What do you need to travel to Oman?by | February 15, 2023
Are you ready for your next adventure and are looking for a destination that combines ancient history, breathtaking landscapes and warm hospitality? Then, look no further than Oman!
Nestled on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman will take your breath away. From the golden sand dunes of the desert to pristine beaches and rugged canyons, Oman's natural beauty is unrivaled.
Whether you're looking forward to immersing yourself in the rich culture of this ancient land by visiting historic forts, dreamy castles and traditional markets or are looking for a unique adventure combining fun activities such as hiking, diving, and camping, Oman has got you covered.
Ready to pack your bags? Great! To help you turn this trip into an epic adventure, we've highlighted below everything you need to know to travel to Oman.
Requirements to visit Oman
All international travellers must hold a valid passport. Your passport should have at least six months of validity from the date you enter the country. For example, if you're travelling to Oman on the 1st of January 2025, your passport should be valid until at least the 2nd of June 2025. You'll also need to ensure you have at least one blank page left on your passport so authorities can place the entry stamp.
In general terms, you'll need to apply for a visa to visit Oman. However, the country has recently negotiated a certain number of bilateral agreements with other countries meaning some foreigners don't need to apply for a visa if they’re planning to stay for 14 days or less. If you're on the list of exempted countries, but wish to stay for longer than 14 days, you'll still have to apply for a visa.
If you need more detailed information before applying for your visa, don’t hesitate to check our latest article on how to get a visa for Oman.
While not mandatory, It's always a good idea to have travel insurance when travelling abroad, as it can protect you in an emergency.
The national currency is the Omani rial (OMR). Note that Oman is a developed country and you can easily change money in big cities. What’s more, ATMs accepting international cards are widespread across the country.
Things you need to know when travelling to Oman
Is Oman open to tourists?
Yes, Oman is open to tourists.
Do you need a transit visa to travel to Oman?
If you’re travelling through Oman to reach another destination, you’ll need to apply for a transit visa which will allow you to stay in the country for up to 72 hours. You'll have to show proof of onward travel and that you have sufficient funds for your stay in the country.
Vaccines, health and Covid-19 restrictions
Here’s a list of recommended vaccines for tourists travelling to Oman:
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Flu (influenza)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A and B
Note that a yellow fever vaccination certificate will be required for travellers from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. The Omani authorities have lifted all COVID-19 restrictions for international travellers. However, your airline might still have specific requirements in place, so make sure to check with your airline what these might be.
How to travel around Oman?
- By car: renting a car is by far the easiest way to travel around Oman. Not only will it allow you to easily travel within cities, but the well-maintained and extensive road network will enable you to reach almost any part of the country. Be wary while on the road, as some drivers might be driving really fast.
- By bus: The bus network is also expansive and connects most cities across the country. The vehicles are, for the most part, new and reliable vehicles. What’s more, they operate frequently and are affordable. However, don’t forget that distances are huge between some cities and it will take approximately 12 hours to reach Muscat from Salalah.
- By taxi: Taxis are an easy way to get around within major cities. You'll easily find individual taxis (featuring white and orange livery) along with collective taxis, whether at the airport or in major cities. However, note that Omani taxis don’t have a meter and you will have to negotiate the price before jumping in.
Safety in Oman
Oman is one of the safest countries in the world, boasting one of the lowest crime rates on the planet. Yet, here are some precautions you should take for a seamless travel experience:
- Oman is a conservative country and it's important to respect local customs and dress accordingly. Avoid wearing revealing clothing and ensure that your shoulders and legs are covered at all times, especially in public areas.
- Avoid large public gatherings.
- Avoid travelling in areas bordering Yemen, as armed conflict is ongoing in the region.
- It can get really hot in Oman, especially during the summer. So, if you’re travelling in summer, stay hydrated and wear SPF 50+ sunscreen. You should also plan your outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day.
- Avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas at night and keep your valuables in a safe place.
- Be aware that same-sex marriage and sex outside of marriage are illegal.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and eating in public during Ramadan.
- In Oman, people drive on the right-hand side of the road and the speed limit is generally lower than in other Middle Eastern countries, especially in residential areas.
When is the best time to visit Oman?
With so many natural wonders and cultural and historical sites, Oman is, without a doubt, a year-round destination. Here are some of the best activities to do in each season:
Spring is an excellent time to visit Oman as these months are less busy than winter months, allowing you to enjoy some sites almost to yourself. It’s also the perfect season to explore Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) when the terrace plantations are lush and vibrant and the gorgeous pink Damask roses have bloomed.
Summer in Middle Eastern countries can be blistering hot. That’s why during these months, it’s best to avoid sites such as the Wahiba Sands and head to the south coast instead, where temperatures are more bearable! This will allow you to explore stunning beaches such as Al Mughsayl Beach. You can also head to the beautiful Masirah Island for the ultimate holiday vibe.
July and August are also peak times for turtle watching, where you'll be able to spot five of the world’s seven turtle species.
Temperatures are cooler than in summer, allowing intrepid travellers to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities, such as exploring the Wahiba Sands. Also, turtle watching continues until October.
Lastly, there are plenty of incredible events during this time, including Autumn Harvest and National Day.
Winter is the busiest season in Oman as temperatures are cooler and rainfalls are scarce. It’s the perfect time to explore sites such as Muscat and Rustaq and stroll the colorful alleys of Muttrah Souk.
Travel tips for Oman
- Oman can get hot, so pack sunscreen, hats, and light clothing!
- To beat the heat, head to the Al Hajar Mountains. Sitting at over 2,000 meters above sea level, it will be a break from the heat and humidity from the coastline.
- Be wary of stubborn donkeys and camels strolling around while driving!
- Here are five of the best things to do in Oman: explore the colorful Mutrah Souq; learn more about Oman’s history at Nizwa Fort; visit the majestic Sultan Qaboos Grand Masjid; swim in Bimmah Sinkhole and embark on an exhilarating 4WD desert adventure at Wahiba Sands.