Oman is a relatively safe country and serious crime is rare. The Royal Oman Police is notably efficient and honest.
Driving in Muscat can sometimes be a problem, although this is due more to congestion than bad driving on the part of the locals. Outside of the major cities, a common driving risk is falling asleep at the wheel due to the long stretches of featureless desert. Driving in Oman calls for attention to the unexpected. It has the second highest death rate from traffic accidents in the world surpassed only by Saudi, followed closely by the UAE. Omani drivers outside of the cities tend to drive very fast and pass with impunity. Driving at night is especially hazardous as many drivers fail to turn their headlights on. Camels will walk into the road even if they see cars approaching, and collisions are often fatal for both camel and driver.
Oman is warm year-round and summers can be extremely hot. Always carry drinking water with you and be wary of de-hydration in high temperatures. If you're not used to the heat it can sneak up on you and cause serious health problems.
Several people have tried to cross stretches of the Omani desert on their own in a rented 4WD. Some of these people have died or got rescued just in time.
Travelling through a desert requires proper preparation. It looks easy from a modern air-conditioned 4WD, but if that fails you are suddenly back to basics.
Never go off-road alone. A minimum of two to three cars of the same make is the rule. Leave your itinerary with a friend with clear instructions if you do not return in time.Take at least:- recovery tools: spades, rope and attachments, sand mats or ladders- two spare tires and all required equipment - a good air pump high capacity - sufficient water at least 25 litres more than you think you will need for drinking - sufficient petrol: there are no petrol stations in middle of nowhere.
If you have – or can get – a satellite phone, take it. Mobiles work only in limited areas. Check your car before embarking on such a trip.
A single entry, one month visa can be obtained upon arrival at any air, land or sea terminal by the citzens of the following countries:
EU citizens and other Europeans including nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City but not Cyprus and Malta.
Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China*, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Russia*, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey*, Ukraine*, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The fee is 20 OMR and your passport should be valid for no less than 6 months from the date of arrival. However, if you arrived by air into Dubai International Airport and subsequently enter Oman via land, the visa fee will be waived. Any visa fees can be paid using UAE dirhams at a rate of 10 to 1 OMR. At the airports visa fees can be paid in any GCC currency, Euros, and USD.
As of March 2012 a new 10-day tourist visa has been introduced that costs 5 OMR and is obtainable at any land, sea or airport.
Chinese, Russian and Ukrainian nationals may obtain visit visas following the same procedures provided that they are part of tourists groups arriving to the Sultanate through a local tourist agent or a hotel or as a family. In the case of groups, the number of females must not exceed the number of males.
Citizens of Egypt, Iran, India, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia can apply for a one month visit visa only at air terminals.
The visa can be extended another month by submitting your passport to the Royal Omani Police in Muscat, however there is one line, and the wait can be as long as 2 hours. Be aware that the concept of personal distance is different in the Middle East than it is in Europe. Line jumping may be a problem for Europeans unless you set aside that personal distance concept. If you are on a budget and need to extend your visa, I highly recommend taking a trip to the United Arab Emirates. Buses are RO 10-12 return. A same-day round trip flight to Sharjah on Air Arabia (http://www.airarabia.com/) costs about RO 50. Even a taxi would be an option.
Israeli stamps are not a problem for entry, but Israeli passport holders are not permitted into Oman.
Visitors may be interested in the monthly English language lifestyle magazine, Oman Today (http://www.apexstuff.com/...), which is widely available in Oman.
The country code for Oman is 968.
Dialing out from Oman you will need to dial 00 + International Code + Number
Dialing into Oman callers use +968 followed by an 8 digit number...
These 8-digit numbers generally start with a 9 if it is mobile number, and with 2 for land lines, though other numbers will eventually start to get used.