Oman Country Brief

Security travel advice for Oman

Security information

Threat level: Medium
The current travel safety advice for Oman is to carry out normal safety precautions, as one would when travelling abroad to any tourist destination. Oman has a low crime rate, however please be mindful of weather conditions when travelling to the region.

Recent Security Risk Events
Oman has had little in the way of serious security events, however please be mindful that foreign nationals especially westerners are at a higher rate of risk when visiting tourist destinations, especially in the Middle East Region.

Security Risks
Oman is a relatively safe and secure country with an efficient intelligence service, military and police force. As such violent crime is rare, some petty crime may exist as with all tourist destinations, however by following adequate security practices of your belongings and behaviours your visit should be trouble free.

The people of Oman are friendly and known be tolerant and welcoming. You respect the local laws and traditions of the country, including actions based around alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol in public is prohibited especially during Ramadan.

There is a large expat community working within the oil and gas industry in Oman and The Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), is one of the largest employers of expats in the country. The country boasts good international schools and universities.

Oman has bordering countries such as Yemen, where the security situation is in stark contrast. Oman has been the only GCC member that did not join Operation Decisive Storm, and as such had pushed for diplomatic talks for resolution of the conflict in Yemen.

International Relations
Oman has good ties internationally, hosting many corporate and affluent events. Since 1970 Oman has been redeveloped and become more open to the western world and cultures. Previously to 1970 it had limited contact with the outside world. Its main religion is Ibadi, with an emphasis on tolerance and moderation, as such it has been reported that none of its nationals have joined ISIS/Daesh. If it were the case, it would be in extremely low numbers as compared to other Middle Eastern states.

Oman has positive relations globally and is an active member in regional and international organisations and memberships. It benefits with many trade agreements and negotiations with the western world, through corporate agreements and military operations. In 2010 Oman discovered a spy network suspected to be operated by the United Arab Emirates, during this time Kuwait had remediated the situation.

Travel considerations
Animals can be found wandering on paths and roads, please be careful when driving in Oman due to this. The standards of the roads are generally of a good standard similar to parts of Europe. There are strict driving enforcement laws in place although some standards of driving is not on par with these expectations.

Please allow extra time for your travel and find alternative routes to the Hatta crossing to cross the UAE/Oman border. There have been reports that travellers have been told to use different crossings.

Although the climate is usually dry, heavy rainfall can occur causing localised flooding especially the areas where roads cross dry river beds. Cyclones can make it over from the Indian Ocean and as such causing flash flooding. Please monitor local news and weather in the region.

The taxi services in Oman are employed strictly by Omani nationals, are well regarded and very safe to use.

General information

Capital: Muscat
Official languages: Arabic, Baluchi
Religion: Ibadi Islam
Currency: Omani Rial
Time now in Muscat:

Visa requirements
Visas can be obtained on arrival, one month visas can be extended by a further 30 days with a small charge, if you are staying less than 10 days a tourist visa can be applied for, this can be extended by another 10 days. Please check with the Oman Embassy on charges and your visa requirements.

Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Oman are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. You should ensure that you have been further vaccinated against diseases such as Tetanus, which are usually administered when you are a young baby. You may also want to consider a Hepatitis A vaccination.

Although there is no direct risk of Yellow Fever in Oman, if you are coming from a country where there is a risk of the disease, or transiting for longer than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.

Other health risks
Medical facilities are on par with the facilities in the Europe, however most visitors will be required to use private healthcare for treatment. This can be expensive, therefore it is imperative you make sure your insurance covers this.

The extreme heat in Oman can sometimes lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration. You should ensure that you stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids consistently throughout the day.

Consular information

U.S. Embassy Muscat
P.O. Box 202,
P.C. 115,
Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos,
Muscat,
Oman
Telephone: +968 2464 3400
Email: consularmuscat@state.gov

British Embassy Muscat

British Embassy,
PO Box 185,
Mina Al Fahal,
116 Muscat,
Muscat,
Oman
Telephone: +968 2460 9000
Email: muscat.enquiries@fco.gov.uk

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      Police emergency: 9999
      Fire emergency: 9999
      Medical emergency: 9999
      Electricity: 154
      Water:153

      Note:

      Flight time table in English: 1101
      International Operator:195
      AAA: 24 60555
      Hello Taxi (MCT): 24 607011
      City Taxi (MCT): 95 103152
      Bid Bid Taxi (MCT): 24 69337