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Why carry an IDP while driving in Oman?

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.

It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Oman highly recommends an International Driving Permit.

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Regarded as one of the safest countries, Oman is slowly getting the attention of travelers. Not only from the neighboring countries but from other continents as well. Driving here would be worth your time, as roads and expressways are being built for faster transportation. Just be mindful of camels and goats crossing the streets when you pass through rural roads.

Top Destinations in Oman

You will see different architectures in Oman, from modern to historical buildings, mosques, and even mountain ranges. Apart from its desert, it also promotes ecotourism by creating a reserve for sea turtles in the Indian Ocean to populate. Visit a laid-back community in Oman where you can stay in stone houses.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Start your trip to Muscat, where travelers normally land at its airport. There are so many various things you can do in the capital before driving through quieter roads. Witness the architecture of the mosques in Muscat. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is open for non-Muslims. Admire the world’s largest chandelier, a Persian carpet that is one of the world’s largest and other interior features.

It can accommodate about 20,000 people. Travelers frequently visit this place in the mornings from 8 AM to 11 AM. The mosque is likely closed on Fridays to visitors because of its weekly Friday prayers. And before leaving Muscat, witness the beauty of Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace. This, however, is closed to travelers, but you can head to the harbor to view its beauty. The twin forts Al Jalali and Al Mirani that stand as guards over the palace are groomed into a museum and are open to everyone.

Driving Directions:

  • It will only take you twelve minutes to travel from the airport to your destination.
  • Head south
  • Keep right
  • Slight left
  • Merge onto Route 1
  • Take the exit
  • Turn right
  • Destination will be on the left.

Make sure to have the necessary documents with you. From your visa, passport, driving licence, and an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). An IDP is the translation of your local driving licence. Your international driver’s permit in Oman will be one of the requirements to rent a car, especially if your license is not in the Roman or Arabic alphabet.

Getting an International Driver’s Permit for your travel in Oman needs no qualification. You can even apply online and process it in a few hours. To secure an International Driver’s Permit before you travel to Oman, check the application page of our website.

Wadi Bani Khalid

Wadi Bani Khalid sits in the Eastern Region of Oman. With its emerald and turquoise-like waters, travelers will surely not miss this destination. Wadi is a long, narrow ravine that guides waters from the mountains to the lowlands. Some call this an oasis in the desert. You can choose from the biggest pools to smaller ones. Just be careful with the slippery rocks when walking through different pools.

The best time to visit Wadi Bani Khalid is from January to March. This month of the year has an average minimum temperature of 8 degrees Celsius, while its peak can reach as high as 30 degrees Celsius. It’s better to visit here when the sun is out so you can appreciate the colors of the water.

Driving Directions:

  • You can drive from Muscat to Wadi Bani Khalid for 2 hours and 27 minutes.
  • Drive from Route 15 and Route 23 to North Sharqia Governorate
  • Drive to your destination
  • Slight left
  • Turn left

You need to prepare your driving licence and your passport-sized photo as requirements for your International Driver’s Permit in Oman. It will take you two hours to receive your IDP’s digital copy, and its physical copy will immediately be shipped to your location. You will fill out personal information on the website to proceed with your International Driver’s Permit application for your Oman trip.

The only qualification for an International Driver’s Permit for Oman application is when you plan to travel in Oman or elsewhere. Your International Driver’s Permit in Oman may not be a necessity when you drive, but it can come in handy if your wish to cross borders or when some rental cars may ask for it. Better be ready than sorry.

Nizwa

If we talk of Oman’s history, then never leave Oman without visiting Nizwa. During the 6th and 7th centuries, the city of Nizwa served as the capital of Oman. Appreciate the beauty of Nizwa’s fort, which was constructed during the 17th century under Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya'ribi. Its cylindrical tower highlights the defense where honey traps, underground passageways, hidden chambers, stairwells, and flat roofs.

Continue to discover Nizwa through its museum. Go shopping souk or outdoor market, famed for its silversmiths and the goat market available two days a week. For the best experience in Nizwa, you can visit anytime between September to March. If you plan to visit in March, you must book ahead as it is the busiest time in Oman.

Driving Directions:

  • You can start your drive from Muscat. Travel time takes about one hour and 32 minutes.
  • Follow Route 15 to Route 31 in Nizwa. Exit from Route 15
  • Lastly, follow Route 31 and Route 21 to your destination.

Know that you can always apply for an International Driver’s Permit wherever you are, may it be in Oman or your home country. Some personal information you need to provide for your International Driver’s Permit for Oman is your name, address, contact number, email address. Don’t forget to properly key in your address’s zip code so your International Driver’s Permit for Oman will be shipped appropriately.

The law in Oman involves the strict implementation of rules and regulations on the road, including having complete documents like the International Driver’s Permit. Your International Driver’s Permit in Oman will be one of your tickets to visit several destinations in the country. It is best to follow the country’s laws to not jeopardize your trip, especially in Oman that they take following rules seriously.

Bahla

Architecture and pottery all in one place are what the city of Bahla in Oman will offer to its visitors. Located in the northern part of Oman, Bahla is known for its fort that is considered one of its oldest. Built in the 13th century, the Bahla Fort is mostly made of mud brick. To top everything, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bahla City also presents a vast selection of local pottery. Traditional methods of pottery here are not practiced by many due to modern technology. While it lasts, explore the different stages of pottery in Bahla. The source of clay for their pottery is from the wadi or river bed. Recommended times to visit Bahla are during the winter months of September to March. However, you can always visit this in the summer if you want to.

Driving Directions:

  • Bahla is only 35 minutes away from Nizwa.
  • Get on Route 15 from Route 21 and Route 31.
  • Continue on Route 15 to Bahla. Exit from Route 15.
  • Lastly, drive to your destination.

Once you finish processing your application for your IDP, it will take about two hours to be reviewed and approved. At the same time, you will receive an update of the digital copy of your international driving licence for Oman through email. The timeline of the shipment of the physical copy of your IDP depends on your location. If you reside in the United States, it will take 7-15 days and 30 days internationally.

Providing the correct address and zip code for your International Driver’s Permit application for Oman will play a significant role in avoiding delays in your shipment. It is best to apply for IDP days or weeks before you travel to be ready with your documents since countries have various laws. Prepare your documents like an International Driver’s Permit since Oman law enforcers will not tolerate those who violate driving rules in the country.

Sharqiya Sands

Any desert is a must-visit when you travel to countries in the Middle East. Experience the life of the Bedu people here if you want to witness authentic and traditional Omani life. Experience day dune bashing, watch the sunset into the sand’s golden waves, and during the night, you can camp out and sleep under thousands of stars.

It is best to visit here during the winter months from October to March when the weather is cold. In the desert, summer is quite a challenge for anyone as the temperature can hike as high as 50 degrees Celsius. It is expected that deserts can be scorching and sweaty during the summer months.

Driving Directions:

  • You can start your trip from Muscat. Travel time is approximately two hours and ten minutes.
  • Drive from Route 1, Route 15, and Route 23 to Al Wasil
  • Drive to your destination

If you plan to get an update on your International Driver’s Permit in Oman, you can visit the website and ask for assistance from customer service. So long as you provided the necessary information upon application, you will not have any problems with your International Driver’s Permit for Oman. After application of your International Driver’s Permit in Oman, ensure to get an update on the shipment status again via our customer service to avoid having problems with your itinerary.

The importance of having an International Driver’s Permit in Oman for a driver is it prevents him/her from any fines or troubles for the duration of the trip. The International Driver’s Permit you use for Oman is still valid for your next travel. Just make sure it is not expired yet.

Bimmah Sinkhole

Oman could be a home of turquoise-like waters. A sinkhole can be a scary word, but in Oman, tourists visit to swim through the Bimmah Sinkhole. This destination is a sinkhole turned into a swimming pool, where its deepest point could reach 300 feet. The sinkhole was created when limestones eroded and collapsed on themselves. However, legends say a meteorite formed this.

The water is safe for swimming. Some, mostly locals, would jump from the lip of the sinkhole. If you are confident enough and you are the adventurous type, you can try jumping off the sinkhole here. The best hours to go is during the early morning when there are still few people. Tourists tend to visit here to quench their thirst and cool off on a hot day.

Driving Directions:

  • You can drive from Muscat to reach your destination.
  • Take Route 1 to Route 17 in Al Amerat
  • Follow Route 17. Exit from Route 17
  • Turn right

An International Driver’s Permit when driving in Oman is essential for a driver. Though you can drive on Omani roads with your IDP, it is still advisable to get one if the police will ask for it. You are allowed to drive without an international driving licence in Oman, for a maximum number of three months. Just take note, though, that you need to secure an international driving license to drive in Oman beyond the given limit.

If you secure an international driving license, it is not just valid in Oman. The Internal Driver’s Association issues your IDP that is valid to over 150 countries worldwide. So after you use your international driving license in Oman, it is still useful for your next overseas trip so long as it is not expired. In case you reached the validity of your international driving licence in Oman, update it by doing the same steps as the first time you applied.

To update the international driving licence you used in Oman, you can select the number of years you want it to be valid. It may seem that car rental will not ask for your international driving license in Oman and only your license, but it comes in handy if you have both for complete identification. The international driving license is still valid in Oman, but it should not substitute for your local driving licence.

Misfat al Abriyeen

Take a break from the city and appreciate the quiet in this mountain village on the southwestern side’s Al Hajr mountains. Misfat al Abriyeen is a traditional Omani village where houses and other buildings are made of mud and stones. From afar, you can see that stone houses are in orange and brown colors.

You can safely park your car and tour the village with your feet. Pass through the narrow lanes in the town and admire the lush greenery. You can stay overnight here and enjoy a traditional Omani home-cooked meal. Don’t forget the coffee! To appreciate the beauty of this mountain village, you can visit here during the summer months, between April and September.

Driving Directions:

  • Misfat al Abriyeen is just 54 minutes away from Nizwa.
  • Continue to Route 21
  • Follow Route 21 and ‫Bahla Al Hamra Road to Al Hamra
  • Drive to your destination in Misfat al Abriyeen

Your international driver’s license for your trip in Oman must go together with a local driver’s license as authorities will not permit you to rent and drive a car if the latter is missing. Your IDP is only a translation of your local driving licence so authorities can identify you correctly if you are driving on a foreign road. After your trip to Oman, your international driving license is still valid in other countries.

Aside from Oman, the international driving license is also valid in more than 100 countries, so it will not be a waste of money to secure one for your Omani trip. You don’t need to visit any office in Oman to submit your requirements for an international driver’s license. To start your international driver’s license application for your Oman trip, visit the application page on our website.

Ras al Jinz

Ras al Jinz is a turtle reserve in the easternmost tip of Oman. This small fishing village is a protected area known as nesting grounds for endangered green turtles. In 1996, the Sultan of Oman created the Ras al Jinz Turtle Center to monitor and secure sea turtles’ nesting grounds in the Indian Ocean.

You can stay at some accommodations and visit other attractions such as the Turtle Visitor Center and Museum. Don’t leave Ras al Jinz without witnessing female adults laying eggs and hatchlings making way for their first ride on salt waters. The most appropriate time to go here is during the summer months, from May to October.

Driving Directions:

  • You can start your trip from Muscat, which is three hours and four minutes away.
  • Take Route 1 to Route 17 in Al Amarat
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on Route 17
  • Continue on Route 17 to your destination in Al Sharqiyah South Governorate.

Once you log on to the website to apply for an international driver’s license in Oman, requirements like your valid driver’s license and a passport-sized photo should be provided. Remember to key in the vital information so you will not incur any problems once your application is reviewed. It will only cost you $49 to get an international driver’s license in Oman reflected on the website upon application, valid not just but also in other countries.

Musandam Fjords

Experience different kinds of watersports in Musandam Fjords. Musandam sits in the northernmost portion of Oman and is bordered by the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates. Some parts of this region are isolated and have served as home to mountain villages and coastal communities—a place for nature lovers, as they say.

There are few things here which you can do: scuba diving, riding a dhow, or a traditional Omani boat to spot dolphins and witness different rock formations. You can visit here and enjoy the cool breeze from October to January as the temperature is relatively lower. Also, you visit here in the summertime, but the weather will be scorching.

Driving Directions:

  • Travel time is more than six hours from Muscat. Take note that you need to cross the border from Oman to UAE, so you need to prepare all necessary documents to avoid border checks.
  • Take Route 1, Seeb Street‬‎, Route 1, Dubai - Fujairah Rd/Maliha - Fujairah Rd/Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Rd/E84, ... and E11 to 02 in BUkha
  • Follow 02 to your destination in Khasab.

Take note that you likely want to cross the border in cases like traveling to the Middle East. However, it will also depend on your itinerary. So before you head out for a drive in Oman, be sure to have all the documents ready and available for police and border checks, including your International Driver’s Permit.

Most Important Driving Rules

Omani authorities are very strict with their driving rules. For the past years, hundreds of casualties due to thousands of road accidents have been recorded. Hence the stricter issuance of driving licenses and strong implementation of road rules. For a tourist renting and driving a car in Oman, there are few driving rules that you have to keep in mind for the entirety of your trip.

Basic Traffic Rules

After you familiarize all the traffic signs and check on road conditions, remember what side of the road you have to drive. In Oman, just like some countries, you drive on the right side of the road. Be careful as some locals might use the other lane, mostly on quiet roads.

Always bring your IDP with you

Your International Driving Permit when driving in Oman and your local driver’s license should go together as you journey the country. Having your IDP and other documents will free you from trouble in a foreign country. Remember that you do not want to jeopardize your international travel just because you forgot a single document. And authorities are strict with traffic laws, so better be ready to avoid any chaos.

If you have an existing IDP, make sure it is still valid. The validity of an IDP issued by the International Driver’s Association is one up to three years. In case your IDP has expired, you can always renew it online. You will be asked through the website to fill out a form with your name, contact number, address, zip code, and email address.

Before submitting your International Driver’s Permit in Oman, an address must be provided. To avoid confusion and delay with the shipment of your International Driver’s Permit in Oman, your home address must not be confused with your current location. It could be that you are currently working away from home and you want it to be shipped to your location now. So it is best to verify that information before completing the application.

Don’t Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs.

Drinking under the influence of every bit of alcohol is prohibited and never tolerated in Oman. The more that you are not allowed to drive if you are on illegal drugs. Authorities are very strict with this law, and you could be jailed for one year with a fine of not more than OMR500. Driving under the influence has caused too many accidents and has killed many. As a tourist, you do not want that to happen to you.

Obey the Speed Limit Rule

Overspeeding has been the number of accidents and casualties on the road in Oman, hence the amendments for stricter road rules. For a tourist, you are expected to drive defensively and carefully and be overwhelmed with the foreign land has to offer. You are expected to drive at a maximum speed of 120KPH on expressways, 90KPH on rural roads, and 40-80KPH in urban areas.

Wearing a Seatbelt and Securing Child’s Safety

Secure everyone riding the vehicle and fasten your seatbelts. Police will not tolerate and will possibly stop you if you don’t follow this rule. For kids below four years old, they have to have car seats; you can always bring one if you don’t want to have it as an add-on to your car rental. Children twelve years old and below must be positioned at the rear seat with their own seatbelt.

Observe Road Signs while Driving in Oman

Road signs are provided so that you will be guided on your way to your destination. Be mindful of them during your drive. This way, apart from being guided, you can also prevent possible road accidents. Most traffic signs are the same as other countries; if not, Omani traffic signs are also translated into English, so it will not be a problem.

Using Mobile Phones While Driving is Not Allowed

Use the hands-free system instead if you need to use your mobile phone. Navigating your phone will indeed divide your attention from driving. And remember it is a foreign road, so you are not familiar with some road conditions. If you are not comfortable with the hands-free system, you can pull over and use your phone. Just make sure you park at the designated parking spaces as illegal parking can lead you to penalties.

Watch Out For Animals Crossing the Streets

This may not be common in some countries, but you have to be alert with camels and goats suddenly appearing and crossing the streets in Oman. This usually happens on provincial roads with fewer cars. Always look ahead to avoid accidents.

Do Not Drive With an Expired License

You will not be able to rent a car if your license is expired. So better have it renewed before anything else. Driving with an expired license is the same as driving without any license at all, and you can be fined by as much as OMR35. Your International Driver’s Permit will not even be valid if your local driver’s license is expired. Remember that your IDP is just a translation of your local license.

You can renew your International Driver’s Permit in Oman; your name, contact number, address, and email address should be provided online upon application. You have a copy of your IDP that will be sent to you through email once your application is approved. However, you need to have the physical copy of your IDP with you. You can have your International Driving Permit shipped to an Oman post office. This way you just pick up your IDP there upon arrival in Oman.

By the time you land, you can claim your International Driving Permit in Oman at a post office near Muscat International Airport. For your International Driver’s Permit queries in Oman, you can reach our service at +1-877-533-2804 or email us at hello@internationaldriversassociation.com.

Traveling internationally takes a lot of planning and preparing all the necessary documents and other personal things for a worthwhile trip abroad. That is why it is proper to plan months and budget your time and money. It pays to have the freedom to manage your time, and the best way to do that is to have your transportation. With valid documents ready like your driver’s license and International Driving Permit, renting and driving a car in Oman is easy.

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