Oman offers visa-free travels to Iranians, other nations but strict rules required

January 4, 2021 - 22:9

TEHRAN – Oman has recently dropped its tourist visa requirement for visitors from 103 countries, including Iran, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, China, India, and Turkey, however the Sultanate has set some rules for the potential visitors. 

“Although Oman has started accepting foreign tourists, it has made some exceptions and requirements in travel laws. The Royal Oman Police have announced that citizens of 103 countries who have been exempted from entry visas for 10 days must have pre-booked hotel reservations, health insurance, and return tickets, and must pay a fine each day if they stay extra. The amount of the fine has been announced as 10 Omani rials per day,” ISNA reported on Monday.

Previously, all tourists entering Oman had to apply for a visa online in advance of their visit, and the visa would be valid for either 10 days, at a cost of about $13, or 30 days for $52, according to Lonely Planet.

Oman has been slowly opening its borders since October when international flights were permitted for residents and citizens abroad. At the end of November, tourist visas were issued for the first time in about eight months. Tourism is the fastest-growing non-oil industry in Oman, and accommodation providers and tour operators are eager to see visitors return.

Before the pandemic, Oman started to better connect itself to its neighbors in the region and become more accessible. In 2019, Dubai’s public transport system started a bus route that terminates in Muscat. Oman’s visa application process also went online last year, though visitors from many countries will no longer need to access this system with the new visa-free travel announcement.

Oman has recorded almost 127,000 cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but the number of new cases appears to be on a downward trend. New arrivals must complete an online pre-registration form before departure and have a PCR test on arrival at their own expense (about $65). Passengers must also download a contact tracing app and take another PCR test after a week of isolation. Travelers’ health insurance is required to cover at least 30 days of coronavirus treatment.

Guests who are planning to travel to Muscat should visit the Civil Aviation Authority website to ensure they are prepared to comply with requirements to enter the Sultanate. Guests departing from Oman should also ensure that they are aware of all pre-departure requirements and requirements during their flights, which are provided at omanair.com. Guests traveling outside Oman should ensure that they are aware of official requirements to enter their destination country, Travel Daily Media reported on Monday.

In 2019, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan with his Omani counterpart Ahmed bin Nasser al-Mahrizi, met in Muscat, discussing ways to promote bilateral ties particularly in the arena of health and medical tourism. In September 2019, the Iranian cabinet of ministers approved to maintain a visa waiver program for Omani nationals for one year.

AFM/

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