Hurray! I finally got my driving license!

Oman's Driving License

Oman’s Driving License

Hurray! I finally got my driving license!

But first, let me apologize from not making any posts lately because I was so occupied to get my driving license last March. Well, I’m still overjoyed and can’t believe that, finally, I can drive legally in Oman. Yepey!

My smile reached from ear to ear after hearing the line “ok, you passed!” from the Police officer whom I took the road test with in the early morning of March 19th .

You see, a rookie driver like me who practically had zero knowledge on road driving and traffic rules and had a terrible frantic emotions over big trucks on highways, getting a driver’s license at early thirties was an ultimate achievement!

Since young, it was my dream to have my own car and drive the highway with all the confidence and enthusiasm while traveling to nice places in my home country.  But, because during those years, my income could not sustain for the car mortgage and having a car in Philippines was considered a luxury. So, I just simply set aside that dream behind my mind.

Not until I came to Oman in 2008 and found out that having a car here was actually a necessity especially if you have your family and little children. So I pursued that dream. It was a long and challenging journey for me, actually.

My husband and son came to Oman on the later part of 2009. It was also the time that I decided to start my driving lesson. I took my “blue book” at the Royal Oman Police in Rustaq before taking proper driving training.  I don’t know why it is called a “blue book” when in fact that pamphlet-size-softbound-book came in navy green color.  Anyway, I underwent eye test to know if I still have the correct eyesight that was crucial for driving. I paid 5 Omani Rials that’s roughly $13 USD for the little book.

I searched for a lady trainer and I found “Nadya”. All driving teachers in Oman are Omanis, so I really wanted to have lady trainers because I would feel more comfortable with them. Nadya was a nice lady in her early forties. She’s fluent in English Langauge. She had also handled Filipina drivers before. She charged 5 Omani Rials per hour for the training while the actual test fee depends on the result: once I failed have to pay 20 OMR or if I passed, then it’s 25 OMR. However, I only have one month driving lesson with her because after I failed on the first drum and slope test, I realized it’s difficult for my situation considering I traveled forty minutes back and forth from home in Muladdah to my training site in Rustaq after my office hours everyday. It’s was totally inconvenient for me.

Then, years have passed.

When we relocated to Muscat, the capital of Oman, in 2013, again I felt the necessity to drive independently because in the city everything that you need were there and every places that you wanted to visit were just within your reach – hospitals, supermarkets, recreation centers, schools, amusement parks, and beaches!  There were times that I wanted to go to a thrift shop in Ruwi, the old and busiest district in Muscat, or simply checked the newly opened stores in Muscat Grand Mall but I need to ask my husband to take me there. I said to myself that “only if I knew how to drive, I have the independence and I can be my husband’s reliever when we were traveling to our workplace.

It truly sounded practical and very encouraging so I continued my plan and renewed my blue book.

Driving with my first time passenger and best friend Frances

Driving with my first time passenger and best friend Frances

It was on the middle week of August 2013 that I passed the Drum and Slope Test, after two takes, with my trainer Mr. Maheer.

This time, I have a male teacher because in the city, most of the male driving teachers were more fluent in English Language than females. I paid 6 OMR per hour training while for the test: 35 OMR for passed and 30 OMR for failed. But my driving teacher suddenly refused to teach me because he couldn’t accommodate my schedule. He have so many students to handle. So he returned my blue book.  Then, I became frustrated for the next four months. I was really hoping to get the driver’s license before 2013 ended.

A good friend of mine and colleague Tamila passed the road test on January of this year. She gave to me the contact number of her teacher Mr. Mohammed.

Since my blue book already expired, I have it renewed again for the third time. Mr. Mohammed worked full time at the Military and a part time driving teacher on weekends. I went for driving lesson with him every early morning of Saturdays for three or two hours. But his fee was bit higher because per hour driving session was 7 OMR and for the test were 35 OMR for failed and 55 OMR for passed.

I began my road tests on February 2914 but I was never lucky. Taking a road test in Qurum was very challenging considering the heavy traffic during rush hours and sometimes the crazy drivers that you encountered on the road. I felt the need for my teacher to explain to me clearly the traffic rules and the tips for safe driving. But since Mr. Mohammed is just a new teacher and had the difficulty with his English communication, he just referred me to his wife Salma, who is also driving teacher for twenty-four years!

Indeed, Salma was my angel! She’s a woman of courage and wisdom. She’s like a vacuum that extract all of my energy just to let me learn the proper way of driving. Each time I have lesson with her, she always gave me so much inspiration. It’s like keeping me empowered!

March 19 was my day. A very good day indeed!

I have never expected to pass the road test after the police let me drive around and through the major roads in Qurum area for 15 minutes.

Before the police came, I was praying intimately inside the car and was singing Praise and Worship songs. Then, I felt very light and my mind was very clear. I also felt the sudden rush of energy running through my veins.

When I was driving, I was really comfortable and everything went smooth from getting out of the car park, cruising into the small and big roundabouts, and lastly, parking the car back to where I started.

Just when I changed the gear to P or Park and pulled the hand break up, the police announced the words I’m longing to hear for months- “ok , you’ve passed”. Truly the happiest moment of my life!

My BFF told me I'm now confident on the road and a trusted driver. yay! happy for me!

My BFF told me I’m now confident on the road and a trusted driver. yay! happy for me!

Four days later, I went to Royal Oman Police Office to get my driving license. And it’s indicated on the card that my driving license is valid for 10 years! Whew! That will take me a decade to renew and it’s worth every penny that I have invested.

So now, I am quite learning the roads and studying the behavior of Muscat drivers. I’m enjoying the trip from home to work and back – that will take me one and half hour drive.

Hope you learn something from this story of mine. And if you are in Muscat, I encourage you to learn driving, because it is not only the confidence that you get but the satisfaction and independence of traveling all alone around the city.

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23 thoughts on “Hurray! I finally got my driving license!

  1. Pingback: Thank you Cake for my Driving Teachers | Blissful Eats

  2. itjcs

    Congratulation my dear! wow what an adventure story 🙂 and so pricey 🙂 I’m so proud of you and got inspired, hopefully soon, I’ll have one. Take care always.

  3. Ditz A. Samson

    Riah, I just read your driving lesson experience. I am now inspired to take lessons too. Will you strongly recommend your instructor, Salma? What is her contact details? Did you only take the road test 1 time and passed?

    1. riah_e Post author

      Hi Ditz!

      Yes you should aim for that driving license before the end of this year.. I tell you.. you will it think it will be hard at first but eventually you’ll get use to the road and highway. Yes, I highly recommend my trainers – Salma and her husband Mohammed – both are wonderful teachers. I passed the road test on the 4th take.

      1. Lheslie

        Hi Riah, just read ur story and it was trully inspirational. I’m currently looking for a lady driving instructor if its possible to have the contact no.of Salma? Thank u in advance.

        1. riah_e Post author

          Hi Lheslie…thank you.

          Yes i really encourage you to drive here in Oman.. although the process of getting a license is tedious and really challenging..but it is all worth.

          btw, here’s salma’s number 9937 8383… she will teach only those who are near the al khuwair and qurum area.

          Good luck to you!

          1. Anonymous

            Hi how are you? Im looking also an instructor from al khuwair, but not for the ladys do have any idea?

          2. riah_e Post author

            hi there! sorry but i don’t have any idea as of now of those instructor in al khuwair. if you like I can give to you my instructor’s number and you can contact him. 🙂

  4. debbie sue

    Hi Riah,
    Great driving lesson story and experience.
    I am new here in Rustaq hosp and omly a month here in the place.
    Can i have the numbers of your tutor from Rustaq.?
    Thank you so much sis.

    1. riah_e Post author

      Hi Debbie!

      Sorry, but I dont have the number of Trainer Nadia anymore. But I can ask from my colleague who is currently learning with a driving teacher who is also a good English speaker.

      I’ll send the teacher’s contact number later.

      Thank you for asking. Have a nice day!

  5. Anonymous

    Nice to hear your story…. I passed my drum slope test today after 2 tries….Now I will take road classes. Your story gives me a lot of confidence. I will also appear for test in Qurram. I wish and i hope i will feel the same soon….:)

    1. riah_e Post author

      yeah just continue and don’t stop.. you will pass the road test in no time.. just show to the police that you have the eagerness to get the license bu taking the test successively..
      good luck to you.

    1. riah_e Post author

      Hi dear! you have to be careful with the roundabouts esp near the PDO area because that’s where the traffic really get tough during rush hour. I don’t have the route map because you can never know where will the police take you during the test. But i advise you to study and get familiar with all the roads in Qurum so that you”ll get confident during the test. Your teacher can also guide you and give techniques. Because honestly, real road driving (driving on your own) is totally different. You must have the confidence because your teacher is not there anymore to step the “break”.. good luck!

  6. Pingback: A cake for her driving teacher | Blissful Eats

  7. Nader Nassef

    Hi Riah,

    Well, I have read your encouraging story. I am in the phase of taking the license in Oman. Kindly, can I have the number of Mohammed’s your instructor and if you do recommend him or not.

    Thanks,
    Nader

  8. Muzz

    Thanks for your blog sister…
    It’s really encouraging me
    My big dream is to get Driving License in Oman, it’s been One year now with 4 times Drum Test Failed and 4 times Road Test Failed, still I am trying,
    I am an Indian and my wife is Filipina, She is my best adviser, Until now I have wasted more than 700 OMR, I feel always that I need to give up but my wife is the one who’s giving me always courage that “Never give up, If you are right and straight always fight for your right until success will kiss your feet””
    Alhamdulillah, Because of her still I am trying the Road Test, And I hope In sha Allah one day I will get my Driving License.
    🙂

    1. riah_e Post author

      Hi Muzz… yes! your wife right! NEVER GIVE UP!.. you must finish what you have started.. i tell you it’s totally fulfilling once you get the driver’s license.. Good luck to you.. and I hope you passed the road test by now..

      Take care.. and regards to your wife..

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