Taxi in Sur (Ji-Elle)
Oman’s airport taxi fares, among the most expensive in the Gulf region, could soon be cut by 50 per cent, according to reports.
Times of Oman cited Ahmed bin Ali Al Bulushi, CEO of government-owned transport firm Mwasalat, as confirming the changes, which would place the sultanate’s fares more inline with other Gulf countries.
Currently the pickup fee for an airport taxi is OMR6 ($15.58) compared to rates of around OMR2.5 ($6.49) in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and as low as OMR1.4 ($3.66) in Doha.
Al Bulushi said the firm wanted to start fares from OMR3 when it takes over the running of airport services in the third quarter.
“The fares haven’t been agreed by taxi drivers and negotiations are going on,” he was quoted as saying.
The company has issued a formal notice inviting taxi owners to joint its fleet at the airport and will announce fares once the technology is ready.
Around 500 drivers are expected to sign up.
However, the publication cited current airport taxi drivers’ dissatisfaction with the terms offered by Mwasalat, which is asking for 12 per cent of all daily collection.
Despite being regionally expensive, Oman’s airport taxi fares have some way to go to beat the world’s most expensive in Oslo where a 5km ride will cost $32, according to a 2015 UBS report.
Taxis fares in the country have increased by up to 30 per cent this year due to increasing fuel prices, according to local reports.
But the introduction of Mwasalat service is expected to improve regulation in the industry and lead to the installation of meters.
Even if visitors do save on taxi fares when leaving the airport they won’t at immigration where the cost of a tourist visa recently increased from OMR5 ($13) to OMR20 ($52).