The Oasis Town of Buraimi
The oasis town of Buraimi in Oman shares a border with its counterpart Al Ain in the UAE as both belong to the desert oasis complex which is supported by a number of water wells in the area. Although Oman as a country is not as prosperous as UAE, the difference is hardly visible in case of Buraimi and Al Ain and people travel to and fro between the two cities without having to face any diplomatic hurdles.
Legend has it that when borders were being drawn to demarcate Oman from UAE, inhabitants residing in the area were given a choice to choose their Emir as a deciding factor as to which side of the border they would like to be in. Hence, the two towns on either side of the border were created and even though they politically belong to different nations, the people still mingle with each other like before. Tourists follow the same split but for different reasons- they arrange their hotel in Buraimi since the hotels are cheaper.
The best way to get to Buraimi is to drive from Al Ain and it is at a destination named Hilli, 8 kilometres away from the traditional border, where you can get your visa. Within Buraimi, it is the local orange and white Omani taxis which are the best option for getting around the town and accept Omani Riyals or UAE Dirhams as payment.
Al Buraimi, meaning palm groves, has been an oasis in an otherwise arid desert since time immemorial and it was only as recent as 1972 that a political border was drawn thus dividing the oasis into two distinct identities, Buraimi and Al Ain. Since the town has been under the reign of different monarchs before it officially became the capital of the Al Buraymi governate.
The overall impression of the town is that of being less affluent as compared to its UAE counterpart and infrastructure is characterized by unnamed streets and absence of footpaths. However, it is still considered as a shopping destination since most of the shops here accept UAE currency.