Have you ever ever considered visiting Oman?
The Sultanate of Oman is a vacation spot the place your goals of 1001 nights will come true. Solely few international locations have modified so dramatically in such a brief house of time, from travelling on a donkey to the subsequent village to a infrastructure most international locations could be happy with these days.
The massive change got here in 1970 when Sultan Qaboos got here to the throne in a cold coup. Since then Oman is celebrating its “Renaissance”.
However you may nonetheless really feel the spirit of the Arabian delusion because the Omani by no means misplaced their affinity to their cultural roots and that’s why you’ll discover in Oman what you’ll miss in Dubai.
Right here are some things that it is best to know when planning on visiting Oman – you may also uncover Oman right here.
Right here is an summary:
Issues to find out about visiting Oman
Visiting Oman isn’t vital on the high of most traveler’s bucket lists. However, it’s an interesting nation to go to, deep in cultural historical past and traditions. Should you’re uncertain about whether or not it’s a vacation spot you’d like to go to, first put some effort into studying extra about Oman.
Then, when you’ve determined to place it in your journey listing, right here are some things you might want to know.
The very best time to go to Oman is between November to mid-March
The very best time to go to Oman is between November and Mid-March, when the common temperature is round 25° Celsius. In Summer season, it’s very popular and hazy in Oman.
In southern Oman, a superb time to go to can be in September after the wet season when all the pieces is fantastically inexperienced right here.
In additional element, Oman has a subtropical local weather, however can be influenced by the Indian monsoon, providing all kinds of weather conditions. Temperatures vary from freezing within the Hajar mountains to 50 levels Celsius within the desert inside.
Total, nevertheless, the climate could be very heat all year long.
The local weather is especially nice in winter, when daytime temperatures attain a cushty 25 levels. The coastal area within the north across the capital Muscat is characterised by delicate winters, whereas the summer time months are extraordinarily scorching. From April to October, the thermometer rises to 35 levels and it is rather humid. Rainfall is uncommon.
Within the south of the nation, the scenario is analogous, however right here rainfall is plentiful as a result of monsoon. The rain makes for a inexperienced panorama and excessive humidity, which regularly results in dense fog. This mist is exclusive to the Arabian Peninsula and attracts many rich Arabs who come to marvel on the pure phenomenon.
The months of November via March are additionally a great time to journey within the desert inside of the nation, because it doesn’t turn out to be unbearably scorching throughout this time. Solely within the northeastern Hajar Mountains are there very cool winter situations with occasional snowfall. In the course of the summer time, thermometers present a median of 30 levels throughout the day, however temperatures drop considerably at evening.
The ocean alongside Oman’s coast is nice for swimming all 12 months spherical, with water temperatures starting from 23 levels in February to 32 levels in July.
Tip: Should you resolve to go to the desert throughout the winter months (and it is best to) convey some hotter garments because it actually can get very chilly right here throughout the evening.
You’ll discover frankincense all over the place
The scent of frankincense is all over the place. Whether or not you go to a typical souq or step in one of many many luxurious inns, you may’t escape the scent of frankincense.
Oman was the centre of the frankincense commerce and delusion says again then even the Queen of Sheba ordered Omani frankincense as a present to King Solomon. And I wager you understand the “legend” of the three sensible males on this e book referred to as Bible…
It is best to know that incense is a vital a part of Oman’s tradition and heritage. It’s an fragrant resin extracted from the bark of a tree of the genus Boswellia and is principally used within the manufacturing of incense and fragrance.
Frankincense can be recognized for its therapeutic and restorative properties. Oman is thought worldwide for producing the best frankincense, also referred to as Luban.
In case you are searching for the very best quality frankincense, it is best to journey to the Dhofar area. Right here you should purchase the resin within the souqs, particularly the unique Hafa Souq in Salalah. The frankincense path within the Dhofar area is a historic web site visited by Marco Polo and Lawrence of Arabia. The frankincense tree (Boswellia sacra) can nonetheless be present in Wadi Dawkah, the place it grows within the excessive warmth of the area.
You possibly can go to the Museum of the Land of Frankincense in Al Baleed in Salalah and see the ruins of the Al Baleed Archaeological Park. Right here you’ll study all in regards to the frankincense commerce and the maritime energy that helped the area flourish within the twelfth century.
Issues to do and see in Oman
Muscat, the capital of Oman
The attractive metropolis of Muscat, the capital of Oman, is nestled in a fascinating bay surrounded by majestic cliffs. Right here, magnificent architectural masterpieces await you to be admired.
Along with its suburbs, together with Mutrah, Ruwi and Qurum, it types the well-known Capital Space, dwelling to roughly 700,000 individuals. When individuals speak about Muscat, they normally imply this area.
The historic heart of Muscat, also referred to as Previous Muscat, is picturesquely located in a bay surrounded by imposing cliffs and is dwelling to about 30,000 inhabitants. The previous city is comparatively compact and effectively laid out, and is finest explored on foot. It may be a bit difficult to get round by automobile as a result of one-way streets, so it’s advisable to discover the town on foot. You may additionally take this tour right here.
Muscat Half-Day Metropolis Tour
Discover Muscat on an thrilling half-day metropolis tour and uncover the fascinating mixture of historic and trendy structure. Find out how the town has developed dramatically during the last 30 years, but nonetheless retains its historic tradition and heritage. Your driver will present you the way to use the audio information system to profit from GPS-based commentary all through the tour.
Start your tour with a go to to the spectacular Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and proceed your journey via the Ministry Quarter. Right here you’ll uncover a sequence of contemporary buildings adorned with touches of historic Islamic structure. Immerse your self within the bustle of the fish market and discover the slim alleys of Muttrah Souk to inhale the tantalizing aroma of unique spices, espresso beans and conventional cures.
Delve deeper into Oman’s fascinating historical past on the Bait Al Zubair Museum. And don’t overlook to take a memorable picture in entrance of the magnificent Al Alam Palace, flanked by the imposing Portuguese twin forts of Mirani and Jalali.
Length: 4 hours
Cancelation: Free as much as 24 hours upfront
- Transportation by luxurious car
- Group tour
- GPS-enabled multilingual audio information in 5 languages
- Entrance charges
- Decide-up out of your resort or cruise port
There are a great deal of outside actions in Oman
Oman is a nice vacation spot for each outside fan. Moreover climbing, climbing, snorkeling and diving, there’s one factor which can make your coronary heart skip a beat: Offroad driving.
Though Oman has a superb infrastructure there are nonetheless huge tracts of land with out a street the place you might have the prospect to seek out actually hidden treasures like an unknown wadi. Bashing the dunes within the desert is a factor you’ll always remember. Moreover the enjoyable it’s vital to watch out as Oman is an enormous nation and when you’ve got a automobile crash and even only a flat tire it may take a while till assist arrives.
Sidenote: Street indicators are written in English and Arabic and there are even some particular brown vacationer indicators which spotlight websites of curiosity.
The locals are actually pleasant
The Omani individuals are very pleasant and open. It’ll usually occur that they begin a dialog with you and in the event you go to a city or space the place not so many vacationers go to it may even occur that they may invite you for dinner. See under for extra data, when that occurs.
Like in most Arabic international locations you shouldn’t take footage particularly of girls with out asking. It occurred to me that I had a pleasant dialog with an Omani girl however after I requested to take her image she denied it however launched me to her husband and youngsters who had been blissful to have their image taken.
Like touring anyplace, it’s at all times vital to be respectful to the locals and their customs.
Acceptable clothes in Oman
One other technique to be respectful to native customs is to put on applicable clothes.
When selecting clothes, make sure you respect the Muslim traditions of the nation. Girls ought to cowl their shoulders, higher arms and knees, and males mustn’t put on tight or unfastened clothes. It isn’t essential to put on a head veil in Oman, as is really useful for journey to Iran.
In Oman you may put on gentle summer time garments all 12 months spherical. Nonetheless, throughout the winter months (November to February) it may get a bit chilly within the evenings. Pack a light-weight sweater or jacket and a shawl.
In case you are invited to a personal dwelling, it’s customary to take off your footwear in entrance of the home – on the newest in entrance of the carpet.
It is best to know that Omanis take nice satisfaction of their look. Their dishdashas are at all times spotless and neatly creased, whereas they’re surrounded by a pleasing scent of fragrance – even in temperatures of 45 levels within the shade.
So when packing your journey wardrobe, be sure you are effectively groomed and dressed appropriately while you come into contact with the locals. In any other case, a well-worn trekking shirt can rapidly make you’re feeling underdressed.
The proper clothes when visiting a mosque in Oman
When visiting a mosque, you have to cowl your self utterly (aside from arms, ft, and face).
For girls this implies to cowl their knees, shoulders and cleavage and when visiting mosques additionally to cowl their hair and ankles. Males ought to truly think about the identical, besides protecting the hair.
It occurred to a pal who was sporting regular (even protecting the knees) shorts once we needed to enter Muscat Pageant that safety refused to let him in like this (carrying a Sarong in your bag might be very useful in such conditions).
It’s handy to put on footwear which are simple to slide out of, as you have to take them off earlier than coming into a mosque.
What to put on on the seashore in Oman
For women and men, useful shirts and leggings are applicable swimwear for the pure swimming pools of mountain wadis and public seashores. On non-public seashores and within the pool areas of seashore resorts, after all, regular swimwear is ample – however “topless” is an absolute no-go.
It might be tempting to stroll the seashores exterior the resort resorts in a bikini, as is commonly the case in Salalah. However for the locals, it’s about the identical as somebody strolling down a pedestrian avenue utterly bare – completely inappropriate! It is best to at all times attempt to costume respectfully and appropriately to make a optimistic impression.
Garments for the Oman Mountains and for climbing
On the flip of the 12 months, temperatures within the excessive mountains (Jebel Shams, Jebel Akhdar) can drop to 0 levels. It may additionally get chilly at evening within the desert. We suggest that you simply convey a heat sweater, fleece jacket or gentle down jacket when touring to those areas. However don’t fear, the solar will nonetheless heat you up throughout the day!
Sturdy, ankle-high footwear is crucial for climbing within the mountains. If you wish to discover the wadis, it is best to put on waterproof footwear or trekking sandals. Good bathing footwear will even do the trick. Sturdy sandals or gentle sneakers or trekking footwear are a sensible choice as most forts, monuments and markets have uneven steps and stony alleyways.
In case you are climbing within the desert or mountains, we strongly suggest that you simply put on a hat or cap to guard your head from the solar. The solar’s rays are intense even in winter, so make sure you defend your self effectively.
Conduct guidelines in Oman
All through the Arab world, the proper hand is taken into account pure. Subsequently, you will need to use solely the proper hand to move objects and eat. Because the left hand is used for bathroom hygiene, it’s thought-about unclean. Are you left-handed? Then discreetly inform a trusted individual so to keep away from the fake pas and act in another way than common.
Shoe soles are thought-about soiled in Oman. By no means level them at somebody, even in case you are sitting at a desk with locals, and cross your legs below the desk. This can be thought-about a gross insult and you may be resented.
Should you sneeze, react rapidly and tilt your head to the left for the ultimate expulsion.
Whenever you get invited to a personal dwelling
In case you are invited to dinner by an Omani, you might be welcome to convey a small reward. Conventional souvenirs from your property nation, dwelling equipment or goodies are very welcome. Keep in mind, nevertheless, that for spiritual causes your reward mustn’t include alcohol.
You will need to wash your arms earlier than and after consuming – this is a vital a part of ritual purity.
After the meal, it is best to go away the desk in a well timed method. Even in case you are requested to remain a number of occasions, keep in mind that it is just a gesture of hospitality.
Tipping in Oman
In Oman, tipping is essential to many individuals as a part of their revenue. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t be distributed with out consideration, however given as an appreciation for companies rendered – at your individual discretion and relying in your satisfaction. When consuming out, a service cost of 15-20% is normally already included.
Typically, in Oman, the information is tipped considerably greater than the drivers.
Native foreign money: Rial Omani
The foreign money of Oman is the Rial Omani (RO), which is split into 1000 baiza. Because the trade fee is fastened to the US greenback, it’s topic to the identical fluctuations. One Omani Rial (OMR= 1,000 Baizas) is equal to roughly 2.30 EUR (as of December 2018), which affords good worth for cash.
Banks are normally open from Saturday to Wednesday from 8:00 am to 12:00 midday and on Thursdays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. If you end up exterior of normal hours, you will discover ATMs out there at most main supermarkets, inns and different places all through the nation. AMEXCO, VISA, Diner’s Membership and MasterCard are accepted by all worldwide inns and banks, whereas MAESTRO (EC) can be utilized in any respect Oman Nationwide Financial institution ATMs.
Total, Oman affords a protected and handy technique to change or withdraw cash throughout your keep within the nation.
Visiting the favored Souks and markets in Oman
In these markets you may nonetheless discover conventional craftsmanship. Masterfully crafted silverware offered by the kilo, intricate carvings, valuable Omani incense or detailed weavings: the souks are treasure troves.
All it’s important to do is rummage round.
In Salalah, along with the fish and vegetable market, there’s an incense souk and a gold souk. The Souq al Husn within the previous city of Salalah could be very conventional, not solely in its structure but in addition in its vary of products. The Souq Al Hirafiyyin, close to the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, is just not fairly as previous, however you will see all the products supplied within the different souks – particularly incense.
Muscat’s souk, on the Corniche of Matrah, has the biggest choice of items on the Arabian Peninsula.
Each Friday in Nizwa, you may go to a quaint farmers’ market the place camels and horses are offered. Should you rise up early sufficient, you may watch the Bedouins haggle.
Take your time and go to the souks to seek out the proper memento. You’re positive to seek out what you might be searching for.
Haggle and discount in Oman
The expertise of watching the colourful hustle and bustle of Oman’s souks is completely distinctive. But it surely turns into much more fascinating while you attempt to discount your self. Go forward and take a look at it, it’s actually enjoyable.
Primary phrases and customary expressions in Oman
As you discover Oman, you’ll rapidly uncover that almost all of locals have a strong command of English. Particularly in cities like Mascate, Bitter or Sohar, you will see it simpler to speak if you understand some fundamental English. Simply get used to the native accent and don’t be afraid to ask for repetition every now and then. Gestures can be useful in some conditions.
Arabic could also be complicated on the subject of writing and studying, however on the subject of talking, all it’s important to do is pay attention.
If you wish to follow earlier than you permit, take note of how Arabic is pronounced within the Center East. The accents are very completely different between the Maghreb and the Center East, and typically phrases change.
Whereas in Oman, along with talking Arabic, you may ask the next query: “Do you converse English? Many individuals know this language, even when only some phrases. This may get you into dialog with the locals and possibly somebody will even converse English.
Even in the event you don’t converse the identical language, most Omanis will attempt to make contact with you. Smiles, seems and gestures are common languages. Should you study a number of phrases, you’ll encounter a whole lot of goodwill from the Omanis.
Helpful journey phrases for Oman
Good day or Welcome – Márhaba, ahlan
(reply) – áhlayn
Greetings – As-salám aláykum (peace be with you)
(reply) – Waláykum as-salám (and to you peace)
Good morning – Sabáh al-kháyr
(reply) – Sabáh an-núr (a morning of sunshine)
Good night – Misá al-kháyr
(reply) – Misá an núr
Goodnight – Tisbáh al-kháyr (get up effectively)
(reply) – Wa ínta min áhlu (and you might be from His individuals)
Goodbye – Máa Saláma
How are you? – Káyf hálak? (to a person)/Káyf hálik? (to a lady)
Wonderful, thanks – Zayn, al-hámdu, li-la
Please – Min fádlak (to a person) – Min fádlik (to a lady)
Thanks – Shúkran
Thanks be to God – Al-hámdu li-llá
God prepared (hopefully) – Inshá allá
Sure – Náam or áiwa
No – La
What’s your title? – Shú ismak? (to a person) – Shú ismik? (to a lady)
My title is… – Ismi…
The place are you from? – Min wáyn inta? (for a person) – Min wáyn inti? (for a lady)
I’m from: … – ána min …
Might I take your picture? – Mumkin sura, min fádlak? (to a feminine: Mumkin sura, min fádlik?)
How do you say . . . in Arabic? – Chayf tegool . . . bil’arabi?
Do you converse English? – Btíhki inglízi? – Teh ki ingleezi?
I converse English – Bíhki inglízi
I don’t converse Arabic – Ma bíhki árabi
I don’t perceive – Ma báfham
Repeat, as soon as extra – Kamán márra
Do you might have…? – ándkum…?
What is that this? – Shú hádha?
I like – ana bhib
I don’t like – Ana ma bhib
Decelerate – Shwáyya
Go away! – Imshi!
How lengthy, what number of hours? – Kam sáa?
You’re welcome – Afwan
OK – Tayib – N’zain – Kwayyis
Excuse me – Afwan – lau samaht
Sorry – Afwan – Muta’assif
I don’t know – Mabaraf
No drawback – Ma fi mushkila
How a lot? – Bikaim?
What number of? – Cham?
I’m in poor health – Ana mareed
Helpful journey phrases when visiting a restaurant in Oman
Good day: Marhaba (pronounced mar-ha-ba)
Excuse me: Afwan (pronounced ah-fah-wan)
Please: Min fadlik (to a person) or Min fadlik (to a lady)
Thanks: Shukran (pronounced shoo-kran)
You’re welcome: Afwan (identical as above)
I don’t perceive: Ma afham (pronounced ma ahf-ham)
Do you converse English?: Bitakallam Inglizi? (pronounced bee-ta-kal-lam ing-glee-zee)
Do you might have a menu?: Ahadkum menu? (pronounced ah-had-kum men-oo)
I want to order: Ahiba tilaweez (pronounced ah-hee-ba te-la-weez)
What is that this?: Shu hadha? (pronounced shoo had-ha)
How a lot is it?: Beekheir kam? (pronounced bee-kheir kahm)
Can I’ve a glass of water?: Ahiba igsara could? (pronounced ah-hee-ba i-gsara could)
I’m vegetarian: Ana nabati (pronounced ah-na na-ba-tee)
I’m allergic to seafood: Ana marid bi l-bahr (pronounced ah-na ma-reed bee l-bahr)
I want to attempt one thing conventional Omani meals: Ahiba abduq al-akl al-Omani (pronounced ah-hee-ba ab-dook al-akl al-oh-ma-nee)
Can I take an image of you?: Mumkin asuwartak? (pronounced moom-kin as-oo-war-tak)
Can I’ve the invoice please?: Ahiba l-hisab min fadlik? (pronounced ah-hee-ba l-hee-sab min fad-lik)