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Tourism: Oman announces visa-free entry for over 100 countries

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*The authorities say the measure is designed to encourage more tourists to visit Oman, reputable for its natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture towards diversifying the economy and reducing the country’s reliance on oil revenues

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Oman has announced that it is offering visa-free entry for up to 14 days to tourists from over 100 countries of the world.

It was learnt the measure is aimed at encouraging more tourists to visit Oman, which is known for its natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture.

The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has published a list of countries whose citizens are eligible for this new policy, agency report said.

Countries include Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Georgia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Belgium and Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Cyprus, Ukraine, Spain and Czech Republic.

Others are Austria, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Poland, Slovakia, France, Netherlands, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, China, the United States of America, Turkey, South Korea, New Zealand, Iran, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Canada, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Moreover, Indian tourists can obtain a visa on arrival if they possess an entry visa from the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Schengen countries, Japan, or have a resident permit from one of the GCC countries and work in an approved profession as specified by the Oman Government, according to report.

About Oman
ConsumerConnect reports Oman is located on the southeastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman; at the Musandam Peninsula in the north of the country, it borders the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf.

Oman shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen, and it shares maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan.

The country has been making efforts at developing its tourism industry in recent years, with the aim of diversifying its economy and reducing its reliance on oil revenues.

Besides visa-free entry and visa-on-arrival options, Oman has also been working on improving its infrastructure and developing new tourism attractions, such as luxury resorts, museums, and heritage sites.

These efforts have been recognised by various international organisations, which have ranked Oman as one of the top travel destinations in the Middle East and North Africa region.

As per an ROP official, tourists from 103 countries now have the option to extend their visa-free stay in Oman for over 14 days, with a fee applicable for the extension.

After the specified period, travellers from these countries must apply online for an e-visa for a fee of OMR20 for a period of a month.

They can also apply for a multi-entry visa for a year, provided that their stay on each visit is not more than a month and that certain conditions are met.

This decision was made to support the tourism industry in Oman, and it has had a significant impact on the industry’s growth, with the country seeing a 348 percent increase in tourists in 2022 compared to 2021.

The revenue of 3-5-star hotels in Oman has also seen a rise of 50.8 percent at the end of January 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, standing at OMR20.79 million.

The occupancy rate has also increased by 31.3 percent, reaching 53.7 percent compared to 40.9 percent during the same period in 2022, while the number of 3-5-star hotels’ guests stood at 173,313, an increase of 65 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

The country has also witnessed an increase in domestic tourism, with an increase in festive events across the governorates co-hosted by Omran and the governorate offices, report stated.

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