Oman’s sultanate recently decided to include 103 nationalities in their visa-free travel policy, which allows travellers to stay in Oman for up to 14 days without a visa. Travellers who intend to surpass the 14-day stay in the country can often times apply for their e-visa for Oman online.
Oman wants more tourism to diversify their economy
Like many other countries, Oman is also attempting to ignite tourism post-pandemic. Each country is using their own tactics, and offering a visa-free staying period is part of Oman’s plan of action. In Oman’s case, the new visa policy forms part of a larger plan that focuses on decreasing the country’s dependence on other branches, such as the oil and gas industry.
Tourism and “Oman vision 2040”
In 2020, tourism only contributed a mere 2.6% to Oman’s gross domestic income. This small number is only one tenth compared to their income generated by the gas and oil industry of that same year. Seeing as tourism in other countries generates an average of 10% to their GDP, Oman sees clear opportunities to expand and develop this branch. The country aims for a linear growth of the tourism branch, for they aspire for the share of tourism to be 5% and 10% in 2030 and 2040, respectively.
By 2040, Oman’s plan of action regarding tourism should have created a total of 500,000 new jobs and generated 17.7 billion pounds of annual income from tourism alone. This plan is part of a broader development plan called “Oman Vision 2040”. Another part of the plan is to invest a minimum of 20.4 billion pounds in the tourism branch. The main goals of the investment are to grant foreign travellers access to the country’s cultural heritage, as well as boosting employment.
Oman as a holiday destination
Many a traveller is unlikely to consider Oman a holiday destination, for it is often associated with the international oil industry. However, with the expected growth of 7.2% in 2023, tourism is, in fact, a growing branch. If it continues to grow, income from tourism can be expected to double every ten years. The country has plenty of hidden gems that make it worth visiting for tourists. There are two main airports in Oman, one in the capital of Muscat and one by the southern coastal town of Salalah. Both cities have a lot to offer. Muscat, for one, is known for its desert expeditions, colourful souks and delicious seafood. Moreover, the city is home to various fascinating museums. Apart from these two cities, there are many more interesting things to see in Oman.
Requirements for visa-free travel
Travellers from various countries, including the UK and Ireland, are eligible to travel to Oman without a visa for a short stay of up to two weeks. Those who make use of the opportunity to stay in Oman for up to 14 days without a visa, do need to adhere to a few conditions. It mostly concerns standard requirements for travelling to destinations outside of Europe. For example, you need to be able to show evidence of a distinct medical insurance that would cover medical costs. You also must be able to show a hotel booking and a return ticket. Furthermore, all travellers who make use of the visa-free period must travel with a passport that has a remaining validity of six months upon arrival in Oman.
Staying in Oman for more than 14 days
Travellers who want to stay in the country for more than 14 days need a visa for Oman. If this is the case for you, and you comply with all the requirements, you can apply for the visa online. The application form offers three variants of the visa you can choose between, each with distinct conditions concerning its validity. The costs of the visa also depend on the type of visa you select.