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Oman at Glance   
Facts & Essential Info
Oman’s Cultural Legacy
Getting a Visa
Getting to Oman
 
 Getting to Oman

 

Visa on Arrivals

Arriving passengers who are eligible for Visa on Arrival are able to make visa payments at the Travelex Foreign Exchange bureau located in the immigration arrivals hall, payments can be accepted in most currencies or by credit card, an automatic receipt will be issued to the traveller this receipt is then presented at the immigration desk, this reduces the time and queues for processing. Passengers with entry visas deposited at the airport, should collect their visa from the Oman Air Visa Collection Counter. 

 

International Airports

 

Muscat International Airport

Muscat International Airport has in recent years experienced a period of healthy growth in passenger numbers, this positive and considerable growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. It is being driven by a number of factors including fleet and route expansion by the national carrier Oman Air, and increases in capacity and frequency by the existing carriers. This in turn is being fuelled by the growth and development of the tourism industry within the country as well as strong commercial and economic activity.

In response to these significant increases in passenger numbers and to allow the airport to maintain appropriate levels of service to its customers, a number of improvement projects have been initiated to deliver additional capacity and meet the expected future increase in passenger traffic until the new terminal building is operational in late 2014.

The expansion projects are designed to improve the existing passenger terminal building, focusing primarily on key passenger processing areas to relieve congestion at peak times and to ensure that passengers using the airport can still enjoy a comfortable and convenient experience as they arrive, depart or transfer through the airport.


Salalah Airport

Salalah is located approximately 1,000 kilometres from the capital city Muscat, attracting tourists both locally in the region and internationally. The existing airport has a capacity of 200,000 passengers a year.

The new terminal at Salalah Airport envisages an expansion of capacity to 1 million passengers annually by 2014.  The airport has been designed to allow for further expansions to cater for future demand growth to 2 and 6 million passengers annually when the demand is required.

 

 

Regional Airports

 

Ad Duqm Airport

Ad Duqm Airport is currently being built as part of a larger plan to set up a modern seaport in the south east of Oman. Ad Duqm is a site of potentially substantial investment and industrial development related to the oil shipping industry with a dry dock being built. The new airport is primarily expected to handle business and traffic but may also become part of the tourism industry. The coastal city of Ad Duqm is planned to be Oman’s next major industrial and shipping hub. The airport is expected to be operational by 2014.

Ras Al Hadd Airport

Ras Al Hadd Airport, located near the town Sur in the Sharqiya region aims to offer tourists the chance to avoid long road commutes from Muscat and is part of a larger plan for eco-tourism integrated projects such as the one related to the endangered Green Back turtles. The beaches at Ras Al Jinz are home to some of the rarest turtles in the world. These turtles may be observed in their natural habitat and this attracts thousands of visitors every year. 

The airport will compliment the development of a number of eco-tourist resorts along Oman’s eastern coast. A concentrated effort exists to develop the area in a manner consistent with luxury and eco-tourism which will attract selective tourists who have a specific interest in eco-tourism to Oman. The airport is expected to be operational by 2014.


Sohar Airport

Sohar Airport, about 10km northwest of Sohar will help avoid the 2 hour long drive from either Muscat or Dubai. Sohar and the wider Batinah region have in recent years attracted industrial and commercial infrastructure investments. Moreover, cargo to Sohar is expected to increase in volume due to expected congestion at Sultan Qaboos Port in Muscat. The airport will also serve as a new gateway for passenger, cargo and courier traffic in northern Oman and a domestic and emergency alternative to Muscat International Airport. 

The airport will add to a modern multimodal transport network that will fuel further economic growth in the Batinah region. The airport is expected to be operational by 2014.

 

Sea Port in Oman

Port Sultan Qaboos is Oman’s premier gateway for International Commerce. The location of Port Sultan Qaboos makes it an ideal gateway  to the Gulf Ports; On the path of the mainline routes; Savings in steaming time for ships; ideal for a Regional Hub; Gateway of Arabian Gulf to the International markets, more specifically to the markets in the Indian Subcontinent & Asia, East & South of the African Continent.

Port of Salalah

Port of Salalah is a world class transshipment hub in the West Central Asia Region. Situated right at the major East-West shipping lanes, Salalah enjoys an attractive strategic location in the heart of the Indian Ocean Rim and caters to some of the world’s largest ocean going vessels.

Port of Sohar

Port of Sohar is a deep sea port in the Middle East situated in the Sultanate of Oman, 220km northwest of its capital Muscat. The management of this industrial port lies with Sohar Industrial Port Company SAOC (SIPC), a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of Oman and the Port of Rotterdam.

Khasab Port

The importance of the port of Khasab in the proximity of the strategic Strait of Hormuz, has received considerable attention from the government to encourage commercial traffic in Musandam Governorate.

Shinas Port

Serves the port of Shinas local trade between the states of North Batinah in connection with fishing and trade of livestock and agricultural products has been developed for this purpose in 2002. 

Port of Duqm

The Port of Duqm is a sterling example of the powerful vision and foresight of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, it is all poised to be a busy port with dry docks and ship repair facilities and an industrial free zone with tremendous possibilities. 

Duqm’s development is also a blueprint for Oman’s bright future, which will see the development of an international airport, oil refinery, power plants etc.

 

 

Border Check Point

Oman shares land borders with the UAE, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, although at present it’s only possible to enter the country overland from the UAE, either via Buraimi/Al Ain, Khatmat Milahah or Hatta. There’s also a border between the UAE and the Musandam peninsula at Tibat . Border formalities at all four posts are straightforward, and citzens of most European, North American and Australasian countries can buy a visa on the spot . The whole process shouldn’t usually take more than fifteen to thirty minutes, although you might have to wait considerably longer during weekends and local holidays.

Border Check Point :

 

- Alwajajah

 

- Wadi Al Jizi

 

- Hafit 

 

- Khatmat Milaha

 

- Tibat 

 

- Al Mazunah

 

 

Getting around

There’s very little public transport in Oman. Buses will, at a pinch, get you between the main towns and cities, but to really see anything of the country you’ll need your own transport, either by signing up for a tour, hiring a guide-driver, or getting behind the wheel yourself.

By Car

Driving yourself is far and away the easiest way of getting around the country (for details of tour agencies providing cars with driver, see p.000). An extensive and ever- expanding network of modern roads now reaches most parts of the country and driving is largely straightforward, although not without a few challenges.

 

Standards of driving leave a certain amount to be desired, and the country’s level of road-traffic accidents and fatalities is depressingly high (albeit not quite as bad as in the neighbouring UAE). Drive defensively at all times, expect the unexpected and be prepared for some lunatic in a landcruiser to come charging down on you at 150km/h.

 

Vehicles drive on the right in Oman. The usual speed limits are 120km/h on dual-carriageway, 100km/h on single carriageway, and either 60km/h or 80km/h in built-up area. Cars are fitted with a speed alarm which will beep at you (irritatingly) when you reach 120km/h. A few of the main highways are monitored by speed-cameras.

 

Car-Hire

Car-hire is reasonably inexpensive. The international car-rental agencies can provide cars from around 13–15 OR per day, rising to around 35 OR for a 4WD. Local firms may be able to provide a vehicle for as low as 10 OR, although, obviously, such vehicles may not be in such good condition as those hired from a more reputable company. Collision-damage waiver costs around 2 OR per day – you may consider it money well spent for the extra peace of mind it gives you. Your national driving licence should be sufficient documentation, although if in doubt check in advance with the car-hire firm you intend renting from. Note that most car-rental firms won’t hire vehicles to those aged under 21. Petrol is extremely cheap by European standards, at roughly 20p per litre.

 

By Bus and Micro

All the major towns in the country are connected by bus. These will do at a pinch to get you between the country’s major towns and cities, but no more. Buses are mainly operated by the government-run Oman National Transport Company (ONTC; Wwww.ontcoman.com, along with a few private operators on the Muscat–Salalah route (see p.000).

 

By Taxi

Within larger towns, the easiest way of getting around is by taxi. These are easily recognizable thanks to their white and orange livery, and usually fairly easy to find – just flag down one at the roadside. All Omani taxis are unmetered, meaning that you’ll have to agree the fare before you set out – bargain hard. All taxi drivers are Omani (the profession is reserved for Omani nationals).

 

By Plane

There are only two domestic air services within Oman at present, between Muscat and Khasab in Musandam , and between Muscat and Salalah– both of which offer convenient alternatives to the long journey by road.

 

By Ferry

There is currently only one long-distance boat service in Oman: the high-speed ferry operated by the National Ferries Company (NFC). A new NFC service around the southern coast between the Khuriyah Muria islands, Shumwaymiyah and Hasik is also in the pipeline, scheduled to come into operation by 2013.

 

 

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