Travel to Oman

Al ‪Diymaniyat Islands turtle

One can travel to Oman directly from London. However, I flew via a stopover in Dubai because it was cheaper and I had an opportunity to visit friends there. The flight from Dubai to Muscat is very quick, and the plane stays low enough to enjoy nice views most of the time. Luckily, my friends had visited Oman a few weeks before and they gave me some good tips on what to see and do. Definitely the highlight was snorkelling around the Al ‪Diymaniyat Islands, enjoying close encounters with sea turtles, fish and coral. Beautiful!

In addition, the natural landscapes, a mix of sea and mountains, were stunning! The architecture around Muscat and Nizwa were impressive. And I only saw a small part of the country. Finally, the food was all very delicious and I tried some unique flavours such as Luban (frankincense) and a sticky version of halwa.

Landing in Muscat
Mutrah Corniche
Al ‪Diymaniyat Islands Coral


  • Mutrah Corniche and seaside
  • Mutrah Souq
  • Mutrah Fort and other nearby forts and watch towers
  • Nizwa Fort and Castle
  • Nizwa Souqs
  • Majlis Oman Parliament
  • Al ‪Diymaniyat Islands for snorkelling with sea turtles and fish with SeaOman
  • Capital city Muscat
  • Many beautiful beaches and parks along the coasts
  • Mall of Oman
  • Muscat Marina
  • Burj Al Sahwa, a big clock tower in the middle of a roundabout
  • Sultan Qaboos grand mosque
  • Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque
  • Royal Opera and Opera Galléries mall
  • Qantas Natural Arch by boat
  • Qantas beach view
  • Try tea or food with the flavour of Luban (frankincense)

Before you go

  • UK citizens do not need a visa to visit for up to 14 days. Although guidance says you need a confirmed hotel and health insurance, the immigration officer didn’t check that. US citizens need to apply for a visa or buy one upon arrival
  • Immigration was slow in Muscat and many people were photographed and finger-printed
  • Muscat is the capital of Oman
  • Islam is the state religion
  • Foreigners are often advised not to travel towards the southern border with Yemen
  • From London, the flights directly to Muscat were very expensive so it was more affordable for me to fly via Dubai
  • Most places accept credit card, so I never took any cash out
  • Diet sodas were difficult to find in restaurants
  • Parking seemed to be allowed in most places unless there was a specific sign with restrictions
  • Petrol is cheap and full service, so the workers fill up the tank for you
Qantab Heights and Beach
View from the top of Nizwa Fort
Fort Guesthouse


  • The international airport is in Muscat, and is not far from the city centre
  • Taxis are available if you don’t want to drive, but I found that having a rental car was a great way to get around. The roads are generally good and well-marked with signs. However, GoogleMaps often did not know the names of roads and even the motorways, so I had to look carefully at the map rather than trust the audio directions


  • During my entire visit, I stayed at the Fort Guesthouse, which I found via
  • The guesthouse is located in Mutrah, up on a hill by the seaside and the Mutrah fort
  • Parking is free and easy nearby
  • It is quaint and traditional, with just a few rooms which have air conditioning
  • Entry is via a code that is sent to you in advance
  • Breakfast can be ordered from the cafe next door


The currency in Oman is the Rial or Riyal. One British pound was equal to 0.49 rial in February 2024. This means every price is about double in British pounds!

I recommend to check the currency conversion just before you leave as this fluctuates

Omani rial
Royal Opera House Muscat
View from Mutrah Fort
Mutrah Fort
Al Diwaniya sweets halwa
Bait Al Luban Oman restaurant Shuwa and rice
Al Mandoos restaurant Chicken salona
Date ice cream at Al Mandoos restaurant
Mine ice cream- frankincense (Luban) and cinnamon
Lobster roll and fries at Luban Cafe


In Oman, some of the foods are what we are used to seeing classified as Middle Eastern food in the US or the UK. However, there are also many unique Omani dishes. I also noticed that dates were very common, and with many varieties.


First, the healthy snacks include fresh fruits and juices. One of my favourite juices was avocado, melon and strawberry. Then the unhealthy but very common snacks include kebabs, sandwiches and burgers. Interestingly, Omani chips are like cut up crisps with a spicy flavouring.

I’m not sure if it is traditional but there are local Omani lobsters and the lobster brioche roll from Luban Cafe was delicious!

Main Dishes

Shuwa, a traditional slow clooked marinated lamb or goat, is the national dish of Oman. This was available on the menu for most restaurants, and I tried it at Bait Al Luban Omani Restaurant. It is delicious and spiced yet not spicy, and very tender.

Stews seemed to be very typical and could be with chicken, lamb, or vegetables.


Dates are a natural dessert and served at most restaurants. Ice cream made of dates is also popular and very tasty.

Another traditional dessert is halwa. I’ve tried halwa in London, but the Omani version is more sticky than powdery. It is made with nuts and caramelised sugar, and flavours such as cardamom, saffron and rose. I really liked the unusual combination of flavours but the taste may not be to everyone’s preference.

In general, all of the Omani desserts I tried were very sweet. Luckily, the restaurants often give you a free cup of kahwa (coffee) to balance the sweetness.


Q: Do I need a tour guide?

A: No, it is easy to drive around and find the places of interest.

Q: Do people speak English?

A: Yes, most people speak English at shops, restaurants and tourist places

Q: Can I travel solo?

A: Yes, it was safe and easy to get around

Q: How easy is it to send postcards?

A: Finding postcards was very easy. However, buying stamps was more difficult because the post office had limited hours. I was able to buy stamps along with the postcards at an elevated price. Then the next challenge was finding a post box. I found one in a shopping centre but it looked rather dusty so I wonder if the postcards will ever arrive! See Sending Postcards from Abroad for details on cost and the time it took to reach the USA.

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