Why should I never visit Muscat
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Before unnecessary, tourist trips to Oman will be currently warned.
Oman was badly affected by COVID-19, but the number of new infections has fallen. Oman is classified as an area with a particularly high risk of infection (high incidence area) until May 22, 2021. With effect from May 23, 2021, Oman is classified as a risk area.
The Omani Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.
Until further notice, entry is only permitted to Omani nationals and foreigners with a residence permit in Oman (“residents”). All land borders are closed to entry and exit into the sultanate until further notice.
Foreigners with a valid residence permit cannot re-enter Oman if they have been outside the country for more than 180 days and must apply for a new visa to enter.
Passengers must present a negative PCR test in English or Arabic prior to departure, which must not be older than 72 hours prior to the scheduled arrival time. Furthermore, travelers have to register on the website of the Omani Ministry of Health and pay 25 OMR for the mandatory PCR test upon arrival. The Tarassud + app from the Omani Ministry of Health must also be installed on the mobile phone.
All travelers, even for short stays, must be in institutional quarantine for at least seven days, which is monitored with the tracking bracelet. The cost of institutional quarantine must be borne by the person entering the country; isolation in quarantine at home is not permitted. The institutional quarantine can be carried out in all hotels in Oman - as far as they offer it. Entrants over the age of 60 and children traveling alone up to the age of 18 are currently exempt from the institutional quarantine. Current information and a list of the planned quarantine hotels are available from the Omani Center of Relief and Shelter Operations (Tel. 00968- 24994265/24994266/24994267).
All travelers who are subject to institutional quarantine must book accommodation in a hotel or institutional quarantine facility in advance online via the "Sahala" platform. Airlines are required to ensure that passengers have a confirmed Sahala booking.
On the eighth day, the quarantine can be ended with a further negative PCR test or it must be continued until the 14th day. A stay of less than seven days is currently not possible and you can leave Oman at the earliest after a stay of at least seven days and a negative PCR test on the eighth day.
All travelers have to present proof of one-month health insurance coverage, which also includes treatment costs in the event of a COVID-19 infection, upon entry. Oman Air currently offers COVID-19 insurance cover, which can be booked with the flight ticket for all flights up to December 31, 2021. For more information on insurance requirements, travelers can contact Oman Air.
Children under 15 years of age are exempt from the PCR test when entering the country and wearing the armband.
Transit and onward travel
In principle, people with a valid residence permit for Oman can pass through and onward in the region, provided they comply with the COVID-19 preventive measures.
Regular international passenger air traffic was resumed under certain conditions. Public transport, including buses, is restricted between Muscat and a few larger provincial cities.
Restrictions in the country
Public life is still restricted. Commercial activities with customer traffic are generally prohibited between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., public parks and numerous sports facilities (including fitness studios) are closed, and assembly bans exist for the public and private areas as well as on beaches. The number of visitors is limited in various facilities (e.g. shops, shopping malls, restaurants).
Shopping centers and shops are open subject to conditions and admission controls. There is a general obligation to wear mouth and nose protection in public, especially in shops and at work. Compliance with the measures and prohibitions is strictly controlled by the Omani police and punished for violations.
Please keep an eye on the local media regarding the closings of the air, land and sea borders.
Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
- Find out about detailed measures and additional information from the Omani police and install the Tarrasud + app from the popular app stores.
- In the event of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected people, contact the nearest health facility or call the call center at + 968-24441999 at the Omani Ministry of Health.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
- When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, proof and, if necessary, quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, and if you are entering from a risk area, contact the health department of your stay or Place of residence. Further information can be found in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
In the border area of the triangle formed by Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Oman, attacks from the conflict region of Yemen and travel restrictions can occur. Increased roadside checks by the police and the military are to be expected.
- Avoid the immediate border region to Yemen and heed the travel warning for Yemen.
- Always follow the instructions of local security personnel.
The crime rate and the risk of violent crime are very low. Robbery and theft occur particularly in places frequented by tourists.
- Use the usual caution.
- Keep vehicle doors and windows closed and do not leave them unattended.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
There is still a risk of pirate attacks and capture off the coast. Ships deep in the Arabian Sea are still at risk of being attacked and hijacked. Despite international efforts to curb piracy, the number of pirate attacks remains high; effective protection cannot be guaranteed.
- As a skipper in the endangered waters, you should be particularly careful and register with the Maritime Security Center.
Nature and climate
There is a very dry desert climate, on the coasts with high humidity. Heavy rains and floods can occur, especially in winter. Wadis can then quickly turn into raging rivers.
Tropical cyclones can hit the Omani coasts from the Indian Ocean and, with storms and heavy rain, cause floods and landslides and consequently damage the infrastructure and disrupt travel.
Dangerous ocean currents lead to tragic drowning accidents on the coasts.
- Track weather reports and warnings such as those from the Public Authority for Civil Aviation.
- In the event of a storm warning, please note the information on hurricanes abroad.
- Leave wadis as soon as possible in the event of severe weather warnings.
- Always observe prohibitions, signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
- Do not let children play unsupervised on beaches.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
The roads are mostly in good condition. Measured against the low population density and the vastness of the country, the traffic accident rate is relatively high, even with a fatal outcome.
Driving over longer distances, especially on the 1000 km long route between Muscat and Salalah, which leads over long distances through monotonous desert landscapes, are often underestimated. Speeding is the order of the day, especially outside of the cities. Trunk roads sometimes run on elevated dams because of the risk of flooding. Other roads can quickly become impassable due to flooding.
When driving outside of the greater Muscat area, there is an increased risk of accidents, especially in the dark, also due to camels roaming free. In remote regions, it can take several hours for an emergency ambulance to arrive.
Against the background of the current situation in Yemen, increased roadside checks by the police / military can be expected when driving overland throughout the Sultanate of Oman.
Rental cars are not always adequately insured, especially for occupant protection. For trips to the United Arab Emirates, the insurance must also be valid there.
There are strict traffic controls. Traffic violations such as speeding, using a cell phone and driving in danger zones (e.g. in dry rivers when there is a risk of flooding) can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment.
Hiking trails both in the mountains and in the wadis are largely unsecured and can prove to be extremely dangerous. Even hikes to popular tourist destinations (Wadi Shab, Wadi Bani Khalid, etc.) can sometimes lead through terrain that is so steep or sloping that even a small carelessness in the wrong place can be fatal.
- Always drive defensively and with foresight in traffic.
- Pay attention to insurance conditions when renting a car.
- On long desert tours, pay attention to the usual precautionary measures, take regular breaks and plan overnight stays in good time.
- Avoid driving outside of Muscat in the dark.
- If possible, take trips into the desert, wadis and mountains with a tour operator, always to several people with at least one other off-road vehicle and with an ample supply of gasoline and drinking water. Bring appropriate emergency equipment (first aid, mobile phone, winch, provisions) and location equipment (GPS if possible) with you.
- For off-road tours, you should leave the route and the expected time of return at the hotel or with the host.
- Be especially careful when hiking in wadis.
Even if the German driver's license is generally sufficient for tourists to rent a rental car, an international driver's license is recommended, but it is only valid in conjunction with the German driver's license. An Omani driver's license is required for stays of more than three months.
Special rules of conduct / Ramadan
During the fasting month of Ramadan, restrictions in everyday life (e.g. during the day restaurants outside the hotels being closed, reduced working hours at the authorities) and increased sensitivity in religious matters and in questions of respecting Islamic traditions can be expected. Eating, drinking and smoking in public are also prohibited for non-Muslims. A corresponding decree by the Ministry of Religions also obliges people to wear discreet clothing that covers the body.
Homosexual acts are punishable by law in Oman. Condemned people can even face the death penalty. Same-sex marriages are not recognized.
Possession, importation and trafficking in (illegal) drugs are strictly punishable under criminal law. The death penalty is imposed on drug trafficking.
Alcohol consumption is also strictly forbidden and punishable by non-Muslims in public (e.g. on public beaches).
Importing painkillers, hallucinogenic drugs, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs without a multilingual medical certificate can be considered a criminal offense, as a number of these drugs are considered illegal drugs in Oman and their possession and importation is a criminal offense.
As a rule, one can photograph religious sites from the outside; but this should not be done while there is prayer or when believers are at the place of worship. In general, people should not be photographed without being asked.
Police, military and border stations as well as soldiers and police officers may not be photographed.
The import and use of drones requires the express prior approval of the Omani authorities. In the event of a violation, there is a risk of seizure, prosecution and arrest.
The use of VPN networks is controlled and can lead to prosecution.
The export of cultural goods - including geological, archaeological or maritime finds - is a criminal offense.
Violations of the Omani traffic rules can lead to a provisional arrest.
In the case of traffic accidents with personal injury, an arrest is made with the retention of the passport. Depending on the value of the damage, this is also possible in the event of property damage. The prerequisite for the release from prison or the return of the withheld passport by the Omani police is basically the clarification of the question of guilt. Legal proceedings that may be required for this may take some time.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the Rial Omani (OMR). Withdrawing cash from ATMs and paying with credit cards are possible in many places.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes, but see notes
- Identity card: No
- Provisional identity card: No
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
All travel documents must be valid for six months after entry.
In the past, holders of temporary German passports were refused to take them on flights to Oman in individual cases. Further and binding information on entering Oman can only be given by the Oman Embassy in Berlin
German citizens need a visa to enter Oman. Since the opening of the new international airport in Muscat in March 2018, this has generally been required as an e-Visa with the Royal Oman Police and can only be applied for in exceptional cases upon entry.
According to information from the Omani Foreign Ministry, German citizens can enter the country without a visa for up to 14 days under the following conditions:
- Submission of a return flight ticket, hotel reservation, comprehensive Covid-19 health insurance as well as proof of sufficient financial means for the duration of the stay.
- An extension of the stay beyond 14 days is not possible with a visa-free entry. In the event of late departure, a fine of 10 OMR per day will be charged.
- It is not possible to start work with a visa-free entry.
- Rejection at the border is possible.
If the intended tourist stay is longer than 14 days, tourist visas for stays of up to 30 days and up to a year, in each case for multiple entries, can be applied for prior to entry.
Business people who can document their regular business trips to Oman can also obtain a visa for stays of up to three months and a usage period of up to one year.
Passengers and crew members of cruise ships are exempt from the visa requirement, e.g. when going ashore for stays of a maximum of 48 hours.
Further information can be obtained from the Embassy of Oman in Berlin and the Omani police and Oman Airports.
Visa before entry (eVisa)
Applying for the e-Visa is recommended for all travelers. There may be different higher fees when using other websites.
Visa on entry ("on arrival")
The issuing of a visa for tourists upon entry is only possible in exceptional cases as a substitute at the airport, at the Travelex Foreign Exchange counter against payment of Omani Rial (OMR) or foreign currency. Waiting times are to be expected.
No visa is required for transit at Muscat International Airport if you have a fully booked ticket for the onward flight and you do not leave the international transit area.
Air travelers in transit wishing to leave Muscat International Airport require a single-entry visa.
Entry from and on to Qatar
There is a government agreement between Oman and Qatar on the issuing of joint visas. German air travelers who travel directly from Doha / Qatar to Muscat do not need a visa for Oman, provided they are in possession of a special visa issued in Qatar that includes a permit to visit Oman and is valid for at least one month.
Entry from and onward travel to the United Arab Emirates
German citizens need a valid visa to enter from the United Arab Emirates. This is issued at the land border or at the airport or can be applied for in advance as an e-Visa. When leaving Oman for the United Arab Emirates, please note that a one-time visa issued for Oman does not entitle you to re-enter Oman, but rather a new visa is required. In addition, the visa requirements of the United Arab Emirates must be observed.
Entry from and on to Yemen
The current travel warning for Yemen is expressly pointed out. When leaving Oman for Yemen, please note that a one-time visa issued for Oman does not entitle you to re-enter Oman, but rather a new visa is required. The land re-entry visa cannot be issued at border crossings.
As a precaution, minors traveling alone or with one parent should carry a declaration of consent from their parents in English and / or Arabic.
All luggage carried is screened on arrival and can also be thoroughly searched. Only items for personal use may be imported duty-free.
When importing painkillers as well as hallucinogenic drugs, antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs. a multilingual medical certificate from the attending physician should be carried with you.
It is forbidden to import fresh food, especially pork products, and more than two bottles of alcohol (max. Two liters) as well as revealing magazines, pornography and weapons.
Video cassettes and films can be confiscated by customs and may only be picked up again after the censorship authority has sifted through and made objectionable areas unrecognizable.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany. When entering from a yellow fever area or staying for more than 12 hours in transit through a yellow fever area, all persons aged 9 months and over must provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination. Oman itself is not a yellow fever infection area. When entering from a country with a risk of spreading poliomyelitis (polio), a polio vaccination is mandatory.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute up to date.
- We recommend hepatitis A travel vaccinations, and hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies for long-term stays or special exposure.
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
- The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
This from Aedes- Mosquito-borne virus infection has rarely been reported in the Muscat area in recent years. The disease is usually accompanied by fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs. In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see also information sheet on dengue fever.
- To avoid dengue fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.
Malaria is transmitted by crepuscular and nocturnal Anopheles mosquitoes. According to its own information, the country is malaria-free. There is minimal risk in Dakhliyah, north of Batinah, and north and south of Sharqiyah. In most cases, however, these are imported individual cases, see Standing Committee on Travel Medicine (StAR) of the DTG. Under normal conditions (travel duration up to 4 weeks, hotel accommodation with air conditioning, informed and prudent traveler), drug-based malaria prophylaxis is not recommended.
HIV / AIDS
In international comparison, Oman has a low HIV / AIDS rate with a prevalence of less than 0.1%. However, there is a fundamental risk of HIV transmission through sexual contact, drug use (unclean syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions.
- Always use condoms, especially on casual acquaintances.
Diarrheal illnesses are common travel illnesses, see also the information sheet on diarrheal illnesses. However, through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene, most diarrheal diseases and also cholera (see below) can be avoided. Therefore, to protect your health, please observe the following basic information:
- Only drink water of safe origin, never tap water. A previously opened bottle can be identified more easily by purchasing carbonated bottled water.
- If possible, use drinking water to wash dishes and brush your teeth when you are out and about.
- If bottled water is not available, use filtered, disinfected, or boiled water.
- Cook or peel food yourself.
- Make sure you keep flies away from your food.
- Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, but always before preparing and eating.
- If possible, disinfect your hands with liquid disinfectant.
MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome)
This infectious disease has been causing occasional severe respiratory diseases, primarily in countries of the Arabian Peninsula, since 2012. The cause is a coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which differs from the pathogen in Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2). Camels appear to be involved in transmission to humans. Transmissions from person to person only occurred when there was very close contact with the sick, see the MERS coronavirus leaflet.
- Avoid unnecessary contact with camels to prevent disease.
Influenza (Seasonal Influenza)
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