Omanis get free Expo 2020 Dubai tickets at the border for their National Day holiday

Oman has declared a two-day holiday on Sunday and Monday this week to mark its 51st National Day

People take part in the Oman National Day parade, on Expo 2020 Dubai's Horizon Avenue. Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai

Omanis visiting the UAE found "a pleasant surprise” waiting for them at the Hatta border crossing on Monday.

Oman declared a two-day holiday from Sunday, to celebrate its 51st National Day and many people took advantage of the long weekend to visit Expo 2020 Dubai.

Visitors inside the Oman Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Photo: Expo 2020

Citizens of Oman were given free tickets to the world's fair at the UAE-Oman border, as a gesture from the Emirates to mark their special day.

Mohammed Al Shammas, 32, an Omani driving to Dubai with his family, from Liwa in the Batnah region, told The National they all received free tickets to the Expo.

“It was a pleasant surprise and we are grateful for it,” he said.

The day ticket can be used until December 4. It normally costs Dh95.

Officials said more than 4,000 Omanis crossed the Hatta border to Dubai at the weekend, from Thursday afternoon to Saturday evening.

“It has been a very hectic weekend with people taking advantage of the holiday and today we see the same crowd driving back from Dubai,” an official at the border told The National.

“From Friday, we saw so many Omanis coming to the Expo. They have been everywhere here. It is so easy to spot them with their national dress,” one of the security guards at the Dubai Expo, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, told The National.

Omanis at the Expo said they feel privileged to be at the centre of a global event.

“We are lucky. Oman is just a border away and so easy to be here at the world’s biggest event,” said Faisal Al Badai, 44, an Omani from Muscat.

“People come to the Expo after flying for thousands of miles. We get free tickets and all we have to do is to cross the border and be here."

Oman celebrates its National Day on November 18 but normally the holidays are ten days later.

Updated: November 29th 2021, 2:30 PM