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Travel Info


Quick Facts
CapitalMuscat
Governmentmonarchy
CurrencyOmani rial (OMR)
Areatotal: 212,460 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 212,460 sq km
Population2,713,462
note: includes 527,078 non-nationals (July 2002 est.)
LanguageArabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
ReligionIbadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu

Oman is a country in the Middle East.

Cities

The main city of Oman is the capital Muscat. However there are several smaller cities.

  • Muscat
  • Falaj al Qabail
  • Ibra
  • Nizwa
  • Salalah
  • Sohar

Understand

Oman has relaxed its Visa rules, visitors of most nationalities can get a Visa on arrival. a single entry Visa for one month costs 6 Rials while a multiple entry Visa (valid for 1 year) costs 10 Rials. If you hold a multiple entry visa you are allowed to stay in Oman for a period of 3 weeks for each visit and there should be a gap of three weeks between visits.

A cellular phone is called a GSM in Oman. There is a craze for cell phones in Oman and you'll find practically everyone having one in their hands.

Omani ladies wear the Burkah the veil covering the face according to the Islamic tradition. It would be wise to ask for permission before photographing the locals especially women.

The Arabic language doesn't have the sound P so you would find locals saying Bark instead of park. This is probably the reason why the Rial is made of Baisa instead of the Paisa though traditionally the Indian currency was transacted here.

History

It is stupid that this website doesn't have a history

Get in

Air

Virtually all international flights arrive at Seeb International Airport in Muscat. The airport code is MCT. There are also a small number of regional international flights to Salalah (airport code SLL).

Sea

Rail

Road

There are some border crossings from the United Arab Emirates into Oman. Roads are excellent and the border crossing is quite easy. Don't forget to bring along some cash as you have to pay to leave the UAE and to enter Oman

Get around

Air

Bus

Car

Driving around Oman in your own (rented) car is quite easy. Main roads are excellent. If you intend to drive in wadis (unsealed valley roads in river beads) a 4x4 is highly recommended, though experienced drivers will usually manage with a normal car quite well. But you can never be sure how the road will be and if it starts raining the wadis will turn into rivers quickly.

Be aware: In heavy rain even main roads get floaded, though usually the floadways only. Every ten years or so there are heavy rainfalls in Oman which causes many roads to be impassable. Wadis will be filled with water and driving will be difficult and only possible with proper 4x4 with high clearance.

Talk

English is often spoken, especially in cities. In rural areas it gets more difficult, but many speak a few words of English

Buy

The currency in Muscat is the Omani rial (OMR). One Rial is made of one thousand Baisa. It trades around 2.6 US dollars to the Omani Rial.

There is an ATM at the airport and plenty of them in Muscat and every main city.

Change

You can change dollars at the counters inside the airport.

ATM's are widely available and you can use major credit card as well as Maestro cards

Eat

The food is mainly Arabic, Lebanese and Indian.

Drink

Bottled drinking (mineral) water is easily available at most stores.

Alcohol is available only in select restaurants and large hotels and is usually very expensive. Non Muslim Travellers are allowed 2 litres of liquor as duty free baggage allowance. Travellers can pickup liquor at the duty free shop at the arrival lounge.

Sleep

Oman has the full spectrum of accommodation - from ultra-luxurious hotels to extremely rustic huts in the desert constructed from date palm leaves. If you're planning to visit and are looking for places to stay, check out the visitors pages at the locally based website Yalla Oman (http://yallaoman.com/travel/hotels/oman4visitors.htm).

Learn

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Work

Working in Oman requires that you hold a residence permit. In common with other Gulf countries, you must be sponsored by an employer to obtain a residence permit. It's not uncommon for people to enter on a tourist visa then look for a job - this is fine. Penalties for the employer are substantial if they are caught employing illegals, although this naturally varies depending on how good their connections are.

Majority of positions are for expats from the sub-continent. Positions for Europeans tend to be restricted to upper management levels or specialised occupations, so don't expect to pick up a position as you pass through unless you are prepared to work for very little!

Stay safe

Oman is a safe country and crimes rarely happen.

Stay healthy

Oman is warm year-round and summers can be extremely hot. Always carry drinking water with you and be wary of de-hydration in high temperatures. If you're not used to the heat it can sneak up on you and cause serious health problems.

Respect


Contact

The country code for Oman is 968.

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