Oman Travel Guide and Tips
This travel guide explains everything you need to travel to Oman. From hotels, to itineraries to flight bookings, this will serve as the starting point for a trip worth remembering.
- Planning your trip to Oman
- Independent travel
- Best time to visit
- Travel Insurance
- Oman self-drive checklist
- Road trip Map & destinations
- How long to stay in Oman
- Oman Itinerary+ accommodation & food
- Packing list
Plan a trip to Oman – essential tools and resources
Is Oman safe?
Oman is among the safest countries in the world. In face, it is safer to visit Oman than to visit Germany, UK, or the US.
The tap water in Oman has been confirmed to be 100% safe to drink. In fact, it is said to be cleaner than the tap water in many parts of the United States.
However if you decide to purchase bottled water it is not too expensive neither to hard to find. A 500ml water bottle will cost you $0.25 while a 1.5L bottle will be $0.50 from the local supermarkets.
The official language of Oman is Arabic.
However, all the signs in the country are in Arabic and English.
The other widely spoken languages in Oman are : English, Swahili, Urdu and Hindi. Language extent varies by geographical location within the country.
If you are in Muscat, all of the above will be spoken by various groups. English is widely spoken by the majority of residents in Muscat.
As you leave Muscat expect the degree to which people speak English to drop. Nonetheless, English is taught as a standard in schools and you will find that the younger population speaks it.
All establishments like hotels and restaurants outside Muscat are expected to have an English menu on hand and at least one English speaking member.
Note: If you speak Hindi you will find that all over Oman there are Indian many Indian who speak some Arabic. They will be able to translate for you.
Important Changes as of 2019**
As of 2019 you are required to have a visa BEFORE arrival. A visa on arrival has been replaced with an electronic visa (eVisa) instead.
Most nationalities can get a 30-day tourist visa. The procedure for the tourist visa can be completed online within 72 hours.
The process is fairly simple. You will need the following before applying for an electronic visa:
- Passport with at least 6 months of validity on it.
- A passport scan
- Passport photo taken in the last 6 months.
- E-mail address: will receive the visa via e-mail
Among the nicest people in the world, Omanis are known for their hospitality and genuine faces. You can learn more on the Omani people here.
Omani cuisine is a diverse mix of Indian, Persian, Middle Eastern and British. Each dish describe part of the history of the country.
However, there are a few dishes that belong primarily to Oman. Though not many, you will find that it might worth it to give these foods a try.
Oman street food
If you are worried about the hygiene of street food in Oman you should stop. Street food in Oman is eaten by anyone in the country who is craving a snack regardless of wealth. As such the quality remains consistent throughout the country.
However, do take care when visiting Indian coffee shops that are hidden far from most restaurants. Have a look and decide for yourself if it is worth it. Worst comes worst, it might just be bland.
Hygiene is a serious matter in Oman.
Is it expensive to eat out in Oman?
Yes and no. Sticking to any kind of cuisine in Oman that is not western will not cost you a fortune. At the same time the quality of food is not compromised. Prices start as low as $2.5 for delicious, high quality food.
Gourmet burgers and western fast food chains are on the expensive side. Starting at $12 per person for a full meal plus drinks.
Vegetarians have found heaven.
Do take not that
- fake meat is not available ANYWHERE in the country.
- Milk alternatives are limited to soy milk in well known cafes.
- Dairy products are not known to have any added hormones.
With that being said, so long as you stick to ethnic foods you will not find any difficulty eating vegetarian.
Food recommendations including veggie friendly restaurants are included within our custom trip planning service
Independent travel to Oman
Referring to solo female travel. This section will be elaborated in due time as more women share their travel experiences.
If you are a female and have travelled solo to Oman the I would love to publish a guest post on your behalf.
Best time to visit Oman
Best time to travel to Oman would be during the winter months of October to March when the weather is cooler. However, there is a charm found in Salalah, Oman during the summer.
It’s best to decide according on what activity you are traveling to Oman for and how much you expect to stay outdoors.
Best time to see turtles in Oman
The best time for turtle watching in Oman will be during the summer time between May and August. You will witness the only migration of the green turtle as it lays its eggs on the shores of Sur.
Oman’s majority religion is Ibadhi Islam.
As opposed to the information found on the web, Oman is NOT a Sunni country.
This is prominent misconception considering that Sunni and Shia are the two well known religion of Islam.
It is also known that those two religions are rarely found to coexist in one country.
Hence, for travelers to Oman, running into a Sunni religion in Oman will lead to the false assumption that Oman is a Sunni Muslim country.
In reality, Oman is formally an Ibadhi Muslim country that is home to Sunni and Shia sub religions as well.
Oman is also accepting for the Jewish religion and house a Jewish community within it contrary to the popular belief that Arabic countries, as such the people, hate Jews (misconceptions).
It is illegal to discriminate based on religion in Oman. If one offends or suggests any form of religious discrimination they will be punished by the law.
Acceptance is a cornerstone of Omani living and this strongly applies to religion as well.
This is the point where Travel Bloggers recommend a book or two from Amazon that will help you in your travels.
By recommending a book, and by you buying it, I might receive a small commission from the sale. I disclose this for transparency purposes.
Having looked at the travel guides on sale I hardly think you will find any value on it that isn’t found on this site (and in as much depth).
For instance, take this 5 star Oman travel guide on Amazon.com:
Scroll through to the (Itineraries) section and compare the detailed depth of their 2 page itinerary sample with the one you are currently reading. Thin, right?
Although the book offers a simple overview of everything in Oman, primarily Muscat, I don’t see the value in it- as an Omani local.
However, you be old fashioned and disagree with me. Either or, if you have any questions that you can not find an answer to, drop a line in the comments and we will answer it for you: for free!
With that being said, I will not recommend any books to buy as cameloasis.com is the best guide to traveling Oman.
Travel insurance for Oman
Do not make the mistake of traveling without insurance like I did.
Most of the sightseeing you will conduct in the wadis is not covered by a regular insurance since your engaging in what is called as an “adventure activity”.
Second, the closest hospital to any of the wadis or mountain attraction is a helicopter ride away.
Not having an insurance plan that will cover the costs of anything that relates to either slipping or spraining your ankle in any of these places will result in thousands of dollars in losses.
It’s not worth it to travel with travel insurance that covers adventure sports when it could cost you as little as $2.5 per day.
Oman self-drive travel resources – Checklist
Book my flight
In regards to Expedia I find them to be more on the expensive side when it comes to booking flights to Oman and Asia. Nonetheless their customer service still is good.
My recommendation on what Airline to fly to Oman:
- Emirates Airlines– By far the best and most comfortable.
- Turkish Airlines – Delicious food.
- Oman Air- Direct flights from the UK & India.
- British Airways- Usually offers good prices to Oman.
For the best experience I strongly suggest flying emirates as you get the most for your money. Flights are direct, food is delicious and the transit in Dubai is brief.
For Flights within Oman there are two options:
- Oman Air- Oman’s first Airline.
- Salam Air – Newest airline in Oman offering budget flights.
Car hire – driving in Oman
Oman is a commuter country. This means that a car is necessary for travel to a majority of destinations.
As a traveler to Oman a car is essential to exploring the country.
Public transport does not take you far and usually stops on the outside of the city.
Outside of Muscat there are not many options for transport asides from taking taxis. Taxis in Oman start at $12 minimum per trip [as of January 2019].
I recommend using Rentalcars for car bookings in Oman. Unlike major car rental companies, Rentalcars is a platform that compares prices between several car companies.
Its biggest advantage is that is it connects you to local car rental companies which usually means booking at a lower price.
Check out car rental availability and prices in Muscat Airport.
Do I need 4wd in Oman?
A 4wd is not necessary though it is highly recommended to reach most destinations in Oman.
The downside of a 4wd is that it is often close to double the price of a sedan vehicle.
Consequently, if you are smart about your booking you can avoid booking a 4wd till the leg of your trip where you will need it the most: which tends to be on most day trips outside Muscat.
Car rentals in Oman are best made ahead of time. Cars are often sold out during peak season. This is especially in Salalah where it is near impossible to find a car on arrival.
Accommodation in Oman is best booked using Agoda.
In comparison to Booking.com or Hotels.com, Agoda offers the best prices when it comes to booking hotels in Oman, the Middle East and the rest of Asia.
Throughout the course of this article I will recommend hotels using Agoda.com. In the instance where the best hotel to recommend is not found on Agoda, I will refer you to Booking instead.
You will need a sim card with internet data to be able to have a road trip in Oman.
There are only two main providers of mobile service in Oman. Your options are either:
Once you land at Muscat Airport you will find the Omantel booth where you can buy your sim card from. You have two choices to make here:
a) Omantel Hayyak “New Welcome Pack” for $5. the package comes with 1.5 GB and $2.5 worth of phone credit.
b) Omantel 15 OMR for 15 GB. 15 OMR is the equivalent of $38.
Option B might sound like a lot but it is the best option for you to take. For some reason data evaporates quickly in Oman and the 1 GB you receive from package A will expire within 1 day of driving around.
With that being said, refilling 1 GB of data on your phone will cost $12 after your initial plan expires.
Option B is worth it considering you won’t find WiFi easily outsides of Muscat.
In regards to Ooredoo the following options are:
a) Visitor pack for $12 including 3GB, 50 minutes of International calls, 50 international text messages and 10 day validity.
b) Visitor pack for $25 including 8GB, 50 minutes of International calls, 50 international text messages and 15 day validity.
Having international messaging and phone calls is definitely a plus. You know are getting a good deal considering that these plans are not permitted to be sold to Omani residents.
If you are planning on driving around in Oman, the more GB’s the better. I recommend purchasing Plan B from Ooredoo.
Money- Oman currency and travel costs
As of January 2019, the current exchange rate of 1 OMR (Omani rial) = £1.87, €2.27 and $2.60. The rial is made up of 1000 baisas.
You will find a number of ATM’s upon arrival to Oman.
Oman is mostly a cash society though you will find no problem using your card at hotels or mid range restaurants.
Note: The Omani Rial is pegged to the US dollar. Meaning that the only two currencies bound to change are the Euro and British Pounds.
is Oman expensive to travel?
Yes. Oman is definitely not on the cheaper side but with the right planning you will find it to be cheaper than Dubai.
Let’s break down some cost here:
Hotels– The average price of hotels in Oman is $90/nt with the best hotels in the country averaging $750/nt.
Restaurants– a meal for 2 at an ethnic restaurant will be around $10 for two people. Fine dining will cost you $25-40 each.
Gas – 1L or 1/4 of a gallon of gas cost $0.56. A full tank will cost you no more than $20 at most for a sedan car.
Attractions: free or nominal at most. (except Nizwa fort costing $12)
Adventure Tours: $120-180/person
Flights: avg $60/leg/person within Oman.
Taking the average price of hotels and gas, considering $180 spend for two on food and hotels per day. Plus 1 adventure tour averaging $250 for two. Plus $40/day on car rental including 4 gas refills at $80/
10 day average in Oman comes down to $2,770 for two people.
Add $2.5 avg for daily insurance from World Nomads = $50/for two.
Plus one flight across Oman for two = $240
The total for a conservative, moderately luxurious trip for two to Oman is $3,060.
Ideally you would want to add another $100 per person so you can go on a snorkeling tour or dune bashing in Oman.
The above costs will be enough to cover Oman in more depth in 10 days than regular tourists would. Granted the cost can go up or down considerably depending on how and who is planning your trip.
You can have an adventure trip in Oman for less $2000, or an ideal luxury trip for $4,000.
In general, Oman is expensive and one tourist costs do not necessarily have to be to yours. Truth is most of the travel blogs online offer tips on Oman travel based on experiments, not actual know how of the country.
For a tailored experience and itinerary for Oman I suggest you look into custom itinerary planning.
Is American Express accepted in Oman?
As a general rule American Express is mostly accepted in hotels and high end restaurants only.
With that being said any international chain or big store in Oman will likely accept AMEX.
Some stores that do accept Amex:
- Starbucks, Costa coffee, Gloria Jeans
- Xtra electronics store in Oman
- Majority of Oman Avenue Mall shops
Where to go in Oman – MAP
Destinations in Oman Map
Muscat is the capital city of Oman.
It is also where you will land and spend most of the time after arriving to Oman. It is wise to make Muscat your base for most day trips from Muscat.
Places to visit in Muscat include:
- The Royal Opera House
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
- Beach establishments
- Taste of Omani luxury
- Multicultural cuisine from Iran, Turkey, East Africa, India, Lebanon etc.
For more ideas, check my detailed on the best places to visit in Muscat.
East Coastal Area+ Sur
The city of Sur is home to the traditional art of dhow boat making in Oman. Asides from being able to witness the vast oceans of Sur, you are able to do many things within gthis geographical region.
You will find wildlife reservation, sand dune, oceans, wadis and even forts. Here you will experience:
- Ras il Jinz Turtle Reserve: home to the Indian ocean’s migrating turtles
- The city of Sur & Al Ashkhara
- Dune bashing at Wahiba Sands
- Canyoning at Wadi Shab and Snake Canyon & more
- Visit to Masirah island
Nizwa- Al Dakhiliyah (Inland)
Nizwa can be considered to be the cultural hub of Oman tourism. At one point Nizwa was the capital of Oman.
The area in Al Dakhiliyah is special due to its dry landscapes and scenic mountains. This area presents Oman’s cultural experience in contrast to the luxurious setting of Muscat.
Places to visit in Al Dakhiliyah:
- Oman’s biggest and oldest forts in Nizwa, Jabrin & Bahla
- UNESCO heritage sites such as Falaj’s, ruins & forts.
- Oman’s grand canyon & heighest peak at Jebel Shams
- Jebel Akhdar, the green mountain of Oman.
- Misfat Al Abriyeen village and Misfah Old House
Find out more on this Nizwa travel guide
Sohar+ Northern coast
Sohar is home to one of Oman’s most important ports. However, this is not what distinguished this city from the rest of Oman.
Sohar is attributed to be the mythical birth place of Sinbad the Sailor, the infamous voyager. Also home to an ancient town which played pivotal to Oman’s rule at one point. Sohar was established capital of Oman prior to the establishment of Muscat.
Unfortunately, not much of the old town remains today. However being on the way to Dubai Sohar is worth a visit. The city hosts Sohar fort and beautiful beach landscape. A good place to enjoy the city would be at the newly opened Radisson Blu Sohar.
Things to do in Sohar:
- Visit rustaq fort, Nakhal fort and Al Hazm castle.
- Fishermen villages, serving freshly cooked fish.
- Beautiful sea-shelled beaches.
Musandam Peninsula(the northern tip)
Musandam is the northern most part of the country. In fact Musandam is separated from Oman and you will have to drive from Oman-UAE-Oman. Musandam is within close proximity to Dubai and is a popular day trip destination.
Things to do in Musandam include:
- Khasab fort
- Dhow cruise through the fjords
- The one-of-a-kind Six Senses Zighy Bay resort
Salalah is the southern most part of Oman bordering Yemen. Salalah is most visited tourist destination in the middle east during summer.
It is the equivalent of visiting Europe except that you don’t have to travel far.
During the summer Salalah experiences a monsoon season which turns the whole city into a green wonderland. There is tons to see during the summer but there is equally as much during the winter season.
Winter in Salalah is ideal for surfers and beach goers as the temperature is mild and the scenery is spectacular.
Activities and things to do in Salalah:
- Snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving
- Visit the nearby Empty Quarter desert
- Some of Oman’s most beautiful beaches
- Frankincense trees and production
Al Wusta (the center)
Al Wusta is the region that you will come across if you decided to make the 10 hours drive from Muscat to Salalah. This area is most notable for reserves, natural spring and deserts.
Places to visit in Al Wusta:
- Empty Quarter desert
- Arabian Oryx Reserve in Oman
- Duqm, the upcoming port city in Oman
- Natural springs outside Salalah
How long to stay in Oman?
Depends on your budget, what you like to do and flexibility. Anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks will suffice for the average tourist.
Let’s consider how long how long it takes to drive from the northern part of Oman- Musandam, to the southern part- Salalah.
- Musandam to Muscat: 5 hours by car, 1 hour flight.
- Muscat to Nizwa: 1:30hr by car
- Muscat to Wakan Village: 1:30 hrs
- Muscat to Misfat Al Abriyeen: 1:30hr
- Muscat to Salalah: 10 hours by car or 1:30 hr by plane
For the average tourist, visiting the triangle of Muscat- Sur- Nizwa suffices for an a taste of Oman. This usually includes a mandatory trip to Wadi Shab.
However, if you are looking for luxury and are on honeymoon or a couple vacation then you will find that Musandam is important to your list. The same reason Joe Jonas, among other celebrities choose to honeymoon in Oman.
Then again if you are in for surfing, snorkeling or having a luxury family holiday in Oman then Salalah is worth considering for you trip.
For adventure lover I would suggest one month in Oman, for families 10 days, for a quick stop 3 days. It varies. Here is how much i recommend as a general ideal for each location in Oman.
How long to stay in Muscat– 3-4 days
How long to stay in Nizwa – 3 to 5 days including camping at Jebel Shams
How long to stay in Sohar– 2 days
How long to stay in Musandam – 3 days average. 4 days if staying at the Six Senses Zighy Bay
How long to stay in Sur and the East coast– 3 to 5 days
How long to stay in Salalah – 3 to 4 days is ideal
Note: Keep in mind that the above is purely a general recommendation for tasting the flavors of each region. Your personal preferences will decide whether it is appropriate to extend your stay or reduce depending on the location. It is also possible to base yourself in one region only. For personalized itineraries read here.
This Oman itinerary covers a sample trip of all destination within Oman. The planner fits travelers planning a 3 day, 7 day or 14 day trip.
For instance you can end your trip at day 5 and still get a feel for Oman after the duration you are visiting.
In this itinerary I recommend the following:
- Muscat/2 nights
- Nizwa/2 nights
- Jebel Shams/2 nights
- Wahiba Sands/1 night
- Ras il Jinz/1 night
Keep in mind that the weekend in Oman is Friday and Saturday and that many business establishments will be closed on Fridays.
Days 1–2 Muscat (2 nights)
Upon arrival to Muscat there are many attraction for you to see that are free.
The main attraction in Muscat include the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This is a must see attraction in Oman.
Other attractions in Muscat include:
- Royal Opera House Muscat
- Muttrah corniche
- Riyam park
- Daymaniyat island
You can also read the full list highlighting the best places to visit in Muscat.
Where to Stay in Muscat
Muscat has some of the newest and best hotels in the country. Without this guide you might end up staying in Mutrah and miss out on the quality hotels available in the country.
This has happened to an American blogger travelling to Muscat. This will not happen to you.
The hotels I will suggest are in close proximity to Mutrah and Qurum area where you will spend the most time exploring the city. There are new hotels being built in Oman that cost the same as old hotels. I will highlight the best places to stay in Muscat for this leg of the trip.
Cheap hotels in Muscat– Okay, this would be relatively cheap compared to the average hotel price in Oman. First off , you want to avoid Mutrah Hotel- a common hotel all travel bloggers recommend. Why? beats me but if i had to guess it due to one blogger following another blogger’s advice blindly and so on.
Here is my recommendation:
International Hotel chains in Muscat
W Muscat – Is the only W hotel in Oman and among the newest. Opening its doors in March 29, 2019 the W will have the only rooftop pool in Muscat. The hotel is at Shatti Qurum, the richest neighborhood in Oman, with every room overlooking the stunning azure waters of the Gulf of Oman. It is also in the middle of many excellent restaurants and a Starbucks.
I highly recommend booking a stay here.
Luxury hotel in Muscat
The Chedi Muscat is among the regions best hotels. It is also the most instagrammable hotel in Muscat. It is located between the airport and Muttrah in Muscat downtown. This is a high end hotel with world class restaurants and its own private beach.
Read here: The Chedi Muscat Review
Check photo and availability
Luxury family hotel in Muscat
Shangri-la Bar il-Jissah if you are travelling with family then you can not wrong with this hotel. Located 40 minutes from downtown Muscat, this hotels boast a family perfect holiday getaway for kids and adults alike.
Read here: Family holiday in Oman
Check photos and availability
Where to eat in Muscat
This is no brainer. If you are staying at the W Muscat, these will be easily accessible to you.
Breakfast Nana’s at Shatti Al Qurum beach front is a great choice for a flavorful ethnic breakfast.
Lunch Bait Al Luban is an authentic Omani restaurant. Although it is on the pricier side, there aren’t many opportunities to experience Omani cuisine on your trip.
By expensive I mean that you should expect to spend between $12-20 per person max.
Dinner Al Jood Lebanese restaurant & Al Bait Al Turky in Al Khuwair are great choices for Lebanese or Turkish food in Oman. The prices are very low in comparison to what you get. The comparative meal size/portion to price ratio would be outrageous should this restaurant be in a western country.
Slider Station is a one-of-a-kind restaurant located in Shatti Al Qurum. This is a burger joint that is famous in the gulf. It packs great flavor and is the equivalent of a gourmet burger place that packs a bunch of flavor suitable to the Omani palate.
Day 3 Muscat – Nizwa (2 nights)
Time: 2 hours
Nizwa is the cultural hub of Oman. If you want to experience culture in Oman than Nizwa is at the top of your list.
Nizwa is particularly famous for having the only remaining authentic animal market in the Arabic world. Every Friday men gather to showcase their goats and engage in bartering.
It is an interesting sight to see as it is only ongoing for 3 hours of the whole week.
Note: In Oman, men are the ones that go grocery shopping and handle the kitchen affairs (minus the cooking). You will rarely find women in the market.
Where to stay in Nizwa
There isn’t anywhere particularly special when staying in Nizwa.
Cheap hotels in Nizwa – I recommend Al Karam hotel as it has one of the lowest prices for hotels in Nizwa. You will also be staying in a large bedroom with an attached living room for a price as low as $70.
Cultural hotel in Nizwa – I recommend Nizwa Heritage Inn. The inn is composed from 4 renovated Omani homes that now serves tourists.
Note that this hotel is an attempted renovation of old homes in Oman meaning you should not expect any of the luxuries offered at chain hotels.
The breakfast is Omani food which means you should not expect much option with that either. Nonetheless, if you are into cultural travel this hotel offers you a taste of Omani living.
Other cultural hotels in Oman are Misfah Old House. This hotel is one of the best ones for cultural reanimation in Oman. If you miss out Nizwa heritage inn, you can make up for it on your visit to Misfat Al Abriyeen.
Luxury Hotels near Nizwa – If you are looking for a luxury hotel in Nizwa then Grand Tulip Inn. This hotel is the only hotel that is worthy of being labeled as luxury but it sure disappointing given that it was built prior to any relevant tourism in Oman. This has given rise to 2 luxury, experience oriented hotels, that I highly recommend:
- Alila Jebel Akhdar Resort
- Anantara Jebel Akhdar Resort
Both hotels are 5 star establishments overlooking the valley.
You can skip staying in the town of Nizwa all together and stay in the above nearby hotels for a genuine experience. Your commute will not suffer as all the attraction remain within close proximity.
I highly recommend booking your stay at Anantara Jebel Akhdar as it will offer an incredible guest care that will compliment your adventurous get away.
Anantara Hotels are among the best in Oman and are always in high demand by locals and tourists alike. Book early and save more than %15 on your booking.
Where to eat in Nizwa
No particular restaurant comes to mind when it comes to recommending food in Nizwa. You will find that most restaurants are in expensive and off high quality for the price that you pay.
The best restaurants in that part of Oman are found in the Anantara ebel Akhdar resort. Fine dining does come at a price. Expect to pay $30-40 per person for an all you can eat buffet.
Pizza Hut is available for fast food dining in Nizwa.
Day 5 Nizwa – Jebel Shams (2 nights)
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes including a stop in Misfat Al Abriyeen
On the way to Jebel Shams you will be able to stop by Misfat Al Abriyeen.Misfat Al Abriyeen is a tiny village that has gained popularity with tourist in Oman.
The village is a compilation of mud houses surrounded by the Hajjar mountains.
As part of you cultural exploration in this part of Oman it pays to spend the night at Misfah Old house.
Misfah Old house is a hotel that resembles Omani living in the old days. It is a unique experience as the food you will eat is prepared by people in the village themselves.
One night in Misfah Old House will suffice before heading to your next destination: Jebel Shams.
Jebel is the highest mountain peak in Oman. It translate to ‘the mountain of sun’ from Arabic.
Jebel Shams forms part of the Hajjar mountains of Oman. Things to do in Jebel Shams include:
- Wild camping
Read here for a detailed guide on visiting Jebel Shams
Where to stay in Jebel Shams
In Jebel Shams you have two option for accommodation. Either you go for wild camping or stay at Sama Heights Resorts.
Sama Heights Resort has a cheaper option of staying in a furnished tent as opposed to chalet or private rooms. I recommend that everyone stay in the furnished tent.
The furnished tent give you an experience of camping while maintaining the luxuries of having a bathroom and breakfast included.
A tent also give you the experience of waking up in the early morning ot the morning light that shines over the grand canyon of Oman.
Food in Jebel Shams Sama Heights Resort
Whether you are spending the night at the resort or not, you can access the food options available for a nominal fee of $12-25/person.
This means that even though you are “wild camping” you are allowed access to the bathroom and facilities on-site.
Booking a night at Sama Heights Resort comes with breakfast and dinner for the price. Vegetarian option are also available. However, I recommend bringing some snacks with you as the menu is limited.
Day 7 Jebel Shams – Wahiba Sands (1 night)
Time: 3 hr approx a break for lunch
Wahiba sand is everything you expect an Arabian desert. Camels, tents, Bedouin and a lot of sand.
If you have been to Morroco you will find that the sand in Wahiba are similar to any desert exploration you have had before. However, the catch lies in the things that you can do in Wahiba.
In Wahiba you will find that dune bashing is a motorsport perfected by the Omanis. It is an adrenaline rush vehicle ride through the might sand dunes at Wahiba.
Aside from dune bashing the desert camps at Wahiba are an experience in themselves that is can only be found in Al Sharqiyah desert.
Where to stay in Wahiba Sands
Camping in Wahiba Sands – Absolutely free and recommended so long as you are fully aware of where you are and how to get back to the main road.
Budget stay in Wahiba Sands – Sama Al Wasi Desert Camp is comprised of a number of tent and cottage where you can stay in for the night. There are beds inside the tents and bathroom facilities nearby that you can use. Breakfast is usually included with your stay.
Luxury stay in Wahiba Sands Desert Nights Camp is a luxury stay in the middle of the desert. It resemble a 1001 night type of experience minus the harem. If you are looking for an authentic Arabic experience in the desert, this is the place to be.
As of 2019, the best hotel to stay in Wahiba Sanda is Desert Nights Camps. Unfortunately, it is usually fully booked up to a month in advance. Check for availability & book ahead of time.
Where to eat in Wahiba Sands
Granted that you are in the desert there will be no restaurant to be found here. Take the opportunity to BBQ or enjoy any of the delicacies provided by any of the above mentioned desert camps in Wahiba Sands.
Day 8 Wahiba Sands – Ras Al Jinz (1 night)
Time: 4 hours via Wadi Bani Khalid
Ras Al Jinz is home to the turtle reserve in Muscat.
Ras Al Jinz also happens to be the place where the sun first rises on the entire region.
At Ras Al Jinz you will witness millions of migrating species of turtles heading to the coast of Ras Al Jinz to lay their eggs. It is also known worldwide for being the nesting place of the endangered green turtle (Cheloniamydas).
Don’t rush to Ras Al Jinz so fast as there isn’t much to see throughout the day except for its beach. Tours for turtle watching don’t start until the early hours of the morning.
Make sure you call ahead of time as there have been a couple of situation where people have not been able to book a tour due to limited availability.
Where to stay in Ras Al Jinz
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is the accommodation that is on the same beach as where the turtles lay their eggs.
They have two option for accommodation:
- Carapace standard rooms
- Eco luxury tents.
The carapace rooms are perfect for families. However, if you need more space they do have bigger family rooms.
The Eco luxury tent is a favorite for couple. However, due to limited availability they are often sold out a week in advance.
Check photos and availability
Where to eat in Ras Al Jinz/Ras Al Hadd
You can dine right at the Ras Al Jinz reserve.
If you prefer to dine outside the reserve then head over to Ras Al Hadd where you will find some local coffee shops on the main road.
Day 9 Ras Al Jinz– Sur – Muscat (0 nights)
Distance: 42km to Sur, 201km to Muscat
Time: 40 minutes, 2hr14min
Sur is a beautiful city and makes for a great day trip en-route from Ras Al Hadd to Muscat. You can watch the fishing villages of Al Ayjah and have stroll/cruise by the beach.
In terms of stayig in Sur, there is not much to do in the city of Sur itself and you are better of heading back to Muscat.
Another reason for leaving to Muscat is that in terms of hotel Sur is extremely basic. I do not recommend spending the night in Sur city.
Where to stay in Sur (optional)
Sur hotel has been recommended before as a basic option by other travelers. I do not contest this choice.
If you are looking for a better option then Sur Grand Hotel is your go to. It is also within walking distance to Pizza Hut.
Where to eat in Sur (optional)
There are a number of non branded restaurants in Sur serving delicious food. There is also a Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza and a Baskin Robbins.
My favorite restaurants in Sur are:
- Taste of India
- Sahari restaurant- Lebanese food
Day 10 Sur – Muscat (2 nights)
Distance: 201 km
Time: 2 hours 14 minutes
Where to stay in Muscat
You are nearing the end of your trip and about to depart back home the next day. You deserve a good night sleep after all this travel.
For this leg of the trip it is best to stay near the airport without being isolated from all civilization. Here I will recommend the best hotels to stay in one night before travelling while also enjoying a final taste of tourism in Muscat.
The Kempinski Muscat – having opened in 2018, the Kempinski is a gem to Muscat locals. Its location, restaurants, bar and facilities are top notch. It is a place where you can enjoy yourself while laying on the beach at one of Muscat’s finest establishments.
The Kempinski Muscat is built near to The Walk at Al Mouj. This a street that is filled with multicultural high end cafes and restaurants. The hotel is also within 15 minutes from airport .
check photos and availability
Where to Eat in Muscat
There are many restaurants on site at the Kempinski or The Walk in Muscat. It helps that the scenery varies from beach dining to overlooking the boats at the marina. Multicultural food is also a plus and they include Zahr il Laimoon is a favorite along side Shakespeare. My two must visit restaurants are as follows:
Bukhara Indian restaurant at Kempinski
Bateel coffee shop at The Walk
Bateel started of in the Arabian gulf with date pastries and has expanded into a full fledged coffee shop. They combine Mediterranean cuisine with rich Arabian hospitality in an aesthetically appealing way.
Bateel is a luxury establishment that is not found anywhere outside of Oman or Dubai. You will want to indulge in some of their coffees and desert right before sunset.
The location overlooks the marina and parked boats at Al Mouj. It is worth a visit .
What to pack for Oman
As a general rule men would want to wear knee length shorts and t-shirts. For women you would want to cover your shoulder and knees.
When leaving Muscat it is advised to cover arms and legs as well, though it is not necessary.
Your hair will only need to be covered while visiting Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Otherwise it is not needed.
Jeans, linen trousers and loose fitting shirts are always a good idea.
A few essential to pack when visiting Oman are:
Power adapter: Oman uses the British three pin.
Waterproof flashlight: To use in the desert and while camping.
Portable Laundry Bag: You can use this one-of-a-kind bag to wash & dry your laundry on the go. Made specifically for road trips.
Power bank: You will need this as you’re going to use your phone fro navigation.
TSA approved bottles: If you are going to stay in budget hotels these small bottles will be hand for filling up your shampoos and soaps from home.
VPN: This is underrate but it is important when travelling in Oman. I always have a VPN subscription on my phone and so should you.
Why should I get a VPN for Oman?
- Throughout Oman you will be using unsecured internet network when logging into your bank accounts etc.
- You will not have unlimited cellular calls
- You will not be able to make Factime, Whatsapp calls
- Most internet phone calls providers are blocked in Oman
I wrote an in-depth article about Oman VPN recommendations. Keep in mind that once you land in Oman it will be impossible to download VPN and access the services mentioned above.
More essentials for your trip to Oman include waterproof hiking shoes, appropriate attire and accessories. All of which I highlight on my recommended things to pack for Oman.
FAQ – General Tips
Do you tip tour guides in Oman
Oman is not a tipping society. However, due to many tourists bestowing this custom to tour guides, it has become appropriate to give a 10% tip.
Note: Restaurants, bar owners etc do not expect a tip. Tip at your own discretion.
Is Oman conservative
There is a cocktail of cultural tolerance in Oman. Muscat is seen as liberal but this trend shift as the rest of the country shifts to conservatism.
This needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Being conservative in Muscat does not mean rednecks. It means that people outside of muscat preserve their tradition and take their way of life in high regards. This means while it may be appropriate to dress a little less conservative in Muscat it is not the case is village and small towns.
With that being said, being conservative means that you might offend someone by not respecting their way of life. It does not entail anything in the way of safety as safety is maintained as a way of life throughout the country.
Omanis are courteous and forgiving of visitors. If you feel like like you unintentionally offended someone, a simple apology will do- you might even be invited for food as result.
How strict is Oman
Oman is not a strict country. Al though keeping with local customs and traditions shows great respect to the locals and authorities alike.
Oman tourist tax
Oman imposes a tourism tax of 5% at most dine-in restaurants. There is no tax on shopping.
Is alcohol allowed in Oman?
Alcohol in Oman is allowed if consumed in designated locations such as hotels or bars. Purchasing alcohol is only allowed for residents with a permit from the Royal Oman Police.
Upon arrival to Muscat International Airport you will find a Duty Free section near baggage claim. This is your last chance to buy personal alcohol bottles before leaving the airport.
Camel Oasis provides itinerary planning for your Oman travels at a minimal price. You can more than rely on this guide solely for planning your trip to Oman and it will still be better than anything else you can find online.
If you are someone who is looking for customized planner, such as one that includes primarily camping, getting around with a sedan or traveling with kids, look no further.
*Do you feel like there is something missing from this guide? Share your thoughts below!