Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Oman with children: a journey information for households [2023]

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Pondering of visiting Oman with children? You’ve come to the fitting place for the low down on why this superb Center East vacation spot deserves a spot in your bucket listing.

Inside this complete Oman journey information for households I’ve included all it’s worthwhile to know that can assist you plan your journey, what to anticipate if you are right here and the most effective locations in Oman to go to with children. It’s all primarily based on our private experiences as an expat household dwelling in Oman.

*This put up comprises affiliate hyperlinks*

Tin Box family in front of Suwadi Watchtower after paddle boarding to the island

I’ve written this information primarily for different UK households as I do know they’re my principal readers. However there’s loads of info right here for anybody visiting Oman with children or with out them.

I cowl:

  • the compelling causes by it is best to go to Oman with your loved ones
  • issues it’s worthwhile to know and do earlier than you journey together with visas, flights and what to pack
  • the place to remain in Oman with household
  • what to see and do in Oman with children
  • helpful issues to find out about visiting Oman together with behaviour, bogs and tipping
  • foods and drinks
  • well being and security in Oman
  • and getting round in Oman.

So let’s start!

Why go to Oman with children?

Mr Tin Box, dog and daughters walking across the dunes of Wahiba Sands at sun set

For those who’re pondering a household vacation in Oman goes to be similar to neighbouring Dubai and Abu Dhabi with their theme parks and skyscrapers, assume once more.

Sure, it has luxurious resorts. However it’s also a rustic of unbelievable pure magnificence with rolling deserts, unbelievable mountains, lush gorges and a shocking pure shoreline teeming with wildlife.

It’s this various panorama that’s the principal attraction of visiting Oman for households alongside its wealthy cultural heritage relationship again additional than every other state within the Arab world. This reveals itself the extra you discover.

We extremely suggest hitting the street for no less than part of your vacation to get probably the most out of your time in Oman.

It’s also a spot for out of doors journey. If your loved ones is into something from wild tenting to canyoning or kite browsing to scuba diving, Oman is a superb winter vacation vacation spot.

I’d suggest it extra for households with kids over the age of 5 if you wish to expertise the nation’s pure sights. 

There are enjoyable issues for infants and toddlers to do however you’ll be restricted to indoor sights and seashores to present your little ones some respite from the warmth.

What’s Oman identified for?

I knew little or no about Oman earlier than we moved right here, which is outrageous contemplating it has so many claims to fame.

So right here’s the thin on Oman…

It was as soon as a robust empire that unfold all around the Arabian Peninsular and throughout the Indian Ocean into East Africa together with modern-day Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.

As early because the 2nd Century AD Muscat performed a pivotal position within the commerce of spices, textiles and timber between Asia, Africa and Europe. Waves of retailers, in addition to much less welcome invaders from Persia, Portugal and the Ottoman Turk empire, have formed the individuals and place throughout the centuries.

The legendary maritime hero Sinbad the Sailor is claimed to have been born within the Sofar in Oman.

Our daughters stood next to a life-sized Lego Sinbad the Sailor at Muscat airport
Right here’s a LEGO Sinbad, not in Sofar however at Muscat Worldwide Airport – say ‘hello’ as you transit via.

The nation’s Dhofar area produces the best frankincense on the earth. You’ll discover this aromatic resin on sale in all Oman’s souqs and used as incense all over the place from accommodations to purchasing malls and even within the airport.

Omani homes are identified for his or her stunning doorways. Whether or not they’re made from wooden or metallic you’ll discover them intricately adorned as individuals wish to impress their company from the second they attain the edge of their residence.

Family walking down a narrow street in Nizwa with sand coloured buildings decorated with intricate metal doors on either side

Oman details for guests 

In case your children love trivia right here’s some details about Oman to share with them:

  • Oman’s monarch, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, can be the federal government’s prime minister.
  • Oman is the oldest established impartial state on the Arabian Peninsular.
  • The Sultanate of Oman has a inhabitants of 4.5 million individuals.
  • The nation covers 120,000 sq. miles, which is an identical measurement to Poland that has a inhabitants of 38 million individuals.
  • Oman shares the world’s largest desert, the Empty Quarter, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen.
  • No constructing in Oman is allowed to be increased than the tallest minaret of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

Is it protected to go to Oman with children?

Claire and daughter stood on sand dune in Wahiba Sands desert while the sun sets behind them

Some of the frequent questions I used to be requested after we determined to maneuver to Oman was: ‘is it protected?’.

It’s a good query contemplating Oman has borders with Yemen the place there’s an ongoing civil warfare and Saudi Arabia the place there’s a heightened threat of terrorist assaults. 

Nevertheless Oman is a really protected nation. Crime is low and it doesn’t even rank on the world terrorism index for terror occasions or threat.

The Omani individuals are additionally famously very pleasant in direction of guests.

All of this not solely makes it a protected place to go to with children, it’s additionally good for {couples} and solo travellers.

My solely phrase of warning about visiting Oman with children is concerning the roads. 

The usual of driving right here isn’t what you would possibly anticipate within the UK. 

Different street customers can behave unpredictably. Pedestrians run throughout six lane highways. And street security no-nos like tailgating, enterprise and never indicating are the norm.

Discover out extra in my information to driving in Oman.

Finest time to go to Oman

Family swimming in turquoise waters of Wadi Bani Khalid with cliffs rising up in every direction

What you do throughout your loved ones vacation in Oman will likely be dictated by the climate. However not like it could be within the UK and Europe. It is advisable to change your seasonal expectations on their head.

The winter is the time to get outdoors and discover, whereas the summer time months are the time to seek out air conditioned actions.

If you wish to profit from your time in Oman I’d keep away from the scorchingly sizzling months from Could to August. Even the Omanis change to an indoor way of life at the moment of 12 months.

As a substitute, go to between the top of October and starting of April.

If you’re visiting Oman with children of college age it’s probably you’ll be restricted to the Christmas, February half time period, Easter and October half time period holidays.

April is when the temperatures begin to edge into the much less snug early 30℃s peaking within the late 40℃s by June. They don’t drop again down beneath 30℃ till the top of October.

Ramadan iftar Eid. Muslim family has dinner at home. Table with traditional food. Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

A month you would possibly wish to keep away from, significantly when you plan to spend time experiencing a number of the finest issues to do in Oman, is Ramadan.

Oman is a Muslim nation the place consuming and ingesting (even water) in daytime isn’t allowed in the course of the holy month. It’s rather more conservative than the neighbouring UAE.

Not with the ability to eat or drink when sightseeing could make it uncomfortable, particularly with kids.

Discover out extra in my put up about visiting Oman throughout Ramadan, together with what to put on, the place you possibly can eat and drink, and what’s open.

Oman journey information: earlier than you journey

Our daughters wearing their carryon rucksacks walking across the air corridor to a plane

Right here’s some info that can assist you plan your journey to Oman with children:

Oman visas and journey paperwork

British residents who journey to Oman for 13 days or much less don’t want a vacationer visa. 

What you do want is: 

  • Passports – they have to be no less than six months in date from the day you arrive. Verify the gov.uk web site for the most recent entry necessities and journey recommendation.
  • Carry a photograph copy of your passports as you could be requested for these at immigration and it’s a good suggestion to have a duplicate with you always.
  • Your journey insurance coverage – I at all times have a digital and printed copy with me.
  • A replica of your lodging bookings.
  • Your return ticket or a reserving for onward journey.

You’ll be requested to point out proof of all of those on your complete household at immigration. Printed copies are finest.

The right way to get a Oman vacationer visa

For those who plan to be within the nation between 14 and 30 days you want a vacationer visa. Your kids want a visa to go to Oman too. The applying course of and value are the identical.

You may apply for visas via the Royal Oman Police portal, which is the official visa software web site. Different web sites will cost you an admin charge.

On the house web page choose ‘Apply for vacationer visa’, then reply the nationality questions. 

You’ll be proven three kinds of visa. Nearly all of individuals visiting Oman for a vacation will need possibility 26B: Vacationer Go to Visa. This lets you go to Oman for as much as 30 days and prices 20 OMR per individual. 

The opposite choices are for individuals who usually journey to and from Oman.

Once you apply you will want to add a digital passport model photograph no greater than 512KB and a photograph of your passport information web page.

Visa functions are open to residents in greater than 100 counties however the on-line kind is just out there in Arabic and English.

There are totally different guidelines for residents of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) counties.

Flights to Oman

Oman Air plane wing against background of blue sky and the Oman coastline

One of many largest prices of any vacation to Oman, particularly in case you are coming from the UK, goes to be your flights.

Oman Air fly direct from London Heathrow and there are one cease flights from a number of regional airports within the UK.

The oblique flights by way of Istanbul, Frankfurt and different Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) international locations are typically cheaper, however these can take loads longer so it’s worthwhile to weigh up the financial savings verses the time you might have.

We have now discovered Oman Air to be an excellent airline with a beneficiant baggage allowance, pleasant crews, and good inflight meals and leisure.

What’s the foreign money in Oman?

Omani rial a new series of banknotes

Oman’s foreign money is the Omani Rial or OMR.

One Rial was value £2.06 on the time this Oman journey information was printed. Verify the present change charge.

The equal denomination to the UK Pence (or p) is Baisa. There are 1,000 Baisa in a single rial. Frequent notes embody 100 Baisa, 1/2 Rial, one Rial, 5 Rial, 10 Rial, 20 Rial and 50 Rial. There are additionally Baisa cash.

You’ll discover most accommodations and eating places settle for playing cards. However in case you are visiting an space the place there’s restricted cellular sign, corresponding to Wahiba Sands, you want money.

You’ll discover money factors at hypermarkets, in purchasing malls and on industrial streets within the cities and bigger cities.

Look out for indicators for Financial institution of Muscat, Nationwide Financial institution of Oman, Financial institution of Dhofar, Sofar Worldwide, Oman Arab Financial institution, HSBC or Ahli Financial institution. 

Money factors which are accessible from the road are sometimes tucked away in shelters or lobbies outdoors banks, so are usually not instantly seen.

What to pack for a vacation in Oman

Packing for a visit to the Center East requires a bit extra planning than for sunshine locations in Europe and the Caribbean. Plenty of this hinges on what you put on in addition to just a few objects that may make your travels extra snug.

Oman is a Muslim nation the place it’s anticipated that you just costume conservatively. For those who naked an excessive amount of flesh it will likely be seen as disrespectful. 

The one exception is in case you are in a sequence resort the place western clothes is OK. 

On the whole, strappy or vest suggestions are a no no and it is best to ought to maintain knees lined.  

Right here’s some particular recommendation on what to put on in Oman:

What to put on in Oman for sightseeing

Claire wearing long dress, hat and sun glasses at Nizwa Fort

As I discussed earlier, masking shoulders and knees is predicted when out in public in Oman. 

Lengthy or cropped trousers, t-shirts and shirts comprised of cotton with sturdy sandals or trainers are the best garments for exploring. Don’t overlook your hat and solar glasses too.

Women: chub rub model shorts are your buddy when carrying attire within the warmth!

Our family stood in front of the Mabim Waterfall in Wadi Tiwi.

If you’re planning on exploring the Sultanate’s superb panorama then you definitely’ll wish to learn my put up about wadis in Oman the place I present extra detailed recommendation on what to put on for out of doors adventures.

Lengthy sleeve rash vests or swim fits are really helpful.

What to put on on the seaside

Our eldest daughter waling across a white sand bar at Barr al Hickman with kite surfing kites flying above

If you’re visiting a public seaside then it’s anticipated that you just cowl up. Swim shorts and a rash vest are acceptable for women and men. 

Lengthy sleeve, UV protecting swim fits or rash vests for youths are a should for youths.

If you’re at a non-public seaside hooked up to a resort you possibly can put on western swimwear until the resort has particular guidelines about apparel. 

Bear in mind that bikinis will draw destructive consideration as there will likely be company from all around the Arabian Peninsular.

What to put on to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque 

Our family stood in a marble courtyard inside the Grand Mosque in Muscat

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is an awe inspiring place to go to in Muscat. However with the intention to step inside its grounds you should be carrying the fitting clothes. 

Males, ladies and kids want to completely cowl their legs and arms. Ladies should additionally cowl their hair, so deliver a shawl.

For those who do arrive in garments that don’t meet these necessities you possibly can rent an abaya (for ladies) or dishdasha (for males) on the entrance.

I’d suggest carrying footwear which are straightforward to take away. You’ll have to take them off to enter the prayer halls. 

Learn extra about visiting in my full put up concerning the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It contains a number of details, issues to look out for and a free exercise sheet for youths.

What ought to kids put on in Oman

Girls building a sand castle on the beach at Sifa with our tent and the mountains behind them. The sun is setting

Youngsters below the age of puberty can just about put on what they like in most conditions (the Grand Mosque is the exception). Simply make certain it’s sensible.

We are able to suggest brief sleeved t-shirts and lengthy cotton trousers to maintain kids snug within the warmth.

Hats and solar glasses are additionally a should.

Medicine

For those who use over-the-counter medicine deliver it with you as you could not discover comparable medicines in Oman and leaflets are prone to be in Arabic.

For those who take prescribed medicine deliver not more than a month’s provide with you alongside along with your prescription. Some medicine are banned in Oman so it’s vital to have the ability to show what you deliver is for private use if requested.

Different issues to pack for Oman

You should purchase most stuff you would possibly overlook to pack. In my expertise, there’s at all times one thing that drops off the listing!

Nevertheless there are some particular issues I’d advise bringing on your loved ones vacation in Oman:

  • Packets of tissues and hand sanitiser – you’ll want these for journeys to public bogs. You purchase these right here however deliver a stash to get you began.
  • Water footwear – helpful when you plan to discover a wadi in Oman and to be used at seashores and swimming swimming pools the place surfaces get sizzling.
  • Issue 50 solar cream – manufacturers we recognise are very costly right here and cheaper alternate options have left us with solar burn.
  • Face and physique lotions – I’ve observed whitening substances in lots of physique lotions and face lotions in Oman
  • Tampons – you will discover loads of sanitary towels in Oman’s supermarkets however there are only a few tampons out there.
  • Swim shorts and rash vests – not solely are these sensible within the local weather they’re additionally extra culturally acceptable.

If you’re travelling with a child then nappies, moist wipes and different necessities may be picked up in supermarkets. They’re dearer than within the UK, so deliver some with you to economize.

Issues like child formulation and meals can be found however the substances could also be totally different in Oman, even when the manufacturers are acquainted. Guidelines on sugar are extra relaxed right here.

Additionally pack Calpol – this isn’t out there in Oman. The choice right here is liquid Panadol and it tastes horrible.

Issues to not deliver to Oman

Right here’s some objects to not pack in your bag:

  • Medication – there are extreme penalties for bringing any quantity of narcotic medicine or psychotropic substances into Oman.
  • Don’t deliver e-cigarettes or vaping merchandise to Oman – they’re unlawful right here.
  • Drones – don’t deliver one until you intend to use for a license to make use of it in Oman (it is going to in all probability take longer to course of the paperwork than you might have within the nation). Something that appears like a drone or giant digital camera will likely be picked up when your luggage are scanned on the airport.
  • Pornography – go away copies of Play Boy and different ‘mild studying’ at residence.

Oman with children: what to see and do in Oman

We live in Oman for just a few years however I believe we’re nonetheless going to wrestle to see and do the whole lot we wish to within the time we’ve to discover.

A few of our favorite actions are within the nice outdoor: wild tenting, exploring the mountains and visiting Oman’s wadis. In fact these are all winter actions when the climate is deliciously delicate.

In the summertime we spend much more time indoors and particularly in malls the place there are a selection of actions in addition to purchasing. Oman even has a snow park.

What to see in Oman 

The listing is lengthy! I’ve already written about our favorite issues to do in Oman

But when I used to be to shorten that to a prime 5 this is able to be our definitive listing of what to see in Oman in children:

Wahiba Sands

Children stood at the top of a sand dune during sunset over Wahiba Sands in Oman

Seeing the solar sink down into the silky ochre dunes of Wahiba Sands is among the most magical issues to do in Oman and to not be missed.

The northern fringe of the Wahiba or Sharqiya Sands dunes may be reached from Muscat in two hours by automotive. 

In addition to having fun with the pure great thing about this 12,500 sq km desert you possibly can e-book dune bashing, nature monitoring and camel rides with native guides.

We are able to suggest staying at a desert camp for an in a single day journey. There are many choices from conventional Bedouin camps to sci-fi model domes.

Discover Wahiba Sands Desert camps*.

Wadi Shab

Father and daughters stood in front of pool of clear water in the rocky valley of Wadi Shab

If you wish to expertise Oman’s extraordinary pure magnificence Wadi Shab is a well-liked day journey from Muscat. It’s about one and a half hours from the town centre by street.

Your go to features a boat journey throughout the wadi entrance, skyscraper gorge partitions, a enjoyable hike, lengthy clear swimming pools and a cave you possibly can swim inside to discover a hidden waterfall.

Learn extra about why visiting Wadi Shab in Oman is such a particular expertise.

The Grand Mosque in Muscat

Exterior of the marble and sandstone mosque with rows of bushes in front. To the right is the tallest minaret and to the left is the dome of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one the listing of hottest issues to do in Muscat. And no surprise. Its structure, scale and ambiance are a heady combine that leaves an enduring impression on worshippers and vacationers alike.

It took six years to construct and when it opened in 2001 it boasted the biggest handmade carpet on the earth and the largest chandelier. Whereas the UAE has now claimed each information Muscat’s grand mosque remains to be awe-inspiring.

Enable no less than and hour and a half to discover. And be sure to put on culturally acceptable clothes.

Discover out extra, together with suggestions for visiting with kids, in my put up about Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

Daymaniyat Islands 

Claire sat at the bow of a boat moored in a turquoise bay in the Daymaniyat Islands

You’d be forgiven for pondering you’d be transported to the Maldives as you method the vivid turquoise waters across the Advert Daymaniyat Islands.

This small archipelago 16km off the mainland is a protected space the place turtles nest and whale sharks come to feed within the plankton wealthy water in the summertime months. 

It’s attainable to take boat journeys from Al Mouj Marina, Seeb Port and Muttrah Marina to snorkel and dive across the islands. Exterior of the turtle nesting season (Could to October) you may also land on the islands.

I can personally suggest boat journeys with Daymaniat Shells.

Nizwa

The roof of Nizwa castle with mountains viable beyond the battlements

Town of Nizwa within the Hajar Mountains was as soon as the capital of Oman and a significant buying and selling hub.

Right this moment it’s well-known for its iconic fort, souq and Friday livestock market the place you possibly can see individuals promoting goats and cows.

All of this makes it an awesome place to base yourselves for just a few days, particularly in case you are on an Oman street journey.

Shut by it is best to go to Jabal Akhdar (Oman’s ‘Inexperienced Mountain’), Misfah al Abriyyin and Oman Throughout the Ages Museum.

The place to remain in Oman with children

Smiling seven year old girl in brightly coloured swim suit steps out of a swimming pool at Valley Cliff Inn

We have now our own residence in Oman however we’ve additionally taken off across the nation for a seven day street journey and skilled a few of Muscat’s accommodations.

Alongside this we’ve loads of pals who’ve given us first hand suggestions on locations to remain in Oman that we’re eager to take a look at.

So, primarily based on our expertise and a few sizzling suggestions from individuals we all know, right here’s some lodging choices for anybody visiting Oman:

The place to remain in Muscat

Muscat is a protracted skinny metropolis that sprawls alongside the coast for round 50km with the Hajar Mountains at its again. Taxis aren’t low-cost and strolling far isn’t an possibility within the Arabian local weather. So staying near the locations you want to go to will save in your funds.

There’s loads of choices for locations to remain in Muscat* together with worldwide accommodations, visitor homes and self-catering residences unfold out alongside the size of the town.

Mid vary funds

Sunset view of the outdoor pool at the Crown Plaza Muscat. In the foreground there is an umbrella, table and chairs. People are splashing in the pool. In the background you can see Shati al Qurum beach
The pool at Crown Plaza Muscat

If you wish to go to the Grand Mosque we will suggest the Crown Plaza Muscat*. It overlooks the sandy seaside at Shati al Qurum and is a brief taxi trip from the mosque in addition to Muscat Opera Home and the Youngsters’s Museum.

It additionally as a tempting buffet of worldwide dishes.

Club Room at the Sheraton Muscat hotel in Ruwi. The View is across the be and towards the window through which you can see the outline of the Hajar Mountains
Membership Room on the Sheraton

The Sheraton* at Ruwi is a brief hop from Mutrah Souq, the fish market, Corniche and port the place you will discover boat journeys. It has mountain views, an awesome pool and delightful restaurant serving worldwide and Arabic dishes. 

Excessive finish funds

If you wish to keep on the seafront the Kempinski* is a luxurious resort in Al Mouj have been you’re proper on the seaside. It’s inside straightforward attain of the marina the place you will discover a number of firms providing snorkelling, diving and boat journeys.

We all know it finest for its comfortable hours at Zale Bar which overlooks the ocean.

Our daughter in a yellow rubber ring floating down the lazy river at Shangri-La with the hotel in the background
The Lazy River at Shangri-La

To the east of Muscat you’ll discover its most luxurious resorts together with Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, which is residence to Oman’s solely lazy river.

The Shangri-La has two accommodations. Al Waha resort* is probably the most family-friendly with splash parks and waterslides in addition to that lazy river. It’s additionally proper on the seaside which is considered one of many locations in Oman the place turtles make their nests.

The place to remain in Nizwa

We are able to suggest staying in Nizwa to get the most effective begin for the Friday market.

Fountain in the gardens of Valley Cliff Inn with sun coming up through the frond of a palm tree
Valley Cliff Inn

Valley Cliff Inn* affords two self-catering villas set in lush gardens with personal swimming swimming pools. We stayed right here throughout our first go to to Nizwa and cherished it. It’s a brief drive from the centre of Nizwa.

For those who choose a resort the Vintage Inn* comes extremely really helpful. It’s a historically adorned resort with swimming pool and is situated simply 200m from Nizwa Fort and Souq.

The place to remain in Wahiba Sands

Reserving an evening within the desert is a should.

Traditional bedouin black and white striped tent in the orange sands of Wahiba Sands desert

For our first keep right here we booked Desert Retreat Camp*. We needed starry skies and big dunes, and it delivered on each. As a bonus we may additionally deliver our canine.

Desert Retreat Camp is among the bigger camps with an oval of 14 conventional goat hair tents, every with a non-public open roof rest room. 

Try a number of the different choices*.

Oman journey information: what to anticipate whereas right here

Right here’s some helpful tips about what to anticipate if you end up attending to know Oman and its individuals.

Acceptable behaviour and what to not do in Oman

Western vacationers unfamiliar with Center Japanese customs want to concentrate on what to do and what no to do in Oman.

Mr Tin Box hugging daughters in a wadi
Hugging and holding your children’ palms is OK, however not your companions’

Listed below are some extra tips on behaviour:

  • Women and men shouldn’t maintain palms or kiss in public. It’s completely acceptable to point out affection in direction of your kids.
  • If you’re invited to enter somebody’s residence take your footwear off on the door.
  • Don’t present the soles of your toes if you sit down – no imply feat on a standard Omani flooring couch.
  • Eat along with your proper hand. Your left is for cleansing your self.
  • Ladies ought to solely shake palms if they’re provided a hand.

Bathrooms in Oman

When you find yourself staying at a resort or visiting a shopping center you can find western model pedestal bogs accompanied by a ‘bum gun’ and bathroom roll. 

In all places else you’re prone to discover conventional squat bogs with a bum gun. Carry your personal provide of bathroom roll and hand sanitiser in case you are exploring extra rural areas.

Maintain on, what’s a bum gun? 

It’s not it’s official identify nevertheless it’s an acceptable one. 

The bum gun – a hose with tigger activated nozzle – is for giving your self a clear after ones and twos. 

However be ware, they are often fairly vigorous. There’s usually no bathroom roll to dry off afterwards so a miss-placed squirt may provide you with a extra thorough clear than you bargained for.

Clearly, don’t let young children play with the bum gun – simpler mentioned than completed if you’re crammed in a cubicle with little ones.

Tipping in Oman

Tipping isn’t anticipated in Oman however you are able to do it at your discretion for good service. 

It’s extra frequent to tip employees in accommodations and eating places or journey guides and drivers. Ten % is a good place to begin.

Plug sockets in Oman

Oman makes use of British-style 220/240 AC volt three pin plug sockets.

When you have electronics with totally different plugs deliver a journey adaptor*.

Oman occasions and vital dates

A string of Omani flags flying in front of the towers of Muttrah Fort in Muscat

Oman holidays are introduced by the federal government within the days earlier than they’re on account of occur. This implies some dates could fluctuate.

On these dates you possibly can anticipate impartial companies to be closed for all or a part of the day:

  • 11 January – Sultan’s Accession Day – a nationwide time without work
  • February – Prophet’s Ascension – a nationwide time without work (the date strikes yearly with the Muslim calendar)
  • September – the Prophet’s birthday – a nationwide time without work (the date strikes yearly with the Muslim calendar)
  • 18 November – Oman Nationwide Day – a nationwide time without work

This listing doesn’t embody Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr or Eid Al Adha. These dates transfer yearly with the Muslim calendar.

Verify when Ramadan and Eid are anticipated this 12 months.

The most effective souvenirs

Colourful metal and glass mosaic Arabic lanterns hanging in the souq at Nizwa

If you wish to deliver residence some genuine souvenirs for you and your children then head to a souq. Muttrah in Muscat and Nizwa Souq are the most effective we’ve been to.

Incense and incense burners are a beautiful reminder of your travels in Oman. You’ll odor frankincense burnt all over the place right here.

When you have a bit extra room in your baggage then Arabic lanterns or Omani pottery will make fantastic speaking factors in your house.

A enjoyable memento for youths is a kummah – the standard Omani cap worn by males. They’re adorned in colors and patterns to characterize totally different household teams.

If you would like a deal with then Oman is legendary for its silver. It’s priced by its weight.

On the funds finish of the memento market, however piece of Omani heritage no much less, baskets weaved from palm leaves are one other beautiful factor to deliver residence as a reminder of your time in Oman. Dates and halwa (see conventional Omani meals beneath) are additionally enjoyable

Oman journey information: foods and drinks

Oman’s delicacies follows the Arabic model with Asian influences. Conventional menus embody rice, spiced meats, flat breads, salad, espresso and dates.

Some conventional Omani meals to attempt

Traditional fried Arabic chicken majboos with chicken leg and jeweled rice served as close-up in a rustic oriental tray
Rooster Majboos

Majboos is a plate of basmati rice with fragrant spiced meat. It’s not too ‘sizzling spicy’, so our children get pleasure from this dish. 

Rooster, beef and lamb can all be utilized in majboos however not pork as a result of Oman is a Muslim nation. You’ll not discover it served wherever.

One thing else children will get pleasure from is mishkak – kebabs. They’re marinated in fragrant spices and go nicely with flat bread or chips. An actual youngster pleaser!

In case your children are in any respect delicate to spices ask for a non-spicy dish and the restaurant employees will have the ability to suggest one thing. We’ve truthfully discovered Arabic dishes right here are usually not too spicy.

However, when you do have fussy eaters chips are at all times on the menu. You’ll additionally discover loads of quick meals chains you recognise in malls and at drive-throughs.

Go to Oman between Spring and Summer time and also you’ll see dates rising on palm timber. These have been a staple of the Omani food plan for hundreds of years.

Dates growing on palm tree

Our women are usually not big followers of dates or Omani sweets like Halwa. It is a thick jelly like confectionary usually made with semolina, oil, sugar, cardamon, milk, nuts and candy flavourings. However you’ve bought to attempt it! 

The meals souq in Nizwa has loads of stalls promoting Halwa and they’re comfortable to supply samples.

A balcony view of the inside of Nizwa food souk where there are lots of open food and produce shops
The indoor meals souk at Nizwa

One thing extra up our children’ road is a fruit-filled smoothy. These can be found all over the place and are a greater possibility than ice cream in additional rural areas the place energy cuts are frequent.

Are you able to drink alcohol in Oman?

Who can blame mother and father for wanting a glass of one thing refreshing on the finish of the day? However when you get pleasure from wine, beer or cocktails you could be questioning if alcohol is served in Oman.

Consuming alcohol isn’t unlawful in Oman like it’s in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, however there are strict guidelines about the place you should purchase and eat it.

You gained’t discover alcohol available for purchase in supermarkets such as you would within the UK. 

Guests can discover alcohol in Oman’s worldwide accommodations. It’s much less prone to be out there at impartial inns and lodging with eating places.

Claire and husband holding drink in front of a view of Qurum in Muscat at sunset. They are at Crown Plaza Muscat hotel

If you wish to deliver your personal booze, you possibly can pack a nicely wrapped bottle in your suitcase. It’s additionally attainable to purchase as much as 4 litres per individual (over the age of 21) on the airport if you arrive.

Expats and Omanis should purchase alcohol from designated retailers if they’ve a license. That’s a license for the person not simply the store. These should be utilized for from the federal government, so isn’t an possibility for vacationers.

So in case you are visiting Oman the one possible way to purchase and eat alcohol, do you have to want, is by shopping for it on the airport or at a global resort.

Oman journey suggestions: well being and security 

I’m not a medical professional however I can level you within the path of recommendation about staying nicely and protected in Oman with children.

Vaccinations for journey to Oman

We have been up-to-date with all of our routine vaccinations earlier than we travelled to Oman from the UK so didn’t want something further. Nevertheless issues can change.

Discover out concerning the really helpful vaccinations for Oman on the Journey Well being Professional web site.

Consuming water

We attempt to not advocate plastic bottles, however we discover them a essentially evil in Oman.

Faucet water is just protected to drink if it has been boiled. 

However we do use faucet water to clean our palms and brush our enamel with out fear.

Solar safety

Our daughters wearing hats, and bright sun block on their faces. They are on the beach at Barr al Hickman

It is a actually vital level for households visiting Oman. Carry loads of solar cream from residence and apply it usually. We haven’t discovered an excellent family-friendly solar cream right here but.

We have now been capable of order day glow zinc stick solar block* from Amazon – the children love carrying this.

Additionally deliver hats, solar glasses and UV protecting swimwear for the entire household.

Insect bites

The chance of malaria is low in Oman however there’s dengue fever. This flu-like virus is unfold via mosquito bites, so use loads of insect repellant containing DEET. There is no such thing as a vaccination out there.

For those who really feel unwell throughout or after your journey search medical recommendation.

Snakes and scorpions

Oman has venomous snakes and scorpions, so concentrate on this in case you are mountain climbing or wild tenting. They could be hiding below rocks or, within the case of snakes, basking on prime of them.

You might be much less prone to see scorpions within the autumn, winter and spring as they hibernate in burrows.

Nevertheless, in the course of the summer time they arrive out to seek out cooler locations to cover together with air conditioned locations. We had one inside our home just a few days earlier than I printed this information, so nasty beasts are on the very entrance of my thoughts.

Having mentioned that, I solely noticed one snake and one scorpion throughout our first six months in Oman.

If you’re bitten or stung search rapid medical help at a hospital. Don’t await an ambulance if you may make your personal method as ambulances are usually not staffed with paramedics, simply drivers.

Wild canine and cats

There are wild canine in Oman or ‘wadi canine’ as they’re referred to as right here. However not like locations like Egypt the place they’re comparatively tame and roam nearly wherever, in Oman they’re managed in populated areas. 

For those who do discover yourselves within the suburbs or a wadi near a city or metropolis you could come throughout wadi canine.

It’s best to keep away from them fully as they are often aggressive and carry parasites. 

Cats shouldn’t be petted for a similar causes.

Oman journey information: getting round

Father and daughter stand with Mitsubishi Pajero 4x4 vehicle in the rocky foothills of Jebel Shams in Oman

Getting straight to the purpose, we’d suggest hiring a automotive when you intend to journey past Muscat if you go to Oman with children. 

Public transport is accessible however you’ll discover it isn’t as frequent or as person pleasant as within the UK, Europe or Asia.

Listed below are every of the choices for getting round in Oman so you possibly can work out what’s finest for your loved ones:

Taxis

Taxis are a handy possibility for getting round city areas. However within the capital Muscat there’s plenty of metropolis to cowl, to allow them to get costly.

There are a number of licensed taxi providers in Oman and so they all have reserving apps. For those who plan to make use of taxis usually throughout your keep then its value downloading considered one of these apps.

The taxis you’ll see most are orange and white Otaxis and blue and white Marhaba taxis.

All orange and white taxis in Oman are metered, so make certain your driver is utilizing their’s earlier than you set off. Different on demand taxi providers will provide a set value. Affirm this in your taxi app and with the driving force earlier than you begin your journey.

If you wish to get a taxi from Muscat Worldwide Airport you will discover them outdoors the principle terminal constructing. 

Public transport

There aren’t any trains, trams or subways in Oman but (plans are within the offing) however you can find buses within the cities and coaches travelling between them, together with coaches that join Oman with the UAE.

Oman’s public transport is run by Mwasalat. You’ll find and e-book a coach on the Mwasalat web site.

For bus providers in Muscat use the Moovit app to seek out routes.

There’s additionally a bus service in Salalah.

Hiring a automotive in Oman

Mr Tin Box looking out the drivers side window at a camel laid down beside the road in Wahiba Desert

Except you’re a household on a sluggish journey journey you’re in all probability restricted for time. This is the reason we suggest hiring a automotive in case you are visiting Oman with children.

This provides you with extra freedom and permit you to not be tied to timetables. You’ll additionally have the ability to see extra of the nation.

You may rent autos of all sizes from Europcar, Enterprise, Greenback, Funds and Alamo at Muscat Worldwide Airport and Salalah Worldwide Airport.

To rent a automotive you’ll want your UK or residence nation drivers license, your passport, a bank card and your Oman Visa. You don’t want a global driving allow.

You may drive on a UK license for 3 months, in order that’s greater than sufficient for a seven or 10 day street journey.

If you’re headed to the mountains you will want a 4×4, even when you don’t intend to go off street. 

The principle mountain roads are steep and windy, and there are police verify factors on the backside the place they cease you to ensure your automobile is match for the journey.

Have a learn of my information to driving in Oman for extra info and tips on getting behind the wheel right here.

Evaluate costs* and discover the fitting automobile for your loved ones.

Little one automotive seats in Oman

For those who’re visiting Oman with children below the age of 4 it’s a authorized requirement for them to have a automotive seat in personal and employed vehicles in addition to taxis. 

If you’re hiring a automotive you possibly can verify with the rental firm whether or not they can provide a seat.

Nevertheless I’d strongly advise you to deliver your personal, particularly for kids over the age of 4. As these are usually not a authorized requirement in Oman they aren’t broadly out there for older kids.

Airways will assist you to deliver a automotive seat per youngster for no further cost. Purchase a automotive seat bag for some further safety. 

We are able to suggest the Roam and Rove automotive seat bag*. It has ruck sack model shoulder straps so you possibly can carry your seat palms free on the airport.

Extra important studying earlier than visiting Oman with children

In addition to studying my blogs about Oman I can suggest shopping for the Lonely Planet information* to Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsular. I purchased this earlier than our transfer right here and located it invaluable as an introduction to the nation and tradition.

Disclosure: this put up comprises affiliate hyperlinks marked with *. For those who click on on considered one of these and make a purchase order I’ll earn some fee. This doesn’t have an effect on the value you pay.

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