10 things I wish I knew before going to Oman

Fatima Mammadova26 September 20202315 views8 min. read
10 things I wish I knew before going to Oman
Oman E-visa and travel to this beautiful country. Do you know what is the capital of Oman? It is Muscat, a port city on the coast of the Gulf of Oman, surrounded by mountains and desert. What do you know about Oman? Most probably, not much. But before you travel to Oman, it is very important to know some details about this bewitching country to have an unforgettable time in Oman. In this article, we are going to tell you what are the things to know before going to Oman, including where to travel in Oman, about some features, and answer the question: Is it safe to travel to Oman?

1. Oman is a Muslim country

muscat historic center This, of course, can be said about many countries, but in Oman, this fact is too noticeable and also affects tourists. It means that going to Oman, you need to consider a specific dress code. If you are only travelling in the capital and not move around the country, you can get by with ordinary summer clothes, but not always. For example, you can enter a mosque or local festival only if you will convince people about the “decency” of your clothes. Going to Oman, we recommend women to choose clothes that cover most of the body: long light trousers or skirts/dresses, T-shirts without a neckline, covering at least the shoulders, or with long sleeves. Men are also better off wearing long, light pants and T-shirts that cover their shoulders. This will save you from sidelong glances and problems being blamed for not showing respect for Oman people.

2. It is very tasty in Oman

omani cuisine In Oman, in principle, it is very tasty. It was and remains a trading state, and the local Arab cuisine has mixed elements of the cuisine of other people. But the most delicious thing in Oman is local dates. Fresh, dried, with nuts, ginger – you have never tasted such dates! The tastiest and cheapest ones can be found in the city of Nizwa and in the more dynamic and international Muscat, which is the capital of Oman

3. Learn to bargain

omani child In Oman, you can truly feel and understand how the entire Arab world lived until recently. Indeed, especially in small towns and villages, there is a special atmosphere. While penetrating it, it is necessary not to forget about some of the things that traditionality entails. In Oman, you have to bargain everywhere. So, if you are going to travel to Oman, learn to bargain! Negotiating with a local guide-bargain while buying something on the market – try to drive down prices as much as you can — the fiercest debate you can have with the taxi drivers. There is no need to bargain, perhaps, only at gas stations, in museums, in supermarkets (and there are not so many of them). Even in cafes/restaurants, it is necessary to try to reduce the bill. To be able to bargain freely, you always need to have cash with you, and preferably of different denominations.

4. Is it safe to travel to Oman?

police patrolling Going to Oman, you can also be confused by the question: Is it safe to travel to Oman? But don’t worry because it is completely safe. Of course, it is better not to lose vigilance, but pickpockets or thieves are unlikely to be waiting for you somewhere. Police stations are very common, and it may seem that security is provided by the police regime. But, firstly, not all police are police; they are inseparable from the army, so most of the “police” are just military. And secondly, security is also ensured by the residents themselves, who have great respect for their traditions, country, and sultan.

5. What currency is used in Oman?

omani rial Omani rial is one of the most expensive currencies in the world. Now its rate is 2.6 US dollars per 1 rial. Only the Kuwaiti dinar and the Bahraini dinar are more expensive than it. The Omani rial is also interesting because it is divided not into 100 “coins” but a thousand. “Coins” are called here baisa. Therefore, on the price tags in Oman, the cost is indicated as follows: 1,500 or 10,500 OMR - this means one and a half rials and 10 and a half rials, respectively. Going to Oman, you can exchange currency in Oman without any problems - there are many exchanges. But many people face the fact that no banks accept dollars printed earlier than 2009. So if you are flying to Oman with dollars, check the year of issue of the note before travelling to Oman. By the way, they can be used to pay in the market, but they will be accepted at a not very good rate. And the change, in any case, will be given in rials. Bank cards are accepted almost everywhere, but these are the cards that cannot be paid by “telephone” (Apple Pay, etc.). 

6. Where to travel in Oman? 

diving Before going to Oman, decide for yourself which place you want to visit because the numbers of them are quite huge. Do you remember what is the capital of Oman? It is Muscat, the city in which modern trends are intertwined with ancient traditions. The best resort town in Oman is Al Sawadi. There you can discover all the possibilities for diving and visit numerous objects of entertainment infrastructure. Allocate more time for excursions because there are a lot of instagrammable places worthy of visiting. You need to go sightseeing in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. In the capital, there is the Qasr Al-Alam Royal Palace, which is worth seeing with your own eyes. The old Mutrah Souq also attracts travellers in the city. It is the place where you can buy decorative fabrics, copper dishes, and other things at affordable prices. Of the natural attractions, Riyam Park can be distinguished. Many cities in Oman have retained an authentic historical centre, but apart from this, there are two points of attraction for architecture lovers in the country. First of all, it is religious architecture. For sure, there are a lot of mosques; they transform the cityscape and add a special flavour. Secondly, there are a lot of forts in Oman. They are different depending on the period of construction, but even those built in the Portuguese or British period have local charm and are not out of style. There are also a lot of state structures: police buildings, ministries, as well as schools and museums - that have adopted the style of the old forts.  We listed some places where to travel in Oman, and we recommend you to search for all places which you need to visit in Oman in order not to skip anything interesting.

7. Don’t rely on public transport

big bus One of the main things to know before going to Oman is the likelihood of problems with public transport if you count on them.  Public transport is not very popular in Oman (but, for example, there is a bus from Dubai to Muscat), there are no railways, so it is best to rent a car. The roads are excellent, the signs are clear, rent and petrol are inexpensive.

8. Oman is a historically trading country

oman popular market Do not be surprised by the abundance of foreign goods in the markets: cashmere scarves from Nepal, light trousers from India, coffee from Sri Lanka, and a lot of stuff from China. And in Muscat, the capital of Oman, it is very often that not Omanis who sell all this, but immigrants from India, Pakistan or somewhere else, of whom there have always been and remain a lot in the capital (almost more than half of the total population). If you travel to Oman, you can improve your wardrobe and buy a lot of beautiful things for yourself.

9. What time in Oman is the best for travelling?

capial of oman Tourism in Oman has developed over the years. Oman has two tourist seasons. It is better to go to the northern part in winter when it is not so hot, but to the southern part (Dhofar region), oddly enough, you need to go in the summer from July to September, during the monsoon season. The desert begins to bloom, and the region is completely transformed.

10. Be ready to enjoy the bewitching nature

morning dawn One of the things to know before going to Oman is that it has enough natural beauty for every taste. There are mountains, for example, Jebel Shams, with the incredible beauty of the canyon. Hikers will like it, and routes can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Tourism. Unique wadis are valleys or dry riverbeds that often form gorges, caves, and natural pools of crystal clear waters of incredible beauty. There are excellent sea beaches in the north and south of the country, and from Muscat, you can go snorkelling or diving to the nearby islands.

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