Three to four hours (give or take, depending on how long you get held up at the border). Why go:
The drive itself is spectacular on a clear day, following winding road around Musandam’s coast and its many fjords (the area has gained the nickname ‘the Norway of the Middle East’). There are also a couple of small, quiet bays great for beach camping. Points of interest:
En route, there’s a Bedouin village in Sharjah, though you’ll have to detour from your route along Emirates Road (E311) towards the Sharjah Desert Park (E88), then turn left, driving up north on E611. The village lies around exit 119. Unfortunately, many of the more stunning fjords on the route up to Khasab are filled with litter, dulling their beauty. In Khasab, check out the ferry that sails round the coast to Lima (www.nfc.om
, +968 244 95453). If you fancy a boat trip, expect to arrive in Lima in about three hours. Directions:
From Dubai, follow either Sheikh Zayed Road (E11) or Emirates Road (E311) through Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. When you reach Ras Al Khaimah, follow the E11 and keep an eye on signs for Shams (on the UAE side), and Musandam and Tibat (the other side of the Omani border). Once you’ve finished the obligatory kerfuffle at the border and had your passport stamped, follow the incredible coastal road to Khasab. If you’re lucky, you may spot dolphins. Where to stay:
The Golden Tulip in Khasab (www.goldentulipkhasab.com
, +968 267 30777) is a popular destination but, being one of the area’s only decent hotels, is quite pricey (from Dhs810 per night). Top tip:
If you forget your sunhat, the petrol station just before Khasab’s main residential area sells cowboy-style straw hats for Dhs5 each (and it accepts dirhams). More importantly, if you’re renting a car, check with the rental firm whether you’re permitted to drive the car in Oman, and make sure you take all the paperwork. One Time Out editor found this out the hard way.