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About

Officially known as the Sultanate of Oman, Oman is ruled by the Sultan of Oman, currently Qaboos bin Said of the Al Said royal family, as well as regulated by parliament on a legislative level. The country shares borders with neighbouring Arab states such as Saudi Arabia to the west, The United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Yemen to the Southwest and a marine border with Iran.

Oman also has some oil reserves making it the country with the 25th largest oil reserves and has also been ranked as the 45th most peaceful country in the world while maintaining a high income economy. The country incorporates a range of ethnicities speaking over twelve different languages and practicing a range of differing faiths.

Stone Age History

Due to mega droughts in Africa between 133,000 BC and 88,000 BC, it’s theorized that many groups of people migrated into the Middle Eastern region, settling in the coastal parts of Oman, at the time it’s been suggested that the increased rainfall and warm climate of the Arabian Peninsula made Oman into an incredibly habitable land.

The oldest evidence of human inhabitancy in the country were Palaeolithic stone tools discovered in caves in central and southern Oman, some dating back to 123,000 BC. Additionally, based in the Dhofar region, over a hundred surface scatters of stone tools belonging what is believed to be the Nubian Complex, an African lithic industry, were found and these tools have been dated to be over 106,000 years old.

Since then, settlements based on agricultural practices and the domestication of plants and animals have been found which predate the Bronze Age and are typically based on the coastline.

Bronze Age History

The first burial cairns have been found which date to this region as well as pottery imported from Mesopotamia and Iraq, suggesting trade with the regions and civilizations nearby. Additionally it’s known that Copper Ore had begun being mined and smelted into Ingots in the region and it’s been documented in historical documents from Sumer that Oman was likely involved in the copper trade as well as other local commodities.

From around 1900 BC onwards, wheel-turned painted products had begun being exported from Oman. Additionally, large tower tombs in Shir and other similar regions had been built and used by the various communities.

Iron Age History

At this point, hand-made hard-fired pottery was being produced and Copper hit a peak in production as well. Additionally, the now-cultivated Date was being used as one of the country’s main crops. Persian place-names have suggested Persian inhabitants since around 500 BC and the country made one of its biggest innovations in the form of the production of Iron around 150 BC. Finally, it’s believed that various tribes from Central and South Arabia settled in Oman at this time, bringing predecessors of the Arabic language with them. 

The Hadhramite kingdom is known to have had a strong influence on the region at this time as well, building trading forts as early as the 3rd Century BC. 


1st Century – 15th Century History

In the 6th Century AD, the once-migrant-now-inhabitant Muslims repelled migrants from Iran and from the 7th Century AD onwards, Oman became mainly an Islamic country with the dominant sect as Ibadism. In 751 AD, the first government was set up when a group of Ibadi Muslims nominated an Imam, or leader, for the country. Through the support of the tribal Sheikhs and the public, the Imamate was established successfully and lasted for well over a thousand years through to the 20th Century.

However, despite this Imamate, the country was conquered frequently, first in 931-934 by the Qarmatians of the Persian Gulf, then in 967-1053 by the Buyyids of Iran, then finally in 1053-1154 by the Great Seljuq Empire of Iran. However, each time the Ibadi were able to expel the invaders after a few years, or a subsequent ruling group took over. It was in 1154 when the country finally installed its own government in the form of the Nabhani dynasty, lasting until 1470. The Imamate subsequently removed the dynasty and seized control of the country and this continued until 1507.

16th Century – 19th Century History

In 1507 the Portuguese began to attack the region, taking the capital city of Muscat in 1515 but having it, in turn, taken from them by the Ottoman Empire in 1550 before taking it back in 1588. Following this, the Nabhani dynasty took control of the country once more in 1600 but in 1624 the Imamate took over once more and recaptured Muscat in 1650. The Imamate expanded into the Yarubid dynasty and the new dynasty took over Portuguese colonies in East Africa and taking control of the slave trade in the region.

Eventually, the Yarubid dynasty suggested a Sultanate with the norminated Sultan as Saif ibn Sultan II, this caused warring between his supportive faction, the Ghafiri, and a disapproving faction, the Hinawi. Eventually, the leaders of both factions were killed in battle and Saif ibn Sultan II assumed power following this in 1748. Upon expelling the Persians from the region, the Al Said clan-now-turned-royal-dynasty took over the country and the leader of the rebel forces, Ahmad ibn Said al Said, was installed as the new Sultan.

After his death in 1783, the Al Said family split into two sections, the Sultan ibn Ahmad al Said branch which controlled the maritime state and having general but minor control over the country, and the Qais branch which controlled the Al Batinah and Ar Rustaq regions with absolute authority. In 1806, Sultan Said ibn Sultan Al Said came into power, the family concentrated their focus on the country’s East African colonies, expanding the country’s control on the region further and profiting more from the slave trade.

However, in the mid-19th Century, the British Government declared slavery illegal and the Sultanate’s economy collapsed in on itself. Due to the now-poor economy, many Omani families migrated into Africa and the island of Zanzibar just off of its coast. The population of the capital city, in turn, dropped dramatically from 55 thousand to a mere 8 thousand in under 20 years. Following this the UK seized many of the country’s overseas assets and Oman was reduced to an incredibly poor and isolated state.

Following the death of the Sultan in 1856, the Sultan’s sons disputed who should succeed him and under suggestion of the British Government the country was split into two principalities consisting of Muscat & Oman and Zanzibar. At the same time, Azzam ibn Qais Al-Busaid of the now-distant Qais family declared himself an Imam without the approval of the public, however, it is known that many of the Hinawi tribes did indeed recognize him as an Imam.

In an attempt to unify Muscat and Oman, Imam Azzam ended up excluding many members of the Ghafiri tribes causing a revolt in 1870 and the British, feeling their established government was being undermined by Imam Azzam’s political ideals, gave full support to the revolt leader, Turki ibn Said Al-Busaid, who killed Imam Azzam in battle outside Matrah in 1871. The territory of Muscat and Oman was now the target of the rivalry between the British and French forces and through diplomatic ventures the British were able to conclude several treaties of commerce and alliance with Muscat and Oman.

20th Century History

Following more treaties in 1908 and 1951, the United Kingdom came to recognize the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman as a fully independent state. However, following the discovery of oil combined with prior tensions between the Sultan of Muscat and the Imam of Nizwa, conflict began in 1954 and the Imam lead a five year rebellion against the Sultanate following an attack by the Sultan on oil-reserves in Imamate territory. However, the Sultan was aided by both the British forces and by the Shah of Iran and exiled the Imam to Saudi Arabia. Despite support from many Arab governments as well as discussion at the United Nations, the Imam was never able to return to Oman.

In 1964, Zanzibar took its independence and ceased subsidy payments to Muscat and Oman. In the same year, a separatist revolt struck with the revolutionaries named the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman (PFLO), aided by communist and leftist government forces in South Yemen as well as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman and the Arab Gulf (PFLOAG).

In 1970, Said bin Taymur was exiled by his son Qaboos bin Said Al Said and the latter took control of the country. The new Sultan quickly abolished his father’s harsh measures on the country which had formally caused the mass emigration of thousands of Omanis, as well as offering amnesty to the opponents of his father’s regime. Finally, he set in place a modern government structure consisting of 26 ministers in his cabinet, all appointed by himself. The new government, under his guidance, began to majorly develop the region, including furthering the country’s natural resources, building a modern infrastructure and upgrading educational and health facilities.

Sultan Qaboos also granted amnesty to all surrendering revolutionaries while continuing to prosecute the war in Dhofar, as well as expanding and re-equipping the armed forces. By 1975, the armed forces were able to contain the guerrilla forces to a 50 kilometre square area near the border with Yemen, defeating them shortly afterwards. Following the defeat of the revolutionary forces, Sultan Qaboos began civil action programs to help win the allegiance of the people.

In 1996, Sultan Qaboos presented the Basic Statutes of the State, Oman’s first constitution, to the people. The constitution guarantees the rights of the people through Quranic and customary law as well as preventing cabinet ministers from being officers of public shareholding firms as to prevent corruption. During the infiltration of Iran and Iraq by UN forces, Oman assisted the forces by sending troops whilst keeping peaceful negotiations with the countries.

21st Century History

In 2000, a voting process was participated in by over a hundred thousand Omani men and women, electing 83 candidates, including two women, into seats in the Majlis Al-Shura. Additionally in the same year, Sultan Qaboos appointed the Majlis Al-Dowla, or State Council, containing 48 people, including five women, to help moderate Oman’s government further. Through Sultan Qaboos’ policies, the relations between the US, the UK and the Middle East, have been upheld and good relations have been successfully maintained. 

Wording
Phonetic
English
     
Salam Sah-lam Hello/Hi
Ma a salama Mah ah sah-lah-mah Good Bye!
Hal tatakallamo alloghah al Enjileziah / Alarabiah? Hahl tah-tah-kah-lah-moh ahl-oh-gah ahl Ehn-jill-ehz-ee-ah / Ah-lah-rah-bee-ah Do you speak English / Arabic?
Esmee… Ehz-mee My name is…
Hal beemkanek mosa’adati Hahl beam-kah-nehk moh-sah-ah-dah-tee Can you help me?
Abhatu an… Ahb-hah-too ahn I’m looking for…
Na’am / Laa Nah-ahm / Lah Yes / No
Assayed / Assayedah / Al Anesah Ah-say-ehd / Ah-say-ehd-ah / Ahl Ah-ney-sah Mr / Mrs / Miss
Alyawm / Al aan Ahl-yorm / Ahl Ahn Today / Now
Ghadan / Albareha Gah-dahn / Ahl-bah-reh-ah Tomorrow / Yesterday
Haza / Zalek / Huna / Hunak Hah-zah / Zah-lek / Hoo-nah / Hoo-nahk This / That / Here / There

 


Phrases

Above are a few common Arabic phrases to help you get around.

 

Languages

Although Arabic is the official language of the country, Balochi, a Northwestern Iranian language, is also very widely spoken, especially by the Baloch people. Lesser spoken native languages in the country include Bathari (a Semitic language), Mehri (a Southern Arabian language), Hobyot (another Semetic language also spoken in Yemen), Harsusi (a Semetic language similar to Mehri), Kumzari (a Southwestern Iranian language) and Shehri (or Jibbali, a Modern South Arabian language).

Additionally, both English and Swahili are spoken throughout the country with nearly all signs and writing appearing in both Arabic and English. Urdu is also spoken significantly and schools have recently started teaching German.

Religion

With over half the population following the Ibadi sect, around 75% of Omani residents are Muslim. However, there are also a significant number of Christians, Hindus and Sikhs living in the country and there has been progress in constructing a Sikh Gurudwara and two Hindu temples, one being over a hundred years old, as well as many Christian Churches and sites. Additionally, a fair few Muslims are members of the Sunni sect and although freedom of religion is widely advocated within the region, all sites of worship must be government approved.



Museums, Galleries & Architecture

Museums and galleries in Oman are few in number but high in quality with most of the major cities owning at least one museum. These include the Muscat Gate Museum which details Oman’s history in depth from Neolithic times to the present day, the Museum of Omani Heritage which contains archaeological objects and information pertaining to the development of architecture, agriculture, minerals, firearms and arts in the region, and the Oman Natural History Museum which details the natural history, fauna, flora and geographical shifts of the region.

Traditional architecture in the region has been ecologically to work in an environmentally friendly way such as lacking air conditioners but being built in such a way that the natural air currents sweep through the house and keep it cool during the blazingly hot summer months. It typically follows a very Arabian style and through influences with the surrounding areas incorporates light colours on the exterior to help reflect the sunlight whilst using detailed interiors for truly interesting patterns, designs and imagery.



Clothing, Dress Style & Etiquette

Traditional dress in Oman for men features the Dishdasha (an ankle-length long-sleeved collarless gown, usually white but sometimes brown, lilac or black) and the Muzzar (a type of turban). It’s also common to carry an Assa (a type of cane) and/or a Khanjar (a curved dagger used for formal occasions).

Female wear includes the Abaya (a black dress), the Hijab (a hair covering), the Sirwal (a dress worn over trousers), the Lihaf (a headdress) and either sandals or, more rarely, a type of wooden platform shoe. It’s also common for women to wear jewelry and cosmetic items.

Literature, Poetry, Music & Dance

Over the course of history the country of Oman has been influenced musically by Portugal, Iran, Tanzania, Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as many other Western Influences. Music is played and danced to by men, women and children for what is considered to be the biggest moments of the Omani lifestyle such as Birth, Circumcision, Marriage and Death. Traditional music and dance include the Liwa (an originally African dance performed in a circle to drums and reed-based wind instruments) and the Fann At-Tanbura (a Persian dance performed to a small stringed instrument).

Commonly used instruments include the Tanbura (a type of lyre or lute), the Mizmar (a type of single or double reed wind instrument) and the Zurna (another type of reed wind instrument). Often singing is performed in other languages such as Swahili for dances and events.

The literary history in Oman dates back to the 9th Century and features works such as Abu al-Muthir al-Salt al-Bahlawi’s al-Siya al-Umaniya (Omani Lives) in the 9th Century, Salama al-Awtabi’s Ansab al-Arab (Arab Genealogies) in the 11th Century and Oman Sirhan ibn Said’s Kashf al-Ghumma (Annals of Oman) in the 19th Century. The country also enjoys a whole host of contemporary Arabic poetry from famed authors such as Muhammad Amin Abdullah, Mahmud al-Khusaybi, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Khalili, Hilal bin Badr, Abu Surur Humayd al-Jamii and Abdullah al-Taiey.


Calendar & Events

Oman’s first public holiday sets in on January 1st with New Years’ day. Following this, Mohammed’s birthday is celebrated on Milad Al Nabi on January 14th. Then in May 26th, Mohammed’s ascension is celebrated on Al Israa Wal Miraj. July 23rd is Renaissance Day and then finally, between July 28th and July 31st Eid al Fitr, the end of Ramadan, is celebrated. 

The best nightclub in Muscat and possibly the whole country is undoubtedly the Copacabana. Sporting a style inspired by that of Rio de Janeiro in brazil and playing the world’s top R&B, Techno, Dance and Hip-Hop music, this would be a mistake to miss!

A cool, smooth piano bar located in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt in Muscat, the John Barry Bar mimics the style of the SS John Barry Cruise Ship and contains one of the most relaxed atmospheres across the region.

One of the top bars from across the city, the Al Ghazal Pub styles itself like an old English pub and will be sure to accommodate the tastes of just about anybody.

The Piano Lounge in the Shangri-la Hotel in Muscat has been furnished with a cool pale blue theme and serves a wide variety of even cooler thirst-quenching and highly-refreshing drinks. 

Money

The Omani Riyal, given the universal currency code OMR can be divided down into 1000 Baisa. 1 Riyal is equal to $2.60 or £1.56.

Omani Rial coins are available in 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 (1/4 Rial) and 500 (1/2 Riyal) Baisa amounts.

Banknotes are issued in 100 and 500 (1/2 Rial) Baisa amounts as well as 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Rial amounts.

Economy

Oman’s economy is mainly based in oil exportation but the country also makes a fair amount of its money through natural gas reserves as well as seafood exports and the production of cement, steel, copper, optic fibre, chemicals and construction works.

The country is currently experiencing a growth at a rate of 5.0% annual GDP with the inflation rate at 3.5%. Around 15% of the population is unemployed. Today the country’s stock market capitalization is valued at around $15.5 Trillion and is one of very few countries with little to no national debt.

Banking

Banking works much the same way that it does in the west and over the past decade Oman has slowly set up more ATMs, especially in the capital city of Muscat, account types are more simplistic and savings accounts are not so accessible.

Current Accounts are used nationwide for basic day-to-day activity and many national and international banks utilize these account types the most frequently. They’re also incredibly useful due to the ease of converting currencies between OMR, AED, EUR, GBP and USD. 

Taxes

Within Oman there is no income tax or any taxation in regards to residency but there are taxes applied on income to be used as contributions to the social security fund for benefits and pensions. These taxes are applied at a rate of 6.5% while employers have to pay an additional 9.5% as well as a further 1% for industrial illness and injury benefits schemes. All people between the ages of 15 and 59 must pay these taxes. It’s important to note that expats may still be subject to taxation from their home country, even while living and working in Oman.

There is no VAT on any non-imported product but products that have been imported may have a number of duty fees to be paid. Additionally when purchasing real estate a stamp duty tax is applied at 3% of the sale price. 

Blending together chicken, lamb, fish and rice dishes as well as many marinades, spices and herbs, Omani Cuisine takes influences from Asian cultures as well as Indian and Middle-Eastern regions. Typically, dinner is lighter and the middle of the day sees a larger meal.

Common dishes include Muqalab (tripe and pluck cooked with cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper and garlic), Mashuai (spit-roast kingfish with lemon rice), Kebab (barbequed, curried or grilled chicken and/or beef with vegetables), Harees (a wheat and meat mix), Maqbous (rice and spicy meat with a saffron flavouring) and Kahwa (Omani coffee mixed with cardamom and served with dates and Omani sweets).

More festive occasions often see the serving of Shuwa (a full spit-roast cow or goat flavoured with spices) and Sakhana (soup made from wheat, dates, milk and molasses). Additionally, the nation’s favourite drinks are Coffee and Laban (salted buttermilk), but a range of Yoghurt drinks are also highly popular. 

VISA Requirements

Unless you are a member of a GCC country or a country eligible for a visa on arrival, you will require a visa to enter Oman. Qatar and Dubai visa holders may enter the country without a visa, as may National ID Card holders from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.

Countries eligible for a visa on arrival are listed below:

  • European Union
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Ecuador
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Labanon
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Paraguay
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Suriname
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
Additionally, no Israeli citizen is allowed entry into Oman.

Health Care

All Omani nationals have absolutely free access to the country’s full health care system, which has been rated as high for a middle-income country. In recent decades the rate of disease in general has plummeted greatly thanks to investments into the medical sector, but the rate of cardiovascular disease and diabetes have increased drastically due to lifestyle changes of the Omani populace. Despite these problems, the average Omani national still has a high life expectancy of around 74 years.

Additionally the government is encouraging students to study medicine and has set up an accredited medical university as well as very high standard hospitals in Muscat such as the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and the Royal Hospital of Oman. However, many Omani doctors obtain their medical training in more developed countries such as the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. Expatriates have shown a trend in seeking private health care rather than public.

Transportation

Oman has made massive attempts to improve its transportation infrastructure in the last few decades, building around 33,000 kilometres with of road and paving around 10,000 kilometres worth of them. The speed limit is around 120 kilometres per hour on the highway and most of the interchanges on the roads are comprised of series’ of roundabouts. These roads link into the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Although there are no railways in Oman, several have been planned including the Joint Gulf Railway which will link the Gulf States together, as well as three lines connecting Muscat to Suhar, Muscat to Daq and Suhar to Al-Ayn in the United Arab Emirates.

The country has survived as a port-based nation for trade for years and as such it features seven ports including Al Wajajah, Mina al Fahal, the Port of Salalah, Mina’ Raysut, Port Sultan Qaboos, the Port of Sohar and Duqm Port. Together the ports house three large ships; one cargo, one passenger and one all-purpose. The nation also features over thirty airports.

Embassies

Below is a list of Embassies found within Oman:

Afghani Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Afghanistan in Muscat, Oman
TBA
City: Muscat
Phone: (+96) 824698791
Fax: (+96) 824697848
 
Algeria Algerian Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Algeria in Muscat, Oman
PO BOX 216 PC 115
Medina Al Sultan
Qaboos
City: Muscat
Phone: 968 246 055 93
Fax: 968 69 44 19
Email: Algerie@gto.net.om
 
Austria Austrian Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Austria in Muscat, Oman
Villa No. 898; Way No. 3013
Al Kharijia Street, Shati Al Qurum
P.O.Box 2070, PC 112 Ruwi
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24 69 41 27
(+968) 24 60 51 27
Fax: (+968) 24 69 92 65
Email: maskat-ob@bmeia.gv.at
Office Hours: Sat. - Wed. 09:00-12:00 hrs.
 
Bahrain Bahraini Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Bahraini Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Qurum Beach Railway No. 3030, Villa No. 2421
P.O. Box 66
Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos R.B 115
Muscat
Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24 605 074 / 133
Fax: (+968) 24 605 072
Email: muscat.mission@mofa.gov.bh
Office Hours: Sun - Thurs: 08:00 am - 14:30 pm
 
Bangladesh Bangladeshi Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Bangladeshi Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Villa No. 4207, Way No. 3052, Shatti Al Qurum
P.O. Box No. 3959
Postal Code 112, Ruwi
Muscat
Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24 698 660
Fax: (+968) 24 698 789
Email: bangla@omantel.net.om / ambassador.muscat@mofa.gov.bd
Office Hours: 08.30-16.30
 
Belgium Belgian Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Honorary Consulate of Belgium in Muscat, Oman
P.O.BOX 4102 - Ruwi - Muscat
Sultanat of Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: + (968)  (24) 56.20.33
Fax: + (968)  (24) 56.49.05
Email: binsalim@omantelnet.com
 
Brunei Bruneian Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in Oman
Way No. 3050 Villa No. 4062
Shatti Al Qurum
P.O. Box 91
112 Ruwi. Muscat
Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (968) 24 603 533/26 604253
Fax: (968) 24 605910
Email: muscat.oman@mfa.gov.bn
Office Hours: 0800 - 1430 hrs Saturday to Wednesday
 
Canada Canadian Embassy in Salalah, Oman
The Embassy of Canada, Oman
c/o The Canadian Embassy, P.O. Box 94321
Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
11693
City: Salalah
Phone: 00968 92058064
Email: dildarpiya@yahoo.com.uk
Details: The Government of Canada has no resident representation in the Sultanate of Oman. Services are offered through our Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
 
Canada Canadian Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Consulate of Canada in Muscat, Oman
Trade Links Building, Building 1738, Way 2728
Plot 127 CBD, Ruwi, Muscat, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (011 968) 24 788 890
Fax: (011 968) 24 788 826
Email: canconoman84@yahoo.com
 
China Chinese Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Chinese Embassy in Muscat, Oman
House No. 1368, Way No. 3017
Shati Al-Qurum
Muscat, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: +968-246696698
+968-24696782
Fax: +968-246699208
+968-24602322
Email: chinaemb_om@mfa.gov.cn
 
Cyprus Cypriot Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Cyprus in Muscat, Oman
P.O.Box 603
Muscat
Postal Code 113
Sultanate of Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (00968) 24490200 (6 Lines)
Fax: (00968) 24490699
Email: jandpmct@omantel.net.om
Office Hours: 08:00 - 13:00, 15:30 - 18:30
 
Ecuador Ecuadorian Embassy in Shatti Al Qurm, Oman
Embassy of Ecuador in Oman
Way 3019, house 1615
Shatti al Qurm, Sultanate of Oman
City: Shatti al Qurm
Phone: (968) 24696458
Fax: (968) 99350359
Email: cecuoman@mmrree.gov.ec
 
Finland Finnish Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Honorary Consulate General of Finland in Muscat, Oman
Honorary Consulate General of Finland
Getco Holdings & Investments
Getco Tower
P.O. Box 84
113
City: Muscat
Phone: (968) 24701 454
Fax: (968) 24703 826
 
France French Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of France in Muscat, Oman
PO Box 208 - Madinat Sultan Qabous
PC 115 - Muscat
City: Muscat
Phone: [968] 24 68 18 00
Fax: [968] 24 68 18 43
Website: http://www.ambafrance-om.org/
Email: diplofr1@omantel.net.om
 
Germany German Embassy in Muscat, Oman
German Embassy in Oman
near Al-Nahda Hospital, Stadtteil Ruwi
(P.O. Box 128)
Ruwi, PC 112
Muscat, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24 83 24 82
Fax: (+968) 24 83 56 90
Email: info@maskat.diplo.de
 
Greece Greek Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Honorary Consulate of Greece in Muscat
P.O. ox 175, Muscat 117, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (00968) 24793072
Fax: (00968) 787714, 796158
 
India Indian Embassy in Al Khuwair, Oman
Embassy of India in Oman
Diplomatic Area
Jami at Al-Dowal
Al-Arabia Street, Al Khuwair
Sultanate of Oman
City: Al Khuwair
Phone: 24684500
Fax: 24698291
Website: http://www.indemb-oman.org/
Email: indiamct@omantel.net.om
 
Iraq Iraqi Embassy in Oman
Embassy of The Republic of Iraq in Oman
Phone: 604178 - 604179 / 604178 - 00968
Fax: 602026 / 00968
Email: musemb@iraqmofamail.net
 
Ireland Irish Consulate in Ruwi, Oman
Honorary Consul of Ireland in Oman
Oman Commercial Centre (O.K. Centre)
8th Floor, Suite #807
City: Ruwi
Phone: 00 968 24701 282
Fax: 00 968 24701 278
Email: ireconmct@gmail.com
Details: Honorary Consul: Dr. Mohammed H. Darwish
 
Italy Italian Embassy in Mascate, Oman
Italian Embassy in Oman
Way 2411 House n.
842 Qurum
Mascate
City: Mascate
Phone: 0096824695131, 24695131
Fax: 24695161
Website: http://www.ambmascate.esteri.it
Email: ambasciata.mascate@esteri.it
Details: ---
 
Jordan Jordanian Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Jordan in Muscat, Oman
Al Mantiqa Al Diplomaciya
Arab League Street
00968
City: Muscat
Phone: 968-692-760
Fax: 968-692-762
Email: embhkjom@omantel.net.om
Office Hours: Monday - Wednesday:8:00-2:00 Saturday - Sunday: 8:00-2:00
 
Kuwait Kuwaiti Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Kuwaiti Embassy in Muscat, Oman
P.O.Box 1798
Ruwi 112
Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24699626/7, 24696095
Fax: (+968) 24604732
 
Malaysia Malaysian Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Malaysia in Muscat, Oman
Villa No. 1611, Way No. 3019
Shati Al Qurum
P.O. Box 3939 Ruwi
Post Code 112
Sultanate of Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (968) 2469 8329 /2469 8643
Fax: (968) 24605031
Website: http://www.kln.gov.my/perwakilan/muscat
Email: mwmuscat@omantel.net.om
Office Hours: Work day: Saturday - Wednesday 7.30 AM - 2.30 PM Holiday:       Thursday & Friday
 
Morocco Moroccan Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Morocco in Muscat, Oman
BP 3125 / 112 - Ruwi - PC 112, Villa No. 1758
Way 3021, Area Shatie Alqurum
Muscat
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 2469 6152 / 3
Fax: (+968) 2460 1114
Email: sifamamu@omantel.net.om
Details: Ambassador:Mr Mohamed Benlarbi Dilai
 
Netherlands Dutch Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Muscat, Oman
Way 3017, Villa 1366
Shatti Al-Qurm, Muscat
City: Muscat
Phone: 00-968-24603706
Fax: 00-968-24603778
Website: http://www.mfa.nl/mus
Email: mus@minbuza.nl
Office Hours: Saturday - Wednesday, 08.00 - 15.00 hrs
 
New Zealand Kiwi Consulate in Muscat, Oman
New Zealand Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Villa 2869, Way No. 2333,
Madinat Al-Sultan Qaboos Street,
near Abu Obaida Mosque, Muscat, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: 968 24 694 692 / +968 24 693 322
Fax: +968 24 603 234
 
Norway Norwegian Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Royal Norwegian Consulate General, Muscat
P.O.Box 89 Ruwi - Muscat
Pin Code 112
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 245 26067
Fax: (+968) 245 26050
Website: http://www.al-norwige.org.sa/Embassy/embassy/
Email: alwyn@wjtowell.com
Office Hours: Opening hours: Saturday - Thursday 08.00-13.00
 
Pakistan Pakistani Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Pakistani Embassy in Muscat, Oman
P.O. Box 1302 Ruwi-112
City: Muscat
Phone: 603439/603343
Fax: 697462
Email: parepmet@omantel.net.om
 
Palestine Palestinian Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Palestine Embassy in Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: 968-697191/697230
Fax: 968-697257
Email: eosopmet@omantel.net.com
 
Philippines Filipino Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of the Philippines in Muscat, Oman
Bldg. No. 1041/1043 Way No. 3015
Al Kharijyah St., Shati Al Qurum, Muscat, SULTANATE OF OMAN
P.O. Box No. 420 Madinat Qaboos
Postal Code 115, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (00968) 24-605-140 / 143/ 335; 695-359; 696-641
Fax: (00968) 24-605-176
Email: muscatpe@omantel.net.om / muscatpe@yahoo.com
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m
 
Poland Polish Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Honorary Consulate of Poland in Oman
Building No. 585, Way No. 46 Azaiba North
City: Muscat
Phone: +968.2458.0580
Fax: +968.2458.0599
Email: mbarwani@mbholdingco.com
 
Poland Polish Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Honorary Consulate of Poland in Oman
Building No. 585, Way No. 46 Azaiba North
City: Muscat
Phone: +968.2458.0580
Fax: +968.2458.0599
Email: mbarwani@mbholdingco.com
 
Qatar Qatari Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of the State of Qatar
P.O.Box 802
Muscat 113
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24701802
Fax: (+968) 24794588, 24691156
Email: muscat@mofa.gov.qa
 
Russia Russian Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Russia in Muscat, Oman
Muscat, Ruwi, P.O.Box 80, postalcode 112
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24-60-28-94
Fax: (+968) 24-60-41-89
Email: rusoman@omantel.net.om
 
Seychelles Seychelles Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Honorary Consulate of Syechelles in Muscat, Oman
P.O. Box 3382, P C 112,
Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman
City: Muscat
Phone:  [968] 245 630 34
Fax: (+968-24) 563305
Website: http://www.mfa.gov.sc/static.php?content_id=29
Email: scconsul@omantel.net.om
Office Hours: Monday to Friday
 
South Africa South African Embassy in Muscat, Oman
South African Embassy in Muscat, Oman
House 1384 Way 3017 Shatti Al Qurum Muscat
P O Box 231 PC 118 Al Harthy Complex Muscat, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: +968-694791 / +968-694793
Fax: +968-694792
Email: ambsaeo@omantel.net.om
 
Sudan Sudanese Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Sudan in Oman
Shatti Al-Qurum, Bildg #31
City: Muscat
Phone: +968-697-875 / +968-697543
Fax: +968-699-065
Email: suanimt@gto.net.om
 
Sweden Swedish Consulate in Muscat, Oman
Consulate-General of Sweden in Muscat, Oman
Bahwan Business Centre, 8th floor
Al Jaame Street
CBD Area Ruwi
Muscat, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: +968 (-) 2470 86 93
Fax: +968 (-) 2479 42 83
Email: bd@ssbahwan.com
Office Hours: Saturday-Wednesday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 4 to 6.30 p.m.. Thursday 8 a.m. to 12 noon
 
Syria Syrian Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic in Muscat, Oman
P.O.Box 85
Muscat 115
Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24679904
Fax: (+968) 24603895
Website: http://www.syrianembassy.gov.com/
Email: Ali_mah@hotmail.com
 
Taiwan Taiwanese Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Muscat, Oman
Way No. 3046
Villa No. 3579, Shati Al-Qurm
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (002-968) 24605695
(002-968) 24692313
Fax: (002-968) 24605402
Email: taipei@omantel.net.om
 
Tanzania Tanzanian Consulate in Ruwi, Oman
Consulate of Tanzania in Ruwi, Oman
P.O. Box 3489, RUWI
Postal Code 112
Sultanate of Oman
City: Ruwi
Phone: 00 968 607055
Fax: 00 968 600970
 
Thailand Thai Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Thailand in Oman
Villa No. 1339
Way No. 3017
Shati Al Qurum,P.O. Box 60
P.C. 115 M.S.Q.
Muscat
City: Muscat
Phone: (968) 24602684-5
Fax: (96-8) 24605714
Email: thaimct@omantel.net.om
Office Hours: Office Hours :08.00 -15.00 Saturday - Wednesday
 
Turkey Turkish Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Muscat, Oman
Turkish Embassy Building No. 3270
Street No. 3042 Shati al-Qurum P.O. Box 47 Mu
City: Muscat
Phone: +90-(968) 69 70 50
Fax: +90-(968) 69 70 53
Email: turemmus@omantel.net.om
 
United Arab Emirates Emirati Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of United Arab Emirates in Muscat, Oman
PO.Box: 551 NO 111, Al Seeb, Al Khouar
Muscat, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: +968-602531
Fax: +968-604182
Email: uaeOman@Omantel.net.Om
 
United Kingdom British Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of The UK in Muscat, Oman
P O Box 185
Mina Al Fahal
Postal Code 116
Sultanate of Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (968) 24 609000 (968) 24 609000
Website: http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/oman
Office Hours: Saturday - Wednesday Local time: 07:30 am - 02:30 pm
Details: The Consular Section protects the interests of Britons and certain Commonwealth citizens in Oman. A complete range of passport services, including emergency travel documents, is available to British citizens. We encourage ALL British citizens to register with the Embassy. Citizens of Commonwealth countries and Dependent Territories are welcome to register. The VISA SECTION provides a visa service to Omanis and other nationals who require a prior clearance for the UK.
 
United States American Embassy in Muscat, Oman
U.S. Embassy in Muscat, Oman
P.O. Box 202, Code 115
Medinat Al-Sultan Qaboos, Sultanate
Muscat, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (968) 24-643-400
Fax: (968) 24-699-771
Website: http://oman.usembassy.gov/
Email: answersom@state.gov
Office Hours: Saturday-Wednesday: 8:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
 
Yemen Yemeni Embassy in Muscat, Oman
Embassy of Yemen in Muscat, Oman
P.O.Box 115
Ruwi 112, Oman
City: Muscat
Phone: (+968) 24604172 / 24600815 / 24600147
Fax: (+968) 24605008

Phone Lines

The Oman Telecommunications Company, also known as Omantel, runs a monopoly on the landline and internet access markets with a branch of the company Omanmobile offering mobile services. The Omani Government is known to own 70% of Omantel.

There are six mobile networks in the country, all providing 3G coverage they are Oman Mobile, Renna, Mazoon Mobile, Nawras, Friendi and Omanmobile. The country code for landlines is 00968 and landlines number over 250 thousand in number and mobile phones number over four million. These are perpetuated through open wire, microwave, radiotelephone communication, limited coaxial cable and domestic satellite systems with 8 Earth stations.

Internet

The internet access is also solely run by Omantel and the company offers both Dial-Up and Broadband Access. Typical monthly prices are as shown:

  • Dial-Up: 3 OMR ($7.79 or £4.68)
  • 0.5mb Broadband: 12 OMR ($31.16 or £18.74)
  • 1mb Broadband: 19 OMR ($49.34 or £29.67)
  • 2mb Broadband: 29 OMR ($75.31 or £45.28)
  • 4mb Broadband: 39 OMR ($101.29 or £60.89)
  • 8mb Broadband: 99 OMR ($257.11 or £154.57)

Communications

There are 13 TV broadcast stations and 25 low-power repeaters in the country as well as over 1.6 million Televisions.

Meanwhile, the radio works on AM 3, FM 9 and Shortwave 2 with Radios in the country numbering over 1.4 million. 

Weather & Climate

The hottest months in June and July, temperatures inland may reach upwards of 53 degrees Celsius (127.4 degrees Fahrenheit) but in the lowlands it’s rarely higher than 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Winter temperatures, on the other hand, are mild, typically ranging between 18 and 26 degrees Centigrade (64.4 and 78.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Humidity is also high within the country with the lowlands having a humidity level as high as 90%.

Meanwhile annual rainfall typically ranges between 20 and 100 millimetres (0.8 to 3.9) but in the more mountainous regions it can rise as high as 900 millimetres. However, the region of Dhofar is subject to a southwest monsoon between June and September every year and occasionally a cyclone from the North Indian Ocean reaches land, both of these events bring incredibly heavy rain.

Holidays

The Shangri-la Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa has been designed to give all of its guests in each of its 197 rooms a truly fantastical luxury experience with a beautiful spa treatment, a freeform swimming pool and one of many restaurants serving delectable food.

Meanwhile a little closer to the beachfront and also in Muscat is The Chedi Muscat, designed with traditional Arabian architecture with a beautifully clean white visual appearance, the hotel features a brilliantly elegant appearance and a clear crystal pool right on the beachside.

The centrepiece of a shimmering oasis, the Ritz-Carlton Al Bustan Palace has been given a crystal clear appearance which white marble decking and emerald green palm trees while keeping a private beach nearby for residents of the hotel.

The Grand Hyatt Muscat features stunning panoramic views of the entire Gulf of Oman and the nearby Hajar mountains from each of its large-windowed rooms and the hotel even has a large pool with a range of comfortable deck chairs for those looking to kick back and relax.

Surrounded by a beautiful beach and a stunning mountain range, the Six Senses Zighy Bay includes a wide range of villas and a private resort for a true getaway with a hint of subtle class and southern Arabian style. 

All peoples below the age of 18 are counted as children and will require a visa or inclusion in a family visa of some variety. Typically speaking there are no special requirements or adjustments to be made to bring children to Oman.

Bringing pets into Oman is fairly straightforward but you will require the following:

  • A permit from the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture.
  • Up to date health records.
  • Records of up-to-date vaccines including Rabies shots administered during the correct time frame.
  • The pet must be micro chipped.
  • The pet can be no younger than 4 months old.
  • It’s worth noting that there should be no quarantine upon arrival in Oman but the pet will have to undergo inspection by a vet, after which you’ll receive stamped paperwork from the vet allowing you to take your pet home.
Although the veterinary services in Oman are of a high standard, public aggression towards dogs (including police attempts to poison strays) often result in canine fatalities and as such it’s recommended to be very wary of the national’s actions and attitudes towards dogs, even children and even when the dog is on a lead being walked by the owner. Additionally, dogs can only be walked between 10am and 3pm and many beaches do not allow dogs. 


Up until secondary education, education is completely free for all residents of Oman, although attendance is not mandatory at any level and as a result the illiteracy rate is higher than other developed countries at around 18% for people older than 15, however, between the ages of 15-24, the illiteracy rate is at less than 2%.

Provided to any children younger than 10, Pre-school education is available, the attendance is low at only 15% of the population and the hours last between 8am and 12:30pm with a mix of artistic and leisure activities typically. Primary education consists of two cycles: grades 1-4 and grades 5-10, following this there are then two to three years of Secondary education. Oman also contains a high amount of grammar schools teaching Arabic, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Greek and Latin.

Following secondary education, Higher education is available and at this level students can go on to study in the Sultan Qaboos University or one of the many colleges or universities under the Omani Ministries of Higher Education or Manpower. 

To work in Oman you must have a degree in line with what you are teaching, as well as a teaching qualification and two years of experience. Additionally you must be a native speaker of English.

People with international experience, especially within the Middle East, and knowledge of the local culture will have a big advantage. Also, those with a CEFL, TEFL, Delta or other similar certificates will have an advantage but should take not that these are not normally accepted as teaching qualifications.

Also, please ensure to read our guide on VISA and Work Permit Restrictions

Oman can be very cheap food wise, with a meal at a restaurant costing between OMR 1.35 and 7.50 ($3.51 to $19.48 or £2.10 to £11.66), a litre of water costing OMR 0.33 ($0.86 or £0.51), a litre of milk costing OMR 0.64 ($1.66 or £0.99), 500g of bread costing OMR 0.40 ($1.04 or £0.62) and twelve eggs going for OMR 1.00 ($2.60 or £1.55).

Monthly accommodation costs are relatively cheap as well, with a one bedroom apartment in the city centre costing around OMR 250 ($650 or £390), outside of the city centre going for around OMR 190 ($490 or £300), a three bedroom apartment inside the city centre going for around OMR 590 ($1530 or £920) and a three bedroom apartment outside the city centre costing around OMR 430 ($1120 or £670).

Finally, luxuries are also incredibly cheap, with a bottle of mid-range wine going for around OMR 3.32 ($8.62 or £5.16), half a litre of beer going for OMR 0.55 ($1.43 or £0.85) and a pack of cigarettes going for around OMR 0.96 ($2.49 or £1.49). The average monthly disposable salary after tax is at around OMR 790 ($2050 or £1230). 

The Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre caters for divers and adventurers of all ages and skill levels from beginners to veterans and supplies a full kit for each and every activity. Activities include abseiling, rock climbing, caving, walking, sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, biking and much more.

Maybe you have a love of the ocean and yearn to dip your toes in the water as the wind lifts sail and carries you across the sapphire waves? The Oman Sailing Club was first founded by Omani nationals but today also caters to a range of internationally-based individuals and groups.

The country’s very largest health and fitness club, Horizon Fitness has been known for years to inspire ideals of good health, activity and a feel-good mentality that just can’t be beat.

The hockey scene isn’t quiet either with the Muscat Arabian Foxes kicking up a storm! The club features both female and male members and advocates a professional yet fun standard of play throughout the year as they cross sticks with a variety of teams from all over the world.

The Environment Society of Oman has been developed to appreciate the local Omani wildlife and cultures surrounding the various fauna and flora in the region. It additionally allows anyone over the age of 18 to join and promotes the conversation of the environment.

Music-loving and soulful both at heart and in voice, the Muscat Singers were founded in 1974 by expatriates but today caters to Omani nationals as well as its international members. The club commonly meets for singing sessions in the American School in Azaiba, Muscat and practices regularly on Sunday evenings for a duo of concerts each year.

Art lovers! This is for you! The MuscArt group has been designed to cater to and appeal for both expatriates and nationals looking to appreciate fine Omani art and delve deep into the cultural heritage the country shares. 

The Crime rate in Oman is rated as one of the lowest ones in the world with incidents of any serious crime being reported only occasionally. The biggest problem the country faces crime-wise is in human trafficking for the purpose of labourers, domestic workers and commercial sexual exploitation and is a frequent destination point for people trafficked from South Asian, North African and Eastern European countries.

Additionally, Ministry of Health impersonators have been tricking people into being dosed with a sedative and being robbed shortly after passing out. Threat of terrorist attack is another pressing concern with an underlying threat from terrorism being present in Oman, even though it is unlikely, should there be a strike it could be indiscriminate and in a place frequented by expatriates.

Incredibly low numbers make drug trafficking almost non-existent with less than 10kg of heroin confiscated yearly, additionally the country has a very well organized Drug Control Unit to prevent drug trafficking. Homicide is at a rate of around 0.9 per 100,000 people with rape in similar numbers, robbery is at around 2.6, as are automotive theft, larceny, burglary and aggravated assault.

Emergency Numbers

  • Police: 9999
  • Ambulance/Fire: 999