In Oman, showing anger is frowned upon, and swearing or offensive hand gestures are actually against the law. Verbal abuse, impatient gestures, even using the wrong facial expression can be enough for someone to fill out a formal complaint. Nobody in Oman is immune to this. Even an accusation of being frustrated is enough to initiate legal proceedings.
Before you say, "Are you serious?" that's exactly the kind of thing you want to avoid while you're in Oman.
Omanis are very polite and friendly people, some of the friendliest in the world. Nonetheless, you should also be polite in return and avoid doing anything that will cause offence. Never insult Islam, and during Ramadan eating, drinking, smoking, playing loud music and dancing in public places during daylight hours is strictly forbidden and punishable by law, including for non-Muslims.
Discussing rumors about the Sultan's private life is illegal, and shouldn't be a topic of conversation in Oman. You won't just offend the locals, but could also get in trouble with the Royal Omani Police.
Holding hands or kissing in public isn't appreciated, and locals will get a little offended if they see travelers doing this.
It's likely travelers will receive lingering stares from locals, but in Oman staring isn't impolite, it's just a sign of curiosity.
Similar to elsewhere in the world, whipping out a camera or binoculars near military sites, airports, or government buildings will probably be taken the wrong way – especially by the security guard carrying a machine gun nearby. Photography of certain military or government sites is not allowed.
Women should always be dressed conservatively, keeping their shoulders, chest and legs covered while traveling around Oman. Wear loose fitting clothing, as wearing tight pants and tops in extremely hot temperatures isn't ideal.
When visiting mosques, men should wear long pants and women should have their heads covered.
When you travel to a Muslim country, there will always be some restrictions on pork products, alcohol, pornography, and how you dress.
Pornography is completely illegal. It is a punishable offence under Omani law to drink alcohol in public, be drunk in a public area, or to drive under the influence. However, it is possible for tourists and visitors to buy and drink alcohol in licensed venues, such as hotels, restaurants and clubs. Actually, if you live in Oman and are a non-Muslim you can apply to get a license to drink in your own home from the Royal Oman police.
Omani hotels might (not always) refuse accommodation to heterosexual couples that aren't married. If you are married, make sure you are carrying proof. Check the rules for your accommodation in advance to be sure. Homosexuality is illegal in Oman.
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