• Post category:Travel
  • Post comments:0 Comments
  • Post author:
  • Post published:31/08/2021
  • Post last modified:31/08/2021

Oman is fast becoming the Middle East’s new ‘hot’ destination for independent travellers who want to go out and explore for themselves. With a diverse natural environment and as one of the most peaceful countries in the Middle East, it’s easy to understand its popularity. The availability of online visas has made it easier to travel to Oman from the US and other countries. You will need to know about Oman and Omani culture before you step into the country though.

Oman will be a hot trip

Oman is a sunny country almost all year, even in the winter. Because Muscat is a coastal city, it is humid and hot during the day and at night as well. When it comes to Salalah’s summer weather, it’s a mix of rainy and pleasant. Most cities in Oman get very hot during the summer, but Salalah has a monsoon season that brings rain and fresh air. It’s essential to check the weather and temperatures in Oman at the time you plan to visit.  Be sure to pack light and colourful clothing to combat the heat and intense sun.

Be prepared to dress conservatively

The mountainous terrain is riddled with ravines that channel and store rainwater. These natural phenomena are known as wadis in Arabic, and many of them have formed idyllic swimming holes. Swimming in crystal-clear pools is a must in Wadi Bani Khalid or Wadi Shab. Just like tourists, Omanis enjoy visiting these picturesque and refreshing places, so dressing appropriately is a must. Because Oman is a Muslim country, conservative clothing is the norm, especially for women. Omani women are expected to dress conservatively because it is a Muslim country. While there is more freedom for foreigners, it is still a good idea to wear a t-shirt or shorts over your bathing suit. Since most Omanis travel on weekends, plan to visit wadis on weekdays (Sunday to Thursday) to avoid crowds and be more mindful of cultural respect. Wearing long pants and covering one’s shoulders outside of the water is considered respectful.

Omani Currency

The Omani Rial is the local currency in Oman. One Omani Rial is equivalent to $2.60 USD. It is also equivalent to 2.22 euros and 1.97 GBP. Paper notes in Oman are 100 baisas, 500 baisas,  1 Omani Rial, 5 Omani Rials, 10 Omani Rials, 20 Omani Rials, and 50 Omani Rials. The coins are 5 baisas, 10 baisas, and 50 baisas. Tipping is not necessary in Oman, but visitors are welcome to do so if they want to express their appreciation for good service.

Language in Oman

Oman’s official language is Arabic. People do, however, speak English. Because Oman is a cultural hub that includes Arabs, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, other languages are also widely spoken.

Coffee and dates are an integral part of Omani hospitality

Dates are an essential part of Omani hospitality, along with their traditional coffee, known as Kahwa. Omanis are amiable and always welcome strangers to their homes. It is important to understand that they enjoy welcoming visitors to their country and making them feel at home. When visitors leave, they give them bags of dates and sometimes desserts. Because hospitality is an essential part of Omani culture, it is polite and respectful to accept the invitation.

The country is peaceful and safe

Oman is one of the world’s safest countries. Not only for the outstanding efforts of the police but also for the warm and generous hearts of the Omani people. They are always concerned about their country and its visitors and make them feel welcome even if they are strangers. Oman is one of the world’s few terrorism-free countries, according to the Global Terrorism Index. Visitors do not need to bring weapons or be concerned about their safety. If something goes wrong, they can go to the police station and report it.

Foods and beverages

Omani cuisine typically includes traditional bread, rice, beef, chicken, or fish, special tomato or Omani sauces, and various salads. Omanis usually drink kahwa (traditional cardamom coffee) with dates and halwa (Omani dessert), and they occasionally drink red tea. There are vegan, vegetarian, and other cuisine options at local and international restaurants throughout Oman. Fresh juices and soft drinks are available in restaurants and coffee shops. However, alcohol can only be found in international hotels and purchased with a license issued by the city’s police department. My thinking is it’s better just to not have it while there out of respect.

The weekend is Friday to Saturday

Friday is a holy day for Muslims. On weekends, expect larger crowds at tourist attractions as city dwellers venture out to enjoy their country’s natural beauty.

** Pics are sourced on Pixabay and Unsplash.

Leave a Reply