So you decided to visit Oman? Great plan! It is such a beautiful country with adorable people. This post is to help you get ready for your trip from choosing clothes to learning a few words and getting ready for local particularities...
GET YOUR PLAN TOGETHER
If you are still wandering about best time to visit, how long to stay, transportation or accomodation, check my article on Planning your trip to Oman.
You can use the ZigZag On Earth online Destination guide for Oman to help you plan your stops on your trip through Oman.
or Get the Oman Travel Guide eBook with 8 Maps, 90 locations, GPS coordinates, practical tips, many photos and more...
Most people in Oman, especially in the tourism industry, speak english. So do not worry. However being able to say a few words or sentences in arabic will be appreciated by the locals.
Here are some useful words and sentences in english and their pronunciation in Arabic:
- Peace be onto you - As-salamu’alakum
- Answer to above - Wa’alaykum as-salam
- Alternative tho the aboves - Salam
- Welcome - Marhaban
- Please - Raja'an
- Thank you (very much) - Shokran (jazeelan)
- Excuse me (to ask for) - Min fadlik
- Excuse me (to pass by) - Alma'derah!
- I am sorry - A’tadhir
- Water - Ma
CLOTHES TO PACK
First of all, 3 things to consider
- This is a Muslim country so you should be respectful and over shoulders and knee. No need to cover your hair though (except in Mosque).
- It gets very hot near the coast and in the desert: long sleeve, trousers and hat are great to protect yourself from the sun
- During Winter nights in the mountains are freezing, you will need layers especially if camping
Here is my recommended packing list for Oman:
- Hiking pants
- Comfortable shoes for the hiking
- Hat / something to protect your head
- Sun glasses
- Tops covering the shoulders and some long sleeve T-shirt (white is great against the sun)
- Scarf to visit the Mosque (although you can normally buy/rent something there)
- Formal Dress if you plan on watching a show at the Royal Opera House
- Swim wear - Western style for International hotel pools - add a t-shirt and knee-length leggins or a swimwear covering more for public beaches and wadis
- Gloves/hat and jumper for nights in the mountains
For all general packing lists, head to my checklist article if you don't want to forget anything.
And don't forget to purchase Travel Insurance!
I wish you a very smooth trip, but my policy is: better be prepared.
I personally use World Nomads. Get a quote online here.
- Your typical camera equipment
- A protection against the sand in the desert if it gets windy
- An underwater camera or casing - for snorkeling and to swim in the wadis. To get futher in Wadi Shab for example you have to alternate between swimming and walking. My gopro was really practical.
- Considering the harsh sun and blue sky, do not forget your polarizer if you have a DLSR
MONEY IN OMAN
The currency in Oman is the Omani real.
What is different:
- Their equivalent to 'cents' are Baisa and they are counted in 100 - For example a price can be 2.250 i.e. 2 rials and 250 baisas.
- Also the bill for 500 baisas is not written as such, it is written 1/2 Half Rial
- Tipping is not customary. You can tip after an excellent service.
- As in most coutnries, tour guides are different and would expect tips if you have not booked directly with them
FOOD & BEVERAGES: what to expect
I must admit that I was a bit disappointed by food in Oman. From what I have seen it is a mix of influence from other countries: chinese, indian, turkish...
You always get a salad with cucumber / tomatoes / carrots. A lot of the simpler restaurant served their version of fast food with noddles, sandwiches... And they often served frozen vegetables. I guess they cannot grow much so this is a problem to get fresh vegetables...
The best were the fishes, fresh out of the water.
They also have typical bread and hummus.
- Most shops offer fruit juice mixes, sometimes with ice.
- Sodas are also plentyful.
- For alcohol you need to go inside and international hotel or get a license in Muscat which authorize you to buy alcohol.
WEATHER IN OMAN
If traveling in Winter
- Days are enjoyable but can still be hot.
- Nights in the mountains are cold
- It often becomes cloudy rains in the mountains at the end of the afternoon.
If traveling in Summer
- Summer months are really hot, not the best time to travel to Oman (check my post on planning your trip for more information).
- In the South around Salalah, the weather is wet with monsoon rains. It is consider the best moment to visit the region.
VISA PROCESS FOR OMAN
Travelers from many countries car get a 1 month visa by paying on arrival. Oman air has a great page on Oman tourism visas. Otherwise check with your consulate for price, lenght and formality.
If you are part of the lucky one who do not need to apply prior to your trip, here is how to get your visa on arrival at the airport:
- You enter the immigration area
- There are 2 counters with company to change your money. They are also the ones selling visa. Pick one of the counters, pay for your visa and change your money if you need. You can pay cash or by credit card
- They deliver you with a receipt of Visa Purchase
- Make your way to the immigration lines (the tourist ones) and show you receipt with the passeport, they will apply the stamp and you are good to go
Note: when I was there the immigration lines were quite slow. So plan some time for the wait.
OTHER USEFUL INFO TO KNOW
- Wifi: The resorts all had wifi. However sometimes only in the common area. isolated guesthouse may have wifi but it would be restricted to certain hours.
- Plugs: Oman plugs are a type G 200V (whatever you read on other sites, I have only seen G plugs).
- No special vaccine required
Discover the things to do and places to see in Oman in my online Oman Destination Guide.
Don’t hesitate to share more advice or ask questions in the comments below
Enjoy your trip!