Essential travel tips for

Get In

By Air:

Recently inaugurated brand new Muscat International Airport (IATA: MCT) is main airport of Oman. There is secondary international airport at Salalah (IATA: SLL) but serves far less destinations that Muscat airport. There are number of airlines operates regular scheduled flights to and from Muscat. Table at the end of the page shows airlines and their direct destination. For regular updates on the flights and destinations, you can check Muscat International Airport website here.

By Car:

The most popular land border crossing to Oman is via United Arab Emirates. There are many border crossings however all may not be functioning all the time or will be allowed to cross if you are not a citizen of UAE or Oman. The most popular border crossings are;

Hatta Border at the town of Hatta
Jabel Hafret (Oman side) or Mezyad Border post (UAE side) at the town of Al Ain (Only for GCC Nationals)
Hatmat Milaha (Oman side) or Khatmat Malaha (UAE side)
Buraimi Border (Oman side) or Khatam Al Shikhla (UAE side)

Border crossing by car is very popular with locals and residents of both Oman and UAE, thus it is quite busy and usually takes some time. Roads are excellent and driving is smooth. Do bring some cash to pay for Visa fees at the border from UAE side and payments are only through card at Oman side. If you are bringing the car, you will need to provide evidence of that car is insured in Oman. Make sure you have all entry and exit stamps from both side. Also, your car might get searched by border police.

By Bus:

Another easier way to get into Muscat via Dubai is by taking a bus. Buses are operated by Mwasalat and there are daily scheduled buses between Dubai and Muscat. Bus tickets are fairly inexpensive and you can take either morning or evening bus from Dubai. Usually there are buses three times a day but one should check latest timetable  here. Tickets cannot be brought online.

By Boat:

The port in Muscat is used by cruise ships mainly. Ferries provide important links between ports in Oman and the region, with the National Ferries Company (NFC). Main routes include ferries from Shinas to Khasab (Musandam region). Shinas is roughly 3 hours drive from Muscat and you can take Mwasalat bus service to Muscat. You can take your cars on the ferry to and from Khasab. Ferry can be booked by contacting NFC call center or walk into their office. Online booking most of the time don’t work. For schedule and timing, visit NFC website here.


By Air:

Recently government of Oman announced Visa free arrival for more than 100 Nationalities. List of nationalities are not yet finalised. If it required to apply for the visa, it needs be done online. Visa can be applied on ROP website here. Usually Visa’s are issued quite efficiently and it is a hassle free exercise. Visa eligibility keeps changing on regular basis and best place to check Visa eligibility and fees is on ROP website here.  

If you get one month Visa, it can be easily extended for another one month at Muscat International Airport. However, this is not possible for if you are having multiple entry visa. There is still visa on arrival facility, however, it is recommended to take Visa before traveling since visa on arrival facility is planned to be closed.



It is prohibited to bring firearms, pornographic or objectionable materials inside the country. Flying drone without prior permit is also prohibited and customs may seize your drone upon arrival (you will get it back while departure). Recently government announced planing some relaxed rules for travelers however exact procedure is unknown. This section will be further update on drone usage.

Important Note: As a visitor you cannot buy liquor outside. Only permitted place for visitors to buy alcohol is upon arrival at duty free shop. Alcohol outside is super expensive (one of the most expensive in the world. Pint of beer may cost you 10USD or more) thus if required you should buy it upon arrival.

To and From Airport:

Getting from airport is possible using Airport taxi which runs on meter. Typical fare from airport to say Royal opera house which is approximately 20kms will be around 12 OMR (~30USD). Infrastructure in Oman is really good, so 20km journey will take less than 15mins to cover. Alternatively you can take a bus operated by Mwasalat to various destinations in the town. However bus route is currently on the main road and might need to take taxi from bus stop to your final destination. If distance of travel is 3-4 kilometers, you can take taxi in 1-2 OMR. Alternatively you can download various taxi service app to get hassle free transport.

Important Note: Taxi’s served by apps are not permitted to take passengers from airport. Also you should avoid taking any unauthorised taxi from airport.

Sim card and Internet:

Airport provides free wifi connection for certain amount of time. However you will require cellphone number to get that service. For Omani sim card, there are few operators available and you can buy at the airport. Popular operators are Ooredoo and Omantel. Additionally other operators available are Renna Mobile, Redbull Mobile, and Friendi Mobile. These three operators uses either of Omantel or Ooredoo network anyways. Omantel has best outdoor coverage.

Typically sim card will cost 1 OMR and you need to top up internet plan. Typical 1GB plan for a month will cost anywhere between 3-4 OMR. There are very few public places with free wifi thus having your own sim card will help. Not all restaurants offers wifi service in Muscat. This becomes very rare once you travel outside of Muscat. Some of the places where you can get free wifi usually are bigger shopping malls, and Matrah Souq.

Power Plugs and Sockets:

In Oman, power plugs and sockets are type G (British Origin). The standard voltage is 240 V and frequency is 50 Hz. Multipurpose sockets are rare thus having your own travel adopter will be helpful.

Get Around


There are three main taxi service options in Oman, i.e. city wide regular taxi service, taxi service via mobile app, and shared taxi service.

City wide regular taxi service is easy to identify by it’s Orange-White badges. These taxis are unmetered and you will need to negotiate the price before getting into taxi. Some of these taxis also operates as shared taxis taking multiple passengers on a fixed route. In this case, fare is fairly small. In general, for distance of 10km, roughly 3-4 riyal is a good price.

If you don’t want to get into this hassle, then download one of the local taxi service app. Most popular one is OTaxi. Fair using this service is metered and you get estimated fair as well. This might be only option if you are staying in pure residential area.

Another common taxi service option is the shared ones. These taxis looks like a small van and have fixed stops on the route. Typical price may be 500 Biasa (half of 1 OMR) or 1 OMR depending on the distance. A small note, most of the passengers in shared taxis are male since often it is crowded.


Muscat has improved its public transport greatly in past few years. 3 years ago, there was not a single bus but today, bus operator Mwasalat operates frequently across multiple routes. On most of the roads, Bus stops are marked along with shed, and timetable displayed. It is quite inexpensive option and buses are very comfortable. Unless not related, usually women sit only with women. Men give away their space to for women. One should observe personal distance between gender. It is a cultural behaviour which travelers should.

Along with intercity, there are now some services started for intercity travel. Common routes are from Muscat to Sur, Nizwa, Duqm, and Salalah. You can check intercity service routes and timetable here.

Self Drive:

If you are planning to go outside of Muscat (which you should do), then self driving using rented car is the best option. Oman is a vast country and some of the best places to visit are further away from Muscat without much public transportation available. Fuel is quite inexpensive compared to most of the countries (1 liter of petrol is 200 Baisa ~ 50 $cents) and road quality is extremely good. Thus most of the people driving around Oman in their vehicle.

Depending on the places you want to visit, you will either require off road capable vehicle (4×4 vehicle in general language) or normal saloon car. Having an offroad capable car will give you freedom to explore some of the best sights in Oman. However there is a significant price difference between normal saloon car vs offroad capable cars. Some of the most popular offroad rentals available are Pajero, and Land cruiser. Beside rental companies at the airport, there are various companies offering rental services, including pick up and drop.

Typically most of the rentals offers different prices per vehicle and depending on the duration. Also usually they offer 200km per day as allowed milage (this becomes cumulative depending on number of days) and charges per km additional fees for any additional km clocked. This can also be negotiated with your rental agency. The details of some of the local rental agencies are given towards the end;

It is important to make sure you get valid insurance from rental agency. This will be very useful in any unfortunate incident. Speed limit on highway is 120 km/hr and there are speed cameras are regular intervals. Also, there could be patrolling vehicles of Royal Oman Police (ROP) time to time. If stopped by ROP, just relax. ROP is notably efficient, honest and one of the friendliest police authority you will encounter. Worst case scenario, you will be given fine if your broke any rule.


Muscat is notoriously not a pedestrian friendly city. This is slowly changing with more pavements for walking are added. Since there is nothing called as city center in Muscat, to see most of the places, you will require one or another form of commute. Only place where you can probably walk around and enjoy sightseeing is Matrah and Old Muscat.


Omani are one of the kindest, humble, and down to earth people. However general rules of respect while traveling in Muslim countries should be followed. Omani people loves greeting each other, and sometimes greetings can seems bit longer. However, interaction between opposite gender is limited. Do not shake hands with female unless it offered first by female. Do not smile at the opposite gender, as any interaction between opposite gender can be considered flirting. However greetings between same gender is very common, and is appreciated. Especially if you are outside of Muscat, waving or sign of hello is normal greeting.

Common phrase used to greet is ‘As-Salam Alaykum‘ which means ‘Hello’, and response to it is ‘Alaykum As-Salam‘. So person who greets first will use ‘As-Salam Alaykum‘ and person will respond with ‘Alaykum As-Salam‘. It is very polite and almost everybody starts the conversation with this greeting. It is considered to be rude if conversation is happening and one person is sitting and another person is standing since it may reflect hierarchy. For example if you are looking for direction while driving, it is considered to be polite to get out of the car, greet first and then ask for the direction. General way to say ‘Thank You’ is ‘Shukran‘.

It must be understood that under Omani Law, it is considered an offense if you are aggressive or insulting towards another person including offensive gestures. It is very rare for you to find any Omani person angry, even in difficult situations. One such example would be, in case of vehicle accidents, you will find that rather than being aggressive towards each other, it is common that person will get out of their vehicle, greet each other, check if other person is okay, and wait for police to arrive for formal procedure. All this happens without being hostile towards each other. Being polite and avoiding confrontation is in DNA of Oman.

Omani people (and other residents as well) considers Sultan of Oman in very high regard. Specially His Majesty late Sultan Qaboos who is considered to be father of modern nation is dear to whole nation. Sultan of Oman who has done more to develop the nation into modern prosperous state, it is expected to held him in extreme respect.

It is considered to be impolite to use your left hand for transactions. While exchanging goods or cash, it is preferred to use right hand. Also, it is impolite to leave cash at the counter but rather should be handed over to the person. Drinking alcohol in public in an offense and should be avoided.

Omani people are very hospitable. Especially if you venture outside of Muscat, you might get invited by local family to eat or drink coffee. It is considered to be polite to accept the invitation, even if it is for small duration. If you get invited to someone’s house, usually female seating area is separate from male seating area, and you will be escorted to these specific sitting area. Leaving your footwear at the door is a custom. Sometimes in exchange of help, they may offer you dates or sweet. Please do accept such since it is given in good faith.

Wearing swimwear at beaches, hotel pools is quite common, however less so common in public beaches in Muscat. However, outside of Muscat, wearing swimwear most of the beaches is quite common. However public nudity is not allowed. It is common courtesy or practice to keep enough distance between fellow beachgoers. But it is expected to wear modest clothing in public places such as souq, markets or shopping malls where covering shoulders and knee length cloths are appreciated. You may not be confornted by fellow person but it will draw upon not-so-friendly stare.


Oman is one of the safest countries in the world and one of the most peaceful. Violent crime is extremely rare. With me living in Oman for six years, I haven’t encountered even a single pickpocket incident. ROP is very efficient in providing any support required in case of any emergency. Hotline to contact ROP is 9999. It is extremely safe for solo female traveler, however general precautions during travel is always advisable.

Most common incidents are related to driving however in recent time government put huge efforts to reduce road incidents. Still you will find tailgating, over speeding and changing lanes without indicator is common. Thus while driving always give way to other vehicles, and keep safe distance between vehicles. Most of the highways are lite in the night. However avoid driving in the night on single lane road (where there is no road divider)

The region is not known for high amount of rainfall, however any rainfall will lead into flashflood. Flashfloods are extremely dangerous and each year unfortunately many lives are due to it. During flashflood, seemingly dry wadi within matter of a minute will overflow with water. Do not attempt to cross the water during flashflood. Even best of 4×4 will not make it and also it is a punishable crime. With any sign of cloud or rain, avoid going in the mountain area, and if you are on the road, be aware of various signs for wadi and keep an eye for any sign of flashflood. Lately most of the wadi crossings are marked with the names of Wadi.

Best place to get weather related information is on Director General of Meteorology website which can be found here. You can also download the app. You will find all official warnings related to weather, and also check city/area wise weather forecast.

During summer, it can get extremely hot where temperature reaching upto 50 DegC. Even at the mountain during summer, even if air temperature seems cooler than coastal area, direct Sun is very harsh. Keep yourself hydrated, especially if you are planning for any hikes during summer. There has been incidents in the past where people have died due to dehydration. Dehydration should not be mistaken with thirst since you can be dehydrated even without feeling thirsty. Venturing in desert in summer should be avoided since during summer in the evening hours spiders, scorpions and snakes come out to surface.

Desert Driving Tips:

This section reserved for writing about tips and tricks for desert driving


Most frequent questions and answers

Oman is one of the safest and most peaceful country in the world. It is considered as Switzerland of Middle East. Oman was one of the few countries who got score of zero on Global Terrorism Index, meaning there is no impact of terrorism and ranked consistently high on Global Peace Index. So in short, it is one of the safest country you can travel to.

Omani society in general is very respectful towards each other, specially women. There are very rare incidents of violence or physical abuse on female traveler, however it is always recommended to be conservative in behavior. General tips are;

  • Try not to go alone at night
  • If you are taking a taxi, always sit in the back seat
  • Wear conservative clothing
  • Do not speak with the driver more than necessary. Suggestive clothing and chit chating is considered an invitation / sometimes offensive depending on the person you are dealing with

Camping is way of life in Oman. It is one of the raw country which is not spoiled by mass tourism and you can enjoy rawness of the place. Most of the outdoor places, there is no other option than camping since either there are accommodations or either it is too expensive. I think camping is the best way to explore Oman. However certain natural reserves (e.g. Ras Al Hadd) prohibits overnight camping. If camping is not allowed, you will find sign boards indicating so.

Simple Google search will yeild many different results for eVisa. However only issuing authority is Royal Oman Police and to apply for Visa, you will need to submit online application, along with required documents on Any other wesbite (especially ending with .com) could be potentially a fraud. Procedure is very simple and efficient.

Summer is not a time usually people visit Oman since it can be extremely hot. However you can still explore plenty of Oman if this is the only time available for you. However, walking under direct Sun would be extremely difficult. Most of the residents on Oman loves to go to mountains in Summer where temperature is cooler than the coastal area. You can still explore the beaches or wadis. Best time would be in the early morning or in the late afternoon. Temperature starts going down as you travel down South. One such point would be Downsouth of Sur, you will experience slightly cooler temperature than in Muscat region. During this summer period, Dofar region get’s it khareef (Mansoon) season. Typically from June to August, Dofar region gets covered in green blanket, with rainfall and mist, with plenty of wadis and waterfall flowling, it becomes region to go. One such popular place to visit during summer is Salalah. So yes, you can still visit, however exploration could be limited.

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