Last updated: 18 Feb 2021

Oman

About

Mountain villages clutched against canyon walls, clusters of dates weighing heavy in the plantation oases, a ribbon of sand blown across the dunes, a lone camel padding across the limitless interior - these are the kinds of images afforded by the beautiful and enigmatic country of Oman.

Slip out to sea from Khasab in a traditional dhow, followed by a flotilla of dolphins, and find out where the term 'going round the bend' came from as you contemplate the bewitching calm of the khors - Oman's own fjords. Go bird watching in the eagle capital of the world at Al-Ansab lagoons and Qurm Natural Park, or look for flamingos, spoonbills and flocks of wading birds at Barr Al-Hickman.

Explore Oman's whitewashed capital Muscat by following the corniche from the fish market, past the balconied buildings of neighbouring Muttrah Souk to the Sultan's Palace. The latter shelters beneath the 16th-century Portuguese forts of Al Jalali and Mirani.
Official Name: Sultanate of Oman
Native Name: Uman/Magan
Capital:  Muscat (MCT)
Currency:  Omani Rial (OMR)
Language:  Arabic (English also spoken)
Dialling code from SA:  + 968
Time Zones: UTC/GMT +4 hours (2 hours ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1; Mar 11; May 13-15; Jul 20-23; Aug 10; Oct 19; Nov 18

Side of the Road: Right.
Best Time to go: October – March (winter). During the winter months, temperatures are still relatively warm and rain rarely occurs (rain is in short bursts when it does occur). During Summer, the weather is extremely hot and humid and should be avoided.
Best For: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Historical sites, Spectacular coastline.
Plugs:  240 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are used.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink, although bottled water is preferred by locals. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: As this is a predominately Islamic country, dress should always be conservative: men should wear long pants, and women should keep their shoulders and legs covered (at least until their knees). Swimwear should be reserved for the beach. Respect to religious customs should also be shown during the month of Ramadan. It is not polite to smoke in public. 
Local Offences / Laws: Homosexuality is illegal. Importing obscene materials is subject to severe penalties. Driving under the influence of alcohol is subject to severe penalties. Collecting shells is illegal.  “No photography” and “No smoking” signs should be obeyed at all times. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: Check the local political situation before finalising travel plans.
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Oman without incurring customs duty: • Up to 2L or 24 cans of alcoholic beverages (non-Muslims over the age of 21 only).
• 400 cigarettes.
• 100ml of perfume.
• 10 DVDs.
Meat products officially require an Islamic slaughter certificate and import licence. Medicines in their original packaging and with the original label should be accompanied by a prescription or medical certificate. Certain medicines may be illegal in Oman and may be treated as narcotics, so you should check with your nearest embassy before you go.
Prohibited Imports: The import and use of narcotics and obscene material are forbidden and can lead to imprisonment. There are severe penalties for drug offences including, in some cases, the death penalty. 'Soft' drugs are treated as seriously as 'hard' drugs. The possession of small quantities of cannabis can lead to a 12-month prison sentence and deportation. The list of banned imports also includes leaves, flowers, seeds and stems of cannabis, raw or prepared opium, weapons, firearms and ammunition, fireworks, and alcoholic drinks (unless you are a non-Muslim).
Prohibited Exports: All the materials mentioned above are banned for export unless authorised by the General Inspector of Police and Customs.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: 

  • Before arriving in Oman you are required to take a PCR test within 72-hours prior to the scheduled time of arrival and present a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • When arriving in Oman from any country, you will be required to undergo another PCR test at Oman airports, however prior to your arrival this should be prebooked
  • After taking the test you must quarantine for 7 days (Institutional), and wear Tarrasud+ bracelet. After quarantining for 7 days, you are required to take a new PCR test on the 8th day, if the test result is negative the quarantine period will end.

All travelers arriving in the Sultanate of Oman are required to have international health insurance covering the cost of COVID-19 treatment valid for one month, except for citizens, GCC nationals, and passengers with free treatment card.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman
11 Anderson Street, Brooklyn, 0075, Pretoria
PO Box 2650, Brooklyn, 0075
Tel: (012) 362 3114 / 2766
Fax: (012) 362 6258
E-mail: emb-oman@telkomsa.net
Office hours: Mon-Thur 0900-1230 / Fri 0900-1200

Visa Requirements

  • South African passport holders do require a visa. This can be issued on arrival in Oman, for stays of less than 14 days. 

Requirements: 

  • Confirmed hotel reservation
  • Valid insurance coverage
  • Retuen ticket
  • Valid passport with validity of at least 6 months after return to SA. 

If you do require a visa, this may be applied for online at: https://evisa.rop.gov.om/

SA Representative

SA Embassy, Way 3017, House 1384,
Shatti Al Qurum, Muscat
Tel: +968 2464 7300
Fax: +968 2469 4792

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio