Oman

Overview

Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Please refer to the MOH COVID-19 website for updates on the latest precautionary measures implemented to further reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. These include travel advisories and further restrictions on travellers coming into Singapore. 

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With effect from 8 April 2021, only Omani citizens and residency holders will be allowed to enter Oman.

 

The information here only serves as a guide. As entry restrictions may change at short notice, you are advised to contact your travel agency, or the Consulate-General of Oman in Singapore to ensure that you have accurate information for your specific purpose prior to departure.

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Singaporeans are required to obtain a visa before travelling to Oman. You can get a visa on arrival at any land, sea or air entry port in the country. A one-month tourist visa costs Omani Rials (OMR) 20. You can extend this by 30 days for a further OMR20. Those overstaying the duration of their visas can expect heavy penalties. As visa requirements often change at short notice, we advise you to contact your travel agency, or the Consulate-General of Oman in Singapore for up-to-date information. You should also consider checking with your travel agent to ensure your passport and other travel documents meet the necessary entry requirements.

It has been reported that if a traveller’s passport contains evidence of entry into Israel or another country’s border crossing points with Israel, entry will be denied at the Immigration point.

If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is pandemic, you will be required to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to be allowed entry into Oman. The World Health Organisation provides a list of countries endemic for yellow fever.

There is a possibility that some prescribed and over the counter medicines available in the Singapore may be banned in Oman. If you are travelling to Oman with prescription drugs, carry a copy of the prescription. For further information, please check with Oman’s Ministry of Health or the Consulate-General of Oman in Singapore well in advance of travel.

Employment: Omani Employers must obtain a work visa and single-entry for you, either before or after you arrive in Oman. There have been cases Omani employers insist on retaining employees’ passports as a condition of employment. This practice is illegal. Do not agree to this, as it could restrict your ability to travel and provide leverage to the employers in disputes.

Yemen border: The border with Yemen remains open, but you may experience delays of up to three weeks or more, before being considered for entry into Oman. The Omani border authorities may ask for proof of onward travel out of Oman before allowing you to enter the country. You will also be expected to be able to cover the cost of accommodation, insurance and onward travel. The Singapore government’s ability to help is limited. While the Consulate-General will assist to make the application for entry into Oman, it has no say in the decision process as the final approval comes from the Royal Oman Police.

Avoid approaching the Yemeni border due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Crossing the Yemen–Oman border can be difficult and very dangerous. Houthi militias and other forces operating in Yemen do not normally engage in cross-border exercises; however, you should still be extremely cautious near the border due to the potential spill over of violence. Terrorist groups have also used the conflict in Yemen as an opportunity to expand their territory and reach.

Road travel: It is a legal requirement to have a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) in order to rent a car and legally drive in Oman. The IDP proves that you hold a valid driver’s licence in Singapore.  Anyone applying for a residence visa for Oman may also drive with an International driving licence. However, once the residence visa is issued, Singapore nationals need an Omani driver’s licence. A Singapore driving licence is not deemed valid for insurance purposes if an accident occurs. There is also no conversion of Singaporean driving license into an Omani driving license. As such, Singaporeans need to take a driving test to pass before an Omani license is issued to them. Please visit the Royal Oman Police (ROP) website for details on how this could be done.

Driving is on the right. If you are involved in a major road traffic accident you must stay with your vehicle and call the ROP on 9999. If you are involved in a minor accident, it may not be necessary to call the police, but you must follow the procedures set out on the ROP website. You must keep a Minor Road Traffic Accident form in your car. You can get one from the ROP website or from your insurance company. Car rental companies are responsible for keeping forms in their cars.

Driving can be dangerous outside Muscat. It is common for pedestrians to cut across highways instead of using overhead bridges. There is also a risk of hitting wandering camels and goats on the road. Rainfall can cause sudden and severe flooding in dry riverbeds and on roads that cross them.

The Omani authorities strictly enforce traffic laws, and there are strong punishments for traffic offences, including heavy fines or jail sentences of up to three years. You must wear a seat belt when in the front seat of a car, and it’s illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving. There’s zero tolerance towards drink-driving. Speed limits are clearly posted on major roads. The standard of Omani roads is generally good. However, there are undisciplined drivers, and traffic accidents in Oman are common.

Excursions to the desert and mountains can be dangerous unless you are in an adequately equipped 4x4 vehicle. Always travel in convoy, take a supply of water and a mobile telephone (or satellite phone) and leave a copy of your travel plans with friends or relatives. You should also make sure you are adequately insured. 

Political situation: Developments in the Middle East continue to have an impact on local public opinion. You should be aware of local sensitivities on these issues. Follow news reports and be alert to local and regional developments, which might trigger public disturbances.

Local laws reflect the fact that Oman is an Islamic country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. Women should dress modestly in public areas. Clothes should cover the tops of the arms and legs.

You should not wear swimming attire in public areas, except on tourist beaches or swimming pools. Women wearing shorts, or tight-fitting clothes, are likely to attract attention.

Reported cases of sexual assault against foreign women are low. However, female visitors and residents should take care when walking or travelling alone. You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the Singapore.

Hobbies that involve cameras and binoculars like bird watching and plane spotting may be misunderstood - particularly if you are near military sites, government buildings and airports.

Carry a copy of your passport, or your Omani ID if you are a resident, at all times for identification and keep the original document in a safe place.

If you are subject to a travel ban, involved in legal proceedings, have unpaid debt or are a child subject to a custody dispute, you may be prevented from leaving the country. You could be fined and/or detained if you overstay or fail to extend your legal residency.

Foreign nationals must pay all traffic fines before leaving the country. If you haven’t paid fines before you leave you may experience delays or be prevented from leaving the country. You can pay fines at the airport.

Importing drugs and pornography into Oman is illegal and can lead to imprisonment. The penalties for drug trafficking, smuggling and possession, of even residual amounts, of drugs are severe. In some cases, the death penalty could apply. There is no distinction in Omani law between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ drugs; both are treated with equal severity.

Licensed hotels and restaurants sell alcohol. If you live in Oman, you can get a licence to drink alcohol at home from the Royal Oman police. It’s an offence to drink, or be drunk, in public. The legal age for drinking alcohol is 21.

It’s against the law to live together or share the same hotel room with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren’t married or closely related. Avoid physical contact or displays of affection in public.

The laws of Oman prohibit sexual acts between the same genders. Those convicted can face the death penalty.

It is illegal to use aggressive, obscene or abusive language or gestures in public, including on social media. It is also illegal to make offensive remarks about, or insult, Oman, the royal family, the local government or local officials. Penalties include imprisonment and deportation.

Natural disasters (Tropical storms): While Oman’s climate is generally dry, heavy rains do fall, usually in the winter. Flash floods can cause injuries and deaths. Cyclones from the Indian Ocean do occasionally make landfall in Oman in the summer months. Check local weather forecasts and seek advice about travelling conditions particularly if you are considering any off-road travel or adventure tourism, including to Wadi areas (dry riverbeds).

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. When hiking in Oman be sure to follow marked hiking trails.

Health: Take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you will be overseas and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. The Singapore Government does not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. Get vaccinated before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and also refer to Travellers Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) in Tan Tock Seng Hospital for useful information for travellers.

Health care in Oman is generally good, but can vary from region to region. Hospitals and clinics in the larger cities are better equipped. Costs can be expensive, depending on the procedure. For serious illnesses or complex medical procedures, travellers may wish to be medically evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities.

Malaria is generally considered to be under control in Oman. However, given Oman’s high temperature and humidity that allows mosquitoes to breed, there is a low ongoing risk of malaria. Other insect-borne infections, including dengue fever also occur in Oman. Travellers should be particularly attentive to the risk of mosquito bites on the Musandam Peninsula. Take precautions against insect bites by using insect repellent, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured-clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.

The most common health hazard faced by travellers in Oman is dehydration and other problems relating to the high temperatures in summer months. It is advisable for travellers to be aware of the dangers of the sun, and to remain well hydrated. Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water. Avoid ice cubes, raw and undercooked food.

Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Countries outside the Middle East have also reported imported cases from returned travellers. 

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]

In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.

In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities. 

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

·  Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.

·  Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.

·  Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.

·  eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

 

While travelling

·  Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.

·  Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.

·  Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.

·  Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.

In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]

There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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