Embarking on your trip to the Sultanate of Oman is a unique adventure with almost no end to the possible sights, experiences and activities that await you. Whether you are heading to the sandy splendors of the Rub Al Khali, the tranquil and serene beaches of Masirah island, the culturally rich town of Nizwa or the craggy Dhofar mountain range, there are several tips that will make sure you get the most out of your visit.
To enter the Sultanate of Oman, a passport valid for at least 6 months is required by those holding nationality from Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, USA and Europe. A single or multiple entry tourist visa with a validity of up to 30 days may be obtained for these nationalities. All other nationalities are recommended to contact their relevant embassies to confirm visa and passport requirements.
Single entry 10 day visa 5. OMR
Single entry 30 day visa 20. OMR
Multiple entry visa 50. OMR
The Sultanate of Oman has an extensive public health service that is comparable with many European countries. Health care for Omani nationals is free of charge, whereas foreigners will be required to pay for any services not covered by insurance. Health insurance is essential for anyone visiting Oman. Emergency treatment is always available and ambulance and fire services can be contacted by dialing 999. With high temperatures in Oman during the summer months, it is recommended to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Even though tap water is safe to drink, it is advisable to drink bottled water, available in all locations. While in Oman, it is important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration in the hot climate. You should use high-factor sunscreens and avoid sunbathing between the hours of 1100 and 1500 when the sun is at its hottest. Any medicines that are brought with you will require to be in their original packaging, with original labeling and should be accompanied by the original prescription and medical certificate.
The empire created under the Ya’rubid Dynasty eventually crumbled following a civil war between the two major tribes, the Hinawi and Ghafiri, over the succession of the Imam in the early 18th century, allowing the Persians, under the leadership of Nādir Shāh, to invade Oman in 1737. Their unpopular rule eventually led to a revolt led by Ahmad ibn Said al Said, who ejected the Persians from Oman and was elected Sultan of Muscat, thus establishing the Al bu Said Dynasty that is still in power today. His Grandson, Said ibn Sultan, expanded the Oman Empire to include the island of Bahrain, territories in Hormuz and Iran, and reasserted control over Zanzibar. On his death one of his sons became ruler of Zanzibar, and another ruler of Oman. The abolition of slavery in the mid-19th century by the English had a significant impact on the fortunes of the Al bu Said Dynasty, and entered into a period of decline.
The national currency of Oman is the Omani Riyal (OMR). The Omani Riyal is divided into 1000 Baiza. Omani bank notes come in denominations of 100 Biaza, 200 Baiza, 250 Baiza, 500 Baiza, 1 OMR, 5 OMR, 10 OMR, 20 OMR, 20 OMR and 50 OMR. Coins can be found in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 Biaza. ATMs are available in all major cities throughout the Sultanate, and all major credit cards are accepted here, although American Express is not accepted in all locations. Traveller cheques are best issued in US Dollars, as other currencies will incur an additional exchange rate charge. Traveler cheques can be exchanged in all major towns and cities. All major currencies can be exchanged in all banks, money exchanges and major hotels.
Upon passing through Arrivals at the Airport, visitors may purchase up to 2 litres of alcohol, a reasonable amount of tobacco products, 225 milliliters perfume and a maximum of 8 DVDs for personal use, without incurring a customs duty tax.
Narcotics and obscene materials are strictly forbidden and may lead to imprisonment in certain cases. Banned substances include leaves, flowers, seeds and stems of cannabis; raw or prepared opium; firearms and ammunitions; fireworks and firecrackers; transmitted radio and wireless telegraph devices; pornographic publications, obscene films and literature; all types of blank cheques or receipts; money notes or forged coins; textiles of any form bearing drawings or imitated paper money or bills of exchange of the government of the Sultanate of Oman or any other government; weapons which could be turned into knives or swords; sticks and rifles; drugs and tools which are banned by the International Opium Conference.
Oman’s two main telecommunication companies are Omantel and Ooredoo. You can choose to roam with an international number by registering with either of these two mobile phone operator networks. Alternatively, the easier option is to purchase a prepaid SIM card on arrival at Muscat International Airport. Internet services are available for all mobile phones, with activation procedures varying depending on the operator. The large majority of hotels have wireless internet available, and many coffee shops and restaurants in major cities will also provide this service free of charge.
The Sultanate of Oman has been praised for its ability to stay far removed from the political and social issues experienced in other Arab countries in recent years. Some opinions attribute this to the fact that Oman follows Ibadism, a form of Islam known for its conservative nature and tolerance of other religions and people. Street crime is very uncommon, but it is always advisable to exercise common sense, as would be done in other countries.