Oman-officially the Sultanate of Oman, is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the oldest independent state in the Arab world.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to the Sultanate of Oman consulate website: https://evisa.rop.gov.om/
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options. Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette, and how shoppers can take advantage of VAT refunds.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things to see & do:
Muscat-Oman’s port capital, sits on the Gulf of Oman surrounded by mountains and desert. With history dating back to antiquity, it mixes high-rises and upscale shopping malls with clifftop landmarks such as the 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, looming over Muscat Harbor. Its modern, marble-clad Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, with 50m dome and prodigious Persian carpet, can accommodate 20,000 people.
Salalah is the capital city of southern Oman's Dhofar province. It's known for its banana plantations, Arabian Sea beaches and waters teeming with sea life. The Khareef, an annual monsoon, transforms the desert terrain into a lush, green landscape and creates seasonal waterfalls. The Frankincense Land Museum, part of the Al Balid Archaeological Site, recounts the city’s maritime history and role in the spice trade.
Salalah-is the capital city of southern Oman's Dhofar province. It's known for its banana plantations, Arabian Sea beaches and waters teeming with sea life. The Khareef, an annual monsoon, transforms the desert terrain into a lush, green landscape and creates seasonal waterfalls. The Frankincense Land Museum, part of the Al Balid Archaeological Site, recounts the city’s maritime history and role in the spice trade.
Sohar- is a port city on Oman’s northern coast. Facing the Gulf of Oman, the centuries-old Sohar Fort houses a museum exploring the city’s cultural and trading past. Sohar Corniche stretches along the waterfront, with a park, restaurants and a fish market. To the west is a camel-racing track. Sohar is also a base for exploring the craggy banks of nearby ravines, including Wadi Al Jizi and Wadi Salahi.
Nizwa-is an ancient city in the Ad Dakhiliyah region of northern Oman. It sits on a plain characterized by seasonal rivers and palm plantations. It's known for Nizwa Fort, a castle with a huge cylindrical tower built in the 17th century to defend the city's position on a major trade route. The adjoining marketplace, Nizwa Souk, is lined with handicrafts stalls and silversmiths working in small shops.
Sur-is a port city on Oman’s eastern tip. Its shipyards, which still produce traditional wooden vessels, played a pivotal role in Oman’s maritime past. In the city center, Sunaysilah Fort has 4 defensive towers around a courtyard. Exhibits at the Maritime Museum include ship models. Southeast of Sur, green turtles nest at Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve. To the west, craggy cliffs surround verdant Wadi Bani Khalid Valley.
Rustaq-is a town and Wilayah in Al Batinah Region of northern Oman. The wilayah is in the Western Hajar Mountains, in the south of the Batinah. Rustaq was once the capital of Oman, during the era of Imam Nasir bin Murshid al Ya'arubi.
Khasab-is a port city on northern Oman’s Musandam Peninsula. Khasab Fort has crenellated stone turrets, model wooden boats and a museum with handicrafts and archaeological finds. From Khasab Harbor, wooden boats cruise the Strait of Hormuz, offering rugged coastal views and dolphin sightings. South, past mountain villages and green valleys, Jabal Hareem peak is known for its marine fossils.
Dibba-is an urban region on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula, straddling the border of the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Sandy beaches along the Gulf of Oman are backed by the rugged Hajar Mountains. To the south, the centuries-old Al Bidya Mosque has a distinctive roof with two domes. The northern part of Dibba is a jumping-off point for Oman’s Musandam Peninsula, with its coral reefs and soaring peaks.
The Musandam Governorate-is a mountainous Omani peninsula projecting into the Strait of Hormuz, separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates. Its jagged coastline features fjordlike inlets called khors, and its waters are home to dolphins and other marine life. Dhow cruises are a popular activity. In Khasab, the capital, the 17th-century Khasab Fort houses museum displays.
Al-Seeb-As Seeb or As Sib is a coastal fishing city, located several kilometres northwest of Muscat, in northeastern Oman.
Bahla-is a UNESCO World Heritage Site town, located 40 km away from Nizwa, and about 200 km from Oman's capital Muscat which lies in the Ad Dakhiliyah region of Oman. It is notable as the home of one of the oldest fortresses in the country, the 13th century Bahla Fort and the town's pottery.
Muttrah, administratively a district-is located in the Muscat province of Oman. Before the discovery of oil in Oman, Muttrah was the center of commerce in Oman. It is still a center of commerce as one of the largest sea ports of the region is located there.
Upscale Shati Al Qurum-is known for long Qurum Beach, popular for swimming and strolls on a promenade lined with palm trees and open-air cafes. Luxury hotels sit nearby, and classical performances take place at the massive, Omani-style Royal Opera House Muscat complex, also home to the high-end Opera Galleria shopping mall. Housed in 2 futuristic domes, the Children’s Museum features hands-on science exhibits.
Al Buraimi Governorate-is a governorate of Oman which was split from the Ad Dhahirah Region. Until October 2006, the area was part of Ad Dhahirah Region. At this time, the new governorate was created from the Wilayats of Al Buraymi and Mahdah. A third wilayat, As-Sunaynah, was created from parts of the two.
Barka-is a coastal city in the region Al Bāţinah, in northern Oman. Bordered by the Sea of Oman and the Al Hajar mountains in southern Batinah, Barka is about a half-hour drive from Seeb and roughly an hours drive from Al Khuwair and Ruwi.
Bawshar-is one of the wilayats of Muscat, in northeastern Oman. The province borders wilayat Muttrah in the east and Muscat International Airport in the west, it overlooks the Sea of Oman from the north. It contains several archaeological sites.
Al Suwaiq-is a coastal town in the region Al Bāţinah, in northeastern Oman. The name of the town refers in Arabic Language to Market, it is named by this name because it located in the central of AL Batina Region and attracted the people who lived in the mountains and also
Ibra-is the second largest city in the Ash Sharqiyah Region of Oman. It is located about 170 km from Muscat. Ibra is one of the oldest cities in Oman and was once a centre of trade, religion, education and art.
Shinas-is a coastal town in northern Oman, near the border between Oman and United Arab Emirates. Shinas has a distinctive collection of traditional buildings.
Saham-is a coastal town in the Al Batinah Region, in northeastern Oman. Saham is a fishing and a farming town between Al Khaboura and Sohar.
Qurayyat-is a small fishing town 83 km southeast of Muscat, Oman, adjacent to the towns of Sur, Diman Wa Tayeen and Aamerat. A popular stopping point on the way to Sur, Qurayyat is in itself also a very popular destination for Muscat.
Duqm-is a port town on the Arabian Sea in Al Wusta Governorate in central-eastern Oman. The town is currently experiencing significant development.
Haima-is a town in the central Oman. It is the capital of the central region of Oman called Al Wusta Governorate. Permanent settlement began after a team of oil explorers sunk a water well there. This well, along with another dug in al-Ajaiz, became the first permanent water sources in Jiddat il-Harasiis.
Bidiya or Bidiyyah-is a town in Wilayah Bidiyyah, in the middle of the Eastern Region of the Sultanate of Oman. It is located about 233 kilometres from the capital city, Muscat. It comprises fifteen villages, including Al Muntarib, Al Gabbi, Shahik, Al Rakah, Al Hawiyah, Al Shariq, Al Wasil and Al Dhahir.
Al Hamra-is a 400-year-old town in the region Ad Dakhiliyah, in northeastern Oman. As a province, it is home to a number of villages including the mountainside village of Misfat Al Abryeen, with the village of Ghul to the northwest of the town, and Bimah to the north-northeast.
Mirbat-a coastal town in the Dhofar governorate, in southwestern OmanIt was the site of the 1972 Battle of Mirbat between Communist guerrillas on one side and the Armed forces of the Sultan of Oman and their Special Air Service advisers.
Jabrin, also known as Jabreen- is a small town in Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate in northeastern Oman near Nizwa and the Jabal Akhdar Mountains. The town is known for its impressive castle, which was built by the Yaruba dynasty Imam Bil'arab bin Sultan, who ruled from 1679 to 1692 and who was buried onsite.
Thumrait-is a small town and wilayat of the Dhofar Governorate in southern Oman. In ancient times Thumrait was an important point on the Arabian peninsula's caravan routes. Frankincense trees, an important crop, used to grow in greater abundance in Thumrait than now.
Raʾs al-Ḥadd-is a village in Ash Sharqiyah district in Oman. It is on a point at the entrance to the Gulf of Oman. The region is served by Ras al Hadd Airport.
Jalan Bani Bu Hassan-is the largest wilayah in area - 12,130 km² - among the south east wilayat of Ash Sharqiyah Region, Oman. The diverse geography of the wilayah makes it one of the most extraordinary spots in Oman.
Al Awabi- is one of the 62 districts in the Sultanate of Oman. It is located in Al Batinah Region, north of Oman. Based on the figures of the 2003 General Census, Al Awabi is home for 10,469 people. This number was estimated to be 11,110 people by mid-2006.
Nakhal or Nakhl-is a wilayah in Al Batinah South Governorate in Oman. It is home to many old castles and forts, including the Nakhal Fort.
Al Ashkharah-is a town in the Ash Sharqiyah Region of Oman and is 80km from Ras al-Hadd and 90km from Ras al-Jinz. It is part of the J'alan area and can be considered as the key city of this area in addition to Ja'lan. The city's main economic activity is fishing and is famous for catching big fish from shore.
The Omani territory of Madha or Wādī Madḥāʾ-is an exclave of the Musandam Governorate, enclaved by the United Arab Emirates; inside it, there is a second-order enclave: Nahwa, which is part of the UAE Emirate of Sharjah. Madha is located halfway between the Musandam Peninsula and the rest of Oman.
Qurum-is an upscale suburb of Muscat in Oman. Its main attractions are the Qurum Natural Park, the Qurum City Centre and the Qurum Beach.
Liwa-is a province in Al Batinah Region, Oman. It lies north of Sohar and has a lively market place where local produce and fresh fish are sold. The fortress of Awla Ya'rab, built of white clay, is located on the beach in the Harmul area.
Saiq-is a town in the region Ad Dakhiliyah, in northeastern Oman. It has its own airport, Saiq Airport.
Tanam or Tan`am is a village in Ad Dhahirah Region, in northeastern Oman. The village lies just southwest of the town of Ibri in Wadi Aswad.
Al-Qābil-is a village in Al Buraimi Governorate, in northwestern Oman. A small agricultural village on the edge of the Wahibah Desert, Al Qabil lies about 25 km south along the Muscat-Sur Highway from Al Ain across the border in the United Arab Emirates.
Fahud-is a permanent oil camp and oil field in the middle of the central plain area of Oman, named after the nearby Jebel Fahud believed to mean "Leopard Mountain" from the time when wild leopards roamed the area. The main oil camp is owned by Petroleum Development Oman, the national oil company.
Taqah-is a coastal town in the Dhofar governorate, in southwestern Oman.
Yiti is a village in Muscat, in northeastern Oman.
Mutrah Corniche-is a promenade stretching for 3 kilometres along the waterfront and is lined with restaurants, cafes, and markets. You can see the views of the Oman Port and harbour on one side and the beautiful rock formations of the Hajar Mountains and the Portuguese watchtowers on the other. The northern end of the corniche has a fish market and a dhow harbour. The eastern end of the harbour is dominated by the Mutrah Fort. The Fort is generally closed for visitors. However, its flank can be climbed for more great views of the harbour.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque-in Muscat is Oman's biggest mosque with an area of 416,000 m2 and has a capacity of over 20,000 worshippers; 8,000 people can fit inside and the courtyard can easily hold up to 12,000 people. This mosque is one of the few mosques in Arabia which allows entry for non-Muslim visitors. The mosque is a wonder of modern architecture and is a fusion of Omani, Islamic, and Middle-Eastern architectural styles.
The Royal Opera House-is Oman's premier destination for music, arts, and culture. The complex consists of a theatre, auditorium, landscaped gardens, an art centre, and cultural markets and can accommodate up to 1100 people. The Royal Opera House has been ordered to be built in 2001 by Sultan Qaboos of Oman, who is a huge enthusiast of classical music and art. The house officially opened in 2011 and serves as a centre for excellence in the arts and enriches its heritage by culturally diverse programs and events.
Wadi Bani Khalid-is popular for its large pools of emerald green water surrounded by tall palm trees. Unlike other wadis in Oman that are dry in the summer months, Wadi Bani Khalid is known to have a constant flow of water throughout the year. The rocky canyon and cliffs of the Hajar Mountains make it breathtakingly beautiful and is often touted as the "desert paradise". Located just 2.5 kms from Muscat, this is a favourite amongst hikers and is also a famous picnic spot.
Al Alam Palace-lso known as Sultan's Palace and the Sultan Qaboos Palace, is one among the six royal residences of Sultan Qaboos located in Muscat. It looks out to the Gulf of Oman. The ruling monarch’s residence was built in 1972 which holds a history of 200 years. The palace is known for its flamboyant Islamic architecture which is surrounded by lush green garden and the Mutrah Harbour. This official residence is used to receive distinguished guests who visit the country.
Al Mirani Fort-in Muscat was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. It, along with neighbouring Al Jalali Fort, looks out to the Gulf of Oman and would guard the port of Muscat in the past. The Mirani Fort and Al Jalali Fort are located on either side of the palace. Although closed to the public, visitors can view this fort from outside. This fort was extremely instrumental in the downfall of the Portuguese. The fort has many ancient war tools on display.
Al Jalali Fort-also known as Ash Sharqiya Fort, was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Interestingly it once used to be a prison which has been converted to a heritage private museum. Being located on the harbour, the Al Jalali Fort offers a beautiful view of the entire city of Muscat. The only entrance to this place is through a steep flight of stairs in the front. The entry to this fort is strictly by permit only.
Yiti Beach-is one of the secluded and lesser known beaches in Oman. It is well-known as a camping site outside the city of Muscat with small cliffs, coves, rocky edges, and a fairly isolated environment that’s ideal for parties or couples who’d enjoy their privacy. The beach has gorgeous soft sand and clear waters with fishing, swimming, camping, and simple day-trip picnic opportunities available.
Qurum Beach-at the edge of the Qurum Nature Reserve, stretches for four kilometres along the Muscat coastline, in the heart of Muscat city. Its shallow waters and comparatively longer duration of high tides make it a family friendly location. The clean waters of the Gulf of Oman are perfect for rejuvenation and relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Bimmah Sinkhole-Also called Hawiyat Najm-is located in the ‘Muscat governorate’ of Oman. Situated between the towns of Bimmah & Dibab, it is ideal for swimming and enjoying the beautiful landscape of the region. The local municipality has created the Hawiyat Najm Park that surrounds the Bimmah sinkhole as a form of protecting the attraction.
Amouage Perfumery-nd Visitor Centre in Muscat, you’ll get a chance to witness how this world-famous company creates their amazing fragrances from scratch. Starting from obtaining ingredients from their in-house facilities to distilling, filtering and packaging, this tour will give you a close-up look at everything that goes behind producing Amouage’s signature products. The factory tour is free and quite informative.
Muscat City Centre-also known as City Centre Muscat, is a shopping mall located on Sultan Qaboos Road, Seeb, Muscat. It houses 142 international and local brands offering a wide variety of products and services, providing you with multiple shopping options. It is one of the leading destinations for shopping and lifestyle in Oman. The Muscat City Centre is located 3 km away from Muscat International Airport.
Al Araimi Boulevard- a destination for leisure shopping that has been designed in the lines of Westfield, London. The mall occupies a large area measuring 187,000 square meters spread over two floors in the prime location of Al Khoud within Muscat. More than 200 retail stores are open for business here at present with a family entertainment centre occupying the remaining 6,000 square meters. A 10-screen cinema greets the movie buffs inside the mall with 4D cinema being the main draw.
City Centre Qurum- located just off Al Illam Streetin Muscat, is one of the top shopping destinations for residents of Qurum. Termed as a ‘lifestyle destination,’ City Center first opened its doors in Qurum in 2008 and has been witnessing a steady stream of visitors ever since.
Muscat Grand Mall- one of the largest shopping malls in the city. It has been designed to witness a convergence of modern brands and departmental stores and other outlets along with traditional Arabic souk at the place. The panoramic oasis present at the centre of the mall makes up for a good photography spot. Being close to the Arabic Sea, one can clearly observe a panoramic view of the sea from the top floor of Grand Muscat Mall.
Mugsail-is a long stretch of clear blue water with white sand and beautiful cliffs on either side of the water. It's a magnificent and picturesque landscape! Perfect for a picnic and a quick swim, you can even drive through the beach!
Wadi Darbat-a splendid lush green valley with a river running through the middle. The surrounding hills have small caves which people can hike up to. It's the perfect spot for a little family picnic, or a friendly gathering. During the Khareef (monsoon season), the wadi is packed with locals and tourists that have come to enjoy the scenery.
Sultan Qaboos Mosque-is the largest mosque in Salalah and is located in the city centre. It's a colossal structure with an elegant mix of Arabic and Modern architecture. Its interiors are designed to instil a sense of purity and humbleness for believers during prayers. It is adorned with huge chandeliers, green carpets and wall patterns. The eclectic structure is fully air-conditioned. The mosque has been named after the Sultan of Oman, Sultan Qaboos. Non-Muslims are also allowed to visit the mosque and marvel at sight.
Sumhuram archaeological park -Lying amongst one of the marvellous bays of Dhofar, was once one of the chief trading ports of frankincense, Khor Rori (almost 2000 years ago) which is now the Sumhuram archaeological park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site lies 25 miles east of Salalah on a hilltop which overlooks the beautiful freshwater creek of Khor Rori. The park itself is fascinating to visit as it is both a museum and an archaeological park. You can see the archaeologists at work around the ruins, excavating this historical place.
Taqah Castle-Being one of the most popular Castles to visit in Oman, the comparatively newly built Taqah castle is an architectural gem. Situated in a beautiful fishing village of Taqah (in the region of Dhofar), the Castle looks gorgeous with its surrounding pristine white-sand beaches. Being built in the early 19th century, the Castle is well preserved and is now known to be one of the best fort museums in Oman.
Marneef Cave-Located in Shatti Al Mughsayl area, which is about 40 km from Salalah in the Governorate of Dhofar, Al Marneef Cave is ranked among the top 10 most popular tourist attractions in the Indian Ocean. It overlooks the Arabian Sea and Al Mughsayl Fountains.
Jebel Samhan-is another local attraction in the city of Salalah. Burrowed in the hills and pasture lands of the Dhofar ranges is a protected and enclosed is the wildlife reserve of Jabal Samhan. The wildlife sanctuary plays host to the endangered Arabian leopard and other species of flora and fauna found in the Arabian peninsula.
Al Baleed Archaeological Park-is a jewel in the landscape of Salalah. The park has been inducted into UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Site earning it a prominent place in the itinerary of visitors to the Sultanate of Oman. The park is an open-air archaeological site located off the coast of the Arabian Sea and lies in close proximity to Al Husn Palace and the famous Haffa souq. The park is open to visitors from 8 in the morning to eight in the night with a modest admittance fee per car.
Tawi Atair Sinkhole Oman-Past the Wadi Darbat lies the Tawi Atayr, which translates to "Well of Birds", containing one of the most gorgeous sinkholes that point to the honeycombed limestones. Get yourself a guide and stroll down a path to the very bottom. The vast Taiq Sinkhole is the world's third largest sinkhole, as it is 1km long and 200 metres deep.
Anti Gravity Point- Located on the route between Mirbat and Salalah, is a desolate stretch of road which defies gravity as a car put in Neutral gear will start moving uphill at a speed of up to 35 km/hr. This bizarre experience has a lot of scientific explanations for this; most common being that this is an anti-gravity hill. Regardless, this is a fun spot to visit for mystery-junkies and families alike.
Museum of the Frankincense Land-Immerse yourself in the Omani culture and history by visiting the UNESCO heritage site, Museum of the Frankincense Land! This museum is part of the Al Baleed Archaeological Park. The displays are beautifully presented and takes you back to the origins of Frankincense discovery in Oman.
Tomb of Job-At the tomb, lies the remains of Nabi Ayoub (PBUH) or Prophet Job as mentioned in the Bible. Holding a significant landmark from the bible, this tomb is located 25 kms from Salalah on a hill called the Jabal Al Qar and the tomb compound also houses a mosque. The remains of the holy man can be found enclosed in a well-preserved tomb. The sight has been a spiritual hotspot for many religions.
Nabi Imran Tomb-holds the record for the longest grave in the world. It is the resting place of yet another important Islamic prophet known as Prophet Imran (PBUH). The grave is forty-one feet long and continues to intrigue followers and visitors with its mysterious length. The grave is nestled in the hills of Dhofar. A small mosque has also been constructed nearby.
Nabi Hud Tomb-Salalah is home to many tombs and shrines that are of great significance to the Islamic religion. Located among the hills and valleys of Dhofar in Salalah lies the tomb of Prophet Hud (PBUH) a revered Islamic figure who as history recollects was sent to preach redemption to the ancient city of Aad. The mausoleum is 3 metres long and 1.5 metres high. The prophet is cited nearly seven times in the Holy book of Quran.
Taqa Salalah-is located 40 kms from Salalah in the Dhofar Governorate. The Castle and the popular beach here are favourites for locals for its old-world charm. The reason why the town of Taqa is unique from any other coastal town in Oman is that you may witness a blend of three different topographies merging at the place.
Gun Souq-This peculiar souq, apart from selling antiques and souvenirs to tourists are also involved in selling weapons. They don't sell actual firearms but rather antique items. You can procure antique rifles and traditional knives. An informal market setting set up in open-air near Sultan Qaboos Street is your location if you want to adorn your apartment with a collection of antique guns or beautiful daggers.