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OMAN

 
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Global Scuba LLC
P O Box 309
Medinat Sultan Qaboos
Post Code 115
Sultanate of Oman
Tel. +96899317518
Fax. +96824692346
enquiries@global-scuba.com
http://www.global-scuba.com
Global Scuba - An environmentally aware dive centre your first choice for Eco friendly Diving in Oman. We offer a full range of NAUI and PADI courses including NAUI Scuba Diver and PADI Open Water for those who wish to learn to dive and can qualify you to PADI Advanced Open Water NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver or as high as PADI Master Diver or NAUI Master Scuba Diver.


About Oman

The Sultanate of Oman is a fascinating and beautiful country situated at the far eastern edge of the exotic Arabian Peninsula.

The diving in Oman is the best in the Gulf, with intact coral and plenty of big fish. Dolphins can be seen in the hundreds following tuna and you can also see whales and whale sharks depending on the season. There are many wrecks and opportunities for drift and other specialised dives. Oman is nothing like Egypt's Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada as you will not find throngs of tourists.

The diving in Oman is not spoiled the by thousands of divers, the corals are intact and fresh. Underwater you will see turtles and big morays, depending on the dive site, Black tip reef sharks and other types can be seen. There are some nice big devil rays at 8ft (2.5m) and there is a full range of small fish like groupers, lion fish, golden cardinals and if you are observant you can spot frog fish and sea horses. There are even occasional sightings of whale sharks.

Oman has just recently opened its doors to tourism. Good roads stretch for thousands of kilometers and are very well maintained, the hospitals and schools and food outlets are very clean and safe. The government has a strong hold over environmental marine issues for industry and enforces them. More new marine and land reserves are to be formed to protect turtles and birds. The first thing you will think about Oman is how clean, how calm and friendly the people are.

Climate Muscat 66 - 100F 19 - 38C Interior areas can reach 130F 54C
Water Temps Average 80F 26C
Visibility 65+ ft 20+ m

Getting There

Seeb International Airport, located in Muscat, is served by many international airlines such as British Airways, KLM, Kuwait Airways, Swiss Air and Emirates. The national carrier is Oman Air which flies to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), India, Pakistan, Qatar, Egypt, and Sri Lanka as well as performing domestic flights to Salalah, Masirah Island and Musandam.

Entry

PASSPORTS: Passport valid for at least 6 months required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE holding national identity cards;
(b) holders of Macau (SAR) Travel Permit.

Visa Procedure

Visa regulations and procedures have recently been streamlined. Full details are available at Embassies and Consulates throughout the world. Or you may contact the Royal Oman Police through their website, www.rop.gov.om or email them at ropnet@omantel.net.om

Citizens of most countries can benefit from these new procedures and can obtain tourist visas for $13.00 (15 Euro). The visa can be obtained on arrival at Seeb International Airport, at sea ports and land borders.

Tourism Office

MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY,
DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF TOURISM
P.O. Box 550, Muscat, Postal Code 113, Sultanate of Oman
Tel: (00968) 771-7085 / 774-331 / 774-329
Fax (00968) 771-4213 / 771-4436
Email:dgt@mocioman.gov.om

Getting Around

There are many Travel Agencies and Tourist Guides who will arrange sightseeing tours around the cities, visits to historical sites and activities like wadi-bashing and diving. These agencies can arrange for car rentals, bus tours for large parties and overnight trips into the interior. The Directorate General of Tourism has appointed special guides to help ensure the visitor's every interest is catered for.

Taxis or cars can be hired at the airport, or hotels will arrange for transport.

Rental Agencies

Avis
Offices at Al Falaj Hotel (tel 702311); Al Bustan Palace Hotel (799666 ext 487); Muscat InterContenetal Hotel (600500 ext 8399); Salalah (291145); Seeb International Airport (519176); Sheraton Oman Hotel (799899)

Budget Rent-A-Car
Offices at Ruwi Novotel (794721); Salalah Holiday Inn (235160); Seeb International Airport (510816 - 24hrs)

Europcar
Offices at mutrah Buisiness District (700190); Muscat Holiday inn (697123 ext 563)

Toyota Rant-A-Car
Offices at Gulf Hotel (560100 ext 820); Seeb International Airport (510224)

Road Services
Well maintained highways link every major city in Oman. Information relating to Car Rental facilities (International Driving License required) and Bus Tours is available at Travel Agencies and through Tourist Guides.

General Information

Electricity
220 Volts - 240 Volts at 50 cycles

Communication
International direct telephone dialling, telex and fax facilities are available in all major cities in Oman. Telephone booths (phone cards) are available in abundance for international and local calls. Internet access is provided at hotels and various cyber cafes in the main cities.

Health and Medical Facilities
Hospitals, pharmacies and health clinics are available throughout Oman. Modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment can contend with any emergency.

Credit Cards
Credit Cards such as American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Diners Club are widely accepted in shopping areas.

Climate
Oman is a relatively small but has a surprisingly diverse climate - and therefore, a varied natural landscape - as you move from the North of the country to the South. The Omani summer runs from April to September and, for the most part is hot (averaging 40 C). and very humid in certain areas. From July to September the Dhofar region in the South enjoys rain and cooler temperatures.

Local Time
GMT + 4 hours. Daylight Savings Time is not observed.

Language
Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken. German and French are spoken by hotel staff.

Religion
The official religion of Oman is Islam. Mosques are found almost everywhere for Muslims with the accompanied facilities. Other worshippers can perform their religions in several churches and temples mainly in Muscat.

Entertainment
Nightclubs and discotheques are found in the larger hotels, and alcoholic beverages are served in licensed hotels and restaurants only.

Attire
For most of the year, light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton, are best suited to Oman's climate. To comply with Omani traditions, it is advised not to wear revealing dresses or swimsuits in residential areas. From December to March a light wrap or jacket may be required in the evening.

Restaurants
International restaurants are found all over Oman, from fast-food outlets to fusion cooking, haute cuisine dining to hamburgers. Prices range, and a three course meal can be found to suit any budget. Most hotels will have a number of international restaurants providing food from the likes of Mexico, France, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia.

Traditional Omani Food is fairly simple, but by using various marinades and impregnating meat with spices, the result is a mouth-watering concoction which stimulates the tastebuds.

Chicken, fish and mutton are regularly used in dishes. A favourite drink is laban, a salty buttermilk. Yoghurt drinks, flavoured with cardamom and pistachio nuts are also very popular. Alcohol may be purchased in the hotel bars and restaurants and certain independent restaurants.

Official Hours

  • Ministries and government establishments: 7:30 am to 2:30 pm (Sat-Wed, week-end is Thr. and Fri )
  • Private sector companies: 8:00am to 1:00pm; 4:00pm to 7:00pm (SAt-Wed) 8:00am to 1:00pm on Thursdays.
  • Markets: 8:00am to 1:00pm; 4:00pm to 9:00pm except Mutrah souq which closes at 7:30pm.
  • Banks: 8:00 am to 12 noon.
  • Museums: 7:30 am to 2:00pm except Thr/Fr and official holidays.


Things to do in Oman

The Sultanate of Oman has much to offer outdoor enthusiasts, It is paradise for scuba divers, enchanting to the eye for photo enthusiasts and film buffs, and its diverse natural beauty makes it an ideal place for camping and rock climbing.

Scuba Diving
Oman boasts a wild and varied coastline. There is a wealth of scenery, wildlife an pleasure awaiting the underwater explorer. The Oman Dive Center (ODC), located on one of Oman most beautiful and rich sites of natural heritage, offers a complete range of diving courses. Diving equipment is available on dive excursions, which include overnight diving and camping trips. Also, Bandar Al-Rawdah Marina, Diving Centers, OmanDiving.com, Scuba Diving in Oman.

Photography and Filming
Oman provides tremendous opportunities for serious and casual photographers. Graded tracks wind along picturesque mountains, together with serene sandy beaches and lush green plains. An occasional burst of wildlife can be seen in the form of a white onyx, or even a mountain fox racing across the horizon against a breathtaking sunset.

Rock Climbing
To the avid rock climber Oman is seeming paradise. Rugged mountains, rising at their highest point to 3,000 meters, stretch for over 300 km. In among the peaks is a maze of spurs and wadis, deep canyons and towering cliffs. Getting into the mountain in four wheel drive is easy enough; getting up them is another matter. Also, Caving & Climbing, Rock Climbing

Camping
Oman is a fascinating place to explore with its diverse and beautiful landscape. Overnight camping in wadis or on sandy beaches and desert safaris are very popular among outdoor enthusiasts craving for adventure. Many specialized tour operators provide complete camping facilities from vehicles to drivers, guides, logistical equipment, and packed meals.

Camel Racing
Camel racing is an extraordinary sport, with large numbers of camels and their owners congregating at the race track. Camels are carefully bred for the track and reared on highly nutritious diet. Juvenile jockeys astride oddly loping mounts generate tremendous excitement on these occasions, which are held mainly during National Day celebrations, and other public holidays. Seeb is the center for this unique sport, which can also be seen in Samail, Salalah, the Interior and Batinah region.

Bull Fighting
Bull fighting is yet another popular sport where two Brahim bulls of the same size are pitted against each other without a drop of blood being spilled. The first to run always is declared the loser, but not before a cheering and enthusiastic audience. The fight lasts just for a few minutes and the bulls suffer little or no injury, except for a few scratches and a bruised ego on the part of both the losing bull and its owner.

Sightseeing
Sightseeing in exotic Muscat is a unique experience. Half and full-day city tours offered by most tour operators include visits to the old walled city of Muscat, the Qurm museum and other picturesque sea front Mutrah neighborhood with its old white buildings and labyrinthine souq where visitors can buy the most exquisite silver jewelry. A permit from the Department of Castles and Forts at the ministry of National Heritage and Culture is needed to visit archeological sites and old forts. ( Tel 602555)

Shopping
Oman is unquestionably a great place for shopping. Local craftsmen excel in arts and handicrafts such as silver-smithing and weaving. Visitors can buy intricately carved handmade daggers, coffee pots, rose-water sprinklers, incense burners, rugs, saddles, bags, camel straps, and fragrant frankincense. Women's jewelry is perhaps the finest expression of the silversmiths' art, ranging from small silver boxes designed to hold kohl, to bracelets, earrings and rings, heavy anklets, and huge belts and necklaces.

Sports
Well, you can not avoid the heat in the summer time. You may do some shopping in the many commercial malls that spread all over Muscat. Another thing is go skating at Al Khuwair Skating Center or you may visit Shatti Al Qurm to enjoy the ocean breeze. Sport indoor facilities can be found in club and sport complexes as well.


Other Activities
Bowling
Al Muhit Recreation Center - Salalah, 211243
Seeb Novotel - 510300 ext. 186
Sheraton Oman Bowling Center - 799899 ext. 5026

Cricket
Oman Cricket Association - alimy@omantel.net.om Tel 968-79 66 55 / 968-79 87 86 Fax 968-70 63 72 / 968-68 38 66]
British Cricket Club - 600909

Darts
Oman Darts Club 618426

Golf
Al Maha Golf Club - 513706
Flamingo Park Golf Club - 467058
Ghala Wentworth 591248

Ice-Skating
Al Khuwair Center Ice Rink - 696492

Motor Sports
Oman Automobile Association (OAA) - 510239
Oman Automobile Club - 677750
Muscat Bikers (HD) - 561749

Rugby
Muscat Rugby Football Club - 604890, clubhouse.

Running
Muscat Hash House Harriers - 614556
Jebel Hash House Harriers - 516370
Muscat Road Runners - 678918
Salalah Hash House Harriers - 235423
Wudam Hash House Harriers 616320

Sailing, Surfing, and Boating
Capital Area Yatch Club (CAYC) - 737712
Civil Aviation Yatch and Beach Club - 519424
Oman Laser Association - 675148

Shooting
RAFO Salalah Shooting Society - 235205

Softball
Muscat Softball League - 602961

Squash
Muscat Squash League - 701998
Salalah Squash Ladder - 235242

Tennis
Muscat Tennis League - 675210

 

 

 
 

 


 










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