Enjoy Oman tours and holidays - Learn more about Sultanate of Oman, its culture and lifestyle, language, climate, and religion.

Local time: The Sultanate of Oman is +4 hours ahead of GMT in the winter.
Currency: The local currency in The Sultanate of Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). The Omani Rial is linked to the USD at the rate of OMR 1.000 = USD 2.65
Area-land: 309,500 sq KM
Land Boundaries: 1,374 KM
Coastline: 1,700 KM
Population: 2.9 millions
Currency: The unit of currency is the Omani Rial (OMR) comprising 1000
Baizas
Climate: Dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong
Southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south.
Terrain: Central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south
Highest point: Jabal Shams over 3,000 m
Administrative 11 Governorates – Muscat, Dhofar and MussandamAl Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Al Sharqiyah
And Al Dhahirah.
Capital: Muscat
National Day: Birthday of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, 18th November.
Customs and traditions: While in Oman, please respect local customs. Please dress modestly and comfortably.
Etiquette: You can shake hands in greeting in Oman.
Ramadan: The Holy month of Ramadan, a month of fasting is observed.
Non Muslims should respect this by not eating, drinking or smoking in public.
Leisure activities:  
Shopping: A shopper’s paradise. Oman offers modern day designer shopping as well as traditional ‘souq’ experience. Shopping malls are open 9 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 10 pm (Except Lulu and Carrefour open daily between 0900 hrs to 0000 hrs).
Adventure: The coastline, the deserts, mountains etc. make Oman the Perfect place for water sports like diving, sailing, fishing, wind Surfing, Water skiing apart from Dolphin watching and Whale watching. On land you can indulge in camel racing, trekking, rock climbing, cave exploration, Wadi bashing, bird watching and dune bashing in the Wahiba sands.
Important telephone numbers: Emergency number 999
Royal Oman police 24 560 099
Royal Hospital 24 599 525
Khoula Hospital 24 563 625
Al Nahda Hospital 24 837 800
Photography: Tourist photography is allowed but it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women or near military installations. It is always courteous to ask permission before taking pictures.

CREDIT CARDS

International credit cards are widely accepted at Shops, Malls, Restaurants and Hotels. Widely accepted credit cards are American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard. However smaller shops may not accept credit cards and it is recommended to carry cash. Some retailers also offer better bargains for cash. Money exchange centers are widely available in all the Cities.

ALCOHOL
Care must be taken not to cause offence through the use or abuse of alcohol. In particular, alcohol should not be consumed in public places apart from licensed premises, such as hotels & restaurants. It is illegal to carry liquor in your car. In addition, the police take a serious view of traffic offences in which alcohol is involved and heavy fines may be imposed.

DRESS
Oman is a Moslem country and it is important that, as guests of the country, everyone should respect the local customs. Women and teenage girls should not wear strappy sundresses, miniskirts, shorts or low necked dresses in public places (e.g. offices, markets, town and shopping areas). The most suitable wear in public is shoulders covered and below knee length skirts with a top that is appropriately long (below the hip) is also acceptable. Men should wear short or long sleeved shirts and long trousers. Shorts or beach wear should not be worn except at the beach or pool area.

TRANSPORT

A car can be hired from any of numerous car-rental companies operating in the airport as well as in the city and with such a competitive market. You need to provide original passport and a valid international driving license or GCC driving license. Compared to Europe and the United States, taxis are very cheap in The Sultanate of Oman. Taxis are also plentiful and you won’t usually have to wait more than a few minuets before one comes along. An average 10km journey will set you back around OMR 2 (around $ 5). The bus service in The Sultanate of Oman is limited.

LANGUAGE

The official language of the Oman is Arabic. Other languages spoken are English, Baluchi, Urdu and Indian dialects.

RELIGION

The official religion of The Sultanate of Oman is Islam. But other faiths are accepted and freedom of worship is privately given.

CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE

The Omani culture is firmly rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia. Courtesy and hospitality are among the most prized virtues and the visitor is sure to be charmed by the genuine warmth and friendliness of the people.

Foreigners are free to practice their own religion, alcohol is served in hotels and provided reasonable discretion is shown, the dress code is liberal. Women face no discrimination and may drive and move around unescorted. Local citizens dress in ‘disdashsa’ (Robe) with a Furakhaand’Muzzar’ or ‘Kumma’ (head dress). Arab culture and folklore find expression in poetry, dancing songs and traditional art.

Weddings and other celebrations are colorful occasions of feasting and music. Traditional sports such as bull fighting, camel racing and dhow racing continue to thrive.

CLIMATE

Moderate climate is found between October and March when days are sunny and pleasant (Average Temperature – 26C). Nights are Cool (average temperature is 15C) summer is between April and September, when temperatures peak at 50 with high humidity levels in the desert.

INTERNET

Muscat has many internet café’s and most hotels will offer this service in either their business centre or Internet to the room as well as wireless connection.

WATER

Contrary to general belief the drinking water in The Sultanate of Oman is fit to drink and this can be said for all major hotels here in The Sultanate of Oman, although a wide range of bottled water is available in most shops and super markets.

VISA

1) Please note that the nationals of the following countries can obtain visa on arrival for a nominal fee of Omani Rial Six (Appx. USD 16) European Countries – Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Portugal, Switzerland, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Latvia, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, Austria, France, Croatia, Hungary, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Slovak, Czech Republic, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldavia, Monaco, San Marino, Cyprus, Malta, Vatican City. South American Countries – Venezuela, Uruguay, Ecuador, French Guyana, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Surinam, Paraguay, Chile, Columbia and Peru. Other Countries – USA, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, Taiwan, Brunei, Seychelles, Hong Kong, Dar al Salaam, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

2) Indian nationalities will require visas prior to arrival, which can be processed through AOT Oman. Also The Royal Oman Police website can be browsed for further information www.rop.gov.om.

POST OFFICES

1. Al Harthy Complex- open 0730-1430 hrs and 1900-2100 hrs.

2. Hamriya- Open from 0800 hrs – 1400 hrs and 1600 hrs to 2000 hrs. Thursday 0800-1100 hrs.

3. Muscat- Open from 0730 hrs-1430 hrs. Thursday 0800 hrs – 1100 hrs.

4. Ruwi- Open from 0730 hrs-1430 hrs. Thursday 0800 hrs – 1100 hrs.

DIRECTORY

1. Local – 1318.

2. International operator- 1319.

3. Talking Pages- 24600100.

 

BOOKSHOPS

 1. Borders- City Centre- Seeb.

2. Family Book shop- Qurum.

3. Turtles- Madinat as Sultan Qaboos.

MUSEUMS

1. Bait Al Baranda.

2. Bait Al Zubair

3. Bait Al Adam.

4. National Museum.

5. Oil and Gas Museum.

6. Natural History Museum.

7. Sultans Armed Force Museum.

 

BANKS

1. Ahli Bank 24 577000

2. BankMuscat 24 768888

3. Bank Sohar 24 730000

4. Central Bank of Oman 24 702222

5. HSBC 80 074722

6. National Bank of Oman 24 778000

7. Oman Arab Bank 24 706265

MONEY EXCHANGE

1. Oman & UAE Exchange- Ruwi- 24750830.

2. Mustafa Sultan Exchange- Ruwi- 24706519.