Oman Allows Visa Free Travel for Tourists From 103 Countries

Travellers from 103 different countries can now visit the Sultanate of Oman visa free for stays of up to 10 days.

Visa free

With the visa free policy changes already being implemented, tourists from 103 countries can now visit Oman without needing to secure an online visa or to buy one on arrival at the airport.

Visa free travel is granted to EU citizens, Americans, Canadians, Russians, Japanese and Chinese tourists among others. Also British passport holders, as well as Australians and New Zealanders can visit Oman without needing a tourist visa.

The full list of nationalities who can visit Oman without requiring a tourist visa can be seen here.

oman visa free
Oman still has an authentic local flavour compared to its glitzy Gulf neighbours. ©Paliparan

Ten days

The only provision to take into account is that your visit to the Sultanate of Oman must not be longer than 10 days in total.

Tourists are required to hold hotel reservations for the entire duration of their stay, as well as a return ticket out of the country. Having health insurance valid in Oman is also mandatory.

boat muscat oman
A traditional boat in the low-key Omani capital of Muscat. ©Paliparan

Corona restrictions

The abolishment of visas for citizens of 103 countries is meant to boost tourism to Oman and to boost the country’s struggling economy.

Recently, the Sultanate also changed its corona entry restrictions, making it easier for tourists to visit the country.

No advance PCR test is required if you visit the country for up to 7 days, although foreign visitors will be subject to a COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival at the airport.

The test, which must be pre-booked through the Tarassud+ (which tourists must install on their phone), costs 25 Omani rial (53 EUR). Test results are ready within 12 to 24 hours, and can be accessed through the app.

You must self-isolate in your room until the test results are in. If you however test negative, all restrictions will be lifted and you are free to explore Oman.

Do note that this procedure is only valid for short-stay holidays of up to seven days, if you want to stay longer in Oman you have to isolate yourself for 8 to 14 days depending whether or not you take a 2nd PCR test after a week.

oman omani people traditional clothes
Omani people are the most traditional of the entire Arab Gulf region, but also among the most friendly and hospitable people you’ll encounter on your travels in the region. ©Paliparan

Visiting Oman

Although this means that a longer holiday to Oman is rather impractical, it makes visiting the country for a week or less rather easy. Personally I like the Omani approach of testing travellers on arrival, given the fact that getting a PCR test is still a rather complicated procedure in many countries.

Given that such advance tests cannot be older than 2-3 days, there is also the additional headache whether or not you will have the test results back in time before the departure of your flight.

As there are some great and affordable luxury hotels in Oman, doing the test on arrival and self isolating for a maximum of 24 hours on arrival is certainly not the end of the world.

With its spectacular coastline, canyons, oases and mountainous interior, Oman is a fabulous country to visit. Compared to other Gulf countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Oman still manages to retain its authentic culture.

Often nicknamed “the Switzerland of the Middle East” for its peaceful society and politics in an often turbulent region, the country is extremely safe to visit. You’ll find the local Omani people to be among the most welcoming and friendly people of the entire region.

nizwa oman visa free
A view over the palm oasis of Nizwa as seen from the ramparts of the city’s fort. ©Paliparan

In short

Oman abolishes visa requirements for tourists from 103 countries. Coupled with relatively straightforward corona restrictions, the visa free access now makes the Sultanate of Oman one of the easiest countries to visit during the pandemic.

If you are looking for an international trip but don’t want to deal with too many restrictions and a lot of hassle such as advance PCR tests, then Oman could make for a fabulous destination – especially over the coming winter months when the Sultanate basks in sunshine and warm temperatures.

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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