Oman Business Travel Guide

Oman Flag

The Oman Business Travel Guide provides an array of useable travel tools and resources to assist business travellers. The guide contains facts on Oman, visa information, business customs, useful tips and other resources. An appreciation and understanding of other cultures, languages, customs and etiquette can be of great help to business travellers and give a real advantage to ensuring a successful business trip.

Oman is located on the south eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East. The country has a high income economy with a number of business opportunities, the largest sectors of the economy include oil exports and tourism. It is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), United Nations and World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Major trading partners include Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Oman shares borders with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the north and west, Saudi Arabia to the west, Yemen to the south west, to the north east and east is the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

The country includes plenty of coastline with beaches, mountains, lowlands and semi-desert regions. Famous attractions include the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Royal Opera House Muscat, Sultan's Armed Forces Museum, Jebel Akhdar, Omani French Museum, Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre, Sharqiya Sands, Nizwa Fort, Bahla Fort and Jabrin Castle.

Oman Guide

Quick Facts on Oman
Oman Travel Advice
Visa Requirements
Business Customs and Etiquette
Travel Advice and Tips
Public Holidays
Oman Map
Oman Weather & Climate

Quick Facts on Oman

Country: Oman (Sultanate of Oman)

Capital: Muscat

Currency: Omani Rial (1 rial = 1000 baiza)

Population: 2.9 Million (UN, 2012)

Area total: 212,500 sq km

Languages: Arabic (Official), English (business)

Time Zone: GMT +4

Electricity: 220-240V 50Hz

Dialling Code: 968

GDP: USD 79.66 billion (World Bank, 2013)

Religion: Predominately Muslim.

Political System: Monarchy

Internet Domain: .om

Oman Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers travellers useful advice when travelling to Oman. You can find more information on entry requirements for Oman, advice on local laws and customs, health considerations, useful tips on safety and security and the address and contact details of the British Embassy in Oman. The information is updated on a regular basis making it a useful resource for both business and leisure travellers when searching for the latest travel advice and information on Oman. For more information please see: Oman Travel Advice

Visa Requirements

Visas can be granted on arrival for short term visits for citizens of the UK, many European counties, Canada, USA and other selected countries. Other nationalities not on the selected list have to ensure they arrive in Oman with a valid visa. Visa requirements are subject to change with changes in requirements and rules for further information please see: Oman Visa Requirements

Business Customs and Etiquette

Business meetings should be arranged in advance, business dress is conservative and both men and women are advised to wear conservative, non-revealing clothing. Greetings are usually with a handshake, business cards are then exchanged. There are a relatively small number of business people with controlling interests in many industries, so it is advisable to try to establish a good business relationship with them.

Business is done with people that are respected and trusted this can take some time to build up and it can take several trips before this is established. People should be addressed with their correct titles and would need to wait for the hosts to initiate a move to first names. Decisions can take some time to be reached, a degree of patience may be required. Within business and commercial circles English is widely spoken interpreters are available should they be required.

Travel Advice and Tips

Most trips to Oman for both business visitors and tourists go ahead each year without incident. There is a relatively low risk of crime in the country, however you should be aware of some incidents of robbery and ensure that your valuables are not in public view. You should maintain vigilance at all times and ensure you are full aware of your surrounds and environment. It is advisable to wear conservative clothing to avoid any unwanted attentions and you should be aware of local holidays and religious holidays where businesses can be closed or operate under shorter hours. During Ramadan it is considered impolite to eat, drink or smoke in public.

Travel Checklist: See our Packing & Travel Checklist containing useful tips and reminders to ensure you have everything you will need on your trip.

Travel Vaccinations: It is recommended you check with your GP for advice on any travel vaccinations up to eight weeks before you travel. For more information and advice on travel vaccinations please see the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Tipping: If service charge is not included usually around 10-15%

Hours of Business:

For Businesses:
08.00 to 13.00 then 15.30 to 18.30 Saturday to Thursday
Some businesses are open 08.30 to 13.00 then 15.00 to 17.30 Saturday to Wednesday

For Shops
08.00 to 13.00 then 16.00 to 18.00 Saturday to Wednesday
08.00 to 13.00 Thursdays

For Banks:
08.00 to 12.00 Saturday to Wednesday
08.00 to 11.30 Thursday

NOTE: During Ramadan opening hours are subject to change. Many Shops may stay open later than the general guideline hours outlined above.

Public Holidays

Public Holidays (2015):

January 1: New Year’s Day
January 3: Milad un Nabi
May 16: Leilat al-Meiraj
July 18: Eid al-Fitr
July 23: Renaissance Day
September 23: Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
October 13: Islamic New Year
Nov 18: National Day

Oman Map

Muscat Map, Oman

View Larger Map

Oman Weather & Climate

Oman's is located in the Middle East and like much of the region experiences largest dry and hot weather for most of the year. Although climatic conditions do vary across the country, the Dhofar region in the south has the south west monsoon from June and September resulting in higher rainfall and lower temperatures than the rest of the country.

For much of Oman the best time to visit is between October and April when it is sunny and warm and a bit cooler at night. During May to August is can be very hot, humid and dry. Oman can be visited at most times of the year although for those that dislike extreme heat the May to August is best avoided. The heat and humidity means it is important to stay properly hydrated to avoid dehydration.

Lightweight cotton and linen clothing can be warn throughout the year; can get very hot and humid in summer, plenty of hydration, sunscreen and sun hat are needed. Extra layers are needed if visiting mountains. Visitors need to be aware of local customs and sensitivities and ensure they wear modest and conservative clothing.

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