For people who love to travel and explore hot destinations, Oman is proving to be one such destination where people visit and experience a great travel experience. This country is liberal and has a diverse range of attractions. It is also considered as one of the peaceful countries in the Middle East and so every year there are a number of tourists who visit the country for a trip
As the tourists are increasing, the Omani Government is spending a lot of money in order to improve the facilities for the tourists and so there will be lots of advancement in the years to come. The Omani Government has also opened an International Airport for the comfort and ease of the tourists.
If you are planning to visit Oman at any time of the year, you need to consider the following things:
Recently, Oman has changed its travel rules. Earlier, the travelers were able to get the visa on arrival. Nowadays you have to get an E-Visa in advance. In order to get an E-Visa, you need to stand in an immigration queue for 5 to 30 minutes if you arrive during quiet hours. But if you arrive at the wrong time, you might have to wait for around 2 hours.
However, the charges payable for a one-month Oman visa for a single entry is 20 Omani Rial (52 USD) and for 1 Year Multi-Entry Visa you will have to pay 50 Omani Rial i.e., 130 USD. Also, the citizens of Israel are denied entry at the immigration counter. However, having an Israeli stamp in your passport is fine, and you will not be denied entry.
In the case of travelers from Canada, they need an ETA Canada which is an electronic travel authorization that is linked to a traveler’s passport. The validity of the eTA is 5 years or until the visa expires. And if you want to get a new passport, you will have to get a new eTA.
The currency of Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). The Rial is considered as the most valuable currency because one Rial is made up of 1000 baisa and it is officially tied at 2.58 US dollars per 1 Omani. Also, you need not worry about the payments as credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. However, if you wish to use an ATM, you will find it mostly in shopping malls. But, however, it is advised that you carry some hard currency with you.
Since Oman is a Muslim country, there are many mosques and so you will get to hear prayer 5 times a day. Also, you will rarely find alcohol in restaurants and other shops. In Oman, the majority of the population are expatriates, mainly from the Indian subcontinent. The people of Oman are fairly reserved but friendly.
Oman is a safe country for tourists, but when you visit the country, you need to keep in mind that the local Omani residents have their own rule and laws. Therefore, you need to be careful so that you do not fall into trouble and always remember not to start any political conversation until the people introduce the topic themselves. Also, remember that whenever you take photographs of the local people, especially women, you need to ask for their permission first. You should also remember that taking photographs of the military establishments is not allowed and also the Non-Muslims should not enter the mosques. Another important thing to remember is that eating, smoking and drinking in public is not allowed during Ramadan.
Food and drink
Most of the restaurants in Oman are either Indian or Lebanese, with the least Omani cuisine. However, you can also try out Omani cuisines which is simple to prepare. The cuisines include dishes made from various marinades and meat with spices. The Omani people cook chicken, fish and mutton on a regular basis. They also prepare rice in various ways and eaten along with meat and vegetables. You also get different varieties of bread ranging from plain to those flavored with dates, sesame, thyme, and garlic. A popular dessert of the Omani people is the Omani halwa which is a traditional sweetmeat and the favorite drink is Laban which is salty buttermilk. Additionally, yogurt drinks, flavored with cardamom and pistachio nuts, are also very popular.
Although buses are available between Muscat and other cities, they do not seem to offer flexibility. Therefore, it is better if you could rent a vehicle and hire a local guide who would give you a tour of the various sights and destinations.
Also, when you are in Oman, you can expect the climate to be dry and it is difficult to get alcohol easily. This is because there are no local brews, so the selection is limited to international brands.