OMAN

Kahwa is tea-licious.

WATCH VIDEO: Best Things To Do In Muscat, Oman

Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world, with a history dating back over 100,000 years.

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It’s a punishable offense under Omani law to drink alcohol in public, be drunk in a public area, or to drive under the influence.

Oman has only one time zone (GMT + 4 hours) for the entire country called Gulf Standard Time. It’s eight hours ahead of New York, and three hours ahead of London.

Oman has five main airports, although its services keep changing frequently so it’s advisable to verify all information before planning your trips.

  • Muscat International Airport
  • Salalah International Airport
  • Duqm International Airport
  • Suhar International Airport
  • Khasab Airport

Taxis, on the other hand, are generally inexpensive and a very common way to get around the city. You can download Mwasalat taxi app as well as Otaxi taxi app. Other Muscat taxis are orange and white and do not have meters. Uber and Kareem, on the other hand, are not available in Oman.

There is very little public transport in Oman, although buses will get you between the main towns and cities. In Muscat, the local bus service is the Mwasalat, offering buses that depart every 15 or 30 minutes depending on the route.

However, it is recommendable to sing up for a tour, hire a guide-driver or your own car in order to really see the country.

You can download Mwasalat taxi app as well as Otaxi taxi app. Uber and Kareem are not available in Oman.

Oman is a safe country overall and Omani people have a lot of respect for one another, females included. Men and women keep their distance in public, which means it is easy to not worry about pickpockets or being hassled by men. However, going out alone at night to explore the city is not recommendable and it is much preferable to take someone else along.

Although Oman is a tolerant country, following the local culture is respectful towards the locals and also avoids unwanted attention, so wearing loose-fitting clothes that covers shoulders, arms and pit is advisable. Also, make sure to wear a headscarf when visiting mosques.

The desert peninsula of Oman is characterized by very high temperatures, especially during the hot summer season, which runs from June to September. The winter period runs from November to February, and the average degrees range from 20ºC to 25ºC.

The best months to visit Oman are from October to April when the temperatures are warm (17ºC to 35ºC) yet not too hot.

However, Salalah, on the south coast, enjoys a very different climate called the khareef, which consists of much more moderate temperatures thanks to the sea proximity.

The official language in Oman is Arabic, however, English is also widely used and understood, especially in urban areas. Some basic Arabic vocabularies are:

Hello:  مرحبا (Marhaba)

Bye: وداعا (Wadaeaan)

Please: من فضلك (Min Fadlak)

Thank you: شكرا (Shukran

Yes: نعم (Naam)

No:  لا (La)

I am sorry: آسف (Aasif)

How much is this?: كم سعر هذا؟ (Kam Sa’ar Hada?)

Where is the bathroom?: أين الحمام؟ (Ayna Al-Hammaam?)

  • Take your shoes off when entering a Omani home.
  • If you are invited to a home, it is a good idea to bring a small gift for the host.
  • The formal greetings are very important. The equivalent “Hello” in Oman is “Salaam Alaikum” (peace be upon you), and the reply to this is “Alaikum As Salaam” (and on you, too, peace).
  • Omani people are always modestly dressed so, in order to respect their culture, you should dress conservatively, especially if visiting religious sites or participating in religious ceremonies. Women and men should avoid shorts or sleeveless shirts, covering shoulders and knees in public.
  • Shaking hands is acceptable for business meetings but be sure to move hour hand from the lower to the upper position as it is considered a sign of trust among Omanis.
  • When greeting women, the best way to start is to give a slight nod and smile, wait for her to extend her hand first.
  • It is considered impolite to eat with your left hand, be sure to use the right hand.
  • When you are at the table, wait for the waiters to come and collect your dishes. Don’t stack them up.
  • During Ramadan, it is illegal to eat or drink from dawn to sunset in public spaces around Oman. However, there are places screened from public view which are available for non-Muslims to eat and drink, mostly hotels. Before traveling to Oman, check when Ramadan is expected to begin, as the date vary each year.

The currency in Oman is the Rial Omani. 1 OMR quates to 2.60 USD.

There is not a concrete tipping etiquette in Oman, but it is considered a gesture of appreciation. For example, in restaurants it is appreciated to tip about 10%. A driver might expect US$10-US$15 per day, while tour guides in Oman use to be tipped about US$20-US$30 per day.

Power sockets in Oman are Type G: the rectangular, 3-pin socket that you would find in the UQ. The country also operates between a 220V-240 AC volts.

Qatar plug

Tap water in Oman is considered safe to drink and tested to international standards, however, usually residents and travelers prefer to drink bottled or filtered water due to taste preferences.

Internet access is good in Oman, and you will be able to find Wi-Fi in places such as hotels, cafes, restaurants, and shopping centers. Also, the country provides an extensive Wi-Fi map where you can find the nearest hotspots to your location.

Citizens from the U.S. and other countries are eligible to obtain the Oman eVisa to travel to Oman for tourism purposes. Applicants need to be from an eligible nationality (check here to see them) and a minimum validity of 6 months in the passport used for the visa application, among other conditions. It is recommended to check the latest entry requirements before making travel arrangements.

Unfortunately, LGBTQIA+ community is not protected in Oman, so it is highly advisable to avoid any show of affection in public between homosexual couples. Same-sexual activity is prohibited under the Penal Code, criminalizing both men and women under a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment. The gender expression of trans people is also criminalized under a “cross dressing” law.

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