Travel to Oman

Oman

Oman, a nation on the Arabian Peninsula, has terrain encompassing desert, riverbed oases and long coastlines on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman. Wahiba Sands is a region of dunes inhabited by Bedouins. The port capital, Muscat, is home to the massive, contemporary Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and the old waterfront Muttrah quarter, with a labyrinthine souk and busy fish market.

Overview

Oman is the choice for those seeking out the modern face of Arabia while also wanting to experience its ancient, authentic soul.  Oman is one of the most open and stable countries in the middle east, which makes it a perfect destination for those who are curious but hesitant to explore this fascinating region.  Oman is an easy place in which to feel instantly comfortable. Blessed with a bustling capital - Muscat - a stunning coastline dotted with beautiful beaches, and an exotic but accessible desert interior, there is plenty to see and do in Oman.

Natural history lovers will want to plan their visit around the turtle nesting time - there are 5 species of sea turtles that are found in Oman, four of which nest there: Green - which are endangered; Loggerhead ; Olive Ridley - the smallest; Hawksbill; Leatherback - the largest and a visitor only in offshore waters.

People

Oman’s official religion is Islam. Omanis have inhabited the territory that is now Oman for thousands of years. In the eighteenth century, an alliance of traders and rulers transformed Oman’s capital Muscat into the leading port of the Persian Gulf. Omani people are ethnically diverse, the Omani citizen population consists of many different ethnic groups. The majority of the population consists of Arabs, with many of these Arabs being Swahili language speakers and returnees from the Swahili Coast, particularly Zanzibar. Additionally, there are ethnic Balochis, Lurs, Lawatis, Swahili and Mehri.

Language

Arabic is the national language of Oman, but most Omanis will speak good to excellent English, particularly in major tourist areas and cities.

History

As early as 2,300 BC Oman was recorded by the Sumerians of Ancient Iraq as being a rich source of copper. In Ancient Times Oman was also a source of frankincense. After about 500 BC Oman was controlled by the Persian Empire based in what is now Iran. Later they were ruled by other Iranian Empires, the Parthians and the Sassanids.

In the 7th century AD the people of Oman adopted Islam. At that time Iranian influence ended. In 1507 the Portuguese arrived in Oman by sea. The Portuguese needed bases to protect their sea lanes to India and in 1515 they captured Muscat. The Portuguese controlled the coast of Oman for nearly 150 years. However in 1650 the Omanis of the interior drove out the Portuguese. Meanwhile in 1646 Oman signed a trade treaty with England. In 1698 Oman captured Mombasa (Kenya) and Zanzibar.

Then in 1737 the Persians invaded Oman. However the Omanis soon rallied. In 1747 the Persians were driven out of Oman. In 1832 the ruler Said the Great moved his capital to Zanzibar. However after his death in 1856 his sons fought over the succession. As a result Zanzibar and Oman became separate countries. Finally in 1913 the interior of Oman split from the coastal region. By the treaty of Seeb in 1920 the Sultan granted the interior autonomy. However in 1959 the Sultan regained control of the interior of Oman.

In 1967 oil was exported from Oman for the first time. Oil wealth transformed Oman from a poor country to a rich one. After 1970 the sultan modernized the country in what became known as the Omani Renaissance. In 1971 Oman joined the Arab league and the United Nations. In the years from 1970 to 2013 life expectancy in Oman greatly increased. In 2003 women in Oman were allowed to vote for the first time.

Today revenue from oil is declining but the government of Oman is trying to diversify the economy. Today Oman is a prosperous and developed country of 3.3 million.

Travel Guide

Currency

The rial is the currency of Oman (OMR). It is divided into 1000 baisa.  OMR 1 = approximately USD 2.50

Weather

October through April are the best months to visit Oman. Outside of these months, the temperatures can climb to 110 degrees F in the desert.

Health Requirements

No shots or medications are required for entry to Oman.

Visa Requirements

A 10 day single entry visa on arrival is OMR 5. This process can take an hour or more.  For those wanting to avoid the wait, visa in advance is available online at https://www.rop.gov.om/visa/english/onlineservices_visaapplication_main.aspx
Entry is denied citizens of Israel carrying Israeli passports. Israeli visa stamps in US passports are accepted.

Tipping & Porterage

Tipping is expected and appreciated. Tipping guidelines will be included in final documents packets.

Credit Cards

Visa and Mastercard are accepted at hotels and major shops and restaurants in Muscat. In markets and local cafes, cash is required.

Electrical Appliances

Sockets are Type G also known as British BS-1363. Adapters will be required for US appliances.
Voltage is 220 - 240, converters will be required for US appliances which typically run on 110 volts.

Water

Bottled drinking water is easily available at most stores. Tap water is generally safe; however, most Omanis drink bottled water and Africa Answers advises our guests to do the same.

Map

A: Alexandria
B: Amboseli National Park
C: Arusha
D: Aswan
E: Bazaruto Island
F: Benguerra Island
G: Botswana
H: Bwindi Impenetrable NP
I: Cairo
J: Cape Town
K: Cape Winelands
L: Central Kalahari Region
M: Chobe National Park
N: Denis Island
O: Desroches Island
P: Drakensburg
Q: Dubai
R: Dubai Beaches
S: Dubai City Center
T: Dubai Desert
U: Dubai Marina
V: Durban
W: Eastern Cape
X: Eastern Cape Safaris
Y: Egypt
Z: Ethiopia
AA: Etosha National Park
AB: Franschhoek
AC: Garden Route
AD: Greater Kruger National Park
AE: Greater Winelands
AF: Hermanus
AG: Hwange National Park
AH: Johannesburg
AI: Kafue National Park
AJ: Kampala
AK: Kariba
AL: Kenya
AM: Kigali
AN: Knysna
AO: Kruger National Park
AP: Kwazulu Natal
AQ: La Digue
AR: Lake Manyara NP
AS: Lake Nakuru
AT: Lewa Wildlife Conservation
AU: Linyanti/Savuti Region
AV: Livingstone
AW: Lower Zambezi National Park
AX: Luxor
AY: Madagascar
AZ: Madikwe Game Reserve
BA: Mahé
BB: Maldives
BC: Mana Pools National Park
BD: Masai Mara
BE: Mauritius
BF: Mombasa
BG: Mozambique
BH: Nairobi
BI: Namibia
BJ: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
BK: North Island
BL: Okavango and Moremi GR
BM: Oman
BN: Oudtshoorn
BO: Plettenberg Bay
BP: Port Elizabeth
BQ: Praslin
BR: Queen Elizabeth National Park
BS: Quirimbas Archipelago
BT: Rwanda
BU: Sabi Sands
BV: Samburu National Park
BW: Selous Game Reserve
BX: Serengeti National Park
BY: Seychelles
BZ: Sharm El Sheik
CA: Sheik Zayed Road
CB: Silhouette Island
CC: Skeleton Coast National Park
CD: Sossusvlei
CE: South Africa
CF: South Luangwa
CG: Stellenbosch
CH: Sun City
CI: Sun City and Surrounds
CJ: Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
CK: Tanzania
CL: Tarangire National Park
CM: Timbavati Region
CN: Uganda
CO: Umhlanga
CP: Victoria Falls
CQ: Vilanculos
CR: Volcanoes National Park
CS: Windhoek
CT: Zambia
CU: Zanzibar and Pemba Island
CV: Zimbabwe

Destinations

Explore the rest of our Oman destinations:

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This Destination

Oman

Related Destinations

Alexandria
Amboseli National Park
Arusha
Aswan
Bazaruto Island
Benguerra Island
Botswana
Bwindi Impenetrable NP
Cairo
Cape Town
Cape Winelands
Central Kalahari Region
Chobe National Park
Denis Island
Desroches Island
Drakensburg
Dubai
Dubai Beaches
Dubai City Center
Dubai Desert
Dubai Marina
Durban
Eastern Cape
Eastern Cape Safaris
Egypt
Ethiopia
Etosha National Park
Franschhoek
Garden Route
Greater Kruger National Park
Greater Winelands
Hermanus
Hwange National Park
Johannesburg
Kafue National Park
Kampala
Kariba
Kenya
Kigali
Knysna
Kruger National Park
Kwazulu Natal
La Digue
Lake Manyara NP
Lake Nakuru
Lewa Wildlife Conservation
Linyanti/Savuti Region
Livingstone
Lower Zambezi National Park
Luxor
Madagascar
Madikwe Game Reserve
Mahé
Maldives
Mana Pools National Park
Masai Mara
Mauritius
Mombasa
Mozambique
Nairobi
Namibia
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
North Island
Okavango and Moremi GR
Oman
Oudtshoorn
Plettenberg Bay
Port Elizabeth
Praslin
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Quirimbas Archipelago
Rwanda
Sabi Sands
Samburu National Park
Selous Game Reserve
Serengeti National Park
Seychelles
Sharm El Sheik
Sheik Zayed Road
Silhouette Island
Skeleton Coast National Park
Sossusvlei
South Africa
South Luangwa
Stellenbosch
Sun City
Sun City and Surrounds
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Tanzania
Tarangire National Park
Timbavati Region
Uganda
Umhlanga
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Vilanculos
Volcanoes National Park
Windhoek
Zambia
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