Oman is a hidden gem of the Arabian Peninsula that is still largely undiscovered by tourists. With its stunning natural landscapes, ancient history, and rich cultural heritage, it is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking to experience the authentic Middle East. Here are some essential travel tips and advice for those planning a trip to Oman.
Plan your trip well in advance
Oman is a country that is steeped in culture and history, and it is also a popular destination for tourists. Therefore, it is recommended that you plan your trip well in advance, especially during peak seasons. Oman has a lot to offer, and it is important to research and plan your itinerary to ensure that you make the most of your time in the country.
This is a conservative country, and it is important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Women must cover their heads and wear loose-fitting clothing covering their arms and legs. Men are required to dress in long pants and shirts that cover their shoulders.
Respect the Local Culture
Oman is a Muslim country, and it is important to respect local customs and traditions. For example, during the month of Ramadan, it is important to refrain from eating or drinking in public during daylight hours. It is also important to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home or a mosque.
Rent a Car
Renting a car is highly recommended, as it is the best way to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and attractions. The roads are well-maintained and easy to navigate, and driving is on the right side of the road. However, it is important to note that driving in Oman can be quite challenging, especially in Muscat, the capital city, where traffic can be heavy.
Visit the Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque in Muscat is one of the most beautiful mosques in the world and is a must-visit attraction for any traveler to Oman. The mosque is open to non-Muslim visitors from Saturday to Thursday, between 8:00 am and 11:00 am. However, it is important to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering the mosque.
Explore the Wadis
Wadis are dry riverbeds that are found throughout Oman, and they are home to some of the country’s most stunning landscapes. Wadi Shab, Wadi Bani Khalid, and Wadi Tiwi are some of the most popular wadis and are definitely worth a visit.
Experience the Desert
No trip to Oman is complete without experiencing the country’s vast deserts. Wahiba Sands is one of the most popular deserts there and is easily accessible from Muscat. You can take a guided tour or rent a 4×4 and explore the desert on your own.
Visit the Muttrah Souq
The Muttrah Souq in Muscat is one of the oldest markets in the world and is a must-visit attraction. Here, you can find everything from spices and textiles to traditional Omani handicrafts.
Try Omani Cuisine
Omani cuisine is a fusion of Arabic, Indian, and East African flavors and is worth trying during your trip. Some of the most popular dishes there include shuwa (slow-cooked lamb), machboos (spiced rice), and halwa (a sweet, sticky dessert).
Stay in a Traditional Omani House
Staying in a traditional house is a great way to experience the country’s culture and hospitality. Many traditional houses have been converted into guesthouses and offer a unique and authentic experience.
With these being said, Oman is a great destination for travel that is steeped in culture and history, blessed with natural beauty and warm, hospitable people and it has much to offer to you if you are looking for an authentic Middle Eastern experience.