Helpful Hints for Tourism in Oman

by | August 8, 2022

A lot of things in the country are subject to customs and traditional Islamic norms, so certain rules of conduct should be observed. In public places, women should avoid overly revealing or tight clothing and miniskirts, while men should avoid shorts or sleeveless T-shirts. The wearing of local clothes by Europeans is also frowned upon, and although most likely no one will openly express dissatisfaction about this, dressing “like an Arab” is also not recommended. It is forbidden to film military and police installations, airports and the interior of mosques. In everyday shooting, you should also be very careful – you should not take pictures and even point the lens at men without their consent.

Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque (limited entry is allowed to the Sultan Qaboos Mosque in the capital Muscat). At the same time, neatness in clothes is very much appreciated here.

Lifting corals and shells from the bottom is strictly prohibited. Any type of fishing and spearfishing must be carried out in an organized manner and subject to licensing. Before traveling to protected areas, one should always consult the Nature Reserves Directorate in Muscat.

According to SOURCEMAKEUP, Oman is one of the safest countries in the world. The crime rate is extremely low. Even in the provinces and at night, you can not be afraid of any problems with the locals.

The attitude towards water in general is very reverent. Therefore, in no case should you swim in local reservoirs, pour water on the ground in open water (even for hygiene procedures) or leave a tap open. Tap water is mainly artesian or desalinated, therefore it is completely safe to drink, but due to the complete absence of mineral salts in it, it is not recommended for drinking – it is better to use bottled drinking water.

A separate problem is wadis – the channels of usually dry streams and rivers. During the rainy season, they are quickly filled with water, which rushes down in stormy streams, carrying away masses of soil and stones, and flooding areas that were absolutely dry before. The country even introduced a special road sign Caution wadi! (a vertical rectangle crossed out by three horizontal wavy lines in the form of an arrow).

Natural hazards include heat (sun)stroke, high levels of solar radiation (protective creams, glasses and clothing should be used), the peculiar composition of local water and food. There are practically no dangerous wild animals. When diving, you should beware of sharks, barracudas, rays, numerous coral fish, whose spines are quite poisonous, as well as sea urchins, whose needles get stuck in the human body for a long time. In the south of the country, currents and surf are quite strong, which makes diving in an unknown place a rather dangerous event.

In Oman, there is a rather confusing system of designating streets and houses – most of them do not have names at all – only a number or name of the area. Some areas have local names that are not listed in any reference books, but are actively used in everyday communication. Even more confusion is caused by abbreviations that are usually pronounced together and have acquired the status of independent words (for example, the word eychoup denotes the police, emkyu – the metropolitan area of ​​​​Madinat Sultan Qaboos).

Omanis are very sociable and can talk freely with a stranger, but we must not forget that this is a Muslim country where talking about the personal life of a local resident, about local women, religion is prohibited. The locals are not particularly punctual.

The traditional drink of Oman is very strong brewed coffee with the addition of cardamom, ground seeds or a drop of rose water. Most hotels and restaurants are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, which must be consumed on site, without the right to take away. Taking alcohol outside, drinking in public places, drunk driving and transporting alcohol are prosecuted by law and punished quite severely (up to imprisonment). Alcohol prices are high. Alcoholic drinks are not sold during Ramadan. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, many restaurants are full.

Often there are restaurants and cafes where there is no menu, and dishes are ordered orally or according to the principle the same as at that table. However, the owners of such establishments usually come to the aid of a foreigner themselves if they see that he cannot place an order.

In most places, tipping is not required. Expensive restaurants add 15-17% to the bill for service automatically, but in case of good service it is recommended to leave 5-10% of the bill to the staff. Tipping is not accepted in taxis, as the cost of the trip is negotiated in advance. In hotels, a local tax of 15% is added to the cost of service. You can bargain in the markets and in private shops, in large shops the prices are fixed.

Museums and other attractions are free.

The electrical network is designed for a voltage of 220 V, 50 Hz, sockets, mainly British standard – three pins with grounding. The adapter can be purchased from stores.

Tap water in the country, as a rule, is artesian or desalinated sea water and is completely safe. But due to the complete absence of mineral salts in it for drinking, it is recommended to use bottled water, which is sold everywhere.

The system of measures is metric, but in the market and in small shops often use local or British measures of weight and length. Temperature is measured in degrees Celsius.

It is allowed to import up to 50 cigarettes, 2 bottles of spirits. The import of psychotropic drugs and weapons is prohibited. Printed and video materials may be seized for pornography and “undermining society.” Food and plants may also be seized for inspection. When buying souvenir “antiquities” in the country, you need to keep a receipt for presentation in case of possible questions, national daggers should be packed in checked baggage when exported from the country.

Tourism in Oman