Eco-friendly travel guide to Oman advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Oman, Middle East, Asia.
- Air quality: X.X / 5
- Bus connections: X.X / 5
- Train connections: X.X / 5
- Hitchhiking: X.X / 5
- National parks: X.X / 5
- Outdoor activities: X.X / 5
- Locals' English level: X.X / 5
- Safety: X.X / 5
- Accommodation: US$XX - $XX
- Budget per day: US$XX - $XX
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Oman is officially known as Sultanate of Oman. It is a country in Arabian Peninsula. It is the oldest in Independent state in the Arab World. Oman is under the category of high-income country. This country has a population of 5,106,626 people. Arabic is the official language of Oman. This country is bordered by UAE to the northwest, Yemen to the Southwest and Saudi Arabia to the west. Oman is very famous for whale watching.
Rich history along with some oldest Mosques, forts and the natural fantastic thing about this city are known around the world. You may be able to witness many historical places like Mosques, forts, museums, busy flea markets and architectural building all round the country which is able to facilitate you to create your journey memorable. As an eco-friendly traveler always you have to remember few things like-
- Along with the conventional cuisines from popular restaurants, also ensure to undertake the road foods to urge the foremost effective food experience during your visit to this country. You’ll know and understand more about the culture with street foods.
- Instead of asking help from other transport services that pollute the country, try to choose the local and eco-friendly services like bi-cycle and eco-friendly bikes which might both save your money and help to remain the town safe from pollution.
- The coast of Arabian Sea makes it very soothing for travellers. So, always try to keep the beaches clean. Keeping the city clean is your duty to maintain.
Air Quality and Pollution
Air is the most important thing in life, especially when you are travelling to a new place. You’ll need to know if you want all precautions before visiting the town.
Oman goes through one of the hottest climates in the world Asia. It is moist and hot most of the time of the year. It witnesses very little rainfall on the month of June to September. Though the amount of rain is very low, Oman is very hot, but the mountain areas receive more rainfall.
In this season, if you don’t take proper precautions, you'd possibly get sun-stroke or allergies. It is better that you simply just go and visit a doctor and carry some medicines with you. It’ll facilitate your] trip to the country and protect you from any kind of problems.
Respect the Culture
The culture of the country is incredibly diverse; you may get to work out mainly three different sorts of religions in this country. Islam is the religion which is accepted by the majority of the people. Other than Islam there are Christians (6.5%), and Hindu (5.5%). There is also a gaggle of individuals who are professing no religion. Always try to explore each and every corner of the town to experience the culture and lifestyle of the local people. From foods to fashion, from the architecture to the landmarks, this country offers an awfully rich historical feeling you could have ever witnessed.
To know about a country, you have to understand their taste of food, their daily lives, past and historic moments and especially their music, art, and culture. Every country has its own charm and it attracts tourists to visit and enhance it more.
A few stuff you should detain in mind, that are:
- It is our duty to show respect to the cultures and their choices. The people might lead a very different kind of lifestyle compared to yours. So you have to ensure the fact that you should not be judgmental about them.
- We should learn some phrases of the local languages. The majority of the local people generally speak Arabic, which is their official language. But many people speak English, Baluchi, and Urdu keeping in mind the fact about their ethnic group. So, if you merely develop some very common ways to say thanks or to say hello or few common words in other languages aside from English, it might help you. The local people feel appreciated and revered and would become interested in talking to you.
- Try not to bargain while buying souvenirs and stuff or some native handmade products from the shops. These artisans are very hard-working and they deserve fair pay for their work.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Oman is very popular for its oil services throughout the world. Oman tourism has grown very famous within several years and became a very fast-growing destination of the Middle East Asia. United Nations Development Program praised Oman for being one of the most progressive countries in terms of development in the last 40 years.
Oman is very well known for the mosques, forts, and beaches. Here is a list of the top 10 places of Oman where you can go and make your trip a beautiful and memorable one-
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque: Sultan of Oman ordered to make this Mosque and it was built in 1992. The carpet which is spread inside is the largest carpet in the world. It has a big garden around the mosque and a fountain in front of the door. If you are non-Muslim you cannot go inside at the time of prayer. But this mosque is very beautiful from the outside as well as the inside. Various designs on the walls and large chandeliers depict the rich history of Oman.
- Al Mughsail Beach: It is a very popular yet tranquil beach in Oman. If you are a lover of silence, then this is the absolute place for you to visit. You can sit by the shore and enjoy the serene beauty of the sea and sky. There are a number of blowholes where you can see the force of nature in work. The water is turquoise in colour and you can see mountains in the background. Anyhow, the area is very nice to explore when you're in Oman.
- Wadi Dayquah Dam: A beautiful yet fascinating picnic spot where you can see the dam along with the view of the Oman Mountains. There are few restaurants and sitting benches to quench your thirst for viewing the beautiful dam. You can find some toilet accommodation for your sake. It is tranquil and serene and an excellent weekend visiting spot.
- Khasab Fort: This fort talks about the rich history of Oman. You can learn about the local culture, old and popular heritage histories of Oman about how it changes the lives about the people of the Arabic nation. This heritage shows the Portuguese influence of Defence mechanisms and how people of that time fought with the help of it. It is a very beautiful place to spend a couple of hours there.
- Al Alam Palace: This is the palace of Sultan Qaboo. You can walk up to the gate and there is a huge garden outside the palace. It is definitely a great place to visit while you’re in Oman. When the Omanese flag is up, it means the Sultan is inside. But you can take the help of a guide to know about the history of the palace. But you will surely be mesmerized by the well-maintained garden outside with colorful flowers.
- Nizwa Fort Oman: It was built long back and it was an Omani architectural building. Omani people used to live here in the ancient times. Artisans made their art on the wall of the fort. Each room of the fort has a historical and picturesque beauty of its own. There you can find some small gift shops, small shops for eat and drink and restrooms too around the fort.
- Wadi Shab Bridge: It is one of the most visited places in Oman. This bridge is built over a canyon where you can swim and reach the end point. If you cannot swim, a boat riding option is also available in the area. This area gets closed in the evening, so you have to visit early or in the afternoon to feel the magic of the scenario.
- Jebel Akhdar: Oman does not disappoint the mountain lovers. Jebel Akhdar Mountain is proof to that. This mountain is steep but the road to reach the viewpoint is smooth and you can drive on your own. This rises on a height of 2,980m above sea level and a must-visit place in Oman.
- Royal Opera House: If you are in love with Opera. This is a must-visit for you. Travelling to Oman and listening to the Opera is a sure thing you should do. It makes better if you get a guide, so that he might tell you the inception about the opera building. There are plenty of coffee shops at the complex so that you can enjoy your Opera House trip.
- Daymaniyat Island Nature Reserve: If you are in Muscat while travelling to Oman, this is a must visit for you. The beach is beautiful and serene. You can swim and spend some time with your family. The water is very clear so you might get to see fishes and small turtles too. The clear water with such natural view makes your Oman trip memorable.
Now when it involves exploring the town, then you have got to go to other places also. Those places don't constitute the aforementioned ones as they're totally different. If you wish to grasp about them, then here they're mentioned below.
- Al Khuwair Park: This city park is situated in Muscat, Oman. This park is very clean and good to walk around in the morning or evening. There is a kid’s play area in the centre of the park and well maintained rose garden inside. You can hire a cycle to roam around the park. This city park is very beautiful and clean to spend some quality time.
Oman has only one famous National Park.
- Al Saleel National Park: It is a National Park, situated on the North-eastern side of Oman. This is safe and people are widely recognizing Oman for its forests and natural beauties. It is very famous amongst the tourists. This national park is situated in the Sharqiyah region. This forest area is covered mostly by acacia trees. If you are lucky enough you can get to see the Omani cats, red fox, Arabian gazelle, and the Egyptian eagle, etc.
- Al Mughsail Beach: It is one of the two primary beaches of Oman. If you enjoy the silence and a tranquil atmosphere, then this is the absolute place for you to visit. You can sit by the shore and enjoy the serene beauty of the sea and sky. There are a number of blowholes where you can see the force of nature in work. The water is turquoise in colour and you can see mountains in the background. Watching the sunset while riding the boat is a divine feeling you could ever have. It is sandy but clean and you can relax and enjoy your trip.
- The National Museum of Oman: This museum is a gem on its own, built back in 2013 and serving the cultural and heritage history of Oman proudly. The artifacts and posters inside talks about the story of two million years ago till the present day. It is beautiful from the outside as well as from the inside. Photos are not allowed inside the museum, so you have to buy the postcards from the inside.
There are about 11 museums in the country of Oman. Every museum is based in different towns or cities in Oman. The important and popular are-
- Bait Al Zubair: This museum presents the Omani culture, its heritage with proper explanation. From musical instruments to stamps, coins, accessories, clothes everything showcases the rich history of Oman. There is also a modern art section where you can see the architectural recreations and beautiful photographs. This is very popular amongst the tourists.
- Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum: This museum focuses on the war background basically. The used vehicles in war, guns, vessels, and tanks are shown here. All the military artifacts and hardware are displayed in the museum. The smaller equipment are exhibiting inside like guns and other arms used during the war. Kids can walk around and play inside. Outside exhibits photography is allowed but restricted inside.
Apart from these, there are more museums like children’s museum, oil and gas corporation museum, natural museums there to visit on your trip to Oman.
To know about a country or city’s culture, heritage, and local people, you have to understand about their eating habits. Eating is the most sincere thing before you visit a place. Not only you should go and visit the restaurants, but also you should try the local street foods from the shops out there. Asian countries, especially Oman has their famous foods called Majboos or Kabsa, Mashuai, dates, Shuwa, etc. There are various types of restaurants, like French, Chinese, seafood items and Asian, etc. You can go visit cafes and vegetarian restaurants as well.
Traditional Local Restaurant
Traditional restaurants are the primary place to eat and taste some authentic local foods. There are plenty of good restaurants that might provide you the best service. Like-
- Bait Al Luban Omani Restaurant: The best traditional Omani restaurant. It will be better if you book the table from before. This is famous for Shuha which is a slow-cooked lamb recipe loved by every customer. They provide Frankincense water which is complementary. They also provide Arabic coffee and dates at the breakfast which is also a complimentary item in their menu. Their foods are very flavourful and customers like this traditional restaurant so much.
- Ginger: This restaurant is very popular for its ambiance and food. It is situated inside a tropical garden. It is open; like a large veranda and the sitting arrangements are very pleasant. There is air-conditioned seating area is also available. This restaurant is mainly based on some Seafood dishes but they have other traditional and international dishes too in their addition. This place is famous for its appetizer and desserts. This might be a nice place to visit the country, especially for Muscat.
Vegetarian or Vegan
People are very conscious about their food choices these days. They prefer vegetarian foods over non-vegetarians. Any kind of Indian or preferably Mediterranean vegan food options is here in Oman. Local restaurants have the options of vegan or vegetarian foods.
- Woodlands: This is amongst the vegetarian and vegan options popular in Oman. You can get non-veg options too. This restaurant is popular for the best south-Indian foods. The ambiance is also very preferable by people. Here you can have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options separately. The ambiance is very nice and the staffs are very co-operative.
Street food is a must-try while visiting a new country. A country’s history, food choices are there in the street food. There are a lot of famous street foods in Oman like Falafel, Shawarma, Mishkak, Omani Bread, etc. There are two famous street food shops you must try, these are-
- The Beach Restaurant: This is a restaurant which is famous for street foods. You can get falafel here. Falafel is very famous amongst the local people of Oman. Falafel is kind of a wrap. It is crispy and delicious from inside to outside. It is kind of an Arabic bread stuffed with mayonnaise, lettuce, and other kebabs.
- Chulha, Indian Restaurant: It is more likely to an Indian street food restaurant. Though they serve authentic Indian foods and Asian foods; their Shawarma rolls are very famous here. It is preferable to the local people and them likely to recommend the tourists too.
Healthy choices will facilitate your health to remain healthy and slot in the foreign city and one in all them is selecting organic food. Organic foods are one of the simplest ways to stay active and energetic throughout the day. It’s the healthier choice which will assist you to hide the various places of town very comfortably. Oman has one Organic café over here in the name of Café Bateel- Al Mouj. This restaurant provides some organic items like pasta and noodles. More people are going towards the organic stuff; they are improving their lists too for the tourist attraction. It is hoped that you might get some organic café over here soon.
Trying some drinks and refreshments are very important while visiting a country. You should try some local drinks to refresh your mood rather than having some English beer or whiskeys. In Asia, wine and local beer are very famous. But if you want you can try drinks as per your choice. There are plenty of options in the section on soft drinks. It is better if you get some local guy to taste their authentic local beverages. Seafood items are very famous in some of the restaurants.
Plenty of bars are there in Oman. People generally love beer as a mode of their refreshments because the country’s temperature is high all the time. Beer is a very popular drink, so does whiskey. They like wine as a mode of their popular beverages. You might find some bars that sell local beer or drinks. Restaurants like Siddharth Lounge-Buddha bar, Wet Deck, Living Room and many more serve drinks with food.
You can find a local guy who will help you to visit the places where wine and beer are made. You might acquire few ideas about the making processes together with paid or free testing of the beer or wine for free.
Tap water is quite safe in Oman. The Sultanate authority looks after the water supply and they ensure the tap water to be safe for drinking. Still, you can buy some sterilization tablets or you should boil water before drinking. In restaurants, you should ask for mineral water too. As every time buying packaged water and drinking them might be cost-effective so you should carry your own water bottles with you.
Omanis people are very active in their field of activities. They are very effortlessly doing all the stuffs. Oman has three yoga and meditation center for local people and visitors. These areas are very much active and filled with people. Oman is safe if you take a bicycle and go for a ride into Muscat city. People are very much into activities like in-store cleaning, house activities or market activities, etc. You might sneak into some yoga center in exchange for a very little amount of money. They have trained yoga trainers and meditation trainers to teach you with other local people.
Asana Yoga Studio and Yama Yoga Studio Muscat are the two most famous yoga and meditation centers in the city. People take admission to keep them fit and fine.
While you are travelling to a country or city, the first thing you should keep in your mind is accommodation. Where will you stay, how much money you are spending is the first effective thing during the trip. In Oman, you will get multiple options for good hotels, green hostels, apartments, etc for staying. You might get some budget hotels too if you search for them properly. As an eco-friendly traveller you should think of green hotels or hotels that are using recycled kinds of stuff to help the environment grow easily.
Green Oasis Hotel in Oman is the only green hotel you can get while travelling there. Slowly government is focusing on the green house projects to make sure not to cause any harm to the environment. Hopefully, it will be done in few years.
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you’re travelling alone, hostels are the best options for staying. It is very cost effective and you might get to meet many people from different countries out there. Teena Rooms and Tima Sunrise Motel are some very popular hostels that might give you the best service. From cheap to high prices, you can get hostels and make your trip a memorable one.
Local apartments are very good for staying and give you the feel of living like a local. Several local people are there to rent their apartments. They provide you food if you want to order them. Local people are very humble and willing to receive tourists. You get to know about their lifestyle, heritage history and many stories about their country and city.
Couch surfing might be a good idea to stay within the city without ruining your budget for accommodation. It’s a community of travellers that permit other travellers to stay in their own house and help them on the tour. Staying with one or every one of the local people will facilitate your to find out about their lifestyle and culture of the country.
You'll be witnessing nature, trees, mountains and wildlife etc that may facilitate you to enjoy your stay within the city. Because the city is surrounded by beaches, you may be ready to do all the water adventure while staying within the camp at night.
Getting There and Moving Around
Knowing the various ways to urge to your destination is extremely important before going out for the journey. Generally, there are many various options available to succeed in the country from any other countries or cities. But which one is that the best for you to rely upon money, time, home country and plenty of various things. However, the majority opt out to surpass air facility because it is the fastest route to reach the town from other countries.
Oman as a country has 10 airports in total. But Muscat International Airport is the largest airport in Oman. It is situated in Muscat, the capital city of Oman. All the airports help the exports and imports inside the country. It also carries passengers from different countries too. Airports are very helpful in growing the business and deals that Oman does with other foreign countries.
The bus is the cheapest way to travel round the city and finds the simplest experience of the journey. You may be ready to catch lots of buses to the present city if you're travelling from any cities inside the country.
Bus stands to bus terminals, all options are available during this city which will facilitate your to induce plenty of buses to achieve there. There are more than thousands of commercial vehicles in Oman. The road trips are best by taking public transport like a bus. There is an intercity bus service called Mwasalat.
Oman does not have any train services or rail infrastructures. But the government is taking steps for making it. They are planning to link Buraimi to the UAE border and Sohar together. Gulf Railway has kept a proposal for the Railway infrastructure.
If you wish, you can hitchhike with one of the travellers going to Oman via the road system. However, for safety purposes, it is best to take proper precautions when choosing a person you can travel with. Public transport, of course, is a much more reliable choice.
There are many other ways of travelling around the city but some are more tedious and time-consuming than others. However, if you're trying to find a distinct kind of adventure on your way to town, then it will be possible to take the assistance of four-wheelers, motorbikes, or electronic vehicles to go via road transport. Moving around to each corner of the town is extremely important if you wish to find out everything about the local people. From famous spots to hidden treasures, you'll get to learn all the various things alright by on the move the town.
- Walk- Walking is the commonest way of travelling in a new city. It takes a lot of your time to walk around the town and mesmerizes everyone with their heritages. It supports you to induce the most effective experience within the city and witness the culture. You'll be able to comprehend the tradition, heritage, culture and lots of other things while roaming around the streets or visiting the markets.
- Bicycle- Oman is that the city of bi-cycling. Everyone prefers bi-cycle than the other transportation. You'll be able to rent a bicycle very easily from local renting services both offline and online. It's better to book them online before visiting the city. Also, confirm to ask your hotel guesthouse, apartment about bicycles as there are many hotels that give them free to their customers.
- Electronic Vehicles- When it involves polluting nature, vehicles and motorcycles are the foremost contributing ones. But all of them are require fuel, which is the main reason behind pollution. So, you'll be able to choose electronic vehicles to explore the town without polluting the environment. Taking the fuel vehicles pollutes nature, so you might take help of electronic vehicles over here in Oman. It does not pollute nature but helps you to fulfill your travel costs cut short and reach you to your destination.
- Public Bus- The bus is quite a common transportation for the local people during this city and it's relatively exploring and an inexpensive method too. All the buses stop at the famous tourist spots to help out the travellers. Many tourists or travellers like better to choose a bus to explore the town rather than cabs despite the similarities, while many of them copulate for money. But riding on a bus is a wise idea because you encounter a lot of local people and have a conversation to know more about the city or the country.
Every food lover hunts for food markets while visiting another place. The raw authenticity of local dishes together with the simplest crunchy foods will facilitate your mood to induce a lifetime memory during this city. You may be able to find multiple food markets within the city which will facilitate your to urge every kind of food.
- Muscat Food Market: It is a cheap and popular food market in Oman. Here you can get a variety of chocolates, ice creams, cake, pastries, etc, and other food items. Here you can buy handmade chocolates from stores and many local items too.
Oman has two flea markets to buy some handmade jewellery, handcrafts items food, etc. This market is very popular among the local people so they advise tourists to visit the market too. It is in Muscat and very cheap compared to other shops in Oman. You should come here and buy something to remind you of this trip. The two most popular flea markets are-
- Mutrah Souk
- Niazwa Souk
As mentioned earlier, travellers round the world are adopting the matter of second-hand goods. As an eco-friendly traveller, purchasing second-hand goods will facilitate you to avoid wasting lots of cash and also get the town free from waste. It'll reduce the waste together with helping out the local people. You can buy garments, goods, jewelleries over here and actually the prices are very cheap.
Eco-fashion is another way of fashion you just can try out while keeping the ambiance of the city clean and reduce the amount of wastage. In eco-fashion, most of the fashions are made using different methods which are eco-friendly. You might able to see various works that give an identical end in the utilization of chemicals.
The eco-fashion scene in Oman isn't as developed as in other countries. You might get some great options after you shop from local stores especially clothes made by local artisans.
The city is incredibly well-known for its beaches and mountains adjacent to it. However, recycling remains needed to create the place unpolluted. Localities are spreading awareness about recycling things and motivating people by campaigning.
The Government is creating a lot of initiatives that may facilitate your to urge town clear and clean. While travelling to Oman, you wish to remember the city’s environment and sustain all the recycling processes to assist them in their plan of keeping the city clean.
According to the report, Oman is considered to be Central Asia's most progressive nation and is known for its protected parkland which makes up more than 10% of its area.
The country is also said to be noted for its undiscovered mountain ranges, white-sand beaches, rushing rivers and ethereal landscapes ensured that the cleanliness level of the Omanese capital is similar to that encountered in any major Western metropole.
Work and Study Abroad
Education in Oman is based on the Arabic education system. Under the education act, it is compulsory for students of age 6 to go to school. All the school charges are provided for free till secondary education. Not only that, there are eleven universities in Oman but also that helps students to grow in their education. The University of Technology and Applied Sciences is one of the famous and most popular universities in Oman. Sultan Qaboos University is another interesting university that attracts students to learn the subjects, especially Arabic.
The exchange programs the students is one of the nice conveniences that help the students coming from different countries to study in Oman. There are several universities to choose from the popular university within the country that provides permutation of students to other universities of different countries. Oman is very famous for its education in Forestry, so students from different corners of the world are showing an interest in the education system.
It does not matter if you're within the city for employment or studying, having employment will facilitate your plenty within the primary stage. It's one of the simplest services available for people who help them to earn some money and acquire a shelter while searching for jobs. Both students and folks who are trying to find employment can use the outlander service by searching for them online. There are many noncitizen jobs available within Oman. Some local connections might help you to get a job as a part-timer to earn some extra money for yourself.
Volunteering is actually the best options if you want to explore the spare time you have in your hand. There are many volunteer jobs available within the city that you just can like better to do including taking care of the religious places, cleaning the streets, or teaching the local kids, etc. You can work for any shops or taking care of customers. If you can make some local people known to you, they might help you in this case.