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Women living as expatriates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are facing restrictions on travel to Oman after new rules were introduced last month.
Authorities changed the requirements without drawing attention to their actions, leaving female expats in a difficult situation, reports Arabian Business.
They now must obtain a letter of permission from their employer or male relative if they wish to cross over the border at Dibba into Oman.
This route is popular for leisure activities, such as visiting the beautiful Zighy Bay and taking cruises by traditional boats called dhows.
Local women and those with passports from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are not affected by the move, but expats from further afield will need to carry a no objection letter with them if they attempt to cross the border.
The requirements will also have no affect on those carrying tourist visas, just those who are living in the country.
Last year it became necessary for all visitors from outside of the GCC to obtain their visa for Oman in advance if they wished to cross over from the UAE at Dibba, which has had a negative impact on the area's tourism industry.
Dylan Mangan, travel and tourism public relations manager at Sheesha Beach, told the news provider: "The majority of our business is from expats so it’s a huge, huge thing that’s going on. It’s driving us crazy."
As summer draws nearer those working in the UAE will be looking to take some time off and Zighy Bay has always been a popular choice due to its convenience.
Monica Majors, a spokeswoman for the Six Senses resort, said that these types of bookings are likely to become scarce due to the new bureaucracy involved.
She went on to say: "The problem is that they don't publish the changes and regulations. We can’t entertain that last minute business because we won’t be able to assist our guests … to ensure there are no issues at the border."
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