The Sultanate of Oman is the 3rd largest country located in the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Sultanate is bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the west, the United Arab Emirates in the northeast, the Republic of Yemen in the southwest, the Strait of Hormuz in the North and the Arabian Sea in the east.
Oman has a land area of approximately 309,500 Km2 and a 3,165 Km long coastline extending from the Strait of Hormuz in the north, to the borders of the republic of Yemen in the south.
Oman’s coast spans the three seas: the Arabian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Sea. A number of islands also are part of Oman including the famous island of Masirah and Halaniyat (Koria Moria). The country’s northern most part, the Musandam Peninsula is Oman’s only coast on the Arabian Gulf and it is located across the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Area : 309,500 sq. Kms.
Population (2005) : 2,509,000 including 666,000 expatriates.
Language : Arabic (official), English (widely spoken), German & French (most hotel Staff).
Capital : Muscat.
Local Time : GMT +4.
Currency : Rials Omani, which equates to US$2.58/£1.70
Shopping Hours : 09.00 – 13.00 then 16.30 – 24.00
The local currency is the Omani Rials (referred to as RO or OR or OMR). It is available in 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 Rial notes and 500 and 100 Baiza notes. Coins are available in 50, 25, 10 and 5 Baizas.
Islam is the official religion of the Sultanate of Oman.
Whenever you travel overseas, it is often useful to understand the local laws and customs in the destination country, as they can often be very different to your own.
To avoid any mix up or confusion with local lows and customs we have provided some advice & tips to assist you in having a more enjoyable visit to the Sultanate.
Please be advised that the information contained on this page is not fully comprehensive and may be liable to change without prior warning. Consult a travel expert or your local embassy prior to departing on your journey.
Oman’s laws are based on Sharia laws, also known as the Islamic law.
In Oman, it is illegal not to have some form of official ID on you at any given time. Therefore, it is recommended that they carry either your passport, or a photocopy of, or some other valid identification card. Other forms of ID such as overseas driver’s license or overseas ID cards will not be accepted.
Visitors holding valid UK, Australian, and American and certain other nation’s driving licence (check with embassy if your country’s driving license is valid) can currently obtain an Omani license without taking a driving test.
Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.
In Oman if you are involved in a car accident and there is damage done to either party or their vehicles or any public property, e.g. road signs, you must wait at the scene and contact the Royal Oman Police (9999) and wait for further instructions. Leaving the scene can result in heavy fines and possible imprisonment.
Heavy rainfall can cause sudden and severe flooding to dry riverbeds, which may pass over a road. You are advised to take full precautions when driving during rains.
Local sharia laws reflect the fact that Oman is a Muslim country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religion at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, or if you intend to visit religious areas.
Basic Arabic Phrases
Yes : Naaam
No : Laa
Please : arjook
Thank you : shukran
You’re welcome : aafwan
Excuse me : lao samaht
I am sorry : ana aasif
Good morning : sabaah al khayr
Good evening : masaa’ al khayr
Good night : tusbih aalaa khayr