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Oman

OMAN TRAVEL GUIDE

Omanis are proud of both their country's rapid progress and their heritage as one of the great sea-faring nations. Excellent schools and hospitals, good governance, and on-going infrastructure improvement are all important characteristics of this once introverted and closed nation.

 

Oman is one of the most attractive tourist destinations of the Middle East awaiting discovery. Don’t wait for the hordes to descend; take a trip to the land of spectacular mountains and beautiful beaches that stretch forever. While coconuts grow in the southern coastal areas, roses and grapes are grown in the highlands around Jebel Akhdar.

 

The country has a historical past and an old-world charm, unlike other Gulf countries where prosperity is only recently acquired. Muscat, the capital city, is the business hub but has preserved its 16th-century monuments with care. The vacation capital, Salalah, has miles and miles of unblemished coastline full of beautiful beaches that stretch forever.

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  • Capital: Muscat
  • Government: Monarchy (sultanate)
  • Currency: Omani Rial (OMR)
  • Area: 309,500 km²
  • Population: 4,829 million (2018)
  • Language: Arabic (official), Swahili, English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
  • Religion:Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu
  • Electricity: 240V, 50Hz (US & UK plugs)
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BEST TIME TO VISIT OMAN

Oman has two main seasons: a hot and dry season, and a cooler and more humid season.

  • The hot and dry season lasts from May to September and is characterized by high temperatures and low humidity. The temperature can reach over 40°C (104°F) during this time and there is very little rainfall.
  • The cooler and more humid season lasts from October to April. Temperatures are more pleasant during this time and the humidity is higher. There is also a greater chance of rainfall during this season, although it is still fairly dry compared to other countries. This is generally considered the best time to visit Oman as the weather is more comfortable.

 

The best time to visit depends on what you want to do and what you can tolerate in terms of heat and humidity. The cooler months from October to April are generally the best time to visit, as temperatures are more pleasant and it is less humid. This is also the time when many outdoor events and festivals take place. The summer months from May to September are very hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching over 40°C (104°F). If you don't mind the heat, this can be a good time to visit as there are fewer tourists and prices may be lower.

Best Time To Go

OMAN WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Oman has a subtropical, dry climate with summer monsoons and hot, dusty winds. During the summer months of June and July, temperatures reach 48°C during day, and average about 32°C at night. Winter seasons are cooler with occasional rainfall, and spring and autumn are warm and mostly dry with maximum temperatures between 25°C and 35°C.

Oman

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

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BEST TIME FOR

SNOW SPORT IN OMAN

HIKING & CYCLING IN OMAN

With new hiking trails marked out each season, the trekking season in Oman begins in September and typically ends in May when the summer heat sets in. The best time for hiking is from October to April when you can experience a bit of the winter chill when reaching the mountaintop.

BEACH OPTIONS IN OMAN

The beaches of Oman are beautiful and you can even see turtle-hatching between April and August every year. From June to September it is extremely hot and dry so you will most likely prefer to be inland at a higher altitude!

SURFING IN OMAN

Oman has pretty decent surf from June to January. Some of the best surf spots are: The Sharqiya Region, The East Coast, Asilah Town, Al Ashkharah, Bandar Al Saqlah and Masirah.

KITESURF IN OMAN

From April to September (especially April & May) the island of Al Masirah in the Southeastern coast of Oman becomes a kind of wind Mecca for kiteboarders and windsurfers, taking advantage of the strong winds of the Indian monsoon here.

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN OMAN

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance. For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

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Travel Safety

HEALTH RISKS IN OMAN

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Oman

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

OMAN TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Oman will depend on a variety of factors, such as your point of origin, mode of transportation, length of stay, and the type of accommodations and activities you choose. Here are some rough estimates to give you an idea:

  • Flights: Round-trip flights to Oman can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or more, depending on your point of origin and the time of year you are traveling.
  • Accommodations: Prices for accommodations in Oman can vary widely, from budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels to luxurious resorts. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $200 or more per night for a place to stay.
  • Food: Eating out in Oman can be inexpensive or expensive, depending on where you go. You can find basic meals at local restaurants for $5 to $10 per person, or you can splurge on a more upscale dining experience for $50 or more per person.
  • Activities: Prices for activities and attractions in Oman will vary, but you can expect to pay around $10 to $30 for a guided tour or cultural activity, and $50 or more for a more extreme or specialized adventure.

Overall, you can expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars per person for a week-long trip to Oman, not including the cost of flights. If you want to travel in luxury or indulge in more expensive activities, your costs will be higher.

Cost & Spending

OMAN TRAVEL TIPS

Here are a few travel tips to help you plan your trip to Oman:

  1. Pack for the climate: Oman has a hot desert climate, so be sure to pack light, cool clothing and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. You may also want to bring some warmer layers for the evenings, as temperatures can drop significantly.
  2. Respect local customs and traditions: Oman is a conservative Muslim country, so be sure to dress modestly and avoid displaying affection in public. It is also important to respect local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes before entering someone's home.
  3. Stay hydrated: It is important to stay hydrated in Oman's hot and dry climate, so be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid spending too much time in the sun.
  4. Be prepared for long drives: Oman is a large country with long distances between cities and attractions, so be prepared for long drives if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing.
  5. Use a reputable tour company: If you want to visit some of Oman's more remote or challenging destinations, such as the desert or mountains, it is a good idea to use a reputable tour company that can provide the necessary transportation and support.
  6. Get travel insurance: It is a good idea to get travel insurance for your trip to Oman, in case of any unexpected delays, cancellations, or medical emergencies.

I hope these tips are helpful! Enjoy your trip to Oman.

Travel Tips

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF OMAN

Qaboos Palace, the Royal Opera, and the Muttrah Souk, a traditional market.

  1. Salalah: Located in the south of Oman, Salalah is known for its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and the Khareef season, when the region is blanketed in mist. Highlights include the Al-Balid Archaeological Park, the Mughsail Beach, and the tomb of the Prophet Job.
  2. The Sharqiyah region: Located in the east of Oman, the Sharqiyah region is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, dunes, and wadis (dry riverbeds). Highlights include the Wadi Bani Khalid, the Wahiba Sands, and the Bimmah Sinkhole.
  3. The Dhofar region: Located in the south of Oman, the Dhofar region is known for its beautiful coast and mountains, as well as its frankincense trees. Highlights include the Salalah Museum, the Al-Hajjarah Castle, and the Qara Mountains.
  4. The Al Hajar Mountains: Located in the north of Oman, the Al Hajar Mountains are a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers. Highlights include the Jebel Shams, the highest peak in Oman, and the Misfat Al Abriyyin village, known for its traditional houses.
Highlights
What To See & Do
Travel Map

Oman is a diverse country with a range of attractions and activities to suit all interests. Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Oman:

  1. Visit the capital city of Muscat: Muscat is a modern and vibrant city with a mix of old and new. Highlights include the Grand Mosque, the Sultan Qaboos Palace, the Royal Opera, and the Muttrah Souk, a traditional market.
  2. Explore the wadis: Wadis are dry riverbeds that fill with water during the rainy season, creating beautiful oases in the desert. Some of the best wadis to visit include Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Shab, and Wadi Tiwi.
  3. Visit the Omani coast: Oman has a long coastline with beautiful beaches, including the Mughsail Beach in Salalah and the Sur Beach in the Sharqiyah region.
  4. Go on a desert safari: Oman has a number of companies that offer guided desert safaris, where you can explore the desert by 4x4 or on camelback.
  5. Visit the Al-Hajjarah Castle: Located in the Dhofar region, the Al-Hajjarah Castle is a well-preserved castle that dates back to the 16th century.
  6. Hike in the Al Hajar Mountains: The Al Hajar Mountains are a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers, with trails ranging from easy to challenging.
  7. Visit the Nizwa Fort: The Nizwa Fort is a well-preserved fort that dates back to the 17th century and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  8. Visit the Bimmah Sinkhole: The Bimmah Sinkhole is a natural formation on the coast of the Sharqiyah region, with crystal clear water that is perfect for swimming.
  9. Go scuba diving or snorkeling: Oman has a number of dive sites with beautiful coral reefs and a diverse range of marine life.
Oman
What To Eat

WHAT TO EAT IN OMAN

WHAT TO EAT IN OMAN

Omani cuisine is a blend of Middle Eastern and Indian flavors, with a focus on grilled meats, seafood, and rice dishes. Here are some dishes to try when visiting Oman:

  1. Kebabs: Grilled meat skewers are a popular dish in Oman, and you can find lamb, chicken, or beef kebabs at many restaurants.
  2. Machboos: A rice dish made with spiced meat (usually chicken or lamb) and served with vegetables and yogurt.
  3. Shuwaa: A traditional Omani dish made with slow-cooked meat (usually lamb or goat) and served with rice.
  4. Halwa: A sweet treat made with sugar, butter, and spices, and often flavored with rose water or saffron.
  5. Dates: Oman is known for its delicious dates, and you can find a wide variety of dates at markets and stores throughout the country.
  6. Omani coffee: Omani coffee is a strong, aromatic coffee served in small cups and often accompanied by dates or other sweets.
  7. Seafood: Oman is known for its seafood, and you can find a wide variety of fresh fish and shellfish at restaurants and markets throughout the country.

LGBTQ IN OMAN

Oman

WHERE TO STAY IN OMAN

For your first visit to Oman, it's essential to choose a base that allows you to experience the country's stunning landscapes, rich culture, and historical sites. Here's a breakdown of top areas and accommodations:


Where To Stay In Muscat:

Muscat, the capital city, offers a mix of ancient history and modern amenities, with attractions like the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muttrah Souq, and Royal Opera House.

  • Budget Accommodation: Consider Mutrah Hotel for affordable rooms and a convenient location near the souq and Corniche.

  • Mid-range Accommodation: Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, provides luxurious amenities and stunning beachfront views at a mid-range price.

  • Luxury Accommodation: Opt for the upscale ambiance of The Chedi Muscat, featuring elegant rooms, multiple pools, and world-class dining options.

Best Value Tip: Visit during the shoulder seasons (April-May, September-October) for mild weather and better accommodation rates.


Where To Stay In Nizwa:

Nizwa is a historic city known for its ancient fort, traditional souq, and proximity to the majestic Jebel Akhdar mountains.

  • Budget Accommodation: Stay at Nizwa Hotel Apartments for affordable rooms and a central location near the souq and Nizwa Fort.

  • Mid-range Accommodation: Falaj Daris Hotel offers comfortable accommodations with traditional Omani decor and easy access to Nizwa's attractions.

  • Luxury Accommodation: Opt for the luxurious ambiance of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, set high in the mountains with panoramic views and top-notch facilities.

Best Value Tip: Book accommodation during weekdays and avoid weekends for better rates and fewer crowds.


Where To Stay In Salalah:

Salalah, located in the south, offers a unique landscape of lush greenery, beautiful beaches, and historic sites like Al Baleed Archaeological Park.

  • Budget Accommodation: Consider Al Jabal Hotel for affordable rooms and a central location near Salalah's attractions and markets.

  • Mid-range Accommodation: Juweira Boutique Hotel offers comfortable accommodations with Arabian-inspired decor and easy access to the beach.

  • Luxury Accommodation: Opt for the luxurious ambiance of Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, featuring upscale rooms, private beach access, and luxurious amenities.

Best Value Tip: Visit during the Khareef season (June to September) for lush landscapes and lower accommodation rates.


By choosing a base in Muscat, Nizwa, or Salalah, you'll have access to Oman's diverse attractions while enjoying a range of accommodation options to suit your budget and preferences. Consider visiting during the optimal seasons for each location to maximize your travel experience while getting the best value for your stay.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

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