Is Oman safe for tourists? In this post, we will talk about safety in Oman, and some dos and don’ts to make the best out of your trip around the country.

Oman’s high mountains, vast ocean, and endless deserts combine to form one of the most diverse destinations. But, is Oman safe for tourists? More specifically, is Oman safe for solo female travelers?

Before we go on, here are 10 reasons why Oman should be your next destination!

Have specific questions regarding your trip to Oman? Join our Oman Travel Planning Facebook group to get them answered!!

Politcs & Religions

As the oldest independent country in the Arab World, Oman is a fascinating country with little upheaval. It sits south of the UAE and borders Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman’s strategic placement in the Arabian Peninsula gives it ample access to the ocean. Unlike its neighbors, Oman is relatively quiet on the international arena. Its political stance is often neutral, even when it comes to policies immediate its frontier.

In 1970, Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said deposed his conservative father Said Bin Taimur in a bloodless coup. After his seizure of power, Sultan Qaboos used oil revenues to improve Oman’s infrastructure and modernize its healthcare and education systems.  

Under Sultan Qaboos, Oman rarely took a side during disputes in the Persian Gulf and even acted as an intermediary between the West and Iran. In fact, Sultan Qaboos facilitated talks between Tehran and Baghdad towards the end of the Iran-Iraq War, as well as aided secret talks between the United States and Iran that resulted in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Although the main religion in Oman is the Ibadi sect of Islam, freedom of religion is granted and the government had even financed the construction of churches and Hindu temples within the country.

Sultan Qaboos passed away at the beginning of 2020 and was succeeded by his cousin, Haitham bin Tariq, who aims to continue Oman’s peacemaking policy.

is oman safe for tourists and solo female travelers

Is Oman Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Oman was the 26th country I’ve visited. Since I always tend to travel by myself, I didn’t feel any different being alone in Oman. However, I can also say that I genuinely felt that Oman is one of the safest countries I’ve been to. Although, when I went out at night, I did encounter some stares. Though, most seemed to come from pure curiosity.

Of course, another reason for how safe Oman is to travel in, is due to its internal security force. My friend joked that for every 10 people in the UAE, 7 were undercover cops. Oman isn’t too far from the UAE and (from what I hear) has similar policies in place.

Due to a large number of undercover cops and internal security mechanisms, very little violent crime takes place in Oman. Personally, I believe Oman is very safe to travel in for solo female travelers.  

Is Oman Safe for Westerners?

I’ve been asked a few times how safe is Oman to travel in. On whether Oman is safe for American citizens or is Muscat Oman safe for westerners, I can say from both experience and statistics, it is very unlikely that people traveling in Oman will face any form of hostile or aggressive behavior.

More than the destination you are traveling to, it might be helpful to ponder whether you are traveling in a safe and responsible way.

During my stay, I visited a number of popular Omani tourist destinations and hidden spots. Most of my trip was done through friends I met while Couchsurfing in Oman and on tours. Be it camping in the mountains or driving through the desert, I often felt at home during my time there.  

With that being said, there are still a number of things that you can do to mitigate unwanted attention. It’s always wise to be prepared to ensure your utmost safety.

Safety Tips for Oman

No matter how safe Oman can be, it is important to stay smart and alert. Here are a few things I do when I travel Oman, (or anywhere else, for that matter).

1. Understand the Culture and Tradition

Understanding the culture and traditions of a country is incredibly important. Always do research beforehand and get a grasp of the destination. You can start by reading your country’s travel advisories. This will not only help you better understand a people, but it also becomes a conversation starter!

Oman is a relatively conservative country and Islam is involved in most aspects of residents’ everyday lives. By familiarizing yourself with the dos and don’ts of the country, you will situate yourself in a safer environment.

For example, knowing a bit about the country’s internal police force will give you comfort in knowing that Oman is safe for westerners and locals alike. However, it is also important to not participate in illegal activities, drink in public, and partake in other prohibited ventures as you may be watched.

Did you know? Eating in front of a Muslim in public during Ramadan may result in a fine. Here’s the best time to visit Oman so you can make the most of your trip.

2. Be Prepared  

Always back up your documents. Whether it be an extra printout of your itinerary, flight, or hotel reservation, it is always wise to keep a copy or two tucked away in your luggage. This is especially the case for passports. I often save copies of it on my phone for emergencies, but having a hard copy is really helpful.

Remember to get travel insurance beforehand. You can get a no-obligation quote here to help prepare your budget for the trip.

Keep your passport safe in the hotel room, but do bring a hardcopy of your passport, visa and travel insurance when you head out. Since Oman has checkpoints once in a while, having a copy of your passport and visa becomes very handy. I’ve personally experienced being stopped by police while road-tripping around Oman!

omani woman walking in muscat visit oman

3. Dress Appropriately

Oman is a very traditional country and as such, you should dress modestly during your visit. Most of the men in Oman will wear the dishdasha, which is a neck-to-ankle length dress, some slippers, and kumah, their traditional cap. Omani women will usually wear a black abaya on top of their dresses and shirts, as well as a scarf.

Of course, you don’t have to wear a dishdasha or an abaya, but it is respectful to cover your shoulders and thighs if you are out in public. For women, I’d recommend wearing dresses that cover your arms and legs as well.

For female travelers in Oman, bringing a scarf or shawl will be really helpful, especially if you are planning on visiting a mosque. (You may be forced to visit one during a road trip as mosques are often the only places with public washrooms)

If you’d like a more detailed guide on what to wear in Oman, here’s a complete guide!

4. Situational Awareness

Situational awareness will help you with mitigating risks and anticipating protentional problems. When on the road, always be aware of your surroundings. This is particularly the case if you traveling by yourself.

I understand that it can be difficult to completely disengage ourselves from our electronic devices. I used to find myself looking towards Google Maps when I’m on the road, or grabbing photos with my camera without being completely aware of the world around me (which was no good). Although I do this much less now, I am still trying to curb the habit of leaving my bags and purses unzipped in public!

When it comes to staying safe in Oman, always be aware of your surroundings. This isn’t just about being aware of those around you, but also the terrain you are pm. Oman is known for its mountains and seas. No matter what kind of adventurous undertaking you decide to embark on, always be careful when exploring the country.

5. Other Safety Tips

Traveling with confidence is key to a safe trip. When you seem lost and confused, you can become an easy target. There’s no harm in asking for help from locals and shop owners but always trust your instinct. If you feel unsafe, walk away or call for help.

Although Oman is generally safe, it is still not recommended to arrive in the country late at night, especially if you visiting for the first time. Make arrangements beforehand to have someone reliable to pick you up and always let someone you trust know your itinerary.

One of the more popular Uber alternatives in Oman is the OTaxi App. Similar to Uber, this app will regulate the fees and show you the routes.

Overall, how Safe is Oman to Travel in?

Oman is very safe to travel in. According to the Institute for Economics & Peace, Oman’s Global Peace Index is one of the highest in the region. Although there may be some pickpocketing in bigger cities like Muscat and Salalah, the crime rate remains very low.

When it comes to the sociopolitics of the policy, always check your country’s travel advisories beforehand for more detailed information on the destination you visit. Overall, I think the country is perfect for a solo trip. This is specifically the case if you like wild camping and road-tripping!

Remember to get travel insurance beforehand. You can get a no-obligation quote here to help prepare your budget for the trip.

FAQ Regarding Safety in Oman

Is Muscat Oman Safe for Westerners?

Yes! Muscat is very safe for Westerners. The capital city of Oman is calm and peaceful and has a very low crime rate. It’s a great destination to take things easy for a few days!

Is Oman Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

From my experience, yes! I felt very welcomed in the country. It was quite easy to navigate and people were always willing to help out. There are a few things that I was extra careful with, such as what I wore and the way I interacted with men, but overall, I felt right at ease!

Is Oman Safe to Work in?

Oman has been a popular destination for foreigners seeking jobs. I’ve met a few expats that worked in Muscat and most have great experiences. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with the job you take on and the community you interact with. Always stay alert and do research beforehand!

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