What to Eat:
The favorite local meal is Shewa, which is rice and slow-cooked lamb. There are also numerous restaurants to choose from in the capital, where you can get everything from sushi to curries.
What to Drink:
Omanis love to relax and hang out for a coffee on the beach before the sun sets. There are local pubs so having a cold beer at the end of the day is also common. Fresh juices and soft drinks are also available all over.
Outdoor activities like trekking and camping are very common and, with an abundance of Wadis and mountains, it’s hard to choose where to go. Some of the more famous are Wadi Shab and Snake Canyon. Desert crossings in off road vehicles are also worth adding a day or two to your trip.
Customs and Culture:
Oman is a conservative society and visitors should respect local customs and dress modestly. Cover the upper arms and legs attention while in public areas. You should also respect religious customs, like those during Ramadan, when eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours is prohibited by the Muslim culture.
Electricity and Internet:
240 Volts/50 Hertz, Type G (3 pin, BS 1363); Internet common in hotels and tourist areas.
Drink the water?
Only drink bottled water.
Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken.
When to go:
All year. The warmest water is in summer from June to August.
When to Get the Best Deals:
From June – September.
What to Pack:
For diving, you'll want to pack a 3/2 mm wet suit in the summer and a 5-7 mm wet suit in winter with (along with a hood and gloves). When out of the water, you'll want sunscreen, comfortable shoes that can get wet for hiking, long-sleeved lightweight shirts, long trousers and a light jacket for cool winter nights and a small medical kit if you're traveling away from tourist areas.
22-24° C/72-75° F in winter and 25-28 °C/77-82° F in summer.
20° C/68° F in winter and 45° C/113° F in summer.
Omani Rials (OMR): Credit cards are widely accepted.
Valid passport; check with local immigration office for visa requirements.
Included in your airfare.
Iconic Marine Life
Iconic Marine Life
You can find hawksbill and green turtles leisurely swimming or napping under ledges on most reefs.
Moray eels are seen on almost every dive and Oman is one of the few places that you can see freely swimming morays in the middle of the day
You can spot the elusive whale shark between June and October.
Named for its fleshy lips, this striking fish features wide black bands that alternate with black dotted lines against it's white and yellow body.
These small spiky swimmers decorate the reef with their lovely, but venomous, spines.
Octopus, Cuttlefish and Squid:
Wily and secretive, the octopus is often tucked away into the nooks and crannies of the reef. You can see cuttlefish and squid changing colors as they blend in with their surroundings.
All Types of Rays:
You can see mobullas, eagle rays, cow tails and butterfly rays.
You'll find these uniquely camouflaged fish quite easy to approach.
Divers frequently see these predatory fish on the reefs.
Location: Daymaniyat Dive Sites
This is the only dive site where you can see carpet soft coral. Large green turtles and large shoals of fish like jacks and tuna also frequently visit the rock. The crescent-shaped wall extends from east to west and dropping to 20 metres/66 feet at the base and extending to within 10 metres/33 feet of the surface.
At two breaks in the wall is a 10-metre/33-foot stretch of sloping sand. This is where you can find stingrays nestling under the sand. You can also see larger rays and Leopard sharks around the 20 metre/66 foot mark. With a plethora of sea life and relatively easy navigations, Clive rock is a great place to dive.
Some divers say that FAD stands for Fantastically Awesome Diving and, with its dramatic wall and phenomenal corals, it's easy to see why. The north face of the island offers depths of up to 20 metres/66 feet while on the south, divers will experience a gently undulating slope with impressive and unusual table corals.
There is a plateau at 15 metres/49 feet off the west of the island that is a regular site for turtles and leopard sharks. Divers typically circumnavigate the plateau in about an hour, finishing in the shallow corals.
This is the perfect dive site for using a diver propulsion vehicle. The wall drops to 20 metres/66 feet, but a strip of sand forms a ledge at 10 metres/33 feet. This separates the hard coral and the soft coral while creating the perfect hiding spot for small turtles.
Junn Island sometimes has strong currents and is better for drift diving. The shallow Aztec reef is 9 metres/30 feet deep on the east side and 3-4 metres/10-13 feet deep on the west side, creating the ideal surroundings for spotting morays, turtles and a multitude of colorful reef fish.
This long stretch of wall features large boulders and grottos, intertwined with narrow crevices teeming with various kinds of sea life, including octopuses, lobsters and morays.
Garden of Eden:
This dive site offers a rich bounty of hard and soft corals, including purple finger coral and Teddy bear coral. The underwater life is rich and diverse, with a wide range of fish species. Keep a sharp eye out for the porcupine puffer fish hiding in the rocks.
This site is an inverted “U” and the route is picturesque with coral-studded rock formations and a variety of species, including morays and lobsters. Once you have completed the “U”, you can continue south to a shallow coral garden filled with rays, and a multitude of brilliantly colored reef fish.
This spot - with a rocky wall dropping to 16 metres/52 feet – sports soft pink coral gardens and that are flanked by a number of swim-throughs and an abundance of sea life. Plus, it always has perfect current conditions and is the ideal length for a one-way drift dive.
This is one of the most beautiful and rewarding dive sites, but also one of the most challenging. The topography and location of this large wall often leave it at the mercy of strong currents and potential for navigational errors. The ridge measures approximately 5-15 metres/16-49 feet at the top and extends to 20-25 metres/66-82 feet at its base. Although challenging, this site is known for excellent visibility and offers the largest concentration of species such as turtles, leopard sharks and rays.
Location: Fahal Island:
Also known as Shark Island, this site is just 4.0 kilometres/2.5 miles off Muscat’s popular tourist beach. This large island has wide bays teeming with life, including many varieties of both hard and soft coral.
If you have the appetite for something more adventurous, then Fahal Island also has a swim-through, a wreck at 30 metres/100 feet and deep reefs down to 40 metres/130 feet. Fahal also has an added bonus in the form of two offshore reefs that contain unusual coral and are visited by the occasional whale shark.
Location: Bandra Kayran
Al Munassir Wreck:
In April 2013 the Sultanate of Oman and the Royal Oman Navy sank the 84-metre/276-foot Al Munnassir. The 3000 ton ship was sunk in 30 metres/98 feet of water in the turquoise waters of Bandar Khairan close to Muscat.
This challenging sites in Bandra Kayran, drops to 25 metres/82 feet and is subject to open ocean currents.
The wall spreads west to east with a bit of scattered rock garden at the center. The reef is comprised of red and purple soft coral, which form the perfect habitat for a multitude of large moray eels, batfish, travellys and tuna.
A great site for all levels, Novice Bay has a sandy bottom in the center and a mixture of hard and soft corals on the sides. With a maximum depth of 25 metres/82 feet, it's a great spot for sighting turtles and morays.
Here, you drop into a little bay and follow it out onto a great wall dive. It is mostly rocky with some soft corals and the sea life is amazing. Keep an eye out in the blue for eagle rays and schooling mobulas.