For a tantalising window into ancient Arabia – away from the glossy façade of the Emirates – Oman punches well above its weight. It feels inherently authentic, from the waves of sandy desert and remote Bedouin camps, to Muscat with its timeworn mosques and rich cultural heritage.

Omanis have a perpetually sunny disposition too, and you’ll always be welcomed with open arms in the most unassuming of places. As long as you respect the local laws (remember this is an Islamic country), your holiday to Oman will be exceptional, from its dramatic coastlines to the dusty interior. Turn up to any hotel (and there are some superb places to stay here), and you’ll be offered rich coffee and dates on arrival amid the distinct scent of incense. That’s the thing about Oman – the hospitality service here is flawless and they really know how to welcome travellers. Fascinating, surprising and enthralling – Oman is bound to be an instant hit. Here are some more things to know before travelling to Oman…


Climate & Weather

Oman has a subtropical and dry climate, complete with monsoons (known as Khareef) from June to September and warm, dusty winds. The climate does differ from region to region; in the north and east, it is Mediterranean, however in the south and west, the weather feels more tropical. Average annual temperatures also vary depending on the area; in the capital of Muscat, they tend to hover around the 30°C mark during the summer, while in the mountains, climes are cooler and can drop to 5°C at night. The country experiences just two distinct seasons: summer spans from March to October and winter occurs between November and February. The best time to visit Oman is generally between October and April, when temperatures are warm but not yet scorching and rainfall is kept to a minimum.

Health & Safety in Oman

According to the current Foreign Office advice, Oman is generally a safe and secure destination to travel around. As in any foreign country, you should remain attentive to your belongings and take care when walking alone (especially at night). Don’t flaunt any expensive possessions or jewellery, be sure to take out travel insurance and avoid using your mobile phone in the street. Always keep your passport, travel documents and other valuable items in a safe place and be vigilant when withdrawing money from ATMs.

Plenty of adventure activities are on offer in Oman and it’s important to make sure these are carried out safely. Only use reputable tour companies, make sure all equipment is in good condition and have comprehensive travel insurance. 

Etiquette in Oman

Refrain from offering money to strangers – this will be taken as an insult. Head to the markets and you’ll soon realise it’s a different bartering scene than in, say, Marrakech. Negotiation isn’t as flexible here – try knocking around 10% off given prices in Nizwa and 20% in the souks of Mutrah.

A guide to tipping: we recommend around 5 OMR (Omani rial) (£10) for a guide, 3 OMR (£6) for drivers; 1 OMR (£2) for taxi drivers and porters. In restaurants, we’d suggest leaving around 5% of the final bill. It’s easy to find the local currency, too, since local distributors are found all over Oman.

As a Muslim country, there are some key things to know before travelling to Oman: always ensure you wear the appropriate clothing and avoid eating and drinking in public during Ramadan. If you’re taking a photograph of a someone, always ask for their permission. It’s also illegal to drink alcohol in public and those exhibiting overtly drunken behaviour can be met with legal action.

Transport in Oman

Travelling by car is the most popular option: the roads in Oman are generally in excellent condition, however it’s important to note that there can be dangers such as camels and goats in the road outside of Muscat. Rainfall can also cause sudden flooding across roads and driving standards tend to not be as disciplined as in the UK, so take care if driving and make sure you have comprehensive insurance. It’s not unusual to hitch-hike, nor is it uncommon to pick up locals: often they might invite you back to their home, ushering you to sit on one of their ancestral rugs and to drink tea. When you drink, shake the cup from left to right.

In terms of public transport, the bus service is the most prominent. Linking major cities across the country, they’re ideal for travelling longer distances affordably. Taxis are another way of getting around Oman; Marhaba and Mwasalat are the two main companies and both have their own ride-hailing apps. Privately owned orange and white taxis also operate within the cities, although prices can vary widely since they are not fitted with metres. Drivers will often stop along the way and let others hop in to these taxis, unless you say otherwise.

If you’re thinking about venturing out to the desert and mountains, ensure you’re adequately equipped with a 4x4 vehicle and a water supply; in the event of this, it might be wise to travel with an established tour group and these are trips that we can arrange as part of your itinerary.

Things to Bring to Oman

Before arriving in Oman, British nationals need to apply for an e-visa from the Royal Oman Police portal. If you’re travelling as a tourist, you can apply for an unsponsored visa.

This Middle Eastern country is off-the-scale beautiful with adventures lurking almost everywhere. Our tip? Always stash your swimming gear and towel into your bag should you chance upon one of Oman’s glittering wadi waterholes or crater swimming pools. Wild swimming here is definitely worth seeking out, but do your research before diving straight in: some wadis are prone to flash flooding, and never jump in naked – this being a Muslim country, you must wear swimwear.

Given Oman’s often scorching temperatures, suncream, sunglasses and a hat are a must for offering protection from the sun. Insect repellent is also key to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.

Contact one of our Oman specialists