Oman

Oman – The Most Beautiful Undiscovered Treasure Of The Middle East 2020

Oman is an Arab jewel located at the very beginning of the Persian Gulf. It is known for its rich history, natural resources, colorful relief, and unique culture. All this is further enriched by the numerous archaeological and historical sites and festivals that take place throughout the year.

The Jewel Of The Persian Gulf

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The Oman coast extends over 1300 km, with the country bordering the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Tourism in Oman hardly existed until 1970, when the new Sultan Qaboos bin Said came to power. The new ruler, though authoritarian, is credited with modernizing what the locals call the Renaissance. Oman has succeeded in making peace in the country, catching up with its wealthier neighbors, paving the roads and creating conditions for the reception of tourists to present its rich heritage.

What To See In Oman?

If you have a week to visit Oman, we recommend that you include all or at least a part of what we recommend. You can experience all sides of this unusual country. Rent a car and drive yourself between the cities, visit the desert, take a swim at a beach and come back home richer for another wonderful travel experience.

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Capital Of Oman – Muscat

Muscat is the capital of this sultanate and you will most likely start your journey here after landing at the airport. Stay at least two days to see the city and the surrounding area. If you are more interested in nature and limited in time, then one day will be enough. The main attraction of the city is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. For non-Muslims, the doors of the mosque are open from 9 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 9 pm, from Saturday to Wednesday, and on other days you can walk around, sit in the gardens and take pictures. If you want to buy something, head to Muscat City Center to eat something, and if you want to meet locals, you can opt for a dinner with local families. You can spend the evening at the locals’ home and feel their hospitality through food and conversation – for which they are well-known.

Al Qurum Beach (Shatti Al Qurum)

Al Qurum is a very popular district in Muscat because of its location along a spectacular beach with golden sand and beautiful views of the turquoise bay. Sunbathe and swim during the day and don’t miss the sunset, when the beach is the most crowded. Have dinner at one of the beach restaurants, and then head to the Royal Opera House for some art shows.

Muscat Festival

You may find yourself traveling just in time to see the famous Muscat Festival. Muscat Festival is one of the most famous in Oman. It is held during January and February, and at the festival, visitors can experience the Oman culture, heritage, and traditions through folk dances, performances, special costumes, and food. This festival is very attractive to both, locals and visiting tourists. Certainly, if you intend to visit this country, you must keep in mind that you need a tourist visa. You can apply for a visa very easily – online, through the oman-evisa.com website. The type of visa you will receive as a tourist depends on the length of your visit to this country. You can get it in 10 to 30 days, and you must use it within the first month.

Turquoise Lake Bimmah

Just over an hour’s drive is the Bimmah Sinkhole or Hawiyat Najm tourist attraction. It is a hole in a limestone rock filled with water. It is partly salty due to the sea and partly freshwater because of the water coming from the mountains. This turquoise lake is 50 × 70 meters wide and 20 meters deep. You can swim in the lake, so it is a great opportunity for refreshment, but also for Instagram shots that everyone will envy.

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Nizwa – Forts, And Castles

Nizwa is one of the oldest cities in Oman that was once the center of education, arts, and commerce. The city is full of natural and architectural attractions, including Nizwa Fort, Jabreen Castle, Al Hoota Cave, and Sultan Qaboos Mosque. It will be enough for one day to get to know the city before embarking on exploring Oman.

Al-Hajar Mountains

The Al Hajar Mountains are the highest mountain range in the Arabian Peninsula, located in the north of the country and some 90 kilometers from Nizwa. If you are driving by car from Nizwa, stop midway in the village of Misfat Al Abriyyen, which is famous for its beautiful agricultural terraces, lovely streets and old houses built on top of rocks. It is located at 1km above sea level and is an excellent place for rest and panoramic views while enjoying good food. Continue to the mountains and discover many oases, towns, and villages where you can spend the night. They will serve as a base for hiking to the mountain peaks that offer a spectacular view. The most popular mountains are Jebel Shams (Sun Mountain) and Al Jebel Al Akhdar (Green Mountain).

A Trip To The Desert

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There is no shortage of sand in Oman, that’s for sure. The Sharqiya Sands (locally named Wahiba) that extend from north to south along 180 kilometers is the most visited area of the Oman desert. This desert can be easily reached from Muscat. In the Wahiba Desert live Bedouins, whose life can be somewhat experienced if you go on an overnight trip. It is recommended that you not go on half-day trips because you will not experience a night out in the desert, especially candlelight dinner with beautiful oriental music. The dunes in Wahiba reach up to 100 meters high. The optimal time to visit Wahiba is from October to early April, when daytime temperatures are between 25 and 35 ° C and overnight between 15 and 25 ° C. In the summer, the desert is quite unbearable because of the extreme heat, so avoid visiting from June through August, although April and September can also be pretty hot.

Salalah

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One of the most beautiful cities in southern Oman is Salalah, known for the monsoon season that runs from June to September. The season bears the name Khareef, and during it, the rain falls in a larger volume, so many call it the Green Season. Due to this specific climate phenomenon, there are many trees and grass in this area, whose greenery attracts many tourists. The Khareef Festival lasts as long as 6 weeks, during which visitors can enjoy carnivals, musical performances, traditional dances and, of course, traditional food. Al Maghseel Beach, Al Marneef Cave, Taqah Castle and Al Baleed Archeological Site are just some of the more popular sites among visitors.

Oman Visa – How to Get it?

Obtaining a Visa for visiting Oman is required for some countries, and others benefit from the Visa waiver program. Oman is a beautiful place that has changed the way you obtain a travel Visa the same way as most countries do. The transition has gone to the online world, where you can instead fill out the form online, pay online, and receive your Visa via email. This new way of obtaining travel Visas was introduced in March 2018, and it’s been very successful. This makes it very easy for people to obtain the Visa while still at home, instead of having to fill up forms at airports and border posts.

Oman Visa Policies

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There are countries that do not require a Visa to require Oman. These countries are the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Also, holders of diplomatic or official passports from Cyprus, Belarus, Germany, Japan, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Portugal do not require a Visa to enter Oman.

A total of 71 countries are allowed to obtain an electronic Visa, which is valid for 30 days, prior to their arrival in Oman. These include all European Union member countries, Andora, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Lebanon, Lichtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, NZ, Norway, Paraguay, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Uruguay, Vatican City, and Venezuela. This decision became available on March 21st, 2018.

How to Apply for an Oman Visa?

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Applying for a Visa to visit the Sultanate of Oman is very easy and straightforward. It requires only a few minutes of your time and it takes a few clicks. Start by visiting the official Oman website where you can apply there, or you can visit oman-evisa.com instead. To apply for the Visa, you must have a valid email address and your travel documents. The Visa application is a form that you must fill out based on your travel documents. Once you finish filling up the forms, print out the form and pay for the processing fees by eighter credit card (VISA/Mastercard) or by PayPal. Once the fee has been paid, you will receive an e-mail of your application and the option to print out the visa once it’s finished (usually in less than 24 hours).

You also don’t need to print the Visa and you can always present the email at border control offices.

According to immigrationlawyertorontofirm.ca, in order to apply for the Visa, your passport needs to be valid for at least the next six months from the arrival date in Oman. The Visa itself is valid for six months once you arrive, and it allows you a single 30-day entry in Oman. The stay cannot be modified under any circumstances, which means it cannot be extended. You can always renew your Visa on the spot at the Royal Omani Police and it will cost you 20 Rials.

Tips For The First Time Travelers To Oman

If you’re planning on visiting Oman for the first time, then there are a couple of things to know that will make your travel experience even better. Oman is a wonderful country located on the Arabian Peninsula, with charming architecture and unprecedented natural beauty.

And if you’re looking to make your travel unforgettable, then consider reading this friendly article that we’ve put together aimed at first-time travelers to Oman.

It’s Quite Hot Down There

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Oman is very sunny and very hot throughout the year. There is no cold weather on the Arabian Peninsula, and Oman is no exception to it. There are two predominant climates in Oman. You have the summers, where temperatures can rack up in the mid-40s, and you have the “winter” when temperatures usually range between 17 and 25 degrees Celsius. However, the weather in the mountains is generally different than in most cities, with one of the colder places being the Al Hajar Mountains, especially during the nights.

The capital city, Muscat, is very humid and very hot during the day, and that will not change during the nights most summers. On the other hand, Salalah is quite different as it is the place that receives the most rain during the year. This makes the weather there very pleasant. For traveling purposes, we suggest you visit Oman during the winter season (October to February).

Travel Information

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Like most places on Earth, Oman requires travelers from certain countries to acquire a Visa before entering the country. Luckily, the Visa can be acquired eighter online or as soon as you reach the border. Visas range from 10-day stay to 30-day stay, to even an entire year. Prices for each go from $12 to $52 to $130 respectively. For more Oman Visa information, heads over to https://oman-evisa.com/

Respect Omani Culture

The people of Oman are very religious and it is even said that almost the entire Omani population is deeply rooted in religion, tradition, and culture. The people of Oman are very conservative and that is especially reflected by the way they dress and behave in public. Omani men usually wear traditional dishdasha, which is a piece of white or colorful long cloth that covers them entirely or they can be found wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but the former is more popular. They also wear a kummah, which is a traditional cap.

Omani women are also deeply rooted in wearing traditional clothes, which usually come in the form of a black or colorful abaya. The abaya is also a long piece of cloth that covers them entirely, usually accompanied by a scarf that also covers their heads.

While the people of Oman don’t expect you to wear their clothes, they do take offense when they see tourists expose too much of their skin. This is precisely why you shouldn’t wear a bikini in public spaces such as public pools or public beaches.

Money in Oman

The official currency of Oman is the Omani Rial. One Omani Rial equal to 1,000 baisas, which is yet another smaller currency. One Omani Rial equals to $2,60, or 2,35 Euros, or 2,15 GBP. Omani Rial comes in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 paper notes, and 100 and 500 baisas. You are not required to tip for services in Oman, but you can do so if you so choose to.