Oman travel guide: everything you need to know as the sultanate drops PCR tests for travel

All the details you need if you're planning to travel between Oman and the UAE

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After much back and forth on travel rules and restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, Oman reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers on September 1, 2021.

Vaccinated visitors can travel freely to Oman, with tourist visas once again available both online and on-arrival. Omani citizens and their families can return to the sultanate without being vaccinated.

From March 2022, the sultanate no longer requires travellers to have a negative PCR test result before travelling according to the country's Civil Aviation Authority.

Other Covid-19 restrictions including compulsory face masks in outdoor spaces and limits on hotel operating capacities have also been lifted.

Here's all the information you need to know if you're planning a visit.

Which airlines are flying between Oman and the UAE?

Oman Air is one of several airlines flying between Muscat and Dubai as Covid-19 restrictions ease. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Oman Air is one of several airlines flying between Muscat and Dubai as Covid-19 restrictions ease. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Several airlines fly between the UAE and Oman, including the national airline of the sultanate, Oman Air.

From Dubai, Emirates flies to Muscat four times a day. From Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways flies to Muscat five times per week.

Low-cost airlines Air Arabia Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi also fly to the Omani capital, and there are also direct flights to and from Salalah.

Other budget choices for flights between the UAE and Oman include flydubai and Salam Air.

Travelling from Oman to the UAE

An immigration official checks documents of passenger at Dubai Airport. WAM
An immigration official checks the documents of a passenger at Dubai International Airport. Wam

Travellers flying to the UAE from Oman must follow the rules in place for each emirate. New rules mean that travellers no longer need to have pre-entry for approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship (ICE).

Vaccinated travellers no longer need negative Covid‑19 PCR test certificates to travel to the UAE. For those flying to Abu Dhabi, on-arrival Covid-19 tests are no longer required, but can be obtained free of charge after landing in the capital. No further follow-up tests are necessary.

The UAE has also dropped its green list for travel, so residents do not need to quarantine upon returning to the emirates, regardless of vaccination status.

All departing Omani citizens must have health insurance covering Covid‑19 related expenses and valid in the country they are travelling to.

Can I drive to Oman from the UAE?

Oman has reopened most land borders between the sultanate and the UAE meaning that road trips are once again possible.

Fully vaccinated travellers can drive to Oman. From Dubai, it's around a four and a half hour drive to Muscat and a five-hour drive from Abu Dhabi, depending on traffic and border control queues.

Travelling to Oman from the UAE

Oman is open to travellers who are fully vaccinated. Visitors must have received both doses of a recognised vaccine at least 14 days before travelling to the sultanate. Omani citizens and their families who are not vaccinated or have only had one dose, are also allowed to return to the country.

Travellers no longer need to register before travelling to Oman. Vaccinated travellers must carry with them a valid Covid‑19 vaccine certificate with a QR code.

Travellers must also have valid health insurance to cover medical expenses in Oman for a period of one month. Citizens from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are exempt from these insurance requirements.

What vaccines is Oman recognising for travel?

Oman has approved nine vaccines and visitors must have received both doses of the vaccine at least 14 days before travel. The recognised vaccines are:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca
  • AstraZeneca / Covishield
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Sinovac
  • Moderna
  • Sputnik V
  • Sinopharm
  • Covaxin

Travellers will have to show a medical exemption certificate if they cannot be vaccinated for any reason.

Do I need a negative Covid-19 PCR test result to travel to Oman?

A medical worker collects a swab sample from a passenger for a RT-PCR Coronavirus test at the Muscat international airport in the Omani capital on October 1, 2020.  / AFP / MOHAMMED MAHJOUB
A medical worker collects a swab sample from a passenger at Muscat Airport. Travellers no longer need PCR tests to fly to Oman. AFP

No, travellers flying to Oman from any destination, including connecting and transit passengers, no longer need to show a negative Covid-19 PCR test result before travel, as long as they are fully vaccinated.

Do children need to be vaccinated to travel to Oman?

All children under 18 are exempt from Oman's vaccination requirements, unless the airlines they are flying with require it. This applies to both Omani and non-Omani children, according to the latest update on the Emirates website.

What rules are in place at airports in Oman?

New rules effective from March 1 mean that face masks are only required in closed spaces, according to Oman News Agency. This includes all airports where face masks remain mandatory.

Authorities also advise checking-in for flights online to cut down on face-to-face contact at the airport. It is also recommended to avoid carrying phones or other items in your hands when navigating check-in and security checkpoints.

Only passengers with valid air tickets are allowed entry to airports in Oman, so those departing from Muscat or Salalah cannot bring friends or family to the airport with them.

Do I need to quarantine if I travel to Oman?

There is no more mandatory quarantine for passengers who meet the entry requirements, including being fully vaccinated.

Can I transit in Oman?

Oman is open for transit. Travellers flying via Muscat to another destination no longer need a negative PCR test to transit.

All transit passengers landing at airports in the sultanate will have to pay a 3 Omani riyals ($8) departure fee before catching their next flight.