Oman is situated in the Middle East, and is bordered by the Saudi Arabi to the west, United Arab Emirates to the North West and Yemen in the South West. The Eastern side of the country is predominately coastline bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Desert covers much of Oman’s landmass, however in the northern region the Al Hajar mountain ranges rise to 3000m. The Capital of Oman is Muscat, which is situated in the North of the country, on a coastal plain, which separates the mountains from the Gulf of Oman. Approximately 50% of Oman’s population live in Muscat and in the surrounding coastal plain.
The time in Oman is GMT +4 hours
The national language of Oman is Arabic. French is also widely spoken and in some areas, basic English is also used. Using an alphabet very unlike our own, Arabic is one of the most difficult of languages to learn, however we do recommend that you take a pocket phrase book and learn some basics such as common greetings in Arabic and French.
The best period for trekking in the Oman is in the winter season from October through to mid April. Outside of this period it can be very hot, with temperatures rising to 40 degrees centigrade! At the time of any of our departures, the maximum daytime temperature is likely to be around 30°C / 88°F, falling as low as 5°C / 41°F at night at our highest camps. At Christmas, the weather is usually settled, clear and sunny, although the days are shorter and the nights can be particularly cool, possibly as low as 0°C / 32°F.
The unit of currency in Oman is the Oman Rial, for up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of currency rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange most of it on the day of your arrival in Muscat. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure Sterling, US dollars and euros are equally acceptable for exchange at the airport and there are ATM machines in Muscat and Nizwa.
A valid passport (with at least 6 months remaining validity) and an Oman Visa are required for entry into Oman. Visas can be obtained on arrival by nationals of most countries, including UK and USA. The visa costs can be paid in US dollars or in pounds Sterling.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis ‘A’. Malaria prophylaxis is not recommended. As of 09 October 2014, Yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers who are arriving from, or have transited through, countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. A very good online resource is the National Health Travellers website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Additional Sources of Information
Adventure Trekking in Oman. Dale and Hadwin.
Lonely Planet. Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Oman and UAE. Insight Guide.
Oman. Bradt Guide
Maverick Guide to Oman. Peter Ochs.
Travels with a Tangerine. Tim Mackintosh-Smith
Arabian Sands. Wilfred Thesiger
Oman and the United Arab Emirates Map.
ITMB (Travel Reference Map S.)
Lonely Planet - www.lonelyplanet.com
Rough Guides - www.roughguides.com