Oman is perhaps the only place in the Arabian Peninsula where modern development peacefully co-exists with ancient architecture, culture and traditions. Sweeping highways wend their way between historic forts and carry trade between the souqs of her towns in the way camel routes did centuries ago. Beautiful hotels combine modern comfort with traditional designs, and the Omanis deliver the famed Arabian hospitality, nearly always in traditional dress, whilst keeping in touch on the latest mobile phones. The real appeal of Oman lies in these contrasts and the chance to experience the traditional Arabian culture which has been squeezed out of most of the rest of the region: it really rewards the traveller prepared to tear themselves away from Oman’s amazing beaches!
Here are a few pieces of practical information to help you picture and plan your perfect Oman holiday:
By using your interests and requirements as established during conversations with you and via our Quick Quote facility, we will draw up a quotation and itinerary that we feel best matches those interests and requirements. Hopefully this will be exactly what you want and we can proceed to booking the arrangements for you at that point; however we do regard that initial quotation as a starting point and are more than happy to go back and keep refining things until we have exactly what you want.
Any time from November through to March is a lovely time to visit most of Oman; temperatures will be in the twenties C during the day and dropping to the late teens at night. The summer months, especially May through to September, are very hot and humid and not for the faint-hearted. This same climate will be found in all the main areas you’re likely to travel to, with the exception of Salalah and Dhofar. Here it is still cool from December through to March, with a hot summer, except that in July and August the khareef monsoon arrives brining heavy rain and cooler temperatures.
Oman Air fly directly from Heathrow to Muscat (the only airline to do so) on a daily basis with a very modern fleet of aircraft and offering very competitive prices, so they are the airline we most prefer. If you’re starting or finishing your trip in Musandam, this is actually closer to Dubai than Muscat and so this opens up the option of direct flights into Dubai and via Dubai to Muscat with the likes of Emirates and British Airways. All the Gulf carriers also serve Muscat via their main hubs. All the airlines offer Economy and Business Class flights, with select airlines, like British Airways, also offering World Traveller Plus. Within Oman, Oman Air also link Muscat with Salalah and Musandam, as well as offering flights on to a wide range of African and Asian destinations.
As we’re not medical experts we feel it is essential you contact your G.P. regarding vaccinations and the like for travel to Jordan. What follows is some suggestions, but they must be verified by a medical professional. You should have all your routine vaccinations up-to-date, and if arriving from a yellow fever risk country, you are required to have a valid certificate of immunisation.
We also like these guys but again you must talk to your GP first: The Travel Doctor, an interactive website providing specialist health information for travellers plus customised lists of travel medicines, vaccines for holiday makers, global adventure travellers and expeditions.
British passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival in Oman for OMR20 (approximately £33); you require a passport that is valid for six months from the date of arrival and the visa is valid for one month.
The Omani currency is the Omani Rial and at the time of writing (September 2012) £1 is worth OMR1.63. Credit cards are accepted in the major hotels and in most shops and restaurants throughout Muscat; outside of the capital it’s more rare to be able to use a credit card, so you’ll need local currency. There are ATMs in the major cities, and you can change money at the airport, your hotel and in banks in towns and cities. Tipping is wide-spread and expected for a variety of services both real and imaginary. For minor services a tip equivalent to a few pence is fine. For porterage at hotels we’d recommend around £1, for the services of a driver around £2,50 per day, or per transfer; and for guides around £5 per day.