Oman is a state in Western Asia, in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It is washed by the waters of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.
Since February 2019 there are no more visas on arrival. Since then, all citizens of the EU, EFTA and European mini-states have been required to apply for a visa electronically. Applications must be submitted at least one week prior to the planned arrival date.
The fee is 20 OMR (approx. €46.50). The visa can still be obtained from the embassy in Berlin.
Omani Embassy, Clayallee 82, 14195 Berlin. Tel.: 49 30 8100 510. Open: Mon.-Fri. 10.00-15.00. Price: €12-120 depending on the type of visa. Last modified: Apr. 2019 (information may be out of date) edit info
If you arrive by car from the UAE, it should be noted that when leaving the UAE, an exit tax of AED 35 per vehicle must be paid. There are no taxes on departure from the Musandam area and at the airport.
In addition to their boarding pass, cruise ship passengers only need a shore leave card, which they receive when disembarking the ship; the passport can remain on board the ship.
Special arrangement from Dubai
Anyone entering Dubai (not the other sheikhdoms of the UAE) via the airport or by ferry from Iran to Port Rashid there and indicating upon entry that they also want to visit Oman will receive an additional “visa waiver” sticker. that he can travel to Oman within three weeks without having to pay a visa fee. On the return trip, the receipt for the UAE departure tax of 35 dirhams must be presented again.
From Oman, the regulation applies analogously if you enter via Muscat Airport or the land border at Hatta. However, since no fee is due for Europeans when entering the UAE, you save nothing.
This regulation only applies to citizens of 21 states, essentially the core EU before the eastward enlargement, Switzerland but not Liechtenstein.
Special arrangement from Qatar
A similar special regulation also applies to visitors who have a residence permit for Qatar that is valid for at least one month.
The list of eligible nationalities is similar to that for the Dubai special regime, but Liechtensteiners are included here.
Oman can be reached daily from D/CH/A by plane with many major international airlines. Destination is Muscat International Airport (formerly Seeb International Airport), Airport Code MCT - about 25 km west of Muscat.
From Frankfurt there is a direct connection to Muscat (http://www.lufthansa.de). Lufthansa flies 6 times a week from Frankfurt to Muscat with a stopover in Abu Dhabi, Swiss flies daily from Zurich with a stopover in Dubai. The national airline Oman Air (http://www.omanair.com/) has two non-stop connections a week from Frankfurt and four times a week from Zurich to Muscat. There is also a direct flight from Munich. Otherwise there are various transfer connections via Abu Dhabi (http://www.etihadairways.com), Doha (http://www.qatarairways.com/de) or Dubai (http://www.emirates.de).
There is no rail service to Oman.
The Oman National Transport Company operates buses from the United Arab Emirates to Muscat. There are also bus connections to the individual cities in Oman and within Muscat. The bus station is in Ruwi, opposite KFC. From there, the air-conditioned buses also go to Salalah (journey time approx. 12 hours), Abu Dhabi and Dubai as well as Al Buraimi and other cities in the Sultanate.
All major as well as national car rental companies offer rental cars. Right-hand traffic applies. European motorists will quickly find their way around without major problems. A liter of unleaded petrol costs about 0.31 euros (as of December 2012). Top speed 120 km/h. Within the Muscat city highway, you should drive between 80 and 100, as occasionally shared taxis brake abruptly or enter the highway from the hard shoulder. The most up-to-date road map is from Reise Know How Verlag, January 3, 2011 edition. Navigation systems are used to orientate oneself within Oman. Street names are very rarely assigned. The road network has been greatly expanded in recent years. Many traffic routes that were recently runways are now paved and in very good condition. Motorways exist between the northern border at Sohar via Muscat to Sur and from the border at Al Ain coming from the Emirates via Nizwa to the Capital Area. The construction of unpaved roads was also promoted in the remote areas in the mountains.
Sometimes cruise ships dock in Muscat and Salalah. Otherwise there are no regular ship connections or ferries.
Railways are still unknown in Oman, but plans are being made (now
seriously) for a connection to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Bus service between major cities in Oman is provided by the Oman National Transport Company.
There is a dense network of relatively inexpensive long-distance taxis across the country. Is inexpensive, but usually only something for people with strong nerves!
The country can also be easily traveled with a rental car, as the roads are always better developed.
A speed ferry runs between Musandam and Masirah, but now only once a week to Musandam. In addition to the speed ferry, the traditional car ferry from Sannah to Hilf runs several times a day to the island of Masirah.
The official language and mother tongue of Omani is Arabic.
In the cities, English is widely spoken as the first foreign language. Depending on their origin, the guest workers from the Indian subcontinent speak their mother tongues (e.g. Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu etc.). On the Musandam Peninsula, some residents still speak Kumzari, a Persian dialect.
Typical travel souvenirs are:
Frankincense - is offered everywhere
Khanjars (curved daggers) - are the highest adornment of men in Oman
Gold and Silver Jewelery - available at current gold and silver prices; they can be found in the local newspapers. In addition, there is a surcharge for "work", which also applies to imported goods from e.g. B. Italy applies, e.g. B. simple necklaces. It is usually at least 10% and is negotiable.
The shopping opportunities in Oman are - compared to those in the United Arab Emirates - not nearly as pronounced. Nevertheless, there are also interesting shopping opportunities in Oman, especially in the Muscat area (Matrah Suq). Another well-known market is the souk in Nizwa. It can also be worth browsing the souk in Salalah.
Al Fair is a well-established, well-stocked grocery chain and is part of the Spinneys group, as is Carrefour (http://www.carrefour.com/) - both also with a good range of European produce for everyday needs. The largest (and cheapest) supermarkets in the country are the "LuLu Markets" (http://www.luluhypermarket.com/) in the big cities with a wide range of products for the local population (including Indians etc.), but also for Europeans ( e.g. wholemeal bread!!).
The "first address" for the European shopper (with many international labels - if you need it there) is the large shopping center near the airport "MUSCAT CITY CENTER". Traditional shopping atmosphere can be found above all in the souk of Mutrah. Another large shopping mall is currently under construction (Muscat Grand Mall, Al Khuwair). Some shops are already open.
In the meantime, a mixed form of Arabic and Indian cuisine has
established itself in Oman. A good tip are the various appetizers that
are typically known from Lebanon, Egypt and the North African countries.
In addition, shawarma (known in Germany as 'Döner') and other meat
dishes (usually lamb or chicken, rarely beef or camel, never pork!), a
number of very good fish dishes (especially in the coastal towns on the
Indian Ocean, which are rich in fish) and Various medium to very hot
curries. Small 'coffee shops', in which Indian chefs offer delicious
sandwiches, wraps or stuffed fried dumplings for little money, are
widespread, especially near the gas stations. Highly recommended, as
actually always very clean. Also recommended are the numerous small
shops or stalls where freshly squeezed fruit juices of your choice are
offered. The 'original' Omani cuisine would mean Bedouin cuisine and
there is almost nowhere else in pure culture.
Tips can be found in the English language publication Muscat Daily, which is a "must see" for the tourist (available in many Omani shops). Whereby the 'nightlife' is very limited, at least outside of the luxury hotels.
In Oman there are now enough hotels in different price ranges. There
are some very large and mostly luxurious hotel complexes from
international hotel chains or Arab consortia, which are usually fully
booked by the big tour operators in the European winter months. Newer,
smaller hotels may be unfamiliar even to taxi drivers (so it's best to
have the exact address or reception phone number with you). In the
summer, when the temperatures in Oman rise well above 40 degrees, rooms
in the hotels of a high standard are easily available and at quite
reasonable prices. There are a few smaller hotels, especially in the
capital area around Muscat, but they offer a different standard (noise
level, bathroom, cleanliness, etc.). Therefore, always ask to be shown
the room before renting. A very recommendable address in this category
is the Villa Shams - small but fine hotel in Qurum (Muscat Area), under
German management. There are some nice little guesthouses on the edge of
the desert (Wahiba Sands) and in the desert there are now numerous
Bedouin camps, some of which are still very authentic. Above all, the
'Nomadic Desert Camp' of Rashid bin Mohamed al Mughairy and his father
Finding a well-paid job in Oman is not easy. However, there are good opportunities in the oil and gas companies. The large hotel chains offer job offers on their respective websites. The salaries are relatively low compared to Germany! Tip: It is best to apply to companies from Europe and insist on a European employment contract. Then it can be worth it! It is generally very difficult for foreigners to work there. Work permits are only rarely granted, as all jobs should be filled with Omani nationals if possible. And there are now - especially for qualified positions - a large number of well-trained young people in the country!
Oman is generally very safe, crime against foreigners is almost unknown. When driving into the desert, you should always take enough water with you; When driving on slopes, caution is advised, it should only be ventured with all-wheel drive vehicles! Never drive on slopes in and in the desert alone, but only in a convoy - the mobile network for possible emergency calls is very quickly at the end there! The immediate border region to Yemen (south of Salalah) is no longer safe, so only drive there in exceptional cases and then only with a companion from one of the local Bedouin tribes. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is only permitted in the hotel area or on private hotel beaches, but is forbidden in public. In addition, staying intoxicated people in public can lead to provisional arrest. Practiced homosexuality is illegal in Oman and constitutes a criminal offense. It cannot be assumed that tourists will not be prosecuted for triviality. Men should also not book shared double rooms, as this can lead to conflicts. During the calls to prayer, which can also be heard in public over loudspeakers, non-Muslims should also remain quiet, not listen to music and not speak to other people, even at their workplaces. Men are not allowed to approach strangers in public, with the exception of women in workplaces with customer traffic, police officers or public transport employees.
Medical care in EMERGENCIES is free of charge in the state health facilities in the Sultanate of Oman. If you go to a private clinic, the costs have to be paid and later submitted to the health insurance company for reimbursement. For minor problems, you can also contact any pharmacy (Pharmacy). There you will also get a hint whether you absolutely have to see a doctor. As a rule, there is also a so-called clinic next to most pharmacies. A flat-rate "treatment fee" is charged, which amounts to approx. 7 euros. Communication in English is possible everywhere. In some state and private clinics, especially in the capital area, there are also German-speaking doctors.
Tourists can now often be seen in Oman, at least in the winter months, especially outside of the big cities and especially as tour groups. Nevertheless, consideration for the local population is required, especially with regard to clothing. Man (and especially woman) should dress modestly. Short and skin-tight pants and skirts are inappropriate, as are sleeveless and cropped clothing. The rule of thumb for women is: Shoulders and knees should at least be covered, headscarves are not necessary - unless for sun protection. Men, please note that wearing shorts makes a fool of oneself (although this is not usually shown to the stranger out of hospitality), as well as wearing the "dishdasha" customary among the male population! To visit the 'Great Mosque' in Muscat (well worth seeing!), women's ankles and ankles must be covered and a headscarf must be worn that also covers the neckline! You can cover yourself with scarves or towels. T-shirts, sweaters or cardigans will not be accepted as substitute scarves. Long trousers and at least short sleeves apply to men! There are no exceptions here!!!
post and telecommunications
Oman's only landline provider so far is Omantel. Landline penetration is very high, at least in the metropolitan areas. Network quality, also for international calls, ok and affordable.
There are two cell phone providers:
1) Oman Mobile: The network quality sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, but there is sufficient network coverage even in rural areas.
2) Nawras: The somewhat poor network coverage is compensated for by a national roaming agreement with Oman Mobile.
Foreigners who do not live in Oman can purchase a prepaid card very cheaply from both providers. Calls to D/A/CH are always cheaper than roaming with your own D/A/CH SIM card. Nawras is dependent on the Oman Mobile Gateway for international calls, which meanwhile hardly leads to quality problems.
Internet access is available in numerous Internet cafes and in almost all hotels. No usual websites are affected by censorship, only a few with scantily clad women, depictions of violence, etc.
'OMAN' by Georg Popp, not so much a travel guide (but also that), more an entertaining and very well researched collection of travel and background information that makes traveling there easier and much more interesting than usual travel guides.
'Oman Off Road' (English), 26 suggested routes with GPS coordinates