What languages ​​are spoken in Oman 1

Oman (officially the "Sultanate of Oman") has made great efforts in recent years to become an attractive holiday destination for western tourists on the Arabian Peninsula. The reason for this is that Oman is keen to diversify its economy so as not to be solely dependent on oil exports. In the 1970s, the Omani economy had already changed from an almost exclusively agricultural to an oil-exporting economy, in which almost all of the executive activities were carried out by guest workers. Now the economic structure is changing again, with the Omani population taking on executive activities and industry, handicrafts and tourism being expanded. Due to the success of the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) in tourism, Oman is also investing in this branch of the economy. Oman is known for its exceptionally friendly treatment of travelers in the Arab world.


facts and figures

Oman has a population of nearly 5 million, most of whom by far live in cities. Oman is an absolute monarchy and the ministers and chambers of parliament appointed by the Sultan have an advisory role only. 95% of the population are Muslim, most of whom are either Sunnis or Ibadis. In other countries of the Muslim world (except Zanzibar) the Ibadis make up only a small minority of the Muslim population, but in Oman Ibadism is the predominant form of Islam (Ibadis make up about 45% of the population there). The official language in Oman is Arabic; Iranian (Farsi and Baluchi) and Indo-European languages ​​such as Urdu are also spoken. The commercial language in Oman is English. To travel to Oman, you need a visa, which you can easily apply for online. Applying online is much easier and faster than applying for a visa at the embassy, ​​with the visa stuck or stamped in the passport.

CapitalMuscat
languageArabic
Base area309,500 km²
populationAlmost 5 million
religionIslam (86%), Christianity (6.5%), Hinduism (5.5%)
currencyOmani Rial (OMR)
time shift2 hours (winter) or 3 hours (summer)
Flight durationApproximately 6 hours (depending on the airline)
plugType G (travel plug / adapter required)
tap waterNo drinking water
visaVisa required

Location and geography

Oman is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The country also has long coastlines on the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman and a short coastline on the Persian Gulf.

The state territory also includes the Musandam peninsula with the governorate of the same name (in the local language Rus al-Djibal) on the Strait of Hormuz, the Madha enclave, which is completely surrounded by the UAE, as well as the Churiya-Muriya islands and the island of Masira in front the east coast of Oman.

Al-Batina ("flat land"), the 250 km long narrow coastal strip on the Gulf of Oman between the cities of Muscat and Suhar, is a fertile plain that is irrigated in many places with the help of canals The central, largest part of Oman is taken up by the Jeddat al-Harasis (Inner Desert). Between the coastal strip and the inland desert lies the Oman Mountains (also known as the Hajar Mountains) called), whose highest mountain is the Djabal Shams with a summit height of approx. 3000 m.


history

The basic area of ​​today's Oman was already settled in the Stone Age. What we now call Oman was among the Sumerians around 3000 BC. Already known as "Magan".

After the Muslims conquered the entire Arabian Peninsula around 630 AD, Oman became part of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates. Especially in the hinterland the religious movement of the Ibadites spread around 700 AD, who founded an independent imamate in the 9th century. Part of the Omani population emigrated to East Africa, thereby laying the foundation for the supremacy of Arab traders in the western Indian Ocean. During this time, the port city of Suhar developed into the most important trading center in the Islamic world and maintained contacts and trade relationships right into the Chinese Empire. After the destruction of Suhar by the Bohids (965), the country was occupied several times by Persian conquerors before the Portuguese took control of the areas around the Strait of Hormuz around 1500.

In the 17th century, the Omani population succeeded in driving out the Portuguese and becoming an important naval power in the Indian Ocean. Around 1730 Saif ibn Sultan II conquered Zanzibar and large parts of the East African coast. Despite the fact that from 1798 Great Britain increasingly asserted its influence in Oman, Oman experienced the height of its power in the first half of the 19th century. After the loss of Zanzibar in 1856, the country began to decline economically. Although Oman always remained formally independent, the country became de facto dependent on Great Britain at the end of the 19th century.

Even after the British troops were withdrawn from the area "east of Suez", the country was politically very conservative and sealed itself off from abroad: slavery continued, high internal tariffs were levied and the school system was limited to Koran schools. It was only with the start of oil production and the inauguration of the government of Qabuz ibn Said, who had deposed his father in 1970, that reforms came about: slavery was abolished, travel restrictions were lifted and the infrastructure was improved, which was due to the income from the Oil production had become possible.


Climate and the best travel time

Trade winds and the foothills of the Indian monsoons determine the almost tropical climate in Oman. Inland (in the desert) it is hot and dry, in the lowlands on the coast in the north and in the southern Dhofar governorate it is hot and humid. In the area around Muscat, average temperatures of 22 ° C in January and around 34.5 ° C in June are measured. The Gharbi, a hot wind from the Oman Mountains, sometimes makes the heat unbearable in the summer months. The high humidity leads to fog formation and occasional drizzle (especially in summer). The annual rainfall is about 100 mm in the coastal areas and 500 mm in the Oman Mountains.

Best travel time
The best time to travel to Oman is therefore from November to March. When it's cold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Oman welcomes you with summer weather. In the months from November to March, the maximum temperatures are below 30 ° C and are therefore tolerable. With a daily temperature of 29 ° C, November is the warmest month within the best travel time for Oman. At night the temperature is around 23 ° C. In comparison, the maximum temperature in February is 24 ° C per day. This means that the month is a little cooler than November and December, but still wonderfully warm. At night you should expect temperatures around 19 ° C. After February the temperature rises again and in March it is 27 ° C during the day and also at night the temperatures rise again above 20 ° C. In Oman, the sun always shines, no matter what month.

The water temperature in the European winter months is between 24 ° C and 26 ° C, which invites you to swim in the sea!

month
Average maximum temperature in ° C
Average minimum temperature in ° C
Average number of rainy days
January24192
February24192
March27221
April31251
May35300
June37310
July35310
Augustu / th>33290
September33280
October33260
November29231
December326202

Population and culture

Oman is one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth. Most of the residents live on the coast, mainly in the north of the country and in the southern region around the city of Salalah. The rest of the country is largely uninhabited. In 2020, more than 86% of the population lived in cities and around 5% still lived as nomadic ranchers. The population is growing very quickly and has roughly doubled in the past ten years. The influx of foreign workers, which has increased significantly since 2010, has also made a significant contribution. At present 46% of the population are immigrants, i.e. around 2.3 million people, including around 1.3 million Indians. Many of the inhabitants of the northeastern areas of Oman originally come from the former Omani colonies in East Africa (such as Zanzibar).

In 2020, 97% of the male and 92.7% of the female population could read and write, which is one of the highest rates in the Arab world. Thirty years ago, almost the entire population was illiterate. Although there is no compulsory education in Oman, more than 90% of children attend school. Attending school is free.

A regulation issued by the Ministry of Religion stipulates that non-intrusive clothing that covers shoulders and knees must be worn in public, on the street, etc. In the holiday hotel, tourists are allowed to wear swimwear and swim on the beach, but nudism is prohibited in all hotels and topless is also not possible. During the fasting month of Ramadan, you should be prepared for restrictions in public life (e.g. closing of restaurants outside of hotels during the day, shorter working hours with authorities) and greater sensitivity in religious matters and with regard to respect for Islamic traditions. Eating, drinking and smoking in public are then also forbidden for non-Muslims.


Money and currency

The currency of Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR), where 1 Rial equals one thousand Baisa. The rial is pegged to the US dollar. 1 rial is equivalent to € 2.2 (as of November 10, 2020). There is almost no inflation, and in the ten-year average from 1985 to 1995 there was even deflation of 0.2% in Oman. You can pay in rials (OMR) anywhere, but rarely in US dollars and even more rarely in €.

Withdrawing cash from ATMs and paying with bank cards is possible in many places. Please note, however, that many banks have blocked the use of bank cards outside the euro zone in the basic setting. Therefore, arrange with your bank before you leave that your bank card will be activated for use in Oman. In the event that your debit card is not accepted, it is advantageous to take a credit card with you. Credit card companies usually charge higher fees for withdrawing money abroad, so your bank / debit card should preferably be used for this purpose.


visa

Germans, Austrians and Swiss need a visa to travel to Oman. As of March 21, 2018, the visa-on-arrival is no longer available on arrival, so you have to apply for and receive the Oman visa before departure. In most cases, you can easily apply for the Oman visa online and you don't have to go to the embassy. For the e-visa, fill out the digital application form and pay the costs. You will then need to upload a scan or a photo of your passport and a passport photo or a selfie that clearly shows you.

With the online visa you can choose between a single-entry visa with a validity of 10 days, a single-entry visa with a validity of 30 days and a visa for multiple border crossings with a stay of 30 days per trip, with which allows multiple trips to Oman within 1 year from the date of issue.

Visa applications for Oman are usually approved within a week. People who have to leave at short notice and do not yet have a visa are advised to submit an urgent application for which a surcharge of € 17.50 will be charged. The visa is then usually issued within 4 days.
Apply for an Oman visa now


Safety and health

Security risk
The crime rate and the risk of becoming a victim of a violent crime are very low. Nevertheless, theft does occur, especially in places visited by tourists. Therefore, keep the doors and windows of vehicles closed and do not leave them unattended. Keep money, cards, driver's license, plane tickets and other important documents in a safe place (e.g. in a hotel safe).

Homosexual acts are a criminal offense in Oman. Those who are convicted even face the death penalty. Same-sex marriages are not recognized.

There is still a real threat of pirate attacks and ship hijacking off the Omani coast. There is also a risk of attacks and kidnappings far out in the Arabian Sea. Despite international efforts to curb piracy, the number of pirate attacks remains high and effective protection cannot be guaranteed. So don't take a boat or yacht off the coast of Oman for the time being.

Attacks and travel restrictions may occur in the border area of ​​Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Oman due to the current conflict situation in Yemen. So avoid this region.

Vaccinations and first-aid kit
No vaccinations are required when entering from Germany, Austria or Switzerland. If you are entering from a country where yellow fever occurs, or if you have been in such a country for more than 12 hours, even if this was only the case for a transit, you must be able to prove that you have had a yellow fever vaccination. Oman itself is not a yellow fever risk area. Polio vaccination is mandatory when entering from a country where there is a high risk of polio.

However, a DTP and hepatitis A vaccination is generally recommended for a trip to Oman. Depending on the length of stay and activities in Oman, vaccinations against hepatitis B, typhus, rabies and measles may also be advisable. Please also note that in Oman contact with fresh surface water poses a risk of schistosomiasis infection. Please take the necessary precautions (i.e. do not swim, dive or water-ski in fresh water).

Apart from a minimal residual risk, Oman is malaria free. Under normal travel circumstances (stay no longer than 4 weeks, stay in air-conditioned hotels, exercise caution) prophylactic malaria medication is not recommended. However, it is recommended to use an anti-mosquito spray such as DEET or Icardin - especially to protect against dengue - against mosquito bites.