The magnificent country of Oman is located in a pretty unique spot on the south-eastern coast of Arabian Peninsula, right at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. It lies between the latitudes 16° and 28°N, and longitudes 52° and 60° E. Its neighbouring countries are United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west and Yemen to the southwest. Oman also shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan.
The first word that probably comes to mind when one thinks about Oman is possibly „a desert” – which is quite understandable. Indeed, a gravel desert plain happens to cover most of the central part of the country. Since during the past epochs the territory of Oman was covered by the ocean, it is possible to bump into the fossilized shells far away from the modern coastline… Additionally, it so happens that the central part of Omani desert is an important source of meteorites for scientific research – the night sky looks amazing from here.
Furthermore, that’s not everything this beautiful country has to offer. Oman’s landscape astonishes the tourists by its majestic mountain ranges situated along the north coast (Al Hajar Mountains) and south coast (Qara Mountains, sometimes called also Dofar). Most of the country’s economy, as well as its vibrant culture and constantly growing tourism, concentrates on the coast where the main cities are situated: Muscat, Sohar and Sur in the north and Salalah in the south. That’s one of the reasons – besides the possibility of observing the large variety of whales on the way! – why it is strongly recommended to discover Oman during the cruise on the Arabian Sea.
What’s more, Oman is one of a few countries in the world that possesses exclaves – so the parts of its territory are separated from the main part by surrounding alien territories of another state, in this case: United Arab Emirates. One of them is the Musandem Peninsula located on the Strait of Hormuz and full of picturesque fishing villages that are easily accessible by sea. Another Omani exclave, Madha, is located halfway between the mainland and the Musandem Peninsula.
If you enjoy high temperatures and sunny weather, this is definitely a good place for you to visit. Generally speaking, Oman – as well as the other countries situated in the proximity of Persian Gulf – has one of the hottest climates in the world. The average summer temperatures of its capital, Muscat, and the northern part of the country fluctuate between 30 and 40 degrees. The southern regions are slightly colder – in the city of Salalah the summer temperatures average between 20 and 30 degrees.
As for the rainfall, it varies depending on the region, but most of the territory of Oman doesn’t receive much of it – the annual rainfall in Muscat oscillates around 100 mm and it is usually observed in January. This doesn’t apply to the northern mountain areas, such as Jabal Akhdar: on its higher parts the estimated annual rainfall is around 400 mm on average. Every few years the tops of the mountains are even covered with snow!
The situation is a little bit different when it comes to the southern part of the country. In the Dhofar Mountains, not far from the city of Salalah, the climate is described as tropical. Between late June and late September, the area receives a seasonal rainfall as a result of monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean. The summer air is at that time saturated with fog and cool moisture. Meanwhile, the island of Masirah and its surroundings often receives no rain at all for a few years straight (and the temperatures during the day often reach 50 degrees).
Amazing diversity, isn’t it?
We are based right in the vibrant capital of Oman, Muscat, in the proximity of outstanding touristic sites, commerce centres, bars and restaurants. The cost of a taxi ride from Muscat International Airport to Al Mouj Marina ‘The Wave’ is around OMR 8.00 (+/- EUR 18). The ride takes about 15 minutes depending on the traffic.
The modern Muscat International Airport (MCT) is situated 32 km from the city centre of Muscat. It has 2 terminals (Terminal 1 or the New Terminal for international flights and Terminal 2 or the Old Terminal for the domestic flights) and many facilities to make your travel easier, including shops (also duty-free shops), restaurants and bars as well as banks, exchange offices and car rentals.
All international visitors of Oman must hold a passport valid for at least 6 month beyond the arrival date. However, the visa policy of the country varies towards the visitors from different countries:
There are also some visa exemptions for holders of a visa for Qatar and the Emirate of Dubai which should be consulted with the competent authorities.
Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in most of the places in the country. Other cards, such as Diners Club or American Express, may be refused in many shops or charged an additional fee. Additionally, it is recommended to hold some money in cash to pay for taxis or in the local markets.
Omani rial (OMR, OR, often also RO). 1 OMR = 2,30 euro. 1 rial is divided into 1000 baisa (or baiza=bz). As for the denominations, there are 50, 20, 10, 5, 1, 0.5 rial as well as 200 and 100 baisa notes and coins of 50, 25, 10 and 5 baisa. It is advisable to exchange dollars to rials by moneychangers – they usually offer a slightly more competitive rate than the banks.
Non-Muslim travellers entering the territory of Oman by the air transport are allowed to bring in two bottles of wine or spirits. It is illegal, however, to cross the border through a land checkpoint between Oman and United Arab Emirates carrying any amount of alcohol. As for cigars, tobacco and cigarettes, it is stated in the law that a „reasonable quantity” of them can be imported to Oman. It’s worth remembering that drug or weaponry possession in Oman is strictly forbidden and the penalties are very severe.
240 volt AC , 50 Hz
There are two telecommunication providers in Oman: Omantel and Ooredoo, both offering competitive digital data packs. The network functions very well on the shoreline and in the main cities in towns; going further from these areas, however, you may find some troubles with connection.
Arabic, Urdu, Persian (English relatively widely spoken)
The country code is +968
The time zone in Oman is UTC/GMT +4, also known as Gulf Standard Time (GST). The country do not use Daylight Saving Time (DST), therefore the time doesn’t change to summer or winter time.
Tipping in Oman is not really widespread, comparing to the other countries of the region. In bigger restaurants and hotels 10% is expected as a tip, unless the service fee has already been included in the bill. A tip of 1 OR is a standard for baggage handling and room service. Tipping in taxis is discretionary.
Oman is a beautiful, exotic country which will surprise you with abundance of landscapes, great cuisine and hospitality of the citizens. Three geographic characteristics distinguishing Oman are rocky terrains, extensive deserts and gorgeous long beaches. Owing to this diverse landscape it is a wonderful place, perfect for sailing and experiencing the adventure of a lifetime.
Our suggestion is 5 days Oman sailing + 5 days Oman land tour.
Model: Lagoon 39