Friday, March 30, 2012

A Safe Taxi Alternative: a family friendly varient

As a woman in Oman whose taken her fair share of taxis and had more than one horror story to tell from the experience, beyond the usual gauging most taxis do for Westerners, I finally found a decent, respectful, knowledgeable driver with a taxi and wanted to share his number with you all. [PLEASE READ THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST TO FIND OUT HIS AVAILABILITY].

942 666 11

He is fluent in English.

He is very respectful, and understands and has experience with cultures beyond his own, at the same time remaining 100% Omani himself.

He grew up in Muscat and is well travelled in Oman so makes a very good guide to alot of the places I have blogged about, such as Nizwa souq and Fort, Jabrin Castle, Al Hamra and Misfah Al Abriyan old villages and Safa House Museum, Bahla Castle, Rustaq Castle & Hot Spring, Nakhl Castle and Hot Spring, Sinaw Souq, Barka Sweet Factory and Bait Na'aman, great beaches in Oman and corniches, wadis in the interior that not much is written about, Old Muscat, and Mutrah, and he's always willing to help tourists get a decent price in the souqs [he'll tell you the Omani prices and help sort things out in Arabic for you.] He charges good rates for being a tour guide, and for alot of places I have found him to be a better guide than a formal tour operator. You'd have to ask HIM if there's more than my list of things for him to show you in this amazing country of ours. You can ask him any question about Omani culture you'd like, as he's open to it, and knows enough. ***And won't think you're hitting on him, or easy if you do;)

He's also done UAE trips, but you'd have to ask him [and book in advance] to see if he can do this by request.

I once had to drive to UAE to get my complicated visa situation sorted out, and some stuff from the Embassies and the Ministries ect. He is great to hire for such things, because he was willing to do all the Arabic speaking for me, and communicates well. He's helped me with jobs that my old company would send the PRO for.

His prices are fair, the same price as some Indian passengers is what he told white Westerner me I should pay.

*He can drive in the rain*a rare feat I have seen in Omanis in general, unless they are from Salalah. And no offense Salalah taxi drivers, but I HAVEN'T met one of you yet that was fluent in English who wasn't 100% CREEEEEEEPY.

He also has a carseat for 1 baby, but one should call in advance 1 hour if they need that option. What other taxi in Oman has had that?

His car is a Toyota Camry, so it has three seats in the back, and 1 in the front. If he has a male passenger (and lads reading this post, you are his preferred clientelle--- and his prices & knowledge should be satisfactory for you) he can take 4 persons or 3 persons plus 1 baby with seat. But if it is an-all-woman crowd he will only take 1-3.


****His taxi is 100% safe for a woman but he prefers if a woman booking his taxi for a certain time calls him in advance an hour or so, as he only has room for a max. of 3 female passengers in the backseat, and he likes to take his wife with him if he is driving a woman/women alone, not couples or families.**** [Maybe his wife is jealous;) or maybe he's just a good Muslim:)]

He's available generally Saturday to Tuesday 2p.m-1a.m and Wednesday 3pm for transportation to Nizwa. (Maybe as far as his village if you asked him). I believe he'll do booked-in-advance-longer drives on the weekend days but you'd have to phone him to know if he was available the night before ect. On Friday evenings he takes commuters from the interior back to Muscat. I think he also does this trek back and forth on Mondays in the same day so if someone wanted to go for a quick day trip to Nizwa or somewhere around there, he's be great to call for a drop-off and pick-up.

So that's my taxi reveiw.

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