Omani Rial (OMR)
Arabic, modern High Arabic
Oman Road Trip
Oman never was our dream destination, but we still had a few days of paid time off left and in November we still wanted to leave for holiday anyway. After some research and probably also for lack of alternatives, we decided to choose Oman.
Our impressions: The country is really amazing and especially a roundtrip Oman is the perfect way to discover this Arabian beauty. The scenery is gorgeous and people are extremely hospitable.
Currency in Oman
People in Oman pay with Omani Rial (OMR). You should always carry enough cash, as you find only limited ATMs outside of Muscat. The price level is relatively high.
Dress code during an Oman Road Trip
Oman is a Muslim country, so as a traveller you should always comply with the habits of dressing. Women should always have their shoulders and knees covered. Men should also wear knee-covering trousers.
Health arrangements for the Oman Road Trip
We had no special vaccinations. Normal travel medicine should be sufficient.
Telephone calls during the Oman Road Trip
At the airport in Muscat, there are various providers at the exit of the airport building. We opted for OMANtel and had very good cell phone reception everywhere. Even in the Wahiba desert, we had better reception than in Germany. Registration and activation is completely easy and is carried out by the provider.
Road system in Oman
Oman is probably the perfect country for a road trip. The streets are modern, well developed and have little traffic. The whole trip was very pleasant, even Muscat is comfortable to drive. Speed limits on highways and federal roads are mostly at 100-120 km/h. In cities they are at 60 km/h. Omani people are very respectful drivers. Attention: On highways and federal roads, there are fixed radar controls every few hundred meters.
General information for the Oman Road Trip
The Oman visa must be requested online (https://evisa.rop.gov.om/), there is a counter at the airport if you have not submitted an online application. Important for the application is that the passport must be valid for 6 months after the end of the travel.
You can choose from the following visas:
Up to 10 days á 5 OMR
Up to 30 days á 20 OMR
Since most vehicles do not have a taximeter, the price should be negotiated and agreed on in advance.
There are some roadside military checkpoints. Carry a driver's license and identity papers with you all time. The soldiers were always very friendly.
Attractions of Oman Road Trip – our recommendations for you
Here are some tips and tricks for a great Oman Road Trip.
If you are planning to do a city sightseeing tour, please avoid Big Bus! Their offer is very expensive compared to other hop-on hop-off buses in other cities and the frequency is very low. We´ve been waiting three hours for a bus, that didn't arrive at all.
At the entrance of the Muttrah Souqs (coastal side) taxi drivers offer private day trips at a much cheaper fare.
Jabal al Akhdar
To get to the viewpoint of the Jabal al Akhdar or to the hotels in the mountains, you need a 4WD car to be able to drive up the mountain. Police officers won´t let you pass at the checkpoint with a saloon car. Right in front of the checkpoint, there is a parking lot. Leave your car here and join a local driver for hotel transfer. You can´t miss the the local drivers at the parking lot. They are waiting for business there all day. The ride is relatively expensive and you have to bargain toughly, otherwise they will take you out. We have paid 40 OMR for the round trip, but it is still cheaper than the overpriced hotel transfers.
Once at the top of the mountain, several hotels are located directly at the Grand Canyon of Oman. Up here, it is really gorgeous and pleasantly cool in contrast to the desert below. The best time to photograph the impressive canyon is definitely in the early morning.
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve
Watching turtles while hatching or laying eggs has been our dream for a long time. And not only ours, so book the hotel in advance. As a hotel guest, you will be treated preferentially regarding the turtle watching tour. i.e. you can start in the first group. Especially when there are few turtles on site, this can be a big advantage.
The Turtle watching tours in Ras Al Jinz are held in the morning at 05:00 am and in the evening at 21:00 pm. We joined both tours. There are definitely more people in the evening than in the morning. The morning tour was a bit nicer, as the sunrise dipped everything in golden light. Just as we wanted to leave the beach, hundreds of small turtles hatched out of the sand next to us. Additionally, we witnessed two giant turtles returning to the sea.
However, there are two rules that you should be aware of:
♦ It may be photographed and filmed, but without flash and light.
♦ It is not allowed to use flashlights, headlamps or similar
Transfer from Salalah Airport to the hotel
If you leave the airport in Salalah, there is an office on the right just next to the exit, which coordinates all taxi trips. A trip to the beach hotels of Salalah is 15 OMR. After having paid in the office, take the receipt and wait for your taxi. No matter if you book the transfer directly at the taxi company, in the hotel or at the travel agency. Always 15 OMR.
This valley is amazing for a hike and really worth to visit. Starting from the parking lot, cross the small river by boat. Locals are already waiting and will gladly help you crossing for the fee of one Rial. From here, we started the hike and walked through the awesome green valley, always accompanied by the small river that comes from the mountains. The dry part of the hike to the end of the Wadi takes about 45 minutes. Shadow spots are scarce, so take plenty of water, a hat and sun protection. The next few hundred meters we waded or swam through the crystal clear stream. A Drybag and non-slip shoes proved to be very helpful. At the end of the valley, we swam through a narrow passage and entered a water-filled little cave with a waterfall. Truly amazing place.
Try to be there early in the morning. After 10 am, it´s getting really crowded.