Getting by in Oman
The unit of currency is the Rial Omani (R.O.) consisting of 1,000 baizas
ATMs can be found at the airport, in Oman's capital - Muscat and in every main town, though not all of these take foreign cards.
Mastercard, American Express and Visa credit cards are readily accepted in large shops and hotels and a number of traders in the souks.
Standard Time Zone: GMT + 4 hours
Phone Call Facts
The Country code for Oman is 968
People calling from within the Sultanate need not to put the initial international code. They can simply dial the mobile or landline number. Any landline or mobile numbers are 8 digits.
People calling from overseas should dial 00 or just press + followed by the international code and then the 8 digit phone number. To make international call from within the country do follow the same rule. Just dial 00 or press + followed by the proposed country’s code and then the number.
The electrical system is based on 220/240 AC volts with British type plugs.
Postal Service is very much active within the Sultanate. The service is also active for the overseas destination. The Post Offices are open in the morning (7:00 AM to 2:00 PM) and evening (5:00 PM to 8:00 PM) from Saturday to Thursday. You can find the offices in all major cities and towns of Oman. Postal charges vary depending on the weight of the documents and destinations. The minimum inland postal rate is OMR 0.50 and the maximum is OMR 3. For overseas mailing services the charge starts from 250 Baisa and can go up to OMR 12.
Going from one place to another here in Oman, is difficult here as there is no regular bus service. So you would need to depend on taxis or mini-buses. All taxi drivers in Oman are Omani nationals as this profession is reserved for them.
By Micro Taxi
These are small white coloured mini buses, which is recognised with its distinctive white colours. They operate along the the main roads and avoids the in-road routes to avoid the traffic menace.
National Transport Coaches
These are white, red and green colour vehicles which belongs to Oman National Transport Co (ONTC). They operate from specified bus stops and is limited to collective transport following special routes.
Small, shared mini-vans, often called baiza busses, act as shared taxis following a fixed route. They rarely charge more than 400 Baiza ($1 US) for lengthy distances. If you know the area of town you are going then you only need to tell the driver the area.
The most common way to go around the city is by a taxi. Taxis in Oman have a distinctive orange and white stripes. The drivers are Omani nationals who are not fluent in English. As the taxis are not metered, it is always advisable to negotiate the price before you engage one. You can also get two three more people to share the transport which lowers the fare for you. There are even taxi companies operating in the city. The drivers of these vehicles are registered and are in radio contact with the controller. These taxis are highly recommended if you are traveling at night or if you are a woman traveller. These cars are metered and thus the passenger avoids the fuss of negotiation. Companies like Allo Taxi, City Taxi and Hello Taxi provides a safe and clean service 24X7 with just one phone call.
By Car Hire
Renting a car is more preferable especially if you want to go around at your own pace and travel to distant places.Go to our Car Hire section to get a complete list of car rental services that you can choose from.
Gliding your vehicle along the roads of Oman can be more bracing if teamed with correct road rules. The ROP (Royal Oman Police) has set conventions for those driving their vehicles in and around the country. Maintaining your tact and decency on the road can avoid mishaps.
Set of Laws to Follow
- Use proper indicator while changing your lane.
- Slow down while approaching the signals.
- Never cross the speed limit mentioned for each lanes on the highway.
- Maximum speed limit should never cross 120 Kmph on the high speed lane.
- While driving on the low speed lane don’t go beyond 80 kmph.
- Some by-roads too have speed limits mentioned. The average limit is 80 kmph. Park your car only on the parking area.
- Don’t miss the traffic sign board on your way.
Make sure you board a licensed tourism boat that complies with safety requirements. Each passenger must be provided with his/her own life vest.
A qualified tour guide must accompany you when entering desert areas. Arm yourself with GPS and all necessary safety equipments. It is also advisable that you travel in groups with more than one vehicle.
Before setting out on a trekking adventure, make sure that you are fully aware of the length and difficulty of the trail. Arm yourself with adequate food supplies and water plus, wear sturdy shoes.We strongly suggest that you do not trek alone.
Off Road Travel
When traveling off-road, use only 4WD vehicles. Do not travel off-road alone. Equip yourself with spare tires and lots of food, water and fuel supplies. Avoid wadis that are prone to flooding and always camp on high ground. Inform others of your plans and your expected time of return.
- Do not pick fruits or vegetables irresponsibly. Villagers depend on it for their livelihood. Likewise, protect wildlife and plants.
- Always stick on designated paths when exploring villages and surrounding areas.
- Do not contaminate any water source as villagers depend on traditional water systems for drinking and agriculture.
- Park vehicles only in designated areas.