Where to stay in Oman
Official travel advice states that it is illegal to live together or share the same hotel room with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren't married or closely related. Homosexuality is also illegal in Oman.
The country’s planners have focused primarily on top-end hotel development in an effort to attract high-spending visitors looking for sun, sand in a ‘different’ destination; hotels include The Sifawy boutique hotel in Jebel Sifah, Six Senses Zighy Bay Resort and Spa and the Millennium Resort Mussanah, the latter two just under an hour’s drive from Muscat. Although they offer luxury accommodation in beautiful locations, the downside of many Omani hotels is their relative inaccessibility to neighbouring towns.
Muscat offers the biggest density and variety of luxury hotels, with international names such as Marriott gracing the capital. There are also three international resorts in Salalah and one in the northern Musandam Peninsula. However, if you are travelling around, in many towns there may be few hotels so it is wise to book first.
Bed and breakfast
There is a growing number of bed and breakfast establishments mainly aimed at Gulf Cooperation Council members around Muscat and Nizwe, although they remain few and far between. Often beautifully furnished and cheaper than staying in a hotel, they are popular with visitors who enjoy staying with local people and learning their customs. The owners will often advise you on the best places to visit and how to get there, as well as providing you with excellent hospitality.
Growing in popularity are the many desert camps that are springing up in places of special interest like the Sharqiya Sands, or near the turtle nesting sites of Ras Al-Jinz. These usually offer accommodation in barasti (palm frond) huts with shared bathroom block and include barbecued supper, breakfast, camel rides and visits to local Bedouin settlements. They are not cheap however, and you will often need a 4-wheel drive car to reach them. They do offer an excellent chance to enjoy the legendary Omani wilderness. Wild camping is possible in many places if you have a 4-wheel drive and all your own equipment.
Self Catering: Furnished apartments and suites are popular with business travellers and long-stay tourists. They are found mainly in and around Muscat. Privately rented villas are also available at Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club.
Budget: Oman’s drive to expand its luxury tourist facilities means there are few budget properties. They are mainly situated in Muscat, Nizwe and Salalah.
Youth Hostels: These are not available in Oman.