Sifah on google maps, and try to figure out how to get there from Muscat. All of the routes are good!

    Dave
    #16
  17. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,030
    Location:
    Riyadh, KSA, Cuernavaca, Mx, Houston, Tx
    Thanks Dave.

    They are in the process of bringing a 1,600 tonne crane to install roof trusses, and I'm supposed to keep an eye on it for a couple of months. It's a blue-chip crane outfit so hopefully I won't see too much crazy! I was in Saudi / Abu Dhabi for 5 years (left in 2000) and saw much lunatic behavior so I'm not getting my hopes up :D Besides, a little drama makes things more interesting and justifies my consulting fees.

    I usually end up working 80 hour weeks on these jobs, but I hope to have some time to myself. The debate will be whether to buy a bike or try to find one to rent. From scouring the Internet it doesn't look like buying will be a smart option, and even a cheap trials bike will need another vehicle and a trailer.

    I remember my boss in Saudi bought a new DR 800 for less than $2,000 in '98 and I was hoping new bikes would still be cheaper. I thought I could pick up a Multistrada and ship it back here. No such luck it seems.

    Any suggestions?
    #17
  18. phoenixdoglover

    phoenixdoglover Where to next?

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
    Your options are limited in Oman, as we are basically "the end of the line".
    1) Web site "dubizzle" has a section with bikes for sale in Oman. http://oman.dubizzle.com/en/items-for-sale/motorcycles/search/
    2) Oman shops - slim pickings here; you will not find the full range of models and most of the dealers will not special order. You will find Harleys, a few Japanese cruisers, sport bikes, and a few dirt bikes. No dual sports. You will not find a Multistrada, Super Tenere, Triumph Explorer, BMW GS, or any other bike of that type at dealers here
    3) Notice boards at Al Fair supermarkets. Sometimes motorcycles for sale. Recently, not much on the board at the market in Madinat Al Sutan Qaboos.
    4) Dubai - better shops, and you can buy there and import into Oman pretty easily. I bought a MotoGuzzi Stelvio in Dubai last year, and had the dealer truck it down and take care of customs. No problems. You generally cannot ride it down because there is no such thing as a temporary import plate.

    As for shipping the thing "back", I'm assuming you mean UK, Europe or ME. Bikes here are generally the EU models, so that should not be a problem. I am from the US. I cannot ship bikes back; EU models are not allowed without hugely expensive emissions tests.

    Rental? Maybe the Harley shop would have something. I have seen a couple of KLR650's in the back there.

    Dave
    #18
  19. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,030
    Location:
    Riyadh, KSA, Cuernavaca, Mx, Houston, Tx
    Thanks for that; It's pretty much what I had gathered reading the posts on here.

    I'd be sending it to Mexico where I live. They don't give a monkey's arse about emissions :)
    #19
  20. Camelz

    Camelz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Muscat, Oman
    Hi PDL, do you think the same applies to kids motorbikes, ie shipping to the US?

    There is no bike rental in Oman. There are a few for sale at the moment, including a very nice BMW 650 Dakar.
    #20