© Copyrights Desert Discovery Tours, Oman. All Rights Reserved.
Under the leadership and wise guidance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the magnificence of the Omani culture has been embellished over the past quarter of a century to include modern towns, highways, shopping malls and many other achievements. His Majesty's policy on women's rights has been outstanding. Women are most welcome in this crime-free and safe host country.
The country offers :
- Excellent and hassle-free shopping facilities.
- Oman has the cleanest cities and environment, and littering is strictly prohibited.
- Friendly, polite people and great hospitality.
- Omanis are tolerant and open - drinks of any kind are available in hotels and licensed restaurants.
- Driving is permitted for the holders of an international driving licence.
- Please ask permission before attempting to photograph people and their property.
Dress code :
For most of the year light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton, are best suited for the Omani climate. To respect Omani traditions, it is preferable not to revealing clothing of any kind in residential areas. From December to March a light wrap may be required during the evenings.
Arabic, English and Swahili are widely spoken.
Greenwich Mean Time plus four hours (GMT+4).
Currency :The unit of currency is the Rial Omani (R.O.) consisting of 1,000 baizas.
One R.O. = about US$ 2.58
One R.O. = about DM 3.80
Just over 4 Million.
Credit cards :
American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, etc. are accepted in major shopping areas, hotels and restaurants.
220 volts – 240 volts
Health & Medical facilities :
Hospitals, pharmacies and health clinics are available throughout Oman. Modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment can deal with any emergency. Doctors are just a phone call away.
A visa is required for travel to Oman. Travelers may purchase a visa valid for one month at the airport for 6 Omani Rials (approximately $16.00 US). This visa may be renewed one time. To reduce time in the airport, visitors can obtain visas from the Omani Embassy in the country of origin. To do this, take a copy of travel orders or a letter from the agency stating that travel is official, to the Omani Embassy.
The Sultanate of Oman is conveniently connected by a number of international airlines, which fly to the capital, Muscat.
Oman strategically occupies the south eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, covering 300,000 square km of varied terrain with a coastline of 1,700 km. It overlooks the three seas of the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. To the west, Oman borders Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to the south the Republic of Yemen, and to the north the Straits of Hormuz.
The geographical contrast between wadis and stark mountains, desert sands and coastal beaches is most evident and contribites to Oman's striking beauty. Long stretches of beach and the wadis that cut deep into the mountains, as well as picturesque towns and villages, are emphasised by the solitude of vast desert areas and spectacular shifting sand dunes.
The varied topography of Oman divides the country naturally into 8 distinct regions, each with its own identity:
The vast harsh desert to the west is named Al Rub Al Khali, or the Empty Quarter; the highest mountain peak in Dakhiliya province is referred to as Jebel Shams, the Mountain of the Sun; Ras al Hadd, meaning the edge, denotes the farthest point of the east coast; the province Ras Musandam is the northernmost tip of Oman, separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates.
The northern part of the country is dominated by the majestic Hajar mountain range that borders the Gulf of Oman coast, extending some 700 km from Musandam almost to Ras al Hadd in the east. The central part of this range is Jebel Al Akhdar, or the "green mountain", where the highest peak rises to over 3,000 metres.
To the south of the mountains are endless gravel plains and sand dunes, covering over half of Oman’s land surface. Situated in this area is the Wahibah Sands an area with high dunes, extensive woodlands and unspoiled coastline.
The Dhofar region lies in the extreme south of Oman. The capital of Dhofar, Salalah, is spread out along the coast and offers all modern facilities. It is climatically different from the rest of Oman due to the effects of the monsoon rains from June to September.
The Muscat region and capital area of Muscat is the most densely populated region in Oman. Muscat, literally "anchorage", has been a safe haven for ships for centuries.
Oman’s climate varies from region to region. During the winter it is cool and pleasant, but summer at the coast is hot and humid. Summer is cool and misty in the south because of the monsoons. The interior remains hot and dry, except for the mountains where the temperature can drop drastically at night. In the winter, temperatures range between 14 to 26 degrees Celcius.
Forbidden items :
The Sultanate prohibits pornographic literature and firearms from entering Oman. Local law limits each traveler to one bottle of alcohol. Items subject to confiscation at the airport include but are not limited to compact discs and video and audio cassettes.
Street crimes and crimes of physical violence are very rare in Muscat. Do not leave valuables in plain sight when exiting your hotel room. Most hotel rooms are equipped with small safes for personal property. If one is not available, or you have larger items to store, use a safety deposit box at the hotel front desk. Additionally, keep your money separate from your passport, credit cards, and other important documents. Do not leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle.
Local Sensitivities :
Visitors are advised that the holy month of Ramadan will last from approximately October 4 - November 2, 2005. During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat, drink or smoke during daylight hours, and respecting these restrictions is not simply a matter of courtesy: Omani law prohibits everyone from eating, drinking and smoking in public during Ramadan. The hotels will have food service available to non-Muslims during the day. The sale of alcohol and drinking alcohol in public at any time are strictly prohibited during Ramadan. At all times, modest dress is the rule in Oman. Men and women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts in public places, although wearing conservative bathing suits is acceptable at hotel beaches. Photography of military and government installations is forbidden and one should ask permission before photographing Omani nationals.