Worst Immigration officer - I met in Oman

Worst Immigration officer - I met in Oman

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Walid Hassan Al Sheikri. You... ...are a blemish to Royal Oman Police, Oman's culture, Oman's hospitality, and to the good people of Oman. Seriously! You don't deserve Royal Oman Police. You don't deserve to be an Omani. He agreed. Right now, he's praying Namaz.

He has agreed to take me along. Though not very far. But, he would drop me somewhere near. We respect the people of India.

-Indians are really very respectable. -Thank you. Thank you. We are friends for more than 500 years. for 500 years or so, India and Oman are friends. -500 years! -500 years? -Maybe more than that. -Okay. More than that? I was so stressed by my lower back pain. It was really very severe.

Insurance companies have their own tantrums, here it was, Tata AIG. It was a totally bad experience. I am ending my trip here. Now finally, from Ruwi, I'm going to a place called Rusayl. From Rusayl, I will board a shared taxi to Sohar.

Mr. Gulam will help me out to reach the border from Sohar. He's with me right now. Thank you very much. He has happily agreed to drop me at the border in his car.

From there, I will be accompanied by my good friend Mr. Taranjeet. It's 11.30 a.m. I'm still in Oman. I was supposed to be in Dubai, but, I'm still in Oman. This is Sohar.

This is the place from where Mr. Gulam picked me up yesterday. I had reached the border of Dubai as well. I even met Mr. Taranjeet there.

He was accompanied by his wife. But... Because of the changing rules and regulations of Covid... In September, I couldn't visit Albania. Can't say how many people...

Rules are changing so frequently. As per the latest announcement, if you are crossing the UAE and it's neighboring countries... If you are crossing through land borders, then a 14-day old RTPCR report is also accepted. I had come to this country some 10 days back.

About 11 or 12 days ago, I had my Covid test done from Hungary. I had the report with me. I had used the same report to enter Dubai. And then entered Oman also. I had made all inquiries and many people confirmed the same.

After making so many arrangements, I finally reached Dubai. I arrived at the UAE immigration checkpoint. After seeing everything he was like, "This report will not be accepted."

When I asked the reason he replied, "Because the report is from Europe." I asked, "Then from where is it valid." The reply was, "Either from Oman or Dubai." 14-days old is accepted.

I said, "It's just 10 days old. I'm fully vaccinated." After so much persuasion also, I was not allowed. Mr. Taran had to return back. Mr. Gulam and I, both are back at the immigration point.

This is one of the worst immigration experience. I didn't expect this in Oman. The people of Oman are so good, so cultured. But this officer was so lousy and corrupt. I would definitely take his name. Walid Hassan Al Sheikri.

He is the immigration officer of the Royal Oman Police. I met him at the Al Wajajah check post. I reached there at about 11.30 p.m. I explained what all happened and that my visa had a 4 days validity. I asked him either to cancel the exit stamp affixed, so that I could go in and it was a matter of some 4 to 5 hours. I would take the test and come back with the report.

And then, I could enter Dubai. First, he was so friendly. "I just had a word with my Dubai officer friends" God knows how they talk across the border! With the officers of Dubai.

He might have some personal connections there. Then he said - 'Let's start helping you' He asked me to produce the documents. Don't know, but something happened, he got annoyed at something.

He started behaving very obstinately. I requested him to cancel the exit stamp. so that I can enter back in Oman Or give me a visa-free entry based on my US visa I would not stay long in Oman. Just going to get the RTPCR test. My flights are already booked for onward journey. He said, "No, I'll not allow a free visa." I said, "Okay." "Then please cancel my exit stamp."

I will be back soon. It's a matter of a few hours. "No, that's not possible." I then asked, "Now, what?" He said, "That cannot be granted so many times. Pay 5 Rial and enter." I said, "I have a Canada visa which permits me a free entry."

I requested him to understand my issues, stating that I was a budget traveler. But, he did not agree. And then he was like, "Okay, let me help you out." "Show me your hotel booking." That was readily available to me. I showed that to him.

Before that he asked for my health insurance. I said, "I have that also." And I showed it to him. He then insisted on the hard copy.

He said - "All this is not accepted here. It is accepted in Dubai, not in Oman." Such weird comments!! Earlier also, many officers have accepted the soft copies, even in Oman "They were well educated. What more can I say about you!" He then asked me to translate it into Arabic, I am not able to read this. And then, he started using Google translate. My phone battery got exhausted. He used it for almost an hour.

Then he was after hotel bookings. He then struggled with the mail that I received from booking.com. His reaction was so weird. It was like he was there only to reject and spoil my journey.

It was not a helping attitude. And this seemed weird to me. This was the first bad experience in Oman, and that too when I was about to leave. I was so tired. If you can recollect, I was admitted to the hospital since morning. There were a lot of other problems. I was journeying continuously.

My mental situation was so stressed and then I had to face such issues. A person with whom I just met was also worried because of me. He came so far to help me out. And he was waiting just for me.

I was under immense pressure. I felt guilty that Mr.Taran had to go back. And there, Mr. Farhat was worried because of me. And this gentleman here, was creating so much fuss. He was not at all cooperating.

He asked for hotel booking which I also produced. "Oh, you have done!" This was how he was behaving. He said, "This won't do." I asked, "Why." He then came across a phone number in my mail. "Oh, phone number. Let me check." I just said, "Okay. You can do that." He called that number. God knows what he talked about in Arabic.

And he said, "This won't work here." I was like, "You tell me what will work, I will comply with that." He said, 'Make another booking." I did that as well. I felt that this was weird too.

He then said, "This will also not work." He started getting irritated. He started blabbering in Arabic. I was really very patient.

Because entry was my necessity. Though I knew that all my documents were in order. And that I was legally right. I met so many good people in Oman. It was such a pleasant experience. I tried to persuade in my own way so that this gentleman would meltdown. But, he was adamant. And then he was after another issue.

"You need to produce a paid booking. Or else you have to pay 5 Rial." I was wondering why he was after 5 Rials when I knew I was eligible by all means. I requested him to cancel my exit stamp affixed on my visa. I will get an entry or at least give me a free visa. I tried but all in vain. He kept on asking 5 Rial. He also insisted on paid booking.

I said, "Sir, this booking is a confirmed one." It's not that they would deny to entertain me. He just said, "Paid." I then made a paid booking. It was in hotel Raddison Blue, Sohar. It cost me about 150 dollars, I don't remember exactly. It was around 50 Rial per night.

I even made that booking. And when I went to show that to him, the gentleman just ignored and went in. He didn't come out for about 20 minutes. He even instructed his fellow workers, in Arabic, not to help me out.

When others came to me, he would shout at them from inside. Perhaps, he was the senior-most, and so no one dared to help me out. The situation was really very odd. I was deeply tensed.

Even Mr. Gulam was worried and he was sitting with me. All these went about for say, one and a half hours. After a long time, he came out and again started shouting at me.

I said, "I have done the booking, please, at least, have a look." He said - "Pay 5 Rial." I said, "Just now you asking for a paid booking." I have done it, have a look." But, he was adamant. I was immensely annoyed.

I went over to Mr.Gulam... Actually, I was completely annoyed. I was worried for him as well. I even made up my mind.

I asked Mr. Gulam to take out my luggage from his car and drop me there itself. I was getting so annoyed with this gentleman. I even thought of putting it up there itself. And this gentleman has to allow me to enter.

I would wait even till morning, but then, Mr. Gulam was like... He is a kind-hearted man. He offered to wait along with me. I just gave up and agreed to pay 5 Rial. He shouted - "Stand in the queue." It was a long line, but, I had no other option.

When my turn came, again he started saying something. "Go and stand near that window." To tell you the truth, this gentleman is making his own rules.

It's nowhere mentioned that one has to make a paid booking. I even did that. Booked a hotel to suit his demand. I had to cancel and make a re-booking. Even that was done. I am agreeing with all his demands. And he is continuously denying everything. I mean, he was not at all true to his own words.

I was perplexed. Though I knew that Oman is known for its culture, its civilization. People are so good in Oman. He is absolutely not worthy to be called an officer, a true Omani. Humanity has no meaning for him.

I don't have words to describe his nasty attitude. Walid Hassan Al Sheikri. You... ...are a blemish to Royal Oman Police, Oman's culture, Oman's hospitality, and to the good people of Oman. Seriously! You don't deserve Royal Oman Police. You don't deserve to be an Omani.

Anyways, I'm back again. It's 1 p.m now. I was feeling so indebted to the help of Mr. Farhat. And even to Mr. Gulam. I asked him to drop me at a hospital from where I could take my RTPCR test.

I have reached here. This is the chain of hospitals in Sohar. The name is Badr Al Samaa Hospital. At 2. a.m I paid for the test. They sent the sample, perhaps at about 6 a.m.

And now, it's almost 11.45 am I am expecting my reports shortly. The problem is that from here I cannot go to Al Wajajah border.

The reason is that again I have to cover a distance of about 3-4 kilometers. No buses are plying there. The only 2 buses are from Muscat. Al Khanjri, and that's fully packed. I came to know about another border.

I would use that entry border because there, Omani check post and the UAE check post are quite near to each other. The distance is hardly 100 meters and it's a walkable option. This is a totally bad experience. I couldn't get sleep. Hotels are so expensive here. I didn't want to go to his house. I had already bothered him so much.

It felt odd to enter his house at that time when all would be fast asleep. I then thought of waiting here itself. I spent the night in a chair.

Behind me, is the Masjid. Right now, I'm in a place called Falaj. I have left Sohar behind. It's a 10-minute drive from here. And the heat! Really the heat here is unbearable.

The climate is cool, but the heat is immense. Walking for just a while in this heat... I mean, had I walked further, I would definitely faint.

Anyways, I saw some people standing there. Vehicles are waiting here. I had to go that way. I tried my luck. The gentleman couldn't understand anything other than Arabic.

Suddenly, I met that gentleman, going there in a grey traditional dress. I asked him if he could understand English. I believe these people are heading to Buraimi where I have to go. I said, "Please, make them understand. I'm a tourist coming from India."

"I'm just a tourist, I don't stay here. I don't have a labor card." I mean, I don't work here. I wanted to clear the difference.

He said, "Okay." I said, "Taxis are very expensive." Actually, I didn't realize that I would be left with less money. I just had about 2.5 Rial in my pocket. And I needed, at least, 3-4 Rial. After sighting the vehicle I thought of taking a chance. First, he was all denying.

When I translated and explained, he finally agreed. Right now, he's praying Namaz. He has agreed to take me along. Though not very far. But, he would drop me somewhere near.

It's good. A hitchhiking at the last moment. I'm just fed up. I want to reach Dubai at the earliest. I have had enough. This was too much of an adventure. By the way, this is the gentleman who is taking me towards the border.

The name of the place is... Oh! I forgot! -Was it Falaj...Falaj? -Yeah. He's taking me quite far.

Thank you very much. Shukran. Very very big Shukraan. A gentleman is standing near his car. He's saying... It will cost 50 Rial to drop at the border. The distance is 7 kilometers.

I managed to get another lift. This gentleman stopped at the place where I was waiting. He cannot understand English at all. He was not agreeing initially, After much pleading, he finally agreed. -Do you know Urdu? -Yeah, Yeah.

Then why are you speaking English? - You are talking in English... -Oh, I see. Urdu is popular here. You are talking in English. I just cannot understand. -I thought you are an Arab. -No, I am from Iran. -You are an Irani? -Yeah. Could you lower the volume? Cant hear you properly.

-Please, lower the volume. -Yes, sure. Oh! You are speaking such good Urdu. But, you are speaking in English. Do you want to go to Hudud? I have to go to the UAE. You can drop me anywhere.

-So, you want to go to the UAE, Dubai? -Yeah. -Hudud? -Yeah, the name is Hudud. Okay. So, next time in such a situation, I should speak in Urdu, Right? After Arabic, Urdu is next in popularity.

Okay. After Arabic, it's Urdu. Okay. It's good. I have never visited Iran. But, I have plans to go. -Iran is very good. Come. -Yeah, sure. There are many beautiful places in Iran.

Is this the border? Oh! Yes! We have reached. That's really great! Royal Oman Police. Hamsa Border Post. Thank you, brother. Thank you very much. -Do you say 'shukriya' in Iran. -Yeah. -Or is it, 'shukraan'? -Thank you very much. I was not allowed to enter from here as well.

They were like, "You cannot use this border to enter." This border is for GCC. For people of Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar, Emiratis, Omanis, and likewise.

"You are a foreigner. You have to use the other border." It's good that they handed over this paper to me. "Oh! Please, stop for just a minute."

They redirected me to this border. The name is... -Khatm... How to pronounce it? -Khatm Al Shikla. Khatm Al Shikla. I have to reach that border.

It's about 30 kilometers from this place. Some Bangladeshi friends were saying that... -The fare will be about 2 Rial. -2 or maybe 3 also.

-Maybe 3 Rial as well. -They may charge even more... We are all very happy when we travel to India. There's no problem at all. In India, we feel like we are in our own country.

Indian people are very good. They speak very politely. They are very helpful. They guide you if you are lost somewhere.

It's very nice. I got lost in Colaba so many times. -In Colaba, Mumbai? -Yeah. -You were lost? -Well, that was my first time in Mumbai. I was roaming on the roads. I met a short gentleman, Basheer. -That was his name. -Okay.

-He was a Malayalee, from Kerala. -Okay. I accidentally met him. He knew Arabic as he was in an Arab country earlier.

-He personally dropped me at my hotel. -Okay. Most of our people like Indians. -Really? -Yeah. We respect the people of India.

-Indians are really very respectable. -Thank you. Thank you. Why do they respect Indians? -Because we are very old friends. -Okay. We are friends for about 500 years. For 500 years or so, India and Oman are friends. -500 years! -500 years? -Maybe more than that. -Okay. More than that? How can we forget our friendship! We cannot forget our friendship! Good people never forget their friends.

I want to tell you something. And that is... I am about to end my Oman trip here. It was destiny that brought us together.

I was there, not by accident, it was destiny that made us meet. -God is great! -Yeah, that's true. I am leaving Oman, but, I can feel the good vibes coming from you. I'm taking that along with me. I'm feeling so good. I'm happy that I'm ending this trip with a positive note. May God be with you.

It''s good that there's a long-lasting relationship between India and Oman. Even today it's good. Many people of different communities work here in peace. And, the way Mr. Abu Sultan is speaking, it feels so good. I do hope our relations continue for countless years to come.

Please, do visit Oman. You're sure to meet so many good people. And sir, please come to India, send your son to India. I'm sure you'll cherish the experience.

2022-01-21 16:23

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