Oman

Oman

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Sultanate of Oman is located in the Middle East between Yemen and United Arab Emirates, with coastline on the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf. This oldest independent state in the Arab world has a population of about 3.2 million people. The government is a monarchy with a hereditary sultan as both chief of state and head of government.

Until the 1970s, Oman was one of the most isolated countries and is still one of the more traditional countries in the Gulf region. Sultan Qaboos seized power from his father in 1970, moved away from the policy of isolationism, began a program of economic reform, and increased funding for health, education and welfare.

Oman’s economy depends heavily on oil. Tourism is growing and is expected to be one of the largest sectors of the economy. For the traveller, Oman has a diverse environment, including unspoiled coastlines, mountains, and deserts. The capital city, Muscat, is a destination with an old walled city, forts, palaces, shopping in the souk, and the Grand Mosque.

Currency OMR: Rial
Language Arabic
Capital Muscat
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Oman. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Oman through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Oman.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Oman. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Oman, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in Oman. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for all travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Schistosomiasis

According to the World Health Organization, cases of this disease were reported in 2012. This disease may be present in Oman and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Malaria

The WHO notes that there is a very low risk of malaria due to the occasional importation of cases from other countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that there is a very low risk for malaria.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Oman.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

Yellow fever vaccination is not recommended. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for all travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Oman.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Anti-malarial medication is not recommended by the WHO. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends consideration of anti-malaria medication for pregnant or immuno-compromised persons.

Safety and Security in Oman

Emergency Numbers

9999 Royal Oman Police

Personal Safety

The crime rate is low in Oman, and travellers rarely experience safety and security problems. However, petty crime can occur in any crowded area or tourist destination. With respect to your personal safety, be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport.

Travellers should keep their passport available at all times for identification.

If driving outside Muscat, be aware that animals can wander onto roads, sudden rains can cause flooding on roads, and drivers may not follow standard rules of the road.

Oman is an Islamic country, and visitors should be sensitive to the culture and respect local customs. Dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing clothing, including sleeveless blouses. At hotel pool areas and beaches, swimming and beach clothing is acceptable.

There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving. It is illegal to drink or be drunk in public. Penalties for drug use, possession or trafficking are severe.

To express anger or frustration, either verbally or otherwise, is considered abusive and one can be charged with personal defamation. Any citizen or visitor can file these charges. Visitors charged with defamation cannot leave the country until the issue is resolved, usually with an apology and fine paid to the “victim.”

Same-sex relationships and behaviours are illegal in Oman.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid unnecessary travel to border areas with Yemen.

Political Unrest

Political demonstrations do occur throughout Oman. Minimize risk by avoiding large public gatherings and demonstrations due to unpredictability of these situations.

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