An Oman visa allows you to stay in Oman for a maximum of 10 or 30 days, depending on the variant you choose. It is therefore wise to decide before you leave what you want to do during your stay in the country. Two activities to consider are an overnight stay in the Wahiba Sands and sea turtle spotting in Ras Al Jinz.
Wahiba Sands: spending the night in the desert
In the north of Oman, a two-hour drive from Muscat, one finds the vast Sharqiya Desert, better known as the Wahiba Sands. This desert covers an area of 12,500 square kilometres and, despite the drought, the area is extremely diverse. There are more than 200 different species of animals and more than 150 species of flora. The Wahiba Sands are inhabited by the Bedouins, a nomadic people who mainly live around the oasis of Al-Huyawah.
Travellers have the opportunity to stay in special desert camps. These are luxury accommodation for tourists who want to experience the desert. One of the most popular camps is the Arabian Oryx Camp. From here, various desert activities are organised, such as desert safaris and sand-boarding. But of course, you also have the possibility of camping in the desert yourself, which is an unforgettable experience for many.
A popular activity in the Wahiba Sands is the so-called dune bashing. This involves getting into a four-wheel drive car driven by a specialist driver to race over the sand dunes. In theory, you can do this without a specialised driver, but this is not recommended because driving in the desert is completely different from driving on the road. Besides, it is easy to get lost in the desert. The Bedouins know the Wahiba Sands like the back of their hand and therefore know where the most beautiful places are.
Spotting green turtles in Ras Al Jinz
Ras al-Jinz in Oman is located at the easternmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula and is a few hours’ drive from Muscat. Ras al-Jinz is primarily known as one of the most important nesting places for the green sea turtle. The green sea turtle is an endangered species, and there are several reserves around the world to ensure that they do not become extinct. So too in Ras Al Jinz. This area is home to the Turtle Beach Nature Reserve, a reserve dedicated to the protection of the green sea turtle.
Ras al-Jinz offers a unique opportunity to see these rare turtles up close. A modern hotel is located near the reserve. The hotel is situated on a hill, which gives a beautiful view of the water. The hotel staff also organises tours to the nearby beach to spot turtles. The turtles often stay in the sea during the day, so without a guide it can be difficult to spot one. In the early morning, before sunrise, they are much easier to find. With a bit of luck, you can also witness the hatching of the turtle eggs. After hatching, the newborn turtles hurry to the sea before falling prey to crabs or seagulls. It is not permitted to take photos during tours that take place in the early morning. The reason for this is that the baby turtles use the moonlight to find the sea. All other light sources can confuse them, causing them to never reach the ocean. Photos may only be taken if the guide gives permission.
Oman visa application
British and Irish tourists wishing to travel to Oman must submit an Oman visa application before departure. Since 2018, the visa that can be applied for on arrival - the Visa on Arrival - is no longer available. All tourists must instead apply for the digital e-visa Oman. This is an electronic document that needs to be printed after being granted.
The online Oman visa is only suitable for tourists. Upon arrival in Oman, your passport must still be valid for at least 6 more months and must not contain any stamps from the Israeli immigration service. The tourist visa comes in three varieties, each with a different price and validity period: the single-entry visa for a stay of 10 days, the single-entry visa for a stay of 30 days and the multiple-entry visa which allows you to make several trips to Oman within one year.
Urgent visa delivery
Visa for Oman are usually issued after 7 days. In case you need a visa on short notice, you can have your visa application processed urgently for a small surcharge. The application and the provided documents will be processed by an employee of e-Visa.co.uk within 24 hours. The application is then immediately forwarded to the immigration service of Oman. Urgent applications are approved in four days on average, but no guarantees can ever be given as to the delivery times.