Horses in sand dunes on a desert trail ride

Discover the Sultanate of Oman in the saddle

From the vibrant city of Muscat to the golden sand dunes of the South, Oman is a fascinating blend of Arabia of old and the modern world. The Sultanate has kept its traditions, and is probably one of the best countries to experience the magic of the Middle East. On your riding holiday to Oman, you will have the opportunity to ride with a team of Bedouins, experiencing their lifestyle and discovering their traditions. From the coastline of the Gulf to the Djebel Sham mountains and the Wahiba sands, Oman is the perfect riding destination for outdoors lovers.
See all our trips
  • A village in Oman
    Villages of Oman - Riding holiday
  • Mascate, Oman riding holiday
    The Capital city of Mascate in Oman
  • Riders on the beach in Oman
    Riding into the sunset on the beach... Bliss!
  • Dolphins swimming in the Gulf of Oman
    Dolphins of the Gulf of Oman
  • Fisherman in Oman
    Fresh catch of the day in Oman

Visa & Health

Formalities

British nationals need a visa to enter Oman. You should apply for an e-visa before you travel. Applications can be made through the Royal Oman Police portal. If you’re travelling as a tourist, you can apply for an unsponsored visa.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Oman.

Up-to-date travel information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/oman/entry-requirements (British riders)

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade du Sultanat d'Oman
    50, avenue d'Iéna
    75116 PARIS
    Tél. : 01.47.23.01.63
    Fax : 01.47.23.02.25
    paris@mofa.gov.om
  • Ambassade en Oman
    PO Box 208
    PC 115 Madinat Qabous MASCATE
    Tél. : (00) 968 - 24 68 18
    Fax : (00) 968 - 24 68 18
    contact@ambafrance-om.org
  • Consulat général du Sultanat d'Oman
    Chemin de Roilbot 3a
    1292 Chambésy
    Tél. : 022/758 96 60
    Fax : 022/758 96 66
    omanconsulate-ge@bluewin-ch
  • Ambassade d'Oman
    AV. HERRMANN-DEBROUX 40/42
    1160 AUDERGHEM
    Tél. : 02.679.70.10
    Fax : 02/534.79.92
    omanembassy@europe.com

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

Healthcare facilities in Oman are similar to those in the UK. British nationals are required to use the private healthcare system. Visitors who don’t have travel insurance or the means to settle any charges may be prevented from leaving the country until the debt is paid. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 9999 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

The heat can be extreme and deaths have occurred due to dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/oman/health

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

The mains electricity in Oman is 220V to 240V. Adaptors are widely available at hotel shops and from supermarkets such as Al Fair. British riders do not need an adaptor (Type G plugs)

Budget and money

ATMs are widespread in Oman and many of them, particularly those belonging to HSBC, are tied into international systems. The most popular credit card in Oman is Visa, but MasterCard is also widely accepted. Amex is not accepted in many shops, and you may incur a fee of 5% for using it in some restaurants and hotels.

The official currency is the Omani rial (OR but widely spelt RO). One rial is divided into 1000 baisa (also spelt baiza and shortened to bz). There are coins of 5, 10, 25 and 50 baisa, and notes of 100 and 200 baisa. There are notes of a half, one, five (which looks unfortunately similar to a one rial note), 10, 20 and 50 rials.

Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/oman/a/nar-gr/money-and-costs/361106


Telephone and jetlag

Calling code: +968

Country information

Socio-economical data

Oman is a rural, agricultural country, and fishing and overseas trading are important to the coastal populations. Oil in commercial quantities was discovered in Oman in 1964 and was first exported in 1967. Subsequently the production and export of petroleum rapidly came to dominate the country’s economy. Oil revenues have grown to represent roughly two-fifths of gross domestic product (GDP) and almost three-fourths of the government’s income.

Source: https://www.britannica.com/place/Oman

Geography

Slightly smaller in area than the country of Poland, Oman is bounded to the southwest by Yemen, to the south and east by the Arabian Sea, to the north by the Gulf of Oman, to the northwest by the United Arab Emirates, and to the west by Saudi Arabia.

Northern Oman is dominated by three physiographic zones. The long, narrow coastal plain known as Al-Bātinah stretches along the Gulf of Oman. The high, rugged Hajar Mountains extend southeastward, parallel to the gulf coast, from the Musandam Peninsula to a point near Cape al-Hadd at the easternmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Much of the range reaches elevations above 4,800 feet (1,463 metres); Mount Shams (“Sun Mountain”), at an elevation of 9,777 feet (2,980 metres), is the country’s highest point. The great central divide of Wadi Samāʾil separates the Ḥajar into a western and an eastern range. An inland plateau falls away to the southwest of the Ḥajar Mountains into the great Rubʿ al-Khali (“Empty Quarter”) desert, which the sultanate shares with Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Source: https://www.britannica.com/place/Oman

People, culture and traditions

Capital: Mascate
Official languages: Arabic
Religion: Islam (Ibadi)
Demonym: Omani
Government: Unitary parliamentary absolute monarchy
Area: 309,500 km²
Population: 4,424,762 (2016 estimate)
GDP: $189,582 billion (2017 estimate)
Currency: Rial (OMR)
Time zone: GST (UTC+4)
Calling code: +968

Source: (c) Wikipedia, 2018.

Choosing the right riding holiday

Choosing the right riding holiday

If you have always felt drawn to the desert, then a visit to Arabia is a must. Oman for much of the 20th century was known as the place where time stood still. If you are looking to find something of that timelessness, then what better way to experience ancient Arabian way of life than on horseback. Take inspiration from feeling as though you are walking in the footsteps of historical characters when you are invited into nomadic camps and perhaps the chance to even see some of the camel caravans that still cross this desert. Ride like the Bedouins in the early morning, late afternoon, evenings or even at night, while taking long siestas to miss the unforgiving midday heat. Ride beautiful Arab horses as they show you what great stamina they have.