10 TIPS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING OMAN
- It is advisable to get your visa online at least 20 days prior to your arrival to avoid the waiting at the airport: https://evisa.rop.gov.om/
CASH OR CREDIT CARD?
- Oman currency is the Omani Rial/OMR, which equals 1,000 baisas, which is another smaller currency. One Omani Rial equals 2.60 US dollars. It also equals 2.22 euros, and 1.97 GBP. In Oman, the paper notes are 100 baisas, 500 baisas (which is a 1/2 Rial), 1 Omani Rial, 5 Omani Rials, 10 Omani Rials, 20 Omani Rials and 50 Omani Rials. As for coins, they are 5 baisas, 10 baisas and 50 baisas. Tipping is not customary in Oman, but visitors can do so if they would like to appreciate a good service.
- There are ATMs throughout Oman, including inside airports, gas stations and convenience stores. HSBC is one of the more recognizable providers. Note that HSBC and others have daily withdrawal limits that may be a little lower than you’re used to at home.
- You can exchange major currencies for OMR either before your trip, or when you arrive. You can find currency exchange services at Muscat airport and dotted across most of the major cities and towns.
- Most of the restaurants, hotels and large businesses in Oman accept all major credit cards. One exception to this is taxis, which typically only accept cash. Notify your bank before you travel to ensure you don’t have any trouble using your card in the country.
Want to use Skype or Whatsapp Call to update your love ones back home?
- Skype and WhatsApp call doesn’t work in Oman. Install a VPN before coming to Oman so in case you want to make an international call, you’ll have it ready. We also recommend buying a local sim card (from OMR 3) in case you want to be always connected and use Google Maps to navigate around.
Of course, you need to charge your phone!
- Don’t forget that Oman plugs are a type G 200V to 240 V. Adapters are available at hotels and at different supermarkets around Oman.
Oman is hot all year-round!
- Wearing Sunglasses during day time is a must! Temperatures vary between 25 C (77 Fahrenheit) and 17 C (63 F) in the winter, to 40 C (104 F) and 30 C (86 F) in the summer. Nevertheless, the weather on mountains like Al Hajar Mountains is colder than the surrounding areas during the day, but even more in the night. As a general role, make sure to pack light and colorful clothes to fight the heat and extremely hot sun. Just also be aware that Oman is a Muslim country so ladies, dress modestly!
- Most people speak English, but it would be good to learn some basic greetings because locals like to greet a lot!
- If someone say: “Salam Alaykum!”
- Answer: “Alaykum Salam!”
- How are you is “Keyfalek” if you’re asking a man, “Keyfalesh” if you are asking a woman.
Where and what to eat?
- There are a lot of different types of cuisines at local and international restaurants around Oman. If you want to try an Omani cuisine, try the “Shuwa” at Kargeen Restaurant to also enjoy their nice open-air and majlis style dining. If you’re on budget, you might want to check out any small Arabic restaurants with floor seating and private rooms. One order of “Biryani” or “Maqboos” (rice with meat) is usually good enough for two persons, tasty and local!
- Restaurants and coffee shops serve fresh juices and soft drinks. Alcohol can only be found in international hotels. You can take some from the duty free but don’t drink it at the public places.
- Taxi doesn’t have meters so keep in mind that you will need to bargain the price before taking one. If you’re in Muscat and you want to book taxi beforehand, it’s good to download O-taxi or Marhaba app to your mobile.
Don’t take a drone without having a license since it’s strictly prohibited.
- Photographers will find an enormous choice of subjects here. It is advisable to take photographs of locals only with their permission. Women do not like being photographed so ask their permission first before getting one. It is forbidden to take pictures of military facilities, borders and airports. Observe ‘NO PHOTOGRAPHY’ signs particularly in Mosques.
Oman is a safe country.
- Oman is one of the safest countries around the world. Not only for the great efforts of the police, but also the great and kind hearts of the Omani people. They always care for their country and its visitors and provide them with the warmest welcome even when they are complete strangers. According to the Global Terrorism Index, Oman is one of the few terrorism-free countries in the world.