Dubai to Salalah by bus

Review: Dubai to Salalah by Bus – Time, Fare and Experience

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Dubai to Salalah By Road

In addition to the flights, Salalah is accessible by road from Dubai / Abu Dhabi / Sharjah / Al-Ain (UAE has a border with Oman) and from other Gulf states through UAE. From Dubai to Salalah, the travel time is around 12 to 16 hours, depending on the type of vehicle. Dubai to Salalah by bus is a very common mode of transportation.

Salalah to Dubai / Dubai to Salalah by Bus – Options

There are several buses that run from Dubai to Salalah and Salalah to Dubai everyday. Notable transport line is Gulf Transport Company (GTC), Oman National Transport Company (ONTC) and Al-Ghazala.

Journey from Dubai to Salalah

We have traveled with bus (GTC) one time from Dubai to Salalah / Salalah to Dubai in Oct 2013. Bus from Dubai to Salalah departs in the afternoon. The bus stop for GTC is in Deira, Dubai. It is highly recommended that you reach the stop at least 1 hour before the departure of the bus. There is no prior seat selected in the ticket, so the seats are occupied on first come first serve basis. If you come late may be your family will be split at different location across the bus.  This was the case with couple of families traveling with us.

We reached Salalah next morning at 7 am. The last hour journey before reaching Salalah is very good, specially in Khareef. The journey is on winding road, which are green in Khareef. The view of Salalah is spectacular when descending from the mountains. So we would highly recommend that you focus on the last part of the journey and don’t miss it.

Location of Bus Stop in Salalah

GTC Bus stop in Salalah is located on 23rd July Street, which is one of the main roads of Salalah.

Recommended Hotels to Stay Near Bus Stop in Salalah

Since you are traveling by Bus, it’s better to stay near the bus stop. This will give you provision to stay in the center of the Salalah city, plus you can save the amount of Taxi fare to travel from the Bus stop to the Hotel. The hotels mentioned below are at the walking distance of the bus stop.

1. Intercity Hotel Salalah

This is the first hotel of the famous German chain hotel in Oman. The hotel is featuring roof top swimming pool, gym, Steam Bath room, Praying area along with neatly designed and well furnished rooms. Book Intercity Hotel at best rates

2. City Hotel Salalah

This is a budget hotel in City Center area. Book City Hotel at best Rates

City Hotel Salalah


Both of these hotels are in front of the Iconic Sultan Qaboos Masjid, the largest masjid in Salalah and are near to K.M. Trading, one of the largest hypermarket in Salalah. There are many restaurants nearby to eat good food without paying much. Vegetarian and Pakistani / Indian restaurants are at walking distance from both of these hotels.

Journey from Salalah to Dubai

The journey from Salalah, Oman started in the afternoon and we reached Dubai the next morning before 0800 hrs. Could see the iconic land mark of Dubai, Burj Khalifa, even before that time.

Total journey time from Salalah to Dubai was around 16 hours. There could be delay at the border sometimes, if a case for a passenger arises. During our journey, the Immigration Officer cannot find an exit stamp of UAE in the passport of one of the passenger travelling with us and it took a lot of time for this case to resolve. All other passengers were waiting near the bus while his case was under evaluation. The bus cannot leave behind any passenger.

Dubai to Salalah Bus Fare

The bus journey is pretty economical. We paid OMR 18 (in 2013) for both ways ticket i.e. Salalah to Dubai and Dubai to Salalah. One way ticket was OMR 10. The fare could have changed now, so please contact the bus office about the latest fares.

Experience of Salalah to Dubai / Dubai to Salalah by Bus

You cannot travel with a lot of luggage by bus. If your luggage bags don’t have locks or have delicate items, you have to put it on your seat or besides your leg, if it cannot accommodate in the over head compartment (which is very small). The seats do not have big leg space so expect to be tired at the end of the journey. Keeping the luggage besides your leg will make your leg space even lesser.

The transport company doesn’t facilitate the passengers. Before the start of the journey, the passengers have to rush inside the bus well in advance and grab the best seats or if you are travelling with the family, you have to grab the seats together. Else all the passengers will not get the seats together. This is the biggest issue. The transport company should allot the seat numbers to the passengers on the tickets. We have seen passengers sitting away from the family as the seats were not available together and passengers arriving early or managing to get inside the bus early have kept the places for them and not willing to move to another seat.

There will be several stops at restaurants during Dubai to Salalah or Salalah to Dubai journey for going to washroom and eating. The food served in these restaurants is not very hygienic and options are limited. It is advisable to take something with you for eating during the journey. Avail all these stopovers to get out of the bus, stretch your muscles and breath the fresh air.

The bus has a common TV for the so called entertainment. The movies played will not be entertaining at all (quality / sound issues / language) and you would prefer that they are not played.

In a nut shell, the journey is not very pleasing. This experience is based on GTC. As told by the friends, ONTC is better. Try it and share your experience. For more details about ONTC, click here.

Why you should travel from Dubai to Salalah by Bus?

The advantage of travelling with bus is:

    • Cheaper ticket than airplane.
    • No tension of driving from Dubai to Salalah.
    • No requirement of having driving license / vehicle registration / vehicle insurance.
    • No need to book hotel for travel night (as journey from Dubai to Salalah is on night time in the bus).
    • Specially useful for single passengers or friends or for those who loves to travel by road.

When you shouldn’t Travel from Dubai to Salalah by Bus?

If you can afford air ticket, then best is to travel by air. The journey will be of 2 hours only.

It’s better to drive your own car if you have a family with you. You don’t have to pay ticket for each passenger when traveling in your car but have to pay for each passenger in bus journey. Driving your own vehicle will also give you freedom during the travel to stop wherever and whenever you want (although most of the area is a dessert and barren). In your car, the journey will cost you only for the fuel (the price of Super Petrol in Salalah / Oman is 153 Biasas per liter since 1st Feb 2016; In 2015 it was 121 biasas per litre). The documents required to cross the border with the vehicle is the valid Vehicle License (on your name else you will need additional authorization letter from the leasing company), valid Driving License and Insurance for the vehicle in both the countries.

Also read the Experience of Dubai to Salalah by Bus mentioned above.


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