A Guide to Touring Oman Respectfully

Oman is located down at the southeastern coast of the Arab Peninsula. This oasis is known for their hospitable locals, red dunes, beaches lined with shiny corals, and pomegranates and peaches farmed in the mountains. First-time visitors may get a bit of culture shock, but they eventually find that securing an Oman visa and touring this exotic destination is a choice they won’t regret. Here are a few tips on how you can enjoy your stay in Oman while still being respectful of their customs and locals.

 

Getting Familiar with their Local Culture

Omanis take pride in being among the most liberal Arab citizens, and you may observe bits of Western culture in their city life, but they still proudly uphold Islamic principles and traditions. Tourists should refrain from public displays of affection such as kissing and hugging. Holding hands is fine, however.

Additional tips:

  • Always be polite when talking to the locals, and be sure not to include them in your photographs unless you get their explicit permission.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol in public, as Omanis find that disrespectful.
  • Avoid spitting everywhere, littering, fighting in public, and other general etiquettes.

 

What to Wear When in Oman

You may be surprised to find that Omani women don’t all wear burkhas in the streets. Shirts with long sleeves and loose pants or ankle-length skirts are the norm there and is the encouraged dress code for tourists as well. Avoid wearing tight or revealing clothes. Swimsuits are allowed at the beach, however. Wearing crop tops or shorts are frowned upon even in their hot weather, but you can opt for some light cotton clothes instead.

 

Etiquette When Visiting Locals

If you get invited to an Omani’s home, be sure to bring them a gift and to arrive on time. Like in other Eastern households, leave your shoes outside before entering their home. Greeting them by handshakes is most appropriate, and you should shake hands with their household’s eldest resident first before the greeting the rest. The men are called ‘Sayeed,’ and the women are referred to as ‘Sayeeda.’

 

Some more tips:

  • Politely begin a conversation by asking about their family and business as well as their health.
  • Avoid making sarcastic or unseemly comments on their government, especially on their Sultan.
  • Keep your questions about the women in their home at a bare minimum.

Omanis are a happy and laid-back people with a deep love for their local culture, so familiarizing yourself with the intricacies of their traditions is a great way to ensure you get a memorable experience and leave a good impression. Applying for an Oman visa is a simple process that’s as friendly as their people. From their majestic architecture to the peaceful camels that lounge around makeshift corrals, Oman is undoubtedly a beautiful sight to behold.

 

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