Oman Travel Guide

Oman Travel Guide

Oman is a fascinating country that’s well worth a visit if you’re looking for an exotic destination. The country is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the east, the Gulf of Oman on the south, and the Persian Gulf on the west. With so much to see and do, there’s never been a better time to explore Oman.


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History of Oman

The history of Oman can be traced back to the early days of human civilization. Evidence from archaeological sites in Oman suggests that the region has been inhabited for over 3,000 years. The ancient Persians and Arabs who settled in Oman played a significant role in shaping its history. Oman became a province of the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century AD. The Zaidi Imamate, which ruled Oman from 1744 to 1856, was one of the most powerful religious dynasties in the Muslim world. In 1909, Britain promulgated a protectorate over Oman, which remained an Anglo-Omani colony until 1971.

Since independence in 1971, Oman has undergone dramatic social and economic changes. The government has invested heavily in infrastructure and development programs,resulting in rapid growth and modernization. Today, Oman is one of the fastest-growing economies in the Arab world. The country is also considered a regional powerhouse due to its strong economy, vital shipping lanes, and strategic location between Asia and Africa.

While tourism is not as prevalent as it is in neighboring countries such as Egypt or Jordan, Oman attracts visitors for its stunning landscapes and culture. Numerous tourist attractions dot the country's landscape including

Culture in Oman

If there's one thing Oman indisputably knows how to do, it's conserve its culture. From the stunning architecture and masonry of ancient ports like Sohar and Muscat to the traditional dress and customs of rural Omani villages, this small country has managed to keep its traditions alive while adapting to a rapidly changing world.

Visitors can experience Omani culture in a number of ways, from experiencing traditional Omani cooking classes or trying camel racing in Awali or going on safari in the Dhofar region. There are also plenty of museums and historic sites to explore, such as the Royal Palace in Muscat, which was once home to Oman's sultans.

Oman is also known for its hospitality, so visitors are always welcome to stop by anyone's home for tea or lunch. And if you're looking for something more energetic, there's always diving, hiking, mountain biking and windsurfing available.

Climate in Oman

The climate in Oman is predominantly hot and dry, with average temperatures ranging from a low of 32°C in the winter to a high of 46°C in the summer. The country experiences a moderate amount of rainfall, with around 300 mm falling annually.

Due to its location in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman experiences strong winds throughout the year. Strong northerly winds are common in winter, while easterly winds are more common in summer. These winds can cause sandstorms and can also lead to flash flooding.

Although Oman does experience some extremes of weather, it is generally a safe country to travel in. However, visitors should be aware that there is no medical assistance available outside of the major cities.

Festivals in Oman

Festivals in Oman are some of the most colorful and vibrant celebrations on the Arabian Peninsula. The country’s diverse cultural heritage is reflected in its many festivals, which can be broadly categorized as religious or cultural.

The most famous festival is Muscat’s International Folklore Festival, which showcases folk dances, music and crafts from around the region. Held every November, the festival features performances by local and international artists.

Other popular festivals include Eid al-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice), which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca; Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Reconciliation), which marks the end of Ramadan; and Diwali (the Festival of Lights).

Tour operators offer a variety of special packages that combine travel to Oman’s festivals with other interesting attractions in the country. If you’re planning a trip to Oman, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to touring Oman.

What to see and do in Oman

If you're looking for a relaxed and stunningly beautiful getaway, Oman is a great option. With more than 300km of coastline, it's easy to find a secluded beach and enjoy the stunning views. But Oman isn't just about beaches and sun; there are plenty of sights and activities to see and do in this relatively small country.

One of the most popular things to do in Oman is visit the Sohar area, which has been dubbed the "Venice of the Middle East." This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to an array of intriguing architecture, including several restored mosques, a lively bazaar, and some spectacular tombs. If you have time, consider also exploring Muscat – the country's capital – or spending a day or two at one of the many natural wonders like Ras al Khaimah National Park or Wadi Rum.

In addition to its famous attractions, Oman also has plenty of lesser-known gems waiting to be discovered by travellers. For example, if you're looking for some adrenaline-pumping activity, consider trying out camel riding or surfing in Sur. And then there are the typical traveller staples like restaurants (particularly in Sohar), nightlife options,

Things to avoid in Oman

1. Avoid scams
2. Respect local culture and customs
3. Beware of desert sandstorms

How to get around Oman

One of the most challenging aspects of travelling to Oman is navigating its vast geography. The country is made up of over 30 small islands, some connected by bridges and others only by boats. Much of the country is also hilly, with a few notable exceptions like the capital city Muscat.

To make things even more complicated, Omani Arabic has a number of dialects which can make communication difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of helpful resources available to help you get around.

The most important thing to remember when travelling in Oman is that distances are often large and it's easy to get lost. Always keep a map and compass close by, as well as a full list of contact numbers for local authorities and hotels.

Another challenge when travelling in Oman is pronouncing the names of towns and villages. Many locals will not know how to say these names in English, so it's important to learn at least the basics before you leave. Many towns have signs with basic tourist information in English, but it's always worth asking locals for directions if you're getting lost.

Travel tips for Oman

The Omani coast is a beautiful place to spend a few days. The rocky cliffs and the wide, sandy beaches make for great swimming, sunbathing, and exploring. There are also some great inland attractions worth checking out, like the well-preserved Dhofar souk and the tranquil village of Wadi Hili. The mountainous interior is also very scenic, with rugged peaks and deep valleys.

If you're looking for a tiring but stunning hike, head to Jabal Yabr which offers stunning views of the Gulf of Oman on clear days. And if you're in need of some rest and relaxation after all that hiking, head to one of the many beach resorts in Muscat or Sohar.