Planning on visiting Oman soon? Here’s what you need to know to ensure you have a more meaningful encounter with the Omani people and get the most out of your holiday.
Oman is a Muslim country so it is important to adhere to a modest dress code. In order to respect the local culture and customs we recommend that you wear loose fitting clothing as it also will be warm. Comfortable footwear for walking is advisable as is a sun hat.
This dress code applies to both women and men. By following the recommended dress code you will avoid encountering any issues or offend any of the locals ensuring that you get the most out of your experience. In public spaces, please refrain from wearing shorts and sleeveless tops except when at the hotel beach or by the pool. The general rule to follow is that clothing needs to cover shoulders, upper arms and fall below the knees. It is also not recommended to appear in public dressed in tight trousers, barebacked tops or low-cut clothing.
Whilst visiting a mosque it is important that you avoid wearing any sheer fabrics, short or tight clothing. All trousers and clothing have to be long with sleeves reaching the wrists. Women are required to wear a headscarf and cover their décolleté.
When swimming in public places such as beaches and wadis, please wear a t-shirt and shorts; this applies for both women and men.
If you wish to take photographs of Omanis, it is polite to ask the person beforehand if it is acceptable to do so. While children usually happily oblige, women may refuse especially if the photographer is male. Please be respectful of their privacy and considerate to their wishes. Best months for photography are November - April in the early, mid-morning or late afternoon. Use a UV and polarizing filter. Keep in mind that it is forbidden to photograph airports, military facilities and borders.
Smoking is prohibited in all closed public places such as shopping malls, hotel lobbies, restaurants, at most bars and on public transport.
Alcohol is not part of the Islamic culture and thus only served in licensed restaurants and hotels. Please do not drink alcohol in public or outside of these designated establishments. During the Holy Month of Ramadan alcohol is served at licensed hotels to in-house guests only and is available through a 24-hour room service. It is strictly forbidden at all times to drive under the influence, which is punished with 48 hours in prison.
In Ramadan it is not allowed to eat, drink or smoke in public. It is also advisable to refrain from swimming or sun bathing in wadis and on public beaches. Please be aware that most restaurants will be closed until just before sunset.