- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Oman. Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
- You should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent. You should take particular care in the period surrounding Friday prayers.
- The annual death toll on Omani roads is extremely high. Many drivers do not adhere to road rules, and visibility on roads can be affected by poor weather.
- Australia has an Honorary Consul in Oman who can provide limited consular assistance. However, in the first instance, Australians should contact the Australian Embassy in Saudi Arabia for consular assistance.
- See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Oman for the most up-to-date information.
If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you will be required to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to be allowed entry into Oman. The World Health Organization provides a list of countries endemic for yellow fever.
The importation of pornography is forbidden.
When in Oman, children born of an Omani father are considered to be Omani nationals and require their father's permission to depart the country.
If a traveller's passport contains evidence of entry to Israel, or another country's border crossing points with Israel, entry will be denied.
Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Oman. Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
International terrorist groups are active in the Arabian Peninsula and attacks against targets in Oman cannot be ruled out.
You should maintain a high level of personal security awareness near the border with Yemen.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Worldwide bulletin.
Civil unrest/political tension
You should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they have the potential to turn violent. You should take particular care in the period surrounding Friday prayers.
Monitor the media and other local information sources for information about possible safety and security risks.
Oman has a low incidence of crime. Tourists are occasionally the victims of petty crime, such as burglaries and theft.
Money and valuables
In Oman, visitors should carry their passport and residents should carry their Omani identification in a safe place at all times for identification purposes.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
Review the General advice to Australian travellers for further information on being safe and prepared abroad.
The annual death toll on Omani roads is extremely high. Driving practices differ significantly from Australia, and visibility on roads can be affected by poor weather. Off-road driving is hazardous as is driving outside Muscat, particularly after dark. Road conditions in some parts of the country are poor and there is a risk of camels straying on to roads. Traffic accidents are regarded as one of the most significant risks to those visiting or living in Oman. For further advice, see our road travel page.
Authorisation from the Omani government is required for travel to some areas.
Travellers entering Oman or the Gulf area by sea should be aware that many areas are sensitive in relation to security and territory. In particular, maritime boundaries and the islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs in the southern Gulf are the subject of jurisdictional disputes. There are reports of detentions and inspections of vessels and arrest.
Women should take care when travelling alone, particularly at night.
The safety standards of transport and tour operators, including adventure activities, are not always of a high standard. Sufficient safety equipment may not be provided and recommended maintenance standards and safety precautions may not be observed.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Oman.
Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
You are subject to the local laws of Oman, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
The Australian Embassy in Riyadh does not have direct access to Omani Government institutions (police stations, jails, hospitals, etc) and is obliged to formally seek access via the Omani Embassy in Riyadh. This can cause delays for those requiring consular assistance.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. Possession of even small amounts of drugs is punishable by prison sentences of at least 12 months. See our Drugs page.
Serious offences, such as murder, may attract the death penalty.
Australians who might engage in activities that involve local legal matters, particularly with regard to family law (divorce, child custody and child support), are strongly advised to seek professional advice and ensure they are aware of their rights and responsibilities. Be aware that you may not be allowed to leave Oman if you are involved in commercial or labour disputes, have unpaid debts, or if legal proceedings are underway.
Homosexual acts are illegal and penalties include imprisonment. See our LGBTI travellers page.
It is illegal to use aggressive, obscene or abusive language or gestures in public and penalties include imprisonment and deportation.
Taking photographs of or near government buildings and other sensitive infrastructure, including oilfields, is illegal and can lead to detention.
Possession of pornography is illegal.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
There are strict Islamic codes of dress and behaviour in Oman and you should take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Any displays of disrespect for Islam will cause great offence.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin in mid-June 2015. During Ramadan, Australians travelling to countries with significant Muslim communities should take care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. In particular, people who are not fasting are advised to avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public and in the presence of people who are fasting. For more information see our Ramadan travel bulletin.
Australians travelling to Muslim countries and countries with significant Muslim communities should take great care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. Ramadan and Shia religious festivals are particularly sensitive times.
Women, in particular, should be careful to dress modestly in public avoiding wearing tight clothes, shorts or low-cut tops. Loose fitting clothes that cover shoulders and legs will likely avoid unwarranted attention.
Hotels may refuse to provide accommodation to couples who are unable to provide proof of marriage.
The use of bad language, rude gestures or public displays of affection will cause offence and may get you into trouble with the police.
As in most Muslim countries, there are restrictions on alcohol and pork products.
Information for dual nationals
Oman does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Omani dual nationals who are arrested or detained.
Our Dual nationals page provides further information.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you will be overseas and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.
Health care in Oman is generally good, but can vary from region to region. Hospitals and clinics in the larger cities tend to be better equipped. Costs can be expensive, depending on the procedure. For serious illnesses or complex medical procedures, travellers may wish to be medically evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities.
Malaria is generally considered to be under control in Oman. However, risk remains due to environmental conditions such as high temperature and high humidity that allow mosquitoes to breed. Other insect-borne infections, including dengue fever and leishmaniasis also occur in Oman. Travellers should be particularly attentive to the risk of mosquito bites on the Musandam Peninsula. You should take precautions against insect bites by using insect repellent, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.
The most common health hazard faced by travellers in Oman is dehydration and problems relating to the high temperatures in summer months. It is advisable for travellers to be aware of the dangers of the sun, and to remain well-hydrated. We advise you to boil all drinking water or to drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food.
Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Countries outside the Middle East have also reported imported cases from returned travellers. See our MERS-CoV travel bulletin.
Where to get help
The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas.
Australia has an Honorary Consul in Oman who can provide limited consular assistance. However, in the first instance, Australians should contact the Australian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for consular, passport and notarial enquires.
Australian Embassy, Riyadh
Abdullah Bin Hozafa Al-Shami Avenue
KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA
Telephone: (966 11) 2500 900
Facsimile: (966 11) 2500 902
See the Embassy website www.saudiarabia.embassy.gov.au for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
The working week of the Embassy in Riyadh is Sunday to Thursday in accordance with local practice.
If you are travelling to Oman, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, you should register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade so we can contact you should the need arise. If you know any Australians in Oman, you should encourage them to register as well. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there is a more frequent occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches. See the Tsunami Awareness brochure.
The monsoon season is from June to September, when flooding may occur.
Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Sand and dust storms can be a problem during the drier months (October to May).
For other useful information to assist travelling in this country, see: