The scenic landscapes of Oman are characterized by such a great variety of impressive natural beauty and cultural highlights that it is worth investing more time to give free rein to your inner overwhelm. Even though you can sit back and relax on a guided tour, you’ll appreciate preferring to take the wheel yourself. You will spend more time in preparation, but you can configure the road trips according to your personal taste.
There won’t be anyone breathing down your neck with a timer, shooing you back to the group to continue the round trip even though you’re still busy waiting for the perfect scene light for your golden shot. You’ll decide how long the conversation with an Omani lasts behind their backyard fence, and you’ll activate your spirit of discovery that will take you to places not profitable enough to be worthy of a stop within a guided tour. But they are magical gems that will remain in your heart forever.
Safely through Oman – what to expect on your road trip
In Oman, traffic is governed by the rule of law and is generally very civilized. One would think that the European road network could hardly be topped. Oman is proving that it is vastly superior to domestic road maintenance. The roads are excellent and in top condition. With the lush crosses, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on.
Since the destinations signposted in English and Arabic often have different spellings, it is worth planning the routes well in advance. So you don’t lose valuable time on the road. A big bonus are the numerous traffic circles, where you should think about where you want to exit again beforehand for proper marshaling.
By the way, on the main roads in the Central Oman and in the southern district of Dhofar, you can expect to meet “highwaymen” from time to time. Leisurely plodding camels and a few bleating goats on the roads of Oman are part of the good tone of the routes and offer an idyllic backdrop that breathes inner peace into you. Drive past them extremely carefully, as the fast cloven-hoofed animals tend to cross the road abruptly.
It is also advisable to take extra care in the dark. Because the warning triangle for broken down vehicles often replaces only one row of stones. Also note that you cannot carry alcohol in your vehicle without a license. Traffic controls are carried out regularly by the Omani police.
Ideal solution for road trips in Oman – rent a car and pick it up at the airport in Muscat
Basically, you can rent a car from any major city in Oman and take a day trip. Rental car stations in Salalah, Nizwa and Mirbat hold a generous selection of models. To explore Oman in an authentic way, it is recommended to experience the entire stay by rental car. To avoid the hassle of visiting a rental car station in the city of Muscat, you are well advised to book online from home and pick up your vehicle at the terminal of Muscat Airport, since you will be landing there anyway.
Calculate with a daily price of about 50 euros. Consider taking the car on a desert tour or indulging in the parched wadis. In both cases, you should definitely treat yourself to an off-road vehicle with all-wheel drive in order to enjoy driving it. When picking up the car, check that the tank is full, the headlights are working properly, the wipers are working without streaks and that there is enough air on the tires.
A great pleasure will give you the sight of the fuel prices. Because here you get away with less than 50 cents per liter. Therefore, make sure to carry enough cash for such small amounts. The network of gas stations is very dense and you will encounter many well-known petroleum companies. For the long distances in sparsely populated central Oman, use every gas station you pass, even if the tank is still half full. Better one has than one would have!
To be able to navigate optimally through Oman at any time, a rental car with navigation system is a good choice. This way, you don’t drain the juice from your smartphone, which you usually have on hand for on-the-go research or photography.
Rent a car with driver – when local expertise is required
For the normal road network, a driver is not worth it and can cost a lot of money. But you would be well advised to organize it for a desert tour. The challenges of the sand giants are not to be underestimated.
The most beautiful self-drive routes in Oman
- My great Oman round trip Nizwa – Salalah – Muscat & Emirates
- From the capital Muscat to the oasis city Nizwa
- From historic Nizwa through the Central Oman with a stop in the Rub Al-Khali sand desert and on to tropical Salalah
- East coast Oman – jewels whispered by the sea wind between Fazayah and Muscat
- From Muscat to the Musandam Peninsula and back