Oman Travel - all you need to know before you go
Where is Oman?
A tourist visa is required for all nationalities except for citizens of Gulf countries. Obtaining the visa is easy for most countries and can be requested upon arrival or online through the Royal Oman Police http://www.rop.gov.om/english/index.html
Visa regulations change frequently so check the website for updates. A month-long visa costs 20 OMR (52USD).
Weather, Season and Best Time to Visit
The weather is warm to very hot all year round. Before you decide on when to go you need to decide for yourself: What temperatures can I handle?
From May to September the temperatures get very high. Especially June, July and August temperature will rise to 100°F (40°C) during the day and not drop under 90°F (32°C) at night time. Humidity will reach up to 95%. From October to April the temperatures and humidity are bearable; the climate is comparable to a European summer. The best time to travel through the country is between November and February. The temperatures are between 20 and 30°C, the air is dry and clear, with only rare rainfall. So, if your time allows try to avoid the high summer season and consider the months November – February for your vacation to Oman.
Money / Cards
Omani Rial = OMR. 1 OMR - USD 2.50
1 OMR - EUR 2. 22
1 OMR - CHF 2.50
Credit Cards Visa and Mastercards are most commonly accepted throughout the country. American Express and Diners Club are often accepted as well.
Very often the tip will already be included in your bill. If the tip has not yet been included a tip of 10% is customary. It is not the custom to tip taxi and bus drivers, however you may tip your tour guide.
Crime Although Oman is not as rich as Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, it is not a poor country either. Any foreign workers convicted of a crime are immediately deported. Thefts and other crimes are extremely rare. Nevertheless, do not tempt anyone by a extravagant show of wealth. Electricity The electricity grid is fed with alternating current of 220/240 Volts, 50 Hz. The sockets are three pin (same as Great Britain)
Dress Code – What to Pack
Besides your regular vacation travel equipment make sure to pack proper clothing. Oman is an Islamic country which means people's bodies are covered! Even though it gets hot it is favored to wear pants or long skirts for women and T – shirts that cover your shoulders. No tank tops in public areas as well as no V – Neck Shirts. Also for women: make sure to bring a scarf to cover your hair when visiting mosques. For both men and women, if you have visible tattoos, bring something to cover them as you will not be allowed into mosques if they are visible. Around the hotels and beach areas it is okay to dress how you like, but always be aware of your surroundings!
Kind of odd for Westerners - The Toilets
In Oman there are two types of toilets: the Western-type WC and the Arabic squat toilets. Very often you will find a choice of both. In nice touristic places both will provide toilet paper, as well as a water hose. If you find yourself in a toilet and there is no toilet paper available; there will be a water hose or a water bucket.
--> In many Asian countries cleaning oneself after using the toilet is done with water and the left hand – (if you are not happy with this it is always best to carry a toilet paper roll).
This is also the reason why the left hand should never be used for eating or greeting, as it is is regarded as unclean.
Avoid shouting and displays of aggression or drunkenness at all times, as such behavior is rarely tolerated.
During Ramadan, don’t eat, drink or smoke anywhere where you can be seen by Muslims during the hours of daylight and don’t engage in any noisy behavior or embrace or kiss anyone in public.
Don't enter a mosque before asking for permission first
Don't walk on a prayer mat or in front of any person at prayer. Do not stare at people praying
Cuisine The country’s culinary traditions offer an interesting blend of Arabian and Indian influences. Lamb and chicken are the most usual meats cooked and are offered in many different forms. Omani cuisine is less spicy than other Arabic dishes, but they still use a lot of herbs and marinades to add delicious flavors to their meals! In Muscat, you can expect to see some familiar chains such as KFC, but don’t feel afraid to try something new!
Discover the exotic capital of and it's stunning sights such as Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Royal Opera House, the Muttrah Souk and Al Alam Palace
Find out more: Day Passes to beach front Hotels in Muscat