Yes, there are direct flights between Oman and the United Kingdom offered by Oman Air and British Airways. Oman Air operates a direct flight from Muscat to London Heathrow and Manchester Airport every day. Similarly, British Airways has scheduled one direct flight to Muscat every day and another that operates only on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The duration of these flights is no more than seven and a half hours, much less than the 11 to 12 hours connecting flights offered by other airlines.
Oman Air offers the cheapest direct flights from the UK to Oman and back. Direct flights are most suited for passengers accompanying children or senior citizens, who could get stressed during the lengthier connecting flight and layover. Business Class travellers also favour Oman Air direct flights as it saves much time and it bypasses unnecessary hassle.
Oman Air’s flight number WY 101 takes off at two, in the afternoon every day from Muscat International Airport (formerly known as Seeb International Airport) and lands at Heathrow in about seven and a half hours. Another flight, WY 102, brings travellers from London Heathrow to Muscat and leaves the British tarmac at nine in the evening. WY 103 and WY 104 is another set of direct flights operated every day that moves passengers between the UK and Oman.
Oman Air also has a scheduled direct flight to Manchester from Muscat. The flight 105 leaves for Manchester from
Muscat at 2:00 PM local time and takes 7 hours and 45 minutes to reach Manchester. Flight number WY 106 connects Manchester to Oman and takes off at 9 PM British time.
The cheapest time to explore Oman is in October and November months. Oman experiences a low season, just before the Christmas holidays, which provides a golden opportunity for all those looking for a fantastic cheap trip to the country. During these fall months, the weather is pleasant enough to discover the ancient mysteries of Oman, but the mean high still exceeds 30°C, which can be a bit overwhelming during midday. However, if you plan your excursions accordingly and hydrate intermittently, Oman can be a blissful cheap vacation destination, with low-cost tickets and economical accommodations.
December to February is the best time of the year to take a trip to Oman. Oman has predominantly, a desert climate, which is why it is ideal for the tourist to go to Oman in the winter season. The temperature during these months does not increase beyond 27°C. There is little to no rain during these times as well, making this part of the year great for some Oman exploration. There is a rise in tourists coming to the country during this time as well, especially after the Christmas holidays in mid-January. Internationally renowned travel guide magazines and blogs have designated Muscat as one of the best cities to visit for adventure tourism, which has increased the tourist traffic to Oman. Expect higher rates of accommodation and tickets to Oman during this time.
Oman has five international airports; however, the busiest two airports are listed below. For all intents and purposes, Muscat International Airport is considered as the gateway to Oman.
- Fourteen million passengers are travelling through Muscat International Airport (MCT) every year. Muscat International is also the hub of Oman Air, the national flag carrier. The airport is only 32 kilometres from the old city centre of Muscat. The airport is connected to the city via grand highways and public transport networks, which is why it takes only 30 minutes to get to the hotel to the airport.
- Salalah International Airport is the second busiest airfield in Oman. Salalah is located on the southern corner of the country and has enjoyable and cool weather making it a tourist spot for both foreigners and the locals. The airport is just 14 minutes away from Sultan Qaboos Mosque in the city centre. All of the international flights to Oman land either at Muscat or Salalah airports.
British passport holders need to apply for a tourist visa from the Royal Omani Mission to the United Kingdom. Traveller intending to visit Oman can also apply for an unsponsored tourist visa from the Royal Oman Police website . Also, please make sure that your passport is valid for another six months at the time of application.
Oman was an empire stretching from the Makran coast in Pakistan to the Spice Coast of Zanzibar. With abundant oil wealth, the country has evolved and expressed its rich culture with monuments and landmarks that celebrate Oman’s past and future.
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is perhaps the most beautiful mosque ever built in Oman. The central mosque has been built with 300,000 tons of Indian Sandstone. The dome of the building is hidden under a porous marble latticework that shines like the setting sun at night. The main prayer area has the second largest hand-woven carpet in the world for two thousand Muslims to pray simultaneously in the grand mosque. Amidst the heavy decorated ceiling, the mosque has the second largest chandelier hanging from the roof that weighs more than twenty tons, is covered with gold and crystals, and has an inbuilt staircase for maintenance. The mosque is open to all tourists who wish to marvel at the wonders of Omani architecture.
- Jebel Shams is the highest peak in the country. Standing at three thousand meters above sea level, the Jebel Shams is a destination for adrenaline-inducing sports. The Mountain of the Sun, as it is called, is an excellent place to trek and hike, for beginners and experts. At this altitude, the weather gets a lot cooler and pleasant. There are facilities at the summit of the mountain that provides for avid mountaineers, bikers and trekkers coming to Oman to burn many calories and gather amazing experiences. There is a feeling of absolute peace and raw bliss that can be felt by athletes coming to the area.
- The Nizwa Fort signifies the resilience and ingenuity of the men and women of Oman. The fort was initially built at the in the 12th century, at the crossroads of important trade routes in northern Oman. The fortress was enlarged to its current form in the mid 17th century and became the seat of the Imam-Sultans the ruled the region. Visitors can appreciate the architecture of the citadel. Guided tours of the castle reveal that there are pitfalls everywhere. There are false doors to misguide enemies and channels that spewed hot oil on attacking soldiers. The fort has tunnels as well, which were dug to escape invaders and to bring food and supplies into the fortress when it was under siege.
Getting around in Oman is easy. Being a major oil producing country, Oman has one of the lowest travel fares. Oman Air operates a flight every day between Muscat and Salalah and buses move people between the larger cities like Sohar, Sur, Nizwa, Salalah and Muscat several times a day. The bus network further extends to Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Taxi driving is a protected profession in Oman, which means that only Omani citizens are allowed to drive a cab. There are two sorts of taxis: private and shared. There is no apparent distinction between the two: a driver may choose to demand less money from one passenger and on the way let in other passengers to share the vehicle, unless you tell him that this is an “engaged taxi”, meaning that the traveller would be paying for all four seats in the taxi. If you intend to travel to the countryside or the desert, consider hiring a 4×4 from a rent-a-car.
There are quite a few five-star hotels in Oman. Oman has a highly developed tourism industry, and hotels and other luxury accommodation consolidate Oman’s claim to fame. However, if the traveller is looking for more economical options, they too can be arranged.
- Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa
- Salalah Rotana Resort
- Kempinski Hotel Muscat
- Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah
- Fanar Hotel & Residences