Oman Travel Tips
Visa Restrictions: Citizens of Israel are refused to enter Oman.
Citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates can use National ID Cards instead of visas.
Citizens with visas or entrance stamps of the Emirate of Dubai valid for over 21 days are visa exempt. Citizens possessing a visa of Qatar that is valid for at least one month and allows travelling to Oman are visa exempt.
Visa on arrival for 3 months: New Zealand.
Visa on arrival for 30 days: European Union, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, Paraguay, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela.
The currency is Omani rial (OMR). One rial generally exchanges 2.58 US dollars. You can get a lower exchange rate on the streets. You can change foreign currency at the airport and many other bank counters in Muscat and main towns.
You can check in hotels in major cities and towns. The most memorable hotels are in Muscat, and the rates start from about 150 OR (£250/$400) or even higher. The price of medium hotels is from 40 to 60 OR (£65-100/$100-150). You should check whether the price includes local taxes (usually 17%) or not.
Camping is another way. You can take a tent in a remote mountain or on a beach which will be a memorable experience. In Oman, you are allowed to go wild camping. Before you go camping, you should ensure that the area you choose is uninhabited and uncultivated. Once you want to camp near villages, first you should get permission.
The eating habits of Omani are similar to other Gulf States. Beef and Mutton are the main course, such as mutton wrapped with grape leaf, mutton sandwiched by eggplant slices and braised goat hooves. People living in coastal areas enjoy eating seafood while those who live in mountain areas do not. If possible, you cannot miss avocado juice and grenadine juice.
Here are some restaurants for vegetarians:
Mekong Restaurant is located in Salalah, and is expert in Chinese food, Thai food and Vietnamese food.
Turkish House Restaurant lies in Muscat and is good at seafood, Turkish cuisine and Middle Eastern food.
The Restaurant at The Chedi Muscat is skilled in European food and Asian cuisine.
Oman is rich in traditional natural and manufactured Arabian products. You can buy these items in souks all over the country, especially in Muttrah Souk in Muscat. Also you can select in souks at Nizwa and Salalah. Nizwa is known for its handicrafts, while Salalah is famous for the prized Dhofari frankincense. Since prices are not fixed, bargaining is necessary.
Oman is the best place to buy frankincense, bukhoor, myrrh and traditional perfumes. Oman's most famous natural product is frankincense which can be found in souks in the country, with prices ranging from 1-2 OR to 7-10 OR. As for handicrafts, the khanjar, a curved dagger, is the best choice among local souvenirs. Prices range according to quality. You can also buy Omani pottery, gold, silver, jewelry, and traditional wooden walking sticks.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the country's religious culture, you'd better visit here during the Islamic festivals, especially in Ramadan. Through Ramadan, people want to restore relationships with Allah. The holy month of Ramadan is from June or July to August; accurate dates depend on local astronomical sightings of the moon. At the end of Ramadan, there will be the Iftar to eat, drink and socialize.
Since it's starting in 1998, Muscat Festival has been not only a celebratory, cultural and artistic event, but also a connection joint between past and present. It is held from the late January to late February. The festival provides various programs and events, such as the Muscat Fashion Show, Oman Food Festival and concerts.
From June 21 to September 21, Salalah annually holds the Tourism Festival which comprises sporting events, culture attractions, and sporting events.
Both men and women should wear and dress conservatively. Dressing appropriately is the most important issue to keep in mind. Women should wear loose clothing covering arms and shoulders. Skirts should be at least beneath knees. Women should use a shawl to cover their hair.
Control yourself as much as you can under whatever situations.
Don't eat pork or drink alcohol.
Don't use the left hand in front of others.
Don't use the index finger or middle finger to gesticulate.
Don't be close to women when talking with them or take photos with them.
Standard voltage: 220V
Plugs: UK Plugs with three flat pins
Mobile network is GSM. Service provider is Omantel and Nawras. There are a few public telephones, but SIM cards are in a lower price and can be bought in airport, supermarkets and malls.
Omantel can offer ways to access the Internet, such as dialup Internet connection, ADSL and mobile phone networking. Hotels provide wireless or wired high-speed internet connection, but the speed is low, and the price is high.
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