ARE OMAN BEACHES SAFE
Tourists and travellers from all over the world, as well as the Gulf, visit the country of Oman for a quick getaway or a beach holiday. It is still a place where you can find unexplored pristine beaches where human civilisation has not yet made an intrusive appearance to spoil the natural beauty. There are several small islands along the coastline where you can escape from the humdrum of city life and go on adventures for excitement. The coastline is 1700 km long, and most of the beaches are open for the public. However, if you are concerned about your safety on Oman beaches, read this article.
What is the safety like in the Oman beaches?
Oman as a country is very friendly to tourists, and the local people are some of the nicest you can find. However, being an Islamic country, it has a culture that is rather conservative. You will be fine if you follow the rules and stay within certain boundaries and social restrictions.
Here are some tips that you can use to stay safe when visiting beaches in Oman:
Dress Conservatively: Since Oman is an Islamic country, the dress code to be followed is to stay covered up while you are in Oman. The general rule of getting dressed applies to both men and women. Generally, you must keep your legs up to knees and arms up to elbows covered. Even if you are going to the beach, do not wear shorts or a tiny top while you are on the way.
It is acceptable to wear a swimming costume while in the water, but you are expected to wrap a sarong or something similar around your body when you get out of the ocean. Bikinis are frowned upon in public beaches, and if worn, they should not expose too much skin. Tiny tops or thongs are best to be avoided. Men should wear shorts rather than the smaller trunks. If you are staying in one of the beach resorts that have a private beach, then it is okay to wear whatever you like. If you are unsure of how to dress, just take a look around and see how the other people on the beach have dressed.
Look at the Category of Beaches: Take note of the signs on the beaches. Some of the beaches are open only for families. So, if you are travelling on your own, you should not be going to these beaches. So, you must make sure that you are on the right beach to avoid any problems.
Follow Laws in Oman: Oman is a total monarchy, which means that the Sultan has the final word. Sharia law has shaped Oman’s legal system. Like any other Islamic country, respect the traditions of the local people. This is especially true if you are visiting Oman during the time of Ramadan or any other religious festival.
Don’t do Drugs: There is zero tolerance for drugs in Oman irrespective of whether you are possessing drugs or trafficking them. There are severe punishments for those who consume or sell drugs in the country. Even if you possess a small amount for personal use, it can land you in jail for up to a year. So, make sure you do not carry any illegal substance on the Oman beaches or anywhere else in the country.
Photography with Caution: Exercise caution while taking photos of military or government buildings on or near the Oman beaches. While taking selfies or photographs of your group, try to avoid taking other people on the beach. Since they are conservative people, you may end up having a bad fight with them for taking their photographs.
No Drones: Flying any kind of recreational drone will attract a penalty of as much as three years in jail in Oman. The authorities have imposed this law due to several problems arising from recreational drones flying too near the airport buildings and flight paths of airplanes.
Pay Respect to the Royal Family: It is considered offensive or insulting to make any kind of negative remarks about the royal family of Oman, as well as the government and its officials.
No Homosexuality: In Oman, homosexuality is not legal, and it is a punishable offence with a jail term of up to three years. So, if you are traveling as a homosexual couple, avoid Oman.
Don’t Display Bad Behaviour: Any kind of bad language, gestures or behaviour in public places like beaches are not allowed — even a rude gesture while driving or otherwise may get you into trouble. Also, remember not to make any public displays of affection, which are not allowed as well there.
No Alcohol in Public: The age to drink alcohol legally in Oman is 21 years. It is also an offence to drink alcohol in public or be drunk in public. So, enjoy your time on an Oman beach, but don’t drink alcohol there.
Don’t Travel as an Unmarried Couple: It is an offence for unmarried couples to share a room in Oman. But at the same time, it is also illegal for Oman authorities to ask about the marital status of a couple. So, if you are an unmarried couple and if someone comes to know about it, you may land up in unnecessary trouble.
Beaches in Oman
Here are some of the beaches in Oman where you can play, swim, and sunbathe as much as you want:
- Aviation Beach or Shell Beach: This is near the Civil Aviation club in Al Alzaiba.
- Qurum Beach: This is one of the longest beaches in Oman.
- Bandar Jissah: Located at a short drive away from Muscat, it is one of the most secluded beaches.
- Marjan Beach: This beach offers tourists a view of the colourful marine life in Oman.
- Ras al Hadd Beach: This is a turtle reserve beach located about 60 km from the city of Sur.
- Al Saswadi Beach: Some of the world’s best corals are found at this beach located two and a half hours drive from Muscat.
- Al Bustan Beach: Named after the Al Bustan Palace hotel, this beach overlooks the mountains around Muscat.
- Dhofar Beach: If you like flamingos, lagoons, and caves, this is the beach for you.
Travelling to Oman for a beach holiday is a little trickier than doing so in a Western country, but it can also be more rewarding. You will get to experience a country that has hardly any tourists, meet the wonderfully friendly local people, and get a chance to explore and see some stunning scenery. As far as having fun on an Oman beach is concerned, you can be safe and sound if you follow the rules and etiquettes of the country.