GENERAL INFORMATION

The Sultanate of Oman is situated on the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The coastline extends 1.700 Km from the Straight of Hormuz in the north to the borders of the Republic of Yemen in the South and overlooks three seas: The Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT OMAN

GENERAL INFO
CODE OF CONDUCTS
CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE
DRESS
LANGUAGE
Religion
CLIMATE
WATER
Local TimeThe Sultanate of Oman is +4 hours ahead of GMT in the winter.
CurrencyThe local currency in The Sultanate of Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). The Omani Rial is linked to the USD at the rate of OMR 1.000 =
Land-Area309,500 sq KM
Land Boundaries1,374 KM
Coastline1,700 KM
Population2.9 millions
CurrencyThe unit of currency is the Omani Rial (OMR) comprising 1000 Baizas
ClimateDry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong Southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south.
TerrainCentral desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south.
Highest PointJabal Shams over 3,000 m
Administrative Division3 Governorates – Muscat, Dhofar and Musandam
5 Regions – Al Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Al Sharqiyah and Al Dhahirah.
CapitalMuscat
National DayBirthday of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, 18th November.
Customs & TraditionsWhile in Oman, please respect local customs. Please dress modestly and comfortably.
EtiquetteYou can shake hands in greeting in Oman.
RamadanThe Holy month of Ramadan, a month of fasting is observed. Non Muslims should respect this by not eating, drinking or smoking in public.
ShoppingA shopper’s paradise. Oman offers modern day designer shopping as well as traditional ‘souq’ experience. Shopping malls are open 9 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 10 pm (Except Lulu and Carrefour open daily between 09:00 hrs to 00:00 hrs).
AdventureThe coastline, the deserts, mountains etc. make Oman the Perfect place for water sports like Diving, Sailing, Fishing, Wind Surfing, Water Skiingapart from Dolphin Watching and Whale Watching. On land you can indulge in Camel Racing, Trekking, Rock Climbing, Cave Exploration, Wadi Bashing, Bird Watching and Dune Bashing in the Wahiba Sands.
PhotographyTourist photography is allowed but it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women or near military installations. It is always courteous to ask permission before taking pictures.

Although you are allowed to drink in numerous number of The Sultanate’s bars attached to the hotels, remember this is a Islamic country. There is also zero tolerance towards drinking and driving. That means the legal limit is zero and being caught will usually end in a prison sentence. Certain prescription drugs which are legal elsewhere in the world are banned in The Sultanate of Oman. If you need to take these then you must ensure that you take a doctors prescription with you.

  1. Alcohol cannot be transported overland here in Oman. It is strictly forbidden to do so and if anyone is caught, they will be fined and perhaps arrested.
  2. Alcohol can be purchased at Seeb airport on arrival (2 bottles per passport maximum providing passport holder is non Muslim) and transferred with passenger to a private household within Oman or hotel. This must be transferred directly from airport to place of residence however.
  3. Guests on round trips cannot carry alcohol with them whilst touring around Oman and if found doing so will be liable for a fine as above.
  4. Guests crossing the border between Emirates and Oman and vice versa if found with alcohol will not only hold up the crossing of the border but also have their alcohol confiscated and possible fine.
  5. Alcohol is available in hotels and selected Clubs, Restaurants and Pubs.
  6. Alcohol is not served between 15:00 hrs & 18:00 hrs everyday except Friday.
  7. On Friday alcohol service starts only from 14:00 hrs onwards If alcohol is important during a meal we recommend checking this out with the restaurant before making a firm reservation.

 

The Omani culture is firmly rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia. Courtesy and hospitality are among the most prized virtues and the visitor is sure to be charmed by the genuine warmth and friendliness of the people.

Foreigners are free to practice their own religion, alcohol is served in hotels and provided reasonable discretion is shown, the dress code is liberal. Women face no discrimination and may drive and move around unescorted. Local citizens dress in ‘disdashsa’ (Robe) with a Furakha and ‘Muzzar’ or ‘Kumma’ (head dress). Arab culture and folklore find expression in poetry, dancing songs and traditional art.

Weddings and other celebrations are colorful occasions of feasting and music. Traditional sports such as bull fighting, camel racing and dhow racing continue to thrive.

 

Oman is a Muslim country and it is important that, as guests of the country, everyone should respect the local customs. While there is no official ruling about exactly what you can and can’t wear, Westerners will be expected to dress with more modestly than you would at home in similar temperatures. The Sultanate of Oman is a liberal country, but it is also part of an Islamic world. Women and teenage girls should not wear strappy sundresses, miniskirts, shorts or low necked dresses in public places (e.g. offices, markets, town and shopping areas).

Men should always wear a shirt or top in public. At the poolside or beaches, trunks, swim suits and bikinis are quite acceptable. Good quality sunglasses are advised and photo chrome lenses for those who wear spectacles. Hats or some sort of protection for the head are advisable when in direct sunlight.

 

The official language of the Oman is Arabic. Other languages spoken are English, Baluchi, Urdu and Indian dialects.

The official religion of The Sultanate of Oman is Islam. But other faiths are accepted and freedom of worship is privately given.

Moderate climate is found between October and March when days are sunny and pleasant (Average Temperature – 26oC). Nights are Cool (Average Temperature is 15oC) summer is between April and September, when temperatures peak at 50 with high humidity levels in the desert.

Contrary to general belief the drinking water in The Sultanate of Oman is fit to drink and this can be said for all major hotels here in The Sultanate of Oman, although a wide range of bottled water is available in most shops and super markets.

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