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We are two families travelling to Oman over the New Year period. We are staying at Shangri La, for some R&R but do not want to visit this beautiful country without experiencing the real Oman and it's culture. What are the 'musts' and what advice do you have on safety as it is our first time to an Arab state? Thanks.

Muscat, Oman
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1. Re: Safety

My sister and brother in law visited Oman in April this year (having visited with us in Dubai the previous year) and their comment was that "Oman is a real country where real people live, Dubai is la-la-land". Oman is rich in its cultural heritage and the Omanis are justly proud of it. They are also some of the most friendly people we have ever come across.

You really shouldn't worry about your safety while you are in Oman. All we would suggest is that you respect the Islamic culture, ie when you're not at the hotel the ladies among you cover your arms and legs (certainly to below the knee) and that the men do likewise, ie no shorts in public. You will see other visitors dressed in clothing more suited to the beach but you will feel more comfortable if you are more "conservatively" dressed.

As for things to do and see, we've only been there a couple of times but check out this (if you haven't already seen it):


We've lived in Dubai (by choice) since summer 2005 and are now in the process of buying a home in Muscat and just wish that we didn't have to wait until 2010 to move there. (We still love Dubai but it's getting a bit busy for us as "pensioners" who've always lived in the country - feels more like living in London where we are now). We've always felt totally safe here in Dubai and know that we'll feel equally, if not more, safe in Oman.

Hope that this will put your minds at rest re the safety issue. Have a great holiday!

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2. Re: Safety

Thank you so much! You have really put our minds at rest. We cannot wait for our experience!

Muscat Governorate...
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3. Re: Safety

Dear Sunseeker,

Just be careful about photographing ladies without permission, and military installations.

Hugedxb has covered most of it - try and see Nizwa, the numerous castles and forts, the hot water springs, souks, your concierge at Shangri la is your best bet.

Fix taxi rates BEFORE you start, they are not metered. Always get a second opinion on the fares, do not go by what hotel staff could tell you. I have seen taxi fares inflated TEN times because the employee concerned owned or part owned the cab.

London, United...
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4. Re: Safety

Just got back from a week's holiday in Muscat (the Chedi) and you can be asured that it is a very very safe country. Muscat is a nice city with old souks and new shopping malls. Vendors don't hassle you for sale, you can dress more or less like in any city (obviously not beachwear) and crime is astonishingly low, it is a very well run country. I enjoyed my trip immensely.

Have fun.


5. Re: Safety

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