Oman has dropped its tourist visa requirement for visitors from 103 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand. Travelers are now allowed to stay for up to 10 days if they have a hotel reservation, health insurance and a return ticket out of the country. 

Previously, all tourists entering Oman had to apply for a visa online in advance of their visit, and the visa would be valid for either 10 days, at a cost of about US$13, or 30 days for $52. 

Oman has been slowly opening its borders since October when international flights were permitted for residents and citizens abroad. At the end of November, tourist visas were issued for the first time in about eight months. Tourism is the fastest-growing non-oil industry in Oman, and accommodation providers and tour operators are eager to see visitors return.

Before the pandemic, Oman started to better connect itself to its neighbors in the region and become more accessible. In 2019, Dubai’s public transport system started a bus route that terminates in Muscat. Oman’s visa application process also went online last year, though visitors from many countries will no longer need to access this system with the new visa-free travel announcement.

Aerial of Ayn Athum waterfall in Oman © Mahmoud Ghazal / Shutterstock

Oman has recorded almost 127,000 cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but the number of new cases appears to be on a downward trend. New arrivals must complete an online pre-registration form before departure and have a PCR test on arrival at their own expense (about $65). Passengers must also download a contact tracing app and take another PCR test after a week of isolation. Travelers’ health insurance is required to cover at least 30 days of coronavirus treatment. The full list of nationalities that can now visit Oman visa-free can be found here.

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