About Oman (OM)
Situated on the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman borders Saudi Arabia to the west, Yemen to the southwest, and the United Arab Emirates in the northwest, Saudi Arabia in the west, and Yemen in the southwest. A pair of exclaves — the Musandam Peninsula and Madha — are separated from Oman by the U.A.E. The country has come a long way since the early 1970s when it was all but completely off-limits to visitors from non-Arab nations. Today, Oman is open and welcoming of foreign tourists, and its profile continues to rise with its rapid development. It has one of the most inhospitable climates on the planet, with a number of regional variations ranging from searing, dry heat of inland deserts, to hot and muggy conditions at the coast — neither of which are pleasant for outdoor activities. This begs the question, what is there to do and see in Oman if you can go outside? Fortunately, winter is considerably more temperate and by far the best time to visit.
Given the distances involved, and the absence of comprehensive public transportation, the majority of visitors will rent a car in Oman for the duration of their visit. And that’s OK, because the roads are in great shape and routes lead to every destination you might want to visit. The major destinations are linked mostly by four-lane highways, with a couple of two-lane feeder routes the rest of the way in to town. For example driving from Muscat to Dubai takes around 4.5 hours. Your primary concern however, will involve staying as far away from local drivers as logistically possible. Like many Gulf States, drivers in Oman have a reputation for excessive speeding and general recklessness. Keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine.
Choosing your car
Cheap car rentals in Oman are on offer from Hertz, National, Sixt, Europcar, Avis, and Dollar. Choose from a wide variety of vehicle types including minicars, compact sedans, economy hatchbacks, luxury and premium sedans, estate wagons, midsize and fullsize SUVs, and 7-12 seater minivans for large families and groups.
Tips and advice
Road maps may not reflect an accurate representation of many Omani roads in question. Consider maps (and GPS) to be something of “the artist’s interpretation” of how roads are supposed to look. Routes marked as major highways may in reality be one-track dirt roads.
All-wheel drive SUVs are by far the most popular and sensible Oman car rentals.
As in all Arab countries, don’t act in a disrespectful manner. Omani people are very friendly and tolerant of visitors as long as they’re following the rules and showing respect for the Omani culture. One particular issue of note may occur on the roads, where offensive gestures are a very taboo no-no, even if some inconsiderate driver has scared you within an inch of your life.
Some parts of Oman have poor mobile wireless coverage.
Don’t even think about hitting the dunes for some off-road driving in anything other than a four-wheel drive SUV. And don’t take that SUV off the lot without having a chat with your car hire vendor about your intention to go off-road. You may have to pay more.
Many Omani car rental providers offer limited mileage allowances. Consider upgrading to an unlimited mileage program — those conditions will be available on our site to view.