a white building with a dome and a domed roof with Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the background
Image by Makalu from Pixabay

Have you been to Oman? With all the hype around Dubai and other neighboring areas of the Middle East, Oman always seems to get overlooked. That’s a huge mistake.

Oman is one of the most welcoming and authentic societies in the Middle East, with rich history, gorgeous shores — beaches too — and absolutely breathtaking mountains with the hotels to match.

This destination was bubbling towards stardom before the pandemic, but that was put on hold for obvious reason. Now after a long hiatus, the country is open again, and just dropped pre-flight testing requirements as it looks to rebuild on the rich tourism hope of years past.

Should you go? Short answer, yes. Here’s what you need to know about this significant development in travel to Oman and how to start thinking about trips.

a white building with a dome and a tiled roof with Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the background
Image by Makalu from Pixabay

Oman Drops Travel Testing For Fully Vaccinated Visitors

Oman was cautious in its return to tourism, taking a far slower and more measured approach than nearby Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the UAE, or Egypt for that matter.

But the country has been open now for a sustained period of time, and in response to the improving health situation and booming demand for travel, covid-19 testing prior to travel has been dropped.

Fully vaccinated visitors can now enter somewhat on a whim, without the stress of pre-flight testing, by showing both proof of vaccination and Covid-19 health coverage for the visit. Oman does reserve the right to conduct a RT-PCR test upon arrival, in select instances.

a pool with a deck chair and a deck chair
Alila Oman

Why Oman Is Worth The Trip

Oman is worth the trip because it’s a mix of culture, relaxation and sheer natural beauty, in a far less manufactured fashion than much of the Middle East.

Unlike many relatively “new” countries in the region which are creating fake souks to make their cities look historical and magical, Oman actually is old and magical. It was a key feature of trading routes, leading to unique twists on regional cuisine and style, among other things.

The beaches along the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf are some of the best in the region, and with just a short drive, beach paradise can be traded for rocky mountains that rival the Rockies.

Top luxury brands such as Alila, Ritz Carlton, Kempinski and others have created absolutely stunning properties both near the coast of Muscat, and along the Al Hajar mountain range. The Alila Jabal Al Akdar is a place which knows few equals, as photos above will attest to.

Getting To Oman

Oman is accessible from much of the world with non-stop flights from a variety of regional and European capitals, and even parts of Asia too.

One stop flights with airlines including Qatar Airways or Emirates are easy from most of the world and a variety of carriers have rebooted service to Muscat in response to recent border moves.

a pool with palm trees and chairs and umbrellas
Ritz Carlton Muscat

The World Is Reopening

For years, most travel news was in regard to stop – start border measures, most of which were closures or disappointment. Countries which were open for tourism, were only open with strict requirements and compromised experiences on the ground.

With each day, countries now appear to be opening up, with a focus on staying that way. As more countries open, competition is also heating up to win travelers back, and part of that involves simplifying and streamlining the process for entry.

For better and worse, things like testing requirements add expense and hassle, and travelers have proven throughout the global pandemic that less hassle equals more visitors.

Oman is now the most accessible it’s been for years, and with vibrant sun all winter long, it may be the perfect escape in the next few months, or again when the end of summer blues start hitting the western hemisphere.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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