Just in 2018, Oman welcomed more than 3 million visitors. From the traditional mountain villages like Misfat al Abryeen to modern Muscat and the stunning beaches of Masira Island, there are plenty of reasons why increasingly more foreigners are applying for an Oman visa and traveling to the country.
Oman is also a very safe destination for both male and female travelers. Unlike other countries in the Middle East, it enjoys a peaceful and stable political environment as well as a thriving economy.
Tourists wondering about safety in Oman can find information in this article regarding:
- Security in the country for women and men
- Oman safety travel advice
- Street conditions and driving advice
Is Oman a Safe Country?
Oman is a safe country and most foreigners are able to enjoy their holidays in the country without any issues. The Omani government and the general public are stable and the nation is very unlikely to experience political unrest. However, tourists are advised to stay clear of demonstrations should these arise.
The risk of terrorism in Oman is one of the lowest in the world. The Institute for Economics and Peace ranks the effect of terrorism in Oman as “0” on the Global Terrorism Index (that is, no impact of terrorism). No other country in the Middle East or the Persian Gulf obtained a “0”.
In general, crime in Oman is very low and tourists rarely fall victim to criminal activity. When that happens, it’s mostly due to robbery or pickpocketing, like it can happen in all tourist destinations.
Is Oman Safe for Female Travellers?
Oman is considered a very safe country for female visitors. Women traveling solo to Oman report that usually, harassment is not an issue and that Omani men tend to ignore women out of respect.
In fact, the biggest issue that male and female solo travelers encounter is feeling lonely: Omani people rarely approach strangers and it can be hard to make new friends. Most Omani women don’t use public transport so although they’re unlikely to be disturbed while on a bus, female foreigners may feel uncomfortable finding themselves to be the only woman aboard.
Oman is a Muslim country, which means that the dress code is conservative. It’s preferable to wear clothes that don’t show cleavage, knees, and shoulders — however, non-Muslim women are in no way expected to cover their head unless they’re visiting a Mosque or other religious site.
Oman Safety Travel Advice
If you’re a seasoned traveler, you’ll probably find that the precautions to take in Oman are the same as those relevant to any other tourist destination:
- Be aware of pickpocketers, especially in tourist and crowded spots like landmarks, crossroads, and shopping malls. Keep your belongings close and don’t show expensive items like jewelry and photo cameras.
- Avoid walking in poor-lit streets alone at night especially if you’re not familiar with the area.
- Use official taxis only and avoid hitchhiking.
- Follow the safety advice issued by your government and keep up to date with developments while in the country.
- Respect local laws and customs. Drugs and pornography are illegal in Oman and swearing or using obscene gestures is considered insulting. Although licensed restaurants can sell alcohol, getting drunk in public is an offense. The legal age for drinking in Oman is 21. It’s also important that you respect the conditions and requirements of your Omani visa.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance in case your luggage gets lost or stolen or you need medical assistance.
The Royal Oman Police emergency number is 9999. Call the same number if you need an ambulance.
Are Streets in Oman Secure?
It’s possible to drive in Oman with a foreign license (if the license is in English and the driver holds a valid Omani visa) for up to 6 weeks so it’s not rare for international tourists to rent a car in Oman. Driving is on the right.
Overall, Oman enjoys good road standards across the country. Omani police enforce traffic laws — for example, it’s strictly forbidden to use a mobile phone while driving, and seatbelts must be worn at all times.
Foreigners may not be used to driving risks specific to rural roads like the presence of goats and camels and the possibility of flooding in case of severe rainfalls. Mountain roads should also be avoided unless one is used to driving 4×4 vehicles.