Oman, Middle East - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Oman

Capital: Muscat

Continent: Asia

Currency: Omani Rial (OMR)

Dialling Code: +968

Driving Side: Right

Official Language: Arabic

Population: 4,441,448 (2016)

Time Zone: GST (UTC+4)

Sitting in the south-eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula lying on the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman; Oman is a country in the Middle East with the same size as the state of Kansas in the US. It borders the United Arab Emirates in the Northwest, Saudi Arabia in the west and Yemen in the Southwest.

Omanis are friendly people and are very helpful to tourists. In turn, tourists should respect the ways and traditions of the Omani people

Information & Facts

Climate

The Climate of Oman can be described as subtropical dry, hot desert climate with low annual rainfall, very high temperatures in summer and a big difference between maximum and minimum temperatures, especially in the inland areas.

Summer (June to September) is very low rainfall. Winter is cooler with occasional rainfall while Spring and autumn are warm, mostly dry and pleasant.

Customs

It is prohibited to bring firearms, narcotics or pornographic publications into Oman. Non-Muslims are permitted to bring two litres of alcohol into the country at Seeb International Airport only. You are not allowed to bring alcohol into the country in private cars at land border crossings.

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.

Electricity

240 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are used.

Language

Like other GCC countries, Arabic is the official language of Oman. English is the widely spoken and is the language for business. It is also taught at school from an early age. German is taught as a third language. Baluchi, mother tongue of the Baloch people from Balochistan, and Swahili are also widely spoken.

Omani Sign Language is the language of the deaf community.

Money

The Official currency for Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). 1000 Baiza equals 1 Omani Rial. Notes are  in denominations of OMR50, 20, 10, 5 and 1, and 500, 250, 200 and 100 baiza. Coins are in denominations of 50, 25, 10 and 5 baiza.

The society is primarily cash-based and there is a general distrust for cheques and aversion to using credit cards for anything but very large purchases.

Time

The local time is GST - UTC+04:00

Tipping

In restaurants, 10 to 15 percent where a service charge has not been added, otherwise 5 percent. Taxi fare are rounded up to a couple of rials.

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