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.
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.
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 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.
Planning a trip to Oman? Whether it's a self driving road trip or mixing it with the locals on public transport, here's a few tips on how to get around safely.
Professional photographer Anna Zhu shares advice from both her career and her experience as the winner of our 2009 Travel Photography Scholarship to Antarctica.