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Information About Oman

Fact Sheet

Country Sultanate Of Oman
Capital Muscat
Head of State His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said
National Flag The flag has three colors, white, symbolizing peace and prosperity, red for the battles fought by the Omani people to expel foreign invaders during their long history, and green to represent the country's fertility and agriculture. The swords and Khanjar (dagger) have been used as the country's emblem since the middle of the eighteenth century
Location The Sultanate of Oman is situated on the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula and is located between Latitudes 16° 40' and 26° 20' North and Longitudes 51° 50' and 59° 40' East.
Area 309, 500 sq kms
Population As of 2nd April 2014, the total population of Oman is 4,000,345
Density of Population Sparsely populated with a mean average of 11 people per sq. km
Airports & Airlines Muscat International Airport, Salalah Airport,
Oman Air is the national Airline. International Airlines that fly into Oman include British Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Sri Lankan Airways, Air India, Lufthansa,  Etihad,  Swiss International, KLM, Dutch-ish Airlines, Royal jordanian and Turkish Airways.
Country Calling Code + 968
   

Location

Oman is the second largest country in the Arabian Peninsula with the United Arab Emirates dividing a small section on the northernmost tip. The country's entire east coast is fringed by the Arabian Sea and its land neighbors include Yemen to the South, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates on its western border.

Travelling to Oman
Muscat, the capital, is accessible from most international airports by various international airlines into and out of Muscat International Airport. There are direct flights from most major European cities, namely, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Milan, Paris, Zurich and Istanbul. A total of 42 destinations in 20 countries are serviced directly from Muscat International Airport by 25 international airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa, Air India, Emirates, Etihad, Gulf Air, Swiss International, KLM, Turkish Airways and Oman Air. Regional and international flights at Salalah.
(Click here to view the airline schedule)

By land Oman is accessible through the UAE and Yemen though one needs to have valid visa and entry permits. There are three border posts open to foreigners from the UAE and two border posts open from Yemen.


The Oman National Transport Company operates buses to Dubai daily from its bus station at Ruwi. Dubai is 450 kms away from the Oman capital, Muscat and it takes approximately 4.5 hours to get there by road. There are buses (private and Government owned) buses, which ply between Dubai and Muscat every day.
(Click here to see the ONTC route map)


Travelling within Oman
Within Oman, Muscat the capital city is connected to the country’s southern and northern ends; Khasab and Salalah, by air from Muscat International Airport. Domestic flights operate twice daily to Salalah and daily flights to Khasab.


The National Ferries Company operates two passenger vehicle catamaran ferries, Shinas and Hormuz to Khasab four times a week.


There are no train services in Oman yet.


Travelling within Oman by road is comfortable and well organized. With a network of 19000 kilometers of roads,  the road is the best option to travel around the country. Well maintained highways link every major city in Oman. The Oman National Transport Company has buses that ply across most of the major cities in Oman. Though few and far between, the bus system is safe and efficient.
(Click here to see the ONTC route map)

 

By road, within Oman, you could also use the shared taxi system to get from one place / city to another.

 

Designated prepaid taxis are available on arrival at the airport.

 

Shared Taxis, orange and white colored are common across Oman. There are two ways to travel using Taxis; one, by `engage’ ing them, that is taking them exclusively, which would mean you pay the total fare of four full paying passengers. The other method is share the ride with three other passengers for one fourth the charge.


Taxis are available for points within the city, Muscat and also from Muscat to cities even 200 kilometers away. You could connect across the country by hopping onto taxis from major cities to interior areas also.

 

Muscat has an extensive rent a car system. You could rent from a saloon car to even 4 wheel drive vehicles provided you have a valid International license. Driving on your own throughout the country is relatively easy if you follow signs which are also in English and if you do what most travelers anywhere in the world do, ask for directions! More importantly avoid drinking or using your mobile while driving and also speeding above 120kms, the official speed limit!

Visa
Citizens of over 60 countries may obtain visit Visas valid for one-month stay on arrival.
(Click here to view the latest Visa rules & Regulations)

Local Time
GMT +4 hours

Language
Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken.

Getting Around
Oman has a modern network of roads and motorways. One may exercise the self-drive option and can avail the car of their choice including four-wheel drives. Taxis are plenty but the fare needs to be agreed beforehand, as the fares are not metered.
(Click here to see our fleet and book a vehicle)

Customs
No customs duty is levied on personal effects brought into Oman. It is forbidden to import drugs or pornographic material (magazines, tapes, CDs etc) Non-Muslims may import upto two litres  of alcohol.

Currency
The Rial (RO) is the Omani currency and is divided into 1000 baizas. The rate conversion is one Omani Rial = US$ 2.65
(Click here to see the rate conversion of RO against other currencies)

 

Climate
The Summer months are between May and September. The best time to visit Oman is between October and April when temperature ranges between 25 and 35 C during the day and between 17 and 19 C at night. All buildings and  vehicles are air conditioned in Oman.
(Click here to view mean temperatures)

Clothing
Lightweight summer clothing in cotton is ideal for most of the year. Sweaters, Light jackets or shawls may be needed for the cooler evenings. The dress code in Oman is relatively relaxed when compared to most Arab countries however, extremely revealing and inappropriate clothing may be considered offensive.

Credit Cards
All major credit cards are accepted in main hotels, stores, and most shops but in traditional souqs, cash is the most preferred means for transaction.

ATM
Automated Teller Machines can be found in most major supermarkets, hotels and other locations through out the country.

Mobile Phones
Oman has an extensive GSM network. Visitors can avoid roaming charges by purchasing a prepaid SIM card at the Muscat airport or at Omantel counters.

Business Hours
Most shops and Malls are opened from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm and 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm and during Ramadan, the shops close later in the night. Embassies and Consulates are open from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon, Sunday to Friday. In general, banking hours are Sunday to Thursday from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon.

Health Matters
While tap water is safe for drinking, a variety of locally bottled mineral water is widely available at all super markets and restaurants. Most hotels have medical help available and there are private and government medical facilities available.

Facilities for the physically challenged
Most Hotels and Public places provide facilities and make special arrangements for physically challenged visitors.

Photography
Tourist photography is allowed but it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women or near Military installations. It is always courteous to ask permission before taking pictures.

Electricity
The electrical system is based on the 220/240 AC volts with 3 pin British type plugs. US made appliances may need an adapter.

Religion
Islam is the official religion while other faiths are also respected.

Ramadan
Ramadan is the holy month of fasting when Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours. As a sign of respect, visitors are also required to refrain from these activities in public between sunrise and sunset.

Alcohol
Alcohol is served in Hotels, licenced restaurants and bars. However, drinking in public is not permitted.

 

Responsible Travel & Common Guidelines

 

Clothes
Like most of the Arabian Peninsula countries, Oman is conservative though tolerant of others beliefs, practices and customs. Accordingly, Omanis would not approve skimpy clad men or women though they would not say anything lest you take offence. It is best to be well dressed whenever you wander into public spaces.

 

Photography
In Oman it is rude to take pictures of people without their permission and hence please take permission before you take anyone’s picture, especially pictures of Omani women.

 

The Environment & the People

Omanis are very proud of their history and rich legacy. They do not take easily to criticism of their country, ethos or legacy. As a race, Omanis are not complicated and do not lend themselves to outwitting someone else by being shrewd and cunning. Therefore this non competitive streak makes them averse to criticism and failure. It is suggested that as guests please refrain from using foul language or making negative comments. Omanis’, like most people around the world, respond best to kind words.

 

Shops and Shopping

Malls in Oman are modern and self contained and are found largely in the capital, Muscat. All international brands have established their presence in Oman from cosmetic brands to luxury cars.

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