So, you’ve decided to treat yourself with an exciting trip to Oman? A lot of people asked you: where is this Oman country, anyway? Oman is located on the Arabian Peninsula, bordering with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It overlooks the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.
What’s interesting about this country is that it is one of the few sultans in the world, meaning the country is headed by a sultan, currently named Haitham bin Tariq Al Said. He inherited the throne from his cousin Qaboos bin Said in January 2020, after almost half a century. The world remembers Oman as a very poor country, isolated, with only three schools and one hospital. Having almost no infrastructure, the country started developing fast, from the seventies and onward. Today you will notice many schools and hospitals. Education is free, and through scholarships, youth are encouraged to study abroad. The state gives land to Omani people over the age of 30 to build a house. Healthcare is also free, salaries are not taxable…. The Sultan will accompany you throughout your visit to Oman, both through paintings and photographs in all public places, through painted murals, and of course, it is on every banknote.
Now, what are the most important things you need to do before you visit this incredible country? Keep reading to find out.
1. Obtaining a visa for Oman
For entering Oman, you will need to obtain a visa. Which if you are a frequent traveler, you are probably used to by now. Visas for almost all Arab countries can be obtained online or upon arrival. However, it does depend on which country you come from. After checking whether you can obtain your visa online, oman-evisa.com. The process is quite simple and allows you to get your visa on e-mail in approximately 24 hours. Fees vary from the type of visa you apply for (single or multiple entries).
2. Choose the best time for your visit
The best time to visit Oman is winter, from October to February – temperatures are then 25-30 degrees during the day and fall to 20 at night. It is not recommended to travel to Oman in summer (April to September) as temperatures rise over 40 degrees. The only area worth visiting at that time is Salalah because of the so-called khareef – monsoon season (June-August). Due to heavy rains in that period, everything in the area of Salalah is green, there are a lot of natural pools, waterfalls in their full glory, which is not the case in winter when there is not so much water.
3. Choose your flight
You have a visa, you know when you want to go, now is the time to choose the best options for your flight. When the airline companies from the Arab countries started to develop, they introduced a whole new dimension of comfort and excellent service to the industry. So, if available for your dates, maybe start your journey by flying with some of their companies, you will be more than satisfied. Also, depending on where you’re traveling from, make sure you don’t get dragged through the airports for hours, so do your best to choose those flights with not much transit time.
4. Inform yourself on how to behave in Oman
Oman is a Muslim country. Although conservative, the overall feeling you will get that it is tolerant enough. So, no need to fear, but some of the rules about general behavior should be kept in mind:
- As you expect from seeing in the movies, women in Oman don’t have to cover their hair, but they do have to cover their shoulders and knees.
- Bikini is not recommended for women on public beaches and speedo shorts for men. So, plan your beachwear, since you will be doing a lot of swimming.
- Avoid showing any kind of public display of affection towards your partner during your stay. Keep it behind closed doors.
- Taking photos is rude. Ask for permission if you want to photograph a person or enter private property.
- Do not pollute the environment.
- Respect the peace of the country.
If you plan to travel to rural areas, here are some more rules that should be respected in the villages and nature:
- Protect wildlife and plants
- Don’t pick fruits and vegetables because village life depends on them
- Follow the marked paths when exploring the villages
- Park on marked places
- Do not violate the privacy of locals when exploring their villages
- Do not contaminate water sources
- Do not enter the desert alone!
- For off-road roads use a 4 × 4 car
If you do not follow the rules no one will punish you, but it is considered an insult. Tourists are prone to ignoring the rules by which everyday life of the inhabitant’s flow, but keep in mind that insulting someone is not a way to behave anywhere.
Omani people are very friendly. If you are invited to their home, you will be offered dates, qahwa (coffee with cardamom), and fruit. The coffee is weak, and three cups are drunk which should be shaken after being drunk to show that you are done. The dates are candied. Halva is mostly consumed during the holidays.
5. Buy travel insurance
It’s never a good idea to travel without insurance. You never know what can happen. The costs of diagnosis and treatment abroad can be very high. Finally, if that happens, you don’t have to think about what to do and spend money planned for a vacation. Contact your travel insurance company policy, and purchase the insurance before leaving for your vacation.
If you didn’t know, you’re traveling to one of the safest countries in the world! The crime rate is minimal or non-existent. On the other hand, penalties are very high, for example, you will spend a night in jail for going through the red light in traffic.