Tips for Traveling to Oman

Me, and four of my friends, signed up for a walking tour in Oman with KE Adventures.  In our planning process and upon arrival, we learned lots of things about Oman.

Visas for Oman

First, for US citizens, it is required to get a visa which can be done online at the Royal Oman Police website.  The website which requires clicking on every “?” sign to find out the details can be laborious at times.

From the start, be sure to use a secure an 8 digit password or you’ll end up in a loop without knowing what is wrong and not being able to access the forms.

Next, the visa is only good for 30 days after purchase, so wait to order it until the month before your departure date.  Ordering it too early like some of my friends can really become a mess! 

I ordered mine which required filling out some forms and uploading a picture of me and my passport two weeks before departure.  I received the visa the next day in my email, though it can take up to four days, so don’t wait until the last minute.

With the visa in hand, skip the evisa collection line in the Muscat International Airport and continue to immigration. The international hall is very pretty, so take a minute to admire the art work and benches on the trek from the jetway.

muscat international airport in Oman

Taxis in Oman

After picking up your bag and leaving baggage claim, many gentlemen will be standing in the arrivals lounge offering a taxi.  Do not accept as there are metered airport taxis outside  The taxis only accept cash, so make your way to the ATM.

We did not find an ATM by following the sign pointing straight ahead or to the left.  Instead, it was to the right all the way down at the end across from the bathroom.  While the exchange rate is atrocious, the pricing for meals and taxis are similar to that of the USA.

Muscat is very spread out, so our 20-30 minute ride to the Ramee Guestline Hotel which was our tour company’s choice cost about 12 or 13 OMR, approximately $35.

The taxi drivers drive like maniacs, usually ignoring the lines for the lanes, but they are super friendly, speak English, and point out all the attractions in the city.  There is no need to wave them down. They will honk, stop, and encourage you to take a tour with them!

taxi in muscat, oman
We said we would want a taxi soon, so he followed us around Old Muscat!

While the airport taxis are metered, the other taxis are not.  Be sure to ask your hotel for prices to places you want to go and negotiate with the driver before getting in the car.  Most of the time, we paid 5-7 OMR.

Arrival in Oman

If you want almost nothing to do on your arrival day, land on Friday as all the museums, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and Royal Opera House Muscat are closed!  We did this by mistake, but after two overnight flights and a twelve-hour layover in London, just taking a short walk around Old Muscat or along the Mutrah Corniche or Qurum Beach is a perfect option. 

Qurum Beach in Muscat Oman
Qurum Beach

For those trying to take in the sites in a day or so, be sure to arrive Sunday through Thursday and remember that most restaurants and shops close every afternoon from 1-4, or thereabout.

Dress Code

Oman is very conservative and it is important to respect their dress code. The mosque will require women to be covered from head to toe, so wear pants and long sleeves and bring a scarf for a head cover, otherwise you will have to rent a traditional Omani outfit.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

For most other places, sleeves past the elbows and pants past the knees suffice.

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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