Situated on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman is bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the west and the Republic of Yemen in the south. The United Arab Emirates lay to the north-west and to the east lays the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The land area is 309,500 sq. kms.
The natural attributes of the country are unrivalled in the region and while other destinations are building attractions, Oman has had them all along – from mountains and wadis, to lush greenery and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, in monsoon blessed Salalah.
Despite development in the country’s capital, Muscat, the country remains firmly rooted in tradition and culture. A trip to Oman gives the chance to experience the true Arabian way of life and to enjoy the natural beauty of a country that only recently began to attract tourism.
A proud and gentle people, the Omanis are amongst the friendliest and open people in the Gulf region. A source of pride for the Omanis is their rich culture, creative achievements and friendly relations with other countries. Wherever you travel in Oman, you will be touched by the generosity and the dignity which all Omanis display, and the warmth of their welcome for visitors. It is, indeed, hard to be a stranger for long.
Summer is between April and September, when average temperatures are in the mid 40s, with some peaks at around 50 degrees Celsius.
Mild weather is experienced in the mountains and the Dhofar region all year round, which also enjoys a regular monsoon between June and October every year.
The most pleasant months to visit Oman are between October and March, when daytime temperatures are below 30s.
Lightweight summer clothing in cottons or blends is ideal for most of the year. Sweaters, a light jacket or a scarf may be needed in cold evenings. Even though Oman is a very tolerant country, it is advisable to avoid wearing more revealing outfits in public places.
All major credit cards are accepted in main hotels, stores and larger shops, but only cash is accepted in traditional souqs.
Like all the Arab countries, Arab Islamic culture dominates the lifestyle in the Sultanate.
The currency is the Omani Rial (RO), divided into 1000 Baizas. Currency notes are available in denominations of RO 50, 20, 10, 5, 1 and 100, 200, 500 Baizas.
The Omani Rial has a fixed exchange rate which is linked to the US Dollar (1 RO ~ 0.385 USD approx).
The electrical system is based on 220 / 240 AC volts with 3 pin British type plugs.
Oman has a modern network of roads and motorways. Taxis are the best way of getting around though it is essential to agree on the fare beforehand, as most taxis are not metered. Taxi fares from the airport to hotels are regulated and the rates are displayed.
Monarchy with a provisional legislature. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said is Head of State and rules by decree. He is assisted by a cabinet of ministers, Diwan of the Royal Court (the central body of bureaucratic affairs), and the Majlis Ash Shura, a body of representatives elected by the populace.
While tap water is safe for drinking, a variety of locally bottled mineral water is widely available. This is generally offered at restaurants and supermarkets. Most hotels have medical help available and there is a modern infrastructure in terms of private and government medical facilities.
Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken and along with Arabic is the common business language. Most hotel staff speak German and French as well.
Oman has an extensive GSM network. Visitors can avoid roaming charges by purchasing a prepaid SIM card in various outlets.
4.037 million (2014 estimation). Around 2.0 million are Omani nationals. The remaining are expatriates from India, Pakistan, Asia, other Arab countries, Europe and USA.
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar. For the period of the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking during day light hours. As a sign of respect, visitors are also required to refrain from these activities in public between sunrise and sunset.
Islam is the official religion, predominantly the Ibadhi sect, while other faiths are also exercised.
GMT +4 Hours
Visit visas valid for a one month stay may be obtained on arrival by citizens of over 60 countries including European Union, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan…
GCC Nationals do not require a visa.
It is important that your passport is valid for the duration of your stay and have blank pages for the visa stamp.
Ministries and government establishments – 7:30am to 2:30pm (Sat-Wed, week-end is Thursday and Friday).
Private sector companies – 8:00am to 1:00pm; 4:00pm to 7:00pm (Saturday-Wednesday) 8:00am to 1:00pm on Thursdays.
Markets: 8:00am to 1:00pm, 4:00pm to 9:00pm.
Banks: 8:00am to 12 noon.