Oman's Place in the World
Our singularly magnificent corner of the world occupies the southeastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula. The Sultanate of Oman is bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west, Yemen to the southwest, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the northwest. TAISM is situated in the capital city of Muscat, home to approximately 30% of Oman’s total population of 5.2 million.
A country of vastly diverse landscapes, Oman is dominated by mountains and deserts punctuated with verdant oases, lagoons, and farmland. For its size, Oman boasts an exceptional number of UNESCO classified World Heritage Sites, including Ras al Hadd, home of the rare green turtle, and the Bat tombs, which date back over 3,000 years.
Under the country’s leadership, the Oman Renaissance has flourished. With membership in the United Nations, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and a free trade agreement with the United States, Oman enjoys pride of place with the world’s progressive nations while guarding its heritage and character.
Oman is a beautiful country. It’s a combination of the desert, the mountains and the sea. You’ll find diversity all around Oman.
Badar Al Mamari, TAISM Security and Safety Manager
Characterized by its warm, friendly people, Oman is also distinctive among many Gulf countries for its tolerance and opportunities for adventure, exploration and growth. While Oman is a Muslim country steeped in tradition, expatriate residents enjoy a progressive culture as illustrated by a modern infrastructure and acceptance of religious differences and social habits. Foreigners are free to practice their own religion, alcohol is served in major hotels and restaurants, and the dress code is relaxed but appropriate. Women are not only able to drive and go out in public unescorted, but they are also a significant part of Oman’s workforce, and even populate Ministry and Consultative Council positions in the government.
- The official language of Oman is Arabic, but English is widely spoken in the capital area.
- The official religion of Oman is Islam, and mosques are found almost everywhere. Other worshippers can practice their religions in several churches and temples around Muscat.
- Electricity is 220V vs. the 120V used in North America.
- The unit of currency is the Omani Rial (RO) comprising 1,000 baizas (bz). One RO is equal to about $2.60 USD. See www.xe.com for daily conversion rates.
- A liter of regular gasoline costs about 210 bz., or .55 USD (as of March 2021).
- Seat belts are required for all drivers and front-seat passengers in Oman.
- Cell phone use is prohibited while driving in Oman.
- Refrain from taking photographs of military or government buildings. Most “No Photo” zones are posted as such.
- There is a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for drinking and driving, which is strictly enforced, and will mean immediate jail time for the offender.
- Visitors can drive in Oman as long as they have a valid international driver’s license. As a resident, you will need to obtain an Oman driver’s license. This usually requires a vision test and, in most cases, does not require a road test.