4 Etiquette Tips for Travelers in Oman

Get to know Omani cultural norms before you go, so you avoid embarrassing yourself or getting into serious trouble.

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Green lagoon Oman Photo © Getty Images/Mlenny

Don't Get Frustrated

In Oman, it's actually illegal to show anger in any way. Verbal abuse, impatient gestures (such as sticking up your rude finger), 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.

As Sifah Bay, Oman. Photo credit: iStock

Social Etiquette in Oman

Omani's are very polite and friendly people, some of the friendliest in the world. Nonetheless, you should also be polite and avoid doing anything that will cause offence. Never insult Islam, and during Ramadan don't smoke, drink, or eat in public, as the locals will be offended.

Discussing rumours 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.

Dress Conservatively

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.

Nizwa, Oman. Photo credit: Getty Images/weltreisendertj

Religious Restrictions

When you travel to a Muslim country, there will always be restrictions on pork products, alcohol, pornography and how you dress.

Pornography is completely illegal. It's still illegal to drink alcohol and be drunk in public, but you will find licensed hotels and restaurants sell alcohol. Actually, if you live in Oman 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.

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12 Comments

  • seyi said

    it too much too bear

  • Shoaib Imran said

    Pakistan

  • Mona said

    Stupid page. I don't know what idiot wrote this. Pork is totally legal and is sold quite widely, sharing hotel rooms for unmarried omanis is also not against the law . No corruption in the police system. Loool totally deluded person writing this article. Did you actually ever visit Oman or are you just a regular person spreading some false rubbish on the net making it awkward for ppl interested in visiting

  • Arya said

    Dress conservatively?? Bullshit! I have completed my 15 years in Oman and I'm used to wearing a crop top or a offshoulder top and even shorts or one piece. Never been judged or arrested for doing so.

  • SAM SMITH. said

    oman is an islamic country .DON'T YOU FORGET IT.

  • SAM SMITH. said

    HI, if you don't like SAUDI ARABIA....you must avoid, OMAN!!!

  • Srinivas said

    I am unware of the rules of Oman. But, i was really offended when i was judged by a person who was wearing a full Omani dress. He came to me and i should not wear boxers. The boxers which i was wearing covered till my knees. It's disgusting when people are told what they should wear and what they should not!!😕

  • Akash said

    do i have to go jail if i watch pornography in oman.

  • Martin said

    Whoever wrote this does not know what they are talking about.
    I've been to Oman many times and it is nothing like described here. Don't listen this...find a more accurate website with accurate information.

  • jaya said

    whom l can report. A lady who is living with a man without marriage in our building. she starting cleaning his flat now she is sleeping with him. we are living her with family. what we can to let her giving bad example to our kids especially to my daughter. she is having an illegal reletionship which against islam ang oman law please help us to expose this arrogant lady in our building.

  • Rosa said

    Jaya, wth? OK that lady is living illegally. So what? How is she setting a bad example? How is she interfering in your life? She's happy with her life. Why are you judging her and saying u want to expose her? That's very rude of you. Simply for no reason you are getting offended. And you are not offended by that guy who brought her to live with him? He is not a problem but she is since you have a daughter? Shame on you. I feel bad for your daughter for having such a parent.

  • ram said

    any non muslims eat in public is punished in Oman?

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