DIVING HOLIDAYS IN OMAN
A diving holidays to Oman is an exceptional and unique experience for all levels of diver. A magical land, full of history, culture, rugged mountains, bustling souks, desert landscape and beautiful beaches stretched along the 1700km coastline; all only a seven hour flight from the UK. Oman is a wonderful place with charming beauty of nature as well as an exceptionally diverse marine life and a large number of marine cliffs, small islands, bays and caves, as well as diverse and unique coral reefs. The diving in Oman is some of the best in the Gulf, with intact coral and plenty of big fish. Dolphins can be seen in the hundreds following tuna and you can also see whales and whale sharks depending on the season. There are many wrecks and opportunities for drift and other specialized dives.
The Saman Explorer operates from October to mid-May, departing from Salalah, in the south of Oman, which is the best departure point for exploring the Hallaniyat islands, a region just opened for diving in 2011. From the end of July to September, the liveaboard sails to the northwest of Oman around the Daymaniyat Islands. The diving area is virtually untouched and poorly understood, so be prepared for anything.
DIVING SEASONS IN OMAN
Best time to visit: October-May
Water temperature: 20-25°C
Number of Dive Sites: More than 20
Average visibility: 16-20 metres
Current strength: medium
The best time to visit Oman is between November and mid-March, when the cooler air brings the mountain scenery sharply into focus and daytime temperatures average 25°C. For the rest of the year, much of Oman is oppressively hot and hazy, particularly between May and August. The redeeming summertime feature is the khareef, the mid-June to late-August rainy season in southern Oman. Many Gulf visitors flock to this area to picnic under the drizzle on Dhofar’s grassy hills. The rain (and the green) vanishes by mid-September The peak tourist season in the north is from November to mid-March.
THE ENTRY REQUIRMENT
UK / EU passport holders: A full 10 year passport valid until at least 6 months after date of return. A one-month visit visa, required by all nationalities except for citizens of Gulf countries, can be obtained by many foreign nationals (including those from the EEC, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand) at Seeb International Airport in Muscat for OR6.
TRAVEL HEALTH FOR OMAN
Oman is generally a very safe country. There are no compulsory inoculations if traveling from the UK, although vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers arriving from an infected area.
Advise changes from time to time however so we ask that you ask your travel health expert (e.g. GP, practice nurse or travel clinic) to provide you with the most up to date information and vaccines to ensure your travels are safe and enjoyable.
The unit of Oman currency is the Omani Rial, abbreviated to OMR. Moneychangers keep similar hours to banks, but are often open from around 4pm to 7pm as well. They usually offer a slightly more competitive rate than the banks, and most charge only a nominal commission of 500 baisa per cash transaction. American Express is accepted, as are other major credit cards. There are over 65 ATMs in the Sultanate of Oman. Travellers cheques are easily exchanged. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in US Dollars. Most banks will change US-dollar travellers cheques for a commission.