Australian Government advice for Oman
When travelling to Oman, you should always get travel insurance in case the worst happens. To help you ensure you travel safely, we have included the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Oman.
- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Oman. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
- You should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent. You should take particular care in the period surrounding Friday prayers.
- The annual death toll on Omani roads is extremely high. Many drivers do not adhere to road rules, and visibility on roads can be affected by poor weather.
- We advise Australians to reconsider your need to travel to areas bordering Yemen due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
- Australia has an Honorary Consul in Oman who can provide limited consular assistance. However, in the first instance, Australians should contact the Australian Embassy in Saudi Arabia for consular assistance.
- See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
- organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
- register your travel and contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency
to this travel advice to receive free email updates each time it's reissued.
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Entry and exit
As visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice, you should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the Sultanate of Oman for the most up to date information.
If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you will be required to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to be allowed entry into Oman. The World Health Organization provides a list of countries endemic for yellow fever.
The importation of pornography is forbidden.
When in Oman, children born of an Omani father are considered to be Omani nationals and require their father's permission to depart the country.
If a traveller's passport contains evidence of entry to Israel, or another country's border crossing points with Israel, entry will be denied.
Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia.
Safety and security
International terrorist groups are active in the Arabian Peninsula and attacks against targets in Oman cannot be ruled out.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin.
Civil unrest/political tension
We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the border areas with Yemen due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen. You should maintain a high level of personal security awareness in border areas.
You should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they have the potential to turn violent. You should take particular care in the period surrounding Friday prayers.
Oman has a low incidence of crime. Tourists are occasionally the victims of petty crime, such as burglaries and theft.
Money and valuables
In Oman, visitors should carry their passport and residents should carry their Omani identification in a safe place at all times for identification purposes.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
The annual death toll on Omani roads is extremely high. Driving practices differ significantly from Australia, and visibility on roads can be affected by poor weather. Drivers should avoid trying to cross flood waters covering roads during periods of heavy rainfall. Off-road driving is hazardous as is driving outside major cities, particularly after dark. Road conditions in some parts of the country are poor and there is a risk of camels straying on to roads. Traffic accidents are regarded as one of the most significant risks to those visiting or living in Oman. For further advice, see our road travel page.
Authorisation from the Omani government is required for travel to some areas.
Travellers entering Oman or the Gulf area by sea should be aware that many areas are sensitive in relation to security and territory. In particular, maritime boundaries and the islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs in the southern Gulf are the subject of jurisdictional disputes. There have been reports of vessels being inspected and travellers being detained or arrested.
Women should take care when travelling alone, particularly at night.
The safety standards of transport and tour operators, including adventure activities, are not always of a high standard. Sufficient safety equipment may not be provided and recommended maintenance standards and safety precautions may not be observed. Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if others don't. If appropriate safety equipment is not available, you should use another provider.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Oman.
Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
You are subject to the local laws of Oman, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
The Australian Embassy in Riyadh does not have direct access to Omani Government institutions (police stations, jails, hospitals, etc.) and is obliged to formally seek access via the Omani Embassy in Riyadh. This can cause delays for those requiring consular assistance.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. Possession of even small amounts of drugs is punishable by prison sentences of at least 12 months. See our Drugs page.
Serious offences, such as murder, may attract the death penalty.
Australians who might engage in activities that involve local legal matters, particularly with regard to family law (divorce, child custody and child support), are strongly advised to seek professional advice and ensure they are aware of their rights and responsibilities. Be aware that you may not be allowed to leave Oman if you are involved in commercial or labour disputes, have unpaid debts, or if legal proceedings are underway.
Homosexual acts are illegal and penalties include imprisonment. See our LGBTI travellers page.
It is illegal to use aggressive, obscene or abusive language or gestures in public and penalties include imprisonment and deportation.
Taking photographs of or near government buildings and other sensitive infrastructure, including oilfields, is illegal and can lead to detention.
Possession of pornography is illegal in Oman.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
There are strict Islamic codes of dress and behaviour in Oman and you should take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Any displays of disrespect for Islam will cause great offence.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin in late May 2017. During Ramadan, Australians travelling to countries with significant Muslim communities should take care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. In particular, people who are not fasting are advised to avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public and in the presence of people who are fasting. For more information see our Ramadan bulletin.
Australians travelling to Muslim countries and countries with significant Muslim communities should take great care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. Ramadan and Shia religious festivals are particularly sensitive times.
Women, in particular, should be careful to dress modestly in public avoiding wearing tight clothes, shorts or low-cut tops. Loose fitting clothes that cover shoulders and legs will likely avoid unwarranted attention.
Hotels may refuse to provide accommodation to couples who are unable to provide proof of marriage.
The use of bad language, rude gestures or public displays of affection will cause offence and may get you into trouble with the police.
As in most Muslim countries, there are restrictions on alcohol and pork products.
Information for dual nationals
Oman does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Omani dual nationals who are arrested or detained.
Our Dual nationals page provides further information.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you will be overseas and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.
Health care in Oman is generally good, but can vary from region to region. Hospitals and clinics in the larger cities are better equipped. Costs can be expensive, depending on the procedure. For serious illnesses or complex medical procedures, travellers may wish to be medically evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities.
Malaria is generally considered to be under control in Oman. However, given Oman’s environmental condition of high temperature and high humidity that allows mosquitoes to breed, there is a low ongoing risk of malaria. Other insect-borne infections, including dengue fever and leishmaniasis, also occur in Oman. Travellers should be particularly attentive to the risk of mosquito bites on the Musandam Peninsula. You should take precautions against insect bites by using insect repellent, wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.
The most common health hazard faced by travellers in Oman is dehydration and other problems relating to the high temperatures in summer months. It is advisable for travellers to be aware of the dangers of the sun, and to remain well hydrated. We advise you to boil all drinking water or to drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food.
Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Countries outside the Middle East have also reported imported cases from returned travellers. See our MERS-CoV travel bulletin.
Where to get help
The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas.
Australia has an Honorary Consul in Oman who can provide limited consular assistance. However, in the first instance, Australians should contact the Australian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for consular, passport and notarial enquires.
Australian Embassy, Riyadh
Abdullah Bin Hozafa Al-Shami Avenue
KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA
Telephone: 966 11 2500 900
Facsimile: 966 11 2500 902
See the www.saudiarabia.embassy.gov.au for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
The working week of the Embassy in Riyadh is Sunday to Thursday in accordance with local practice.
If you are travelling to Oman, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, you should register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade so we can contact you should the need arise. If you know any Australians in Oman, you should encourage them to register as well. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there is a more frequent occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches. See the Tsunami Awareness brochure .
The monsoon season is from June to September, when flooding may occur. Oman is subject to the occasional risk of cyclones, particularly during the monsoon period. In 2007, Oman was struck by Cyclone Gonu, causing extensive damage to property and infrastructure and approximately 50 fatalities. There were localised storm surges and some flooding in coastal areas.
Rains can result in localised flooding of roads including in mountain areas and river valleys. Drivers should not attempt to cross roads cut by floodwaters.
If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Sand and dust storms can be a problem during the drier months (October to May).
For other useful information to assist travelling in this country, see: