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About Oman


Overview

Located on the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman borders the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Its 119,500 square miles include varied terrain from steep mountain peaks to pristine beaches, from vast deserts to fertile croplands.

The capital, Muscat, was designated the Cultural Capital for the Arab Region in 2006 by the UN and Arab League Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation. Located on the Sea of Oman, Muscat is the seat of government and the center of the nation’s administration. It is an important trade, finance and business center in the Sultanate due to its distinctive and significant strategic location. Muscat has had the honor of receiving the title of “cleanest Arab city” several times in succession.

Historically, the Sultanate has been a seafaring nation and overlooks three seas -- the Arab Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Arabian Sea. Throughout history, Omani ships have sailed to ports in India, Pakistan, China, and Africa, trading commercial goods, crafts, and cultural traditions.

Oman developed rapidly as a result of the country’s renaissance in the 1970’s under the wise leadership of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said. Today, Oman is a modern monarchy led by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said. Full suffrage is granted to all citizens over the age of 21, who elect one of two governing councils. Women play an active role in every facet of Omani life. Adult literacy exceeds 75% and Arabic is the official language, although many languages are spoken. Islam is the official state religion and source of legislation for the Basic Statute of the State.

Oil is Oman's principal export, along with fish and agricultural products, liquid natural gas, and traditional crafts. Oman's tourism industry plays a growing role in the economy, offering museums, sightseeing, shopping, and international style accommodations. From watersports to desert safaris, from camel races to sanctuaries for turtles, birds, Oryx, and Arabian tigers, Oman truly offers something for everyone.


Culture

Although Arabic is Oman's official language, there are native speakers of different dialects such as Balochi. Certain communities speak other Southern Arabian Semitic languages, that are only distantly related to classical Arabic. Swahili is also widely spoken in the country due to the historical relations between Oman and Zanzibar. The dominant indigenous language is a dialect of Arabic and the country has also adopted English as a second language. Almost all signs and writings appear in both Arabic and English.

Today the traditional dress continues to be worn by most Omani men. They wear an ankle-length, collarless robe called a dishdasha that buttons at the neck with a tassel hanging down. Traditionally this tassel would be dipped in perfume. Today the tassel is merely a traditional part of the dishdasha. Oman is famous for its Khanjar knives, which are curved daggers worn by men during holidays as part of their ceremonial dress.

Women wear a hijab and abaya. Some women cover their faces and hands, but most do not. The abaya is the formal dress, tailored and worn in different contemporary and traditional styles. The Sultan has forbidden the covering of faces for people in public office. On holidays, such as Eid, the women wear traditional dress, distinct in appearance from one region to another. These are often very brightly colored and consist of a mid-calf length tunic over pants.

A very important part of Omani culture is hospitality. If invited into an Omani house, a visitor is likely to be greeted with a bowl of dates, Qahwa (coffee with cardamom) and fruit. The coffee is served fairly weak in a small cup, which should be shaken after three servings to show that you have finished. Dates are served in lieu of sugar. Halwa and other sweets are often given at celebrations such as Eids.

Even though Oman is a modern country, western influences are quite restricted. As is the case with most Middle Eastern countries, alcohol is only available in some hotels and few restaurants.


The Omani culture is steeped in the religion of Islam. Oman has developed its own conservative branch of Islam, known as Ibadhism. In addition, there are both Sunni and Shia Muslims in Oman. With this in mind the religious month of fasting, Ramadan, and other Islamic festivities are very important events in Omani culture.


Planning Your Holiday


Applying for Tourist Visa’s

There are 2 types of tourist visa’s, Sponsored and Unsponsored.

An unsponsored visa allows a person to enter the country as a tourist without first having to secure permission from a local company.

To find out if you are eligible for an unsponsored tourist visa, please go to this website:

Visit website

If you are eligible for the unsponsored tourist visa, you can apply for the visa online using the eVisa facility. Please find the link for the eVisa facility below: Visit website


The application procedure is as follows:

  1. Register as a new user.
  2. Login.
  3. Fill in the form.
  4. Attach the necessary documents.
  5. Make your payment.
  6. Receive an email notification.
  7. Print out your email notification.
  8. Present your printed email notification to the border control office on arrival.
  9. The price for the visa depends on the length of your visit and should range from USD 26 to USD 52 (as of the beginning of 2020).

    If you are not eligible for an unsponsored tourist visa, please contact us, and we will inform you of your eligiblity for a sponsored tourist visa.

    If you are eligible for a sponsored tourist visa, communicate your details to us, and we can make the necessary arrangements for you.

    Emergency Numbers

    Country Code: +968
    Police Emergency: 9999
    Water Emergency: 153
    Electricity Emergency: 154

    Please print out the document for a comprehensive list of emergency telephone numbers:


    Climate Considerations

    Summer begins in mid-April and lasts until October. The highest temperatures are registered in the interior, where readings of more than 50° C in the shade are common. On the Al Batinah plain, summer temperatures seldom exceed 46° C, but, because of the low elevation, the humidity may be as high as 90 percent. The mean summer temperature in Muscat is 33° C, but the gharbi (literally, western), a strong wind that blows from the Rub al Khali, can raise temperatures from the towns on the Gulf of Oman by 6° C to 10° C.

    Winter temperatures are mild and pleasant, ranging between 15° C and 23° C.

    Precipitation on the coasts and on the interior plains ranges from twenty to 100 millimeters a year and falls during mid and late winter. Rainfall in the mountains, particularly over Al Jabal al Akhdar, is much higher and may reach 700 millimeters.

    Because the plateau of Al Jabal al Akhdar is porous limestone, rainfall seeps quickly through it, and the vegetation, which might be expected to be more lush, is meager. However, a huge reservoir under the plateau provides springs for low-lying areas. In addition, an enormous wadi channels water to these valleys, making the area agriculturally productive in years of good rainfall.

    Dhofar, benefiting from a southwest monsoon between June and September, receives heavier rainfall and has constantly running streams, which make the region Oman's most fertile area.

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