Officially named the Sultanate of Oman or more commonly referred to as Oman is an Arab country that is collated on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It goes all the way down to Yemen. This country is filled with all kinds of views and landscapes such as mountains, desert and a coastline view of the Arabian Sea.
It surely is a beautiful place for your next adventure destination, especially since Oman and its people are very tourist-friendly.
However, since there isn’t any public transportation in this country, you will need a bit of help, tips, and a guide to help you experience your adventure properly. So, before you rush to buy plane tickets to Oman, here are some things you should know about visiting this state.
Be prepared for the scorching hot days
Just like all the other countries located on the Persian Gulf, this one also has one of the hottest climates in the whole world. Summer temperature averaging anywhere from 30 to 40 °C while the maximum temperature can be a lot more than that. Although if you visit here through the winter days, you will be in a lot more bearable temperature that ranges anywhere between 15 °C to 25 °C.
Keep in mind, most of the land of this country is a desert, and since the desert does not have any objects or ground to capture the heat, the night can be very cold reaching a temperature below 0 °C.
Muscat, the capital of Oman, is quite hot and humid during both the day and the night, so you won’t have to worry about taking warm clothing with you if you plan to stay in this city. Other cities such as Salalah may have a much more relaxing atmosphere and weather with loads of rain. Don’t worry, rain might seem like it can ruin vacations, but when you are in a place where it is constantly hot, it can come as quite a surprise, freshening up the air making it just a bit more bearable.
Either way, make sure you do some research about the weather and temperature on the oncoming days no matter which season you are going. You do not want to be caught with too hot or too cold weather and get sick for your short vacation.
You will need a visa
Just a couple of years ago, people were able to buy a visa at the arrival in Oman, but now you have to go through a certain process online to get an E-visa. Even if they still have the option to get one at arrival, we recommend that you do the process online in advance because it can save you a lot of time. You won’t have to be waiting for hours in a queue in hot and humid weather. Sure, you might get lucky and avoid all the crowded queues, by why rely on luck when you can bypass all this hassle on your own.
First, you will need to qualify whether your country is eligible for an electronic visa and then you will need to ensure that your passport is up-to-date. You cannot go anywhere with an outdated passport, can you? Next, you will need to upload a digital photo of yourself and then fill all of the needed information on the application. This whole process does not last any more than 15 minutes and you will probably get validation from government officials in a few days.
Finally, you will need to input your credit card or PayPal, depending on the website you use and you will be charged somewhere around 50 USD. This is if you get the 1-month single-entry one, a 1-year multi-entry visa will cost you somewhere around 120 USD. Check oman-evisa website, to find out about the current E Visa prices.
Exchange your currency
If you manage to find an exchange office that will provide you with Omani Rial in your own country, then you will probably save up a bit on the exchange rate. Although, the exchange offices in Oman are not so expensive, so don’t spend time worrying about it. One Omani Rial will equal to 2.22 euros or 2.60 US dollars.
There is also the baisa which works similarly as the cent, you will probably have a lot of those by the end of your trip. One thousand of these will amount you to one Omani Rial. The bills do not have any numbering on them which can be quite difficult at first to understand their worth, but once you use them a couple of times, you will soon remember them by their color and images.
Consider renting a car
Oman is not a small country, especially when you consider that most of the land is deserts, mountains, and other uninhabited places. They may be habituated, but it is probably by a few villagers, so you won’t find any official roads or public transport to such places. This is why we recommend that you rent yourself a car because the buses only go from one city to another, they will not get you anywhere special. Consider getting an SUV or a four-wheel vehicle with a high clearance because you will probably be driving through hard terrain.
If this is your first time going to an unknown country where you are not familiar with the language then you should definitely find yourself a guide which can help you find the best places in Oman. If you have a bit of experience with off-roading, then you will probably have no problem finding the right places without a guide.
While Oman is filled with desserts and dry rocks there are a lot of bodies of water riddled all over the country. Finding an oasis in the middle of nowhere is not uncommon at all. You can use these places to refill your bottles of water and to quickly cool yourself down. So, make sure you have at least one pair of swimsuits in your backpack before you go anywhere.
Since you will probably be traveling to places where there isn’t any kind of electricity, make sure you get one of those SIM cards that come with a few GB of internet. You won’t find any wi-fi in the middle of the desert.