Travelling to or from Oman? Here's everything you need to know

A handy travel guide of key information if you're planning a visit to the sultanate

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.

Anyone who has had both doses of a Covid-19 jab can now travel freely to Oman, including citizens, residents, and any visitors who do not need a visa to travel to Oman or those who can use the country's visa on arrival service.

Oman had previously suspended entry to travellers from 12 countries including Lebanon, the UK, the Philippines and Egypt but this list has now been terminated, and travellers can enter from any destination as long as they meet the new requirements.

Which airlines are flying to Oman?

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

From Dubai, Emirates flies to Muscat four times per day. From Abu Dhabi, Etihad flies to Muscat three times per week. Low-cost airline Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will also begin flying to the Omani capital from Sunday, October 31 and to Salalah from Wednesday, November 3.

Other budget airlines operating between the UAE and Oman include flydubai, AirArabia and Salam Air.

Travelling from Oman to Dubai and Abu Dhabi

An immigration official checks documents of passenger at Dubai Airport. WAM

Travellers flying to the UAE from Oman must follow the rules in place for each emirate. To Dubai, travellers no longer need to have pre-entry for approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). However, all travellers must hold a negative Covid‑19 PCR test certificate, taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

For those flying to Abu Dhabi, a negative PCR test result taken at an accredited laboratory within 48 hours of departure is required. Another Covid-19 test will be given to travellers upon arrival.

All passengers except UAE nationals and transit passengers must also apply for ICA approval before flying to the UAE capital, and those who were vaccinated in a country other than the UAE should do so five days before travel to have their vaccine status accepted.

Those travelling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai still need to request ICA approval. They will also need to have the Al Hosn App downloaded on their phone as it is needed on landing.

Oman is on Abu Dhabi's green list, so travellers will not need to quarantine on returning, regardless of their vaccination status.

Can I drive to Oman from the UAE?

FRW6X7 Camel crossing the road near Salalah, Oman. Jurate Buiviene / Alamy Stock Photo

Oman has reopened some land borders between the sultanate and the UAE, so road trips will once again be possible.

Fully vaccinated travellers with a negative PCR test can drive to Oman. From Dubai, it's around a four-hour drive to Muscat and a five-hour drive from Abu Dhabi, depending on traffic and border control queues. Not all border crossing points are open to tourists at this stage, with the popular Oman-UAE checkpoint at Dibba remaining closed.

Travelling to Oman from the UAE

Passengers, wearing protective face mask due to the Covid-19 pandemic, stand in a queue at the Muscat international airport in the Omani capital on October 1, 2020.  / AFP / MOHAMMED MAHJOUB

Oman is open to travellers that are fully vaccinated. Visitors must have received both doses of a recognised vaccine at least 14 days before travelling to the sultanate.

New rules introduced on September 20 mean that travellers must upload their vaccine certificate and PCR test certificate, both containing QR Codes, on Oman's travel authorisation system.

Visitors should keep a copy of their travel registration form once it has been submitted as they may be asked to show this during their journey. If travellers do not have a valid PCR test result, they can opt to take one on arrival in Oman. However, they will need to quarantine until their results are received.

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 insurance requirements.

Find out more about what to expect when flying from the UAE to Oman here.

What vaccines is Oman recognising?

Oman has approved eight 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

Travellers will have to show a medical certificate containing a QR code that proves their vaccination status.

All arriving passengers including Omani citizens must download and pre-register on the Tarassud+ platform before flying.

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

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

Travellers flying to Oman from any destination, including connecting and transit passengers, must have a printed negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate to avoid quarantine.

Test results are valid for 96 hours for travellers flying on longer flights (more than eight hours). Passengers on shorter flights (less than eight hours) must take their PCR test no later than 72 hours before their scheduled time of arrival in Oman.

Passengers who don't have a pre-travel test have to take one on arrival and then quarantine until they receive the results. An electronic wrist tracker must be worn during their isolation period.

Children under 18 are exempt from this rule, but some airlines including Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, may require children to be tested before they are allowed to board flights. Check with individual airlines in advance of travelling.

What rules are in place at airports?

In airports, face masks must be worn and people should maintain a social distance of 1.5 metres from other passengers.

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.

What are the quarantine rules?

There will be no more mandatory quarantine for passengers that meet the entry requirements including being fully vaccinated.

Travellers who fail to present a negative PCR test on arrival will have to quarantine wearing an electronic tracker until they receive a negative test result. This does not apply to travellers from Iran and Iraq, who must still undergo hotel quarantine on arrival in Oman.

Can I transit in Oman?

Oman is open for transit. Travellers flying via Muscat to another destination must have a negative PCR test to transit.

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