Oman is a country in Asia according to computerannals. Mountain villages clinging to rocky gorges, heavy bunches of dates in the plantations of the oases, sand wandering over a dune, a lonely camel trudging through the endless desert – these are the images that confront a visitor in the beautiful, enigmatic Memorize Oman. In the past, Oman’s wealth was based on copper and frankincense, and the country was a vast East African empire. The rule of the extremely conservative Sultan Said led to the country’s increasing isolation from the modern world in the early 20th century. Since his son, the peace-loving Sultan Qaboos, ascended the throne in 1970, Oman is experiencing an unprecedented renaissance that has brought prosperity and progress again. Traditional Arabic values such as hospitality and practical piety are cultivated with particular sensitivity in Oman. This makes Oman one of the countries where one can experience Islamic culture at its best.
Arriving by plane
Oman’s national airline, Oman Air (WY), offers daily non-stop flights from Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Zurich and London to Muscat. Feeder flights to Frankfurt/M. and Munich from Vienna with Austrian Airlines (OS) and from Zurich with Swiss (LX). Lufthansa (LH) offers tickets for flights with Oman Air (WY) between Frankfurt/M. and Muscat too. Turkish Airlines (TK) flies in cooperation with Oman Air (WY) from Geneva via Istanbul to Muscat.
Frankfurt/M. – Muscat: 6 hrs 35 mins; Munich – Muscat: 6 hours 25 minutes; Vienna – Muscat: 9 hrs 35 mins; Zurich – Muscat: 6 hrs 40 mins
A fee of €11.50 (OMR 5) applies when departing from Oman; the amount is usually included in the ticket price; Children are exempt up to the age of 2 years.
Arrival by car
Oman is only accessible by land from the United Arab Emirates. The border crossings from Saudi Arabia and Yemen are closed to tourists. Long-distance buses: The state-owned bus company Mwasalat runs regular services between Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Oman (journey time: 9 hours 15 minutes). Tolls: There are currently no toll roads in Oman. Documents: The national driver’s license is valid; nevertheless, the international driver’s license is also recommended. After a stay of three months, an Omani driving license is mandatory.
Arrival by train
Currently there is no cross-border rail traffic. However, rail connections to neighboring countries are planned.
Arrival by ship
The main ports of Muscat (Sultan Qaboos) and Salalah are served by cruise and cargo ships; There are no ferry connections.
Transocean, AIDA and Phoenix also call at ports in Oman on their cruises departing from Hamburg or Kiel. Cruise lines such as MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Seabourn also call at Oman on their cruises departing from Europe.
Traveling by plane
Oman Air (WY) operates regular domestic flights from Muscat to Duqm, Khasub and Salalah.
Traveling by car/bus
The Omani road network has a total length of around 60,000 km. Main connections lead from Muscat to Sohar in the west and to Salalah in the south of the country. Tolls: There are currently no toll roads in Oman. Gas stations: Gas stations can be found at short intervals along the main connecting routes, and there are also enough of them along the piste roads. Petrol stations outside of Muscat are generally open from 6am to 10pm; in Muscat itself often around the clock.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Around half of the road network (approx. 30,000 km) is asphalted. The main routes are in very good condition. All-wheel drive is recommended for secondary routes, as flooding can quickly occur when it rains. The approx. 2,000 kilometers of motorways in Oman are mainly located in the north.
The road network consists of dual carriageway expressways and an eight lane highway connecting Muscat with Sohar and the UAE border. The major roads in Oman are numbered with the letter R and a number. These roads are signposted in English and Arabic, with white letters on a blue background.
Car hire is available at Muscat and Salalah airports and through many hotels around the country. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held a driver’s license for at least one year.
In the cities, taxis and the cheaper shared taxis are available everywhere. Outside of cities and their surroundings, taxis are rather rare. Prices should be agreed before departure. Tipping is not customary.
Bicycles can be hired from various rental shops in Muscat.
The state bus company Mwasalat regularly connects Muscat with Sur, Salalah, Khasab, Nizwa and Yanqul, among others.
Traffic regulations: – There is an absolute ban on driving under the influence of alcohol; Violators will be subject to heavy penalties. – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists. – In the event of an accident, the police must be called in, otherwise no insurance benefits will be granted. Speed limits: – urban: 40 km/h; – on rural roads: 60-100 km/h; – on motorways: 120 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
The national driver’s license is valid; nevertheless, it is recommended to take your international driver’s license with you. After a stay of three months, an Omani driver’s license is required, which can be obtained from the police on presentation of the national driver’s license.
Traveling in the city
Mwasalat serves Muscat’s urban bus service every 15 or 30 minutes (depending on the route). The bus stops can be recognized by the red and white Mwasalat logos. Taxis and shared taxis can also be used to explore the city.
Locally on the way by train
There are currently no passenger trains running in Oman.
Traveling by ship
Musandam offers excursions with a dhow (wooden ship) into the fjords of Oman.