Have you ever ever thought of visiting Oman?
The Sultanate of Oman is a vacation spot the place your goals of 1001 nights will come true. Solely few nations have modified so dramatically in such a brief house of time, from travelling on a donkey to the following village to a infrastructure most nations can be pleased 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’ll be able to 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’s best to know when planning on visiting Oman – you may as well discover Oman here.
Right here is an summary:
Issues to find out about visiting Oman
Visiting Oman isn’t needed on the high of most traveler’s bucket lists. However, it’s a captivating nation to go to, deep in cultural historical past and traditions. In the event you’re not sure about whether or not it’s a vacation spot you’d like to go to, first put some effort into learning more about Oman.
Then, when you’ve determined to place it in your journey listing, right here are some things it’s essential to know.
The perfect time to go to Oman is between November to mid-March
The perfect time to go to Oman is between November and Mid-March, when the common temperature is round 25° Celsius. In Summer season, it’s extremely popular and hazy in Oman.
In southern Oman, a very good time to go to can be in September after the wet season when all the things 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 season months are extraordinarily sizzling. 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 state of affairs is comparable, however right here rainfall is ample as a result of monsoon. The rain makes for a inexperienced panorama and excessive humidity, which frequently 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 by means of March are additionally a perfect time to journey within the desert inside of the nation, because it doesn’t change into unbearably sizzling throughout this time. Solely within the northeastern Hajar Mountains are there very cool winter circumstances with occasional snowfall. In the course of the summer season, thermometers present a mean of 30 levels in the course of the day, however temperatures drop considerably at evening.
The ocean alongside Oman’s coast is nice for swimming all yr spherical, with water temperatures starting from 23 levels in February to 32 levels in July.
Tip: In the event you determine to go to the desert in the course of the winter months (and it’s best to) deliver some hotter garments because it actually can get very chilly right here in the course of the evening.
You’ll discover frankincense in all places
The scent of frankincense is in all places. Whether or not you go to a typical souq or step in one of many many luxurious lodges, you’ll be able to’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 already know the “legend” of the three sensible males on this guide referred to as Bible…
It is best to know that incense is a crucial 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 identified for its therapeutic and restorative properties. Oman is understood worldwide for producing the best frankincense, also referred to as Luban.
If you’re on the lookout for the highest quality frankincense, it’s 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 be taught all concerning 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 varieties the well-known Capital Space, dwelling to roughly 700,000 individuals. When individuals discuss Muscat, they often imply this area.
The historic heart of Muscat, also referred to as Outdated Muscat, is picturesquely located in a bay surrounded by imposing cliffs and is dwelling to about 30,000 inhabitants. The outdated city is comparatively compact and properly laid out, and is greatest explored on foot. It may be a bit tough to get round by automobile as a result of one-way streets, so it’s advisable to discover the town on foot. You might additionally take this tour right here.
Muscat Half-Day Metropolis Tour
Discover Muscat on an exciting half-day city tour and uncover the fascinating mixture of historical and fashionable structure. Find out how the town has developed dramatically during the last 30 years, but nonetheless retains its historical tradition and heritage. Your driver will present you the best way to use the audio information system to learn 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 by means of the Ministry Quarter. Right here you’ll uncover a sequence of recent buildings embellished with touches of historical 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 treatments.
Delve deeper into Oman’s fascinating historical past on the Bait Al Zubair Museum. And don’t neglect 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 prematurely
- Transportation by luxurious automobile
- Group tour
- GPS-enabled multilingual audio information in 5 languages
- Entrance charges
- Choose-up out of your lodge or cruise port
There are a great deal of outside actions in Oman
Oman is a nice vacation spot for each outside fan. Moreover mountain climbing, climbing, snorkeling and diving, there’s one factor which is able to make your coronary heart skip a beat: Offroad driving.
Though Oman has a wonderful infrastructure there are nonetheless huge tracts of land and not using a street the place you may have the prospect to search out actually hidden treasures like an unknown wadi. Bashing the dunes in the desert is a factor you’ll always remember. Moreover the enjoyable it’s essential to watch out as Oman is an enormous nation and if in case you have a automobile crash and even only a flat tire it will probably 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 can typically occur that they begin a dialog with you and for those who go to a city or space the place not so many vacationers go to it will probably even occur that they may invite you for dinner. See under for extra data, when that occurs.
Like in most Arabic nations you shouldn’t take footage particularly of ladies with out asking. It occurred to me that I had a pleasant dialog with an Omani lady however after I requested to take her image she denied it however launched me to her husband and youngsters who had been joyful to have their image taken.
Like touring wherever, it’s at all times essential to be respectful to the locals and their customs.
Acceptable clothes in Oman
One other approach 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. Ladies ought to cowl their shoulders, higher arms and knees, and males mustn’t put on tight or free clothes. It’s not essential to put on a head veil in Oman, as is really useful for journey to Iran.
In Oman you’ll be able to put on gentle summer season garments all yr spherical. Nonetheless, in the course of the winter months (November to February) it will probably get a bit chilly within the evenings. Pack a light-weight sweater or jacket and a shawl.
If you’re 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 pleasure of their look. Their dishdashas are at all times spotless and neatly creased, whereas they’re surrounded by a nice scent of fragrance – even in temperatures of 45 levels within the shade.
So when packing your journey wardrobe, be sure you are properly groomed and dressed appropriately whenever you come into contact with the locals. In any other case, a well-worn trekking shirt can shortly make you’re feeling underdressed.
The proper clothes when visiting a mosque in Oman
When visiting a mosque, it’s essential to cowl your self utterly (apart from fingers, toes, and face).
For ladies this implies to cowl their knees, shoulders and cleavage and when visiting mosques additionally to cowl their hair and ankles. Males ought to really think about the identical, besides masking the hair.
It occurred to a buddy who was carrying regular (even masking the knees) shorts after we wished to enter Muscat Pageant that safety refused to let him in like this (carrying a Sarong in your bag will be very useful in such conditions).
It’s handy to put on footwear which might be simple to slide out of, as it’s essential 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 personal seashores and within the pool areas of seashore resorts, in fact, regular swimwear is ample – however “topless” is an absolute no-go.
It might be tempting to stroll the seashores exterior the lodge resorts in a bikini, as is usually 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 mountain climbing
On the flip of the yr, temperatures within the excessive mountains (Jebel Shams, Jebel Akhdar) can drop to 0 levels. It might additionally get chilly at evening within the desert. We advocate that you simply deliver 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 in the course of the day!
Sturdy, ankle-high footwear is crucial for mountain climbing within the mountains. If you wish to discover the wadis, it’s best to put on waterproof footwear or trekking sandals. Good bathing footwear can 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.
If you’re mountain climbing within the desert or mountains, we strongly advocate 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 shield your self properly.
Habits guidelines in Oman
All through the Arab world, the proper hand is taken into account pure. Due to this fact, you will need to use solely the proper hand to cross 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 particular person so that you could keep away from the fake pas and act in another way than standard.
Shoe soles are thought-about soiled in Oman. By no means level them at somebody, even if you’re sitting at a desk with locals, and cross your legs underneath the desk. This will probably be thought-about a gross insult and you can be resented.
In the event you sneeze, react shortly and tilt your head to the left for the ultimate expulsion.
Whenever you get invited to a personal dwelling
If you’re invited to dinner by an Omani, you’re welcome to deliver a small present. Conventional souvenirs from your property nation, dwelling equipment or candies are very welcome. Keep in mind, nevertheless, that for spiritual causes your present mustn’t comprise alcohol.
It is very important wash your fingers earlier than and after consuming – this is a crucial a part of ritual purity.
After the meal, it’s best to go away the desk in a well timed method. Even if you’re requested to remain a number of instances, do not forget that it’s only 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 providers rendered – at your individual discretion and relying in your satisfaction. When consuming out, a service cost of 15-20% is often already included.
Usually, 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 mounted 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 gives good worth for cash.
Banks are often 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 standard hours, you could find ATMs accessible at most main supermarkets, lodges and different areas all through the nation. AMEXCO, VISA, Diner’s Membership and MasterCard are accepted by all worldwide lodges and banks, whereas MAESTRO (EC) can be utilized in any respect Oman Nationwide Financial institution ATMs.
Total, Oman gives a protected and handy approach to change or withdraw cash throughout your keep within the nation.
Visiting the favored Souks and markets in Oman
In these markets you’ll be able to 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 you must 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 outdated city of Salalah could be very conventional, not solely in its structure but additionally in its vary of products. The Souq Al Hirafiyyin, close to the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, shouldn’t be fairly as outdated, however one can find all the products supplied within the different souks – particularly incense.
Muscat’s souk, on the Corniche of Matrah, has the most important collection of items on the Arabian Peninsula.
Each Friday in Nizwa, you’ll be able to go to a quaint farmers’ market the place camels and horses are offered. In the event you stand up early sufficient, you’ll be able to watch the Bedouins haggle.
Take your time and go to the souks to search out the proper memento. You’re certain to search out what you’re on the lookout for.
Haggle and discount in Oman
The expertise of watching the colourful hustle and bustle of Oman’s souks is totally distinctive. However it turns into much more fascinating whenever you attempt to discount your self. Go forward and take a look at it, it’s actually enjoyable.
Fundamental phrases and customary expressions in Oman
As you discover Oman, you’ll shortly uncover that almost all of locals have a strong command of English. Particularly in cities like Mascate, Bitter or Sohar, one can find it simpler to speak if you already know some primary English. Simply get used to the native accent and don’t be afraid to ask for repetition infrequently. Gestures will also be useful in some conditions.
Arabic could also be complicated relating to writing and studying, however relating to talking, all you must do is pay attention.
If you wish to follow earlier than you allow, take note of how Arabic is pronounced within the Center East. The accents are very totally different between the Maghreb and the Center East, and generally phrases change.
Whereas in Oman, along with talking Arabic, you’ll be able to ask the next query: “Do you communicate English? Many individuals know this language, even when only some phrases. This can get you into dialog with the locals and perhaps somebody will even communicate English.
Even for those who don’t communicate the identical language, most Omanis will attempt to make contact with you. Smiles, appears and gestures are common languages. In the event you be taught a number of phrases, you’ll encounter a number of goodwill from the Omanis.
Helpful journey phrases for Oman
Hey 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 properly)
(reply) – Wa ínta min áhlu (and you’re from His individuals)
Goodbye – Máa Saláma
How are you? – Káyf hálak? (to a person)/Káyf hálik? (to a girl)
Nice, thanks – Zayn, al-hámdu, li-la
Please – Min fádlak (to a person) – Min fádlik (to a girl)
Thanks – Shúkran
Thanks be to God – Al-hámdu li-llá
God prepared (hopefully) – Inshá allá
Sure – Náam or áiwa
No – La
What’s your identify? – Shú ismak? (to a person) – Shú ismik? (to a girl)
My identify is… – Ismi…
The place are you from? – Min wáyn inta? (for a person) – Min wáyn inti? (for a girl)
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 communicate English? – Btíhki inglízi? – Teh ki ingleezi?
I communicate English – Bíhki inglízi
I don’t communicate Arabic – Ma bíhki árabi
I don’t perceive – Ma báfham
Repeat, as soon as extra – Kamán márra
Do you may 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 downside – 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
Hey: Marhaba (pronounced mar-ha-ba)
Excuse me: Afwan (pronounced ah-fah-wan)
Please: Min fadlik (to a person) or Min fadlik (to a girl)
Thanks: Shukran (pronounced shoo-kran)
You’re welcome: Afwan (identical as above)
I don’t perceive: Ma afham (pronounced ma ahf-ham)
Do you communicate English?: Bitakallam Inglizi? (pronounced bee-ta-kal-lam ing-glee-zee)
Do you may have a menu?: Ahadkum menu? (pronounced ah-had-kum men-oo)
I wish 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 wish 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)