Oman – Interesting Facts


Today we will talk about Oman interesting facts on my Things You didn’t Know series. Sultanahmet of Oman is a country I fell in love with after the first few minutes of being there.

I have travelled in the Omani Sultanate back in October of 2012 and it is one of the very few places I’m planning on returning to. People here are some of the nicest people in the world!

Oman Info/ Oman Interesting Facts

Oman flagOman Capital: Muscat

Oman Currency: Omani Rial OMR

Oman Language: Arabic

Oman Population: 4,42 million

Oman Religion: Ibadi and Sunni Islam

Oman Flag: A horizontal tricolour flag of white, red and green with a vertical red stripe at the hoist, charged with the National emblem of Oman. Adopted on the 25th of April, 1995.

White symbolize the Imam, the religious leader of the Omani Sultanate, and at times the political rival to the ruling Sultan. It also symbolizes peace.

Green represents the Jabal al-Akdar, or “The Green Mountains,” which lie toward the north of the country.

Red is a common colour in Gulf state flags. The national emblem dates back to the 18th century. A curved dagger and a pair of crossed swords.

Oman Map/ Where is Oman located?

oman map

As this Oman country map shows, the Omani Sultanate is located on the Arabian Peninsula on the Arabian Sea precisely the Gulf of Oman. Bordering Yemen, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Oman Interesting Facts

1. No Coca-Cola

There are almost NO Coca-Cola Company products while Pepsi is widely sold. That is a very interesting Coca-Cola fact :)

It was very weird but I loved it. Coca-Cola was nowhere to be found. I have heard that in big luxurious hotels it is not a problem but not coffee shops and bazaars.

I spoke with many Omani people about this, and the majority of them didn’t pay that much attention to “this issue” as they seem to love Mountain Dew up to the point of total addiction. They called it ‘Omani Alcohol’! therefore that is why Pepsi wins I guess.

It was not a problem, I’m not a big fan of fizzy drinks anyway, but as you all know I’m a bit strange and love everything which is slightly surreal.

There is no Coca-Cola in Oman? How come? #cocacolafactsClick To Tweet

Mountain Dew Oman - Interesting Facts

2. Liquor licence Issue

One needs a liquor licence issued by the police to be able to buy alcohol in Oman. The permit’s value is determined by one’s earnings. It is usually 10% of the basic salary.

How do I know that? No, I’m not officially registered in Omani Sultanate, simply I went for a diving trip to Daymaniyat Islands with German and American Boys working and living in Muscat.

They told me that a proper Polish party could easily blow an amount permitted monthly! Oh, well, I know we can drink back in my home but it is good to see it from a different perspective!

Looking for all the dramas and accidents caused by alcohol in Poland maybe it is not such a bad perspective!

You need to have a licence to buy alcohol, same as driving licence or licence to kill haha #samesamebutnotClick To Tweet

Daymaniyat Islands, Oman - Interesting Facts

3. Coffee + dates

Coffee is superb in Oman and it is always served with dates. The little cups are never full. Traditionally Omani people drink coffee in a thousand little sips, each served separately.

It takes a lot of time. But that is the whole point of their amazing hospitality. To please guests with conversations while sipping delicious freshly made coffee with some of the best dry dates I have ever had in my life!

I have actually written about Arabic customs of drinking coffee for the Coffee Shop Blog.

Coffee is always accompanied by dates, not bad custom at all! #sweetlovrsgonnalove itClick To Tweet

Nizwa Souq, Coffee Drinking, Oman - Interesting Facts

4. Weekend = Friday + Thursday

Oman still has its weekend on Thursday and Friday. Friday is the Muslim holy day when Jumu’ah prayers take place.

It will be changed to Friday and Saturday very soon, as well as Saudi leaving only Afghanistan to adhere to this weekend scheme.

Is weekend Thursday and Friday or Saturday and Sunday? #itshouldbeallofthoseClick To Tweet

5. Woman – only souq

Oman is the only country to have a women-only souq. It takes place every Wednesday in the city of Ibra.

It is the most colourful souk in Arabia. Men are forbidden to even stick around. Women traders sell everything from spices to jewellery and fabrics to women buyers.

Many people ask me what to do in Oman and that is one of the musts!

A women-only souk is a true highlight of Oman. Must visit for sure!Click To Tweet

Ibra, Woman Only Souq, Oman - Interesting Facts

6. Doors to Heaven

The country is famous for its ornamented doors. Doors in Oman are unique, colourful and embroidered. And no matter what the whole house looks like, even a simple house has truly stunning doors.

As you may know from my Pinterest I’m a bit obsessed with taking pictures of doors, so it was little heaven for me! This is my OCD kicking in, I like series!

Oman has some of the most beautiful doors in the world! #doorsondoors #doorsoftheworldClick To Tweet

Omani Doors, Oman - Interesting Facts

7. Oldest Independent Arab State

Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. It has been ruled by the Al-Said family since 1744.

It is true that most of the country’s citizens gained voting rights only in November of 2002 but Omani Sultanate has a very interesting Foreign Policy which makes has changed an isolated and unstable Oman into a leader in Middle Eastern and global diplomacy.

I must admit I have been highly impressed with Omani people, they are truly hospitable, but as well super nice, polite, open to discussion on every subject even controversial ones.

When I was visiting the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, I have been invited for coffee by a truly interesting woman for coffee and conversation. It was refreshing to hear her opinions on her own country which she loved.

Oman is the oldest independent Arab States #historyfactsClick To Tweet

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman - Interesting Facts

8. Frankincense Trees

In Oman, frankincense trees only grow in the wild. Frankincense trees are facing an uncertain future worldwide. It is said that in the next 15 years production of the fragrant resin could decline by half.

Used extensively in religious rituals and in the perfume industry. Been investigated for its medicinal properties. It is becoming a very precious and demanded feedstock.

Very special tree for Omani is not a mere tree for them rather an embodiment of culture, history, sociology and geography.

Frankincense Trees - the real treasure of Oman. #treeloversClick To Tweet

Frankincense Tree, Oman Interesting Facts

9. Arab Horses Land

Omani Sultanate is traditionally known for breeding Arab horses. Historically it has been famous for its purebred Arab horses. Omani people believe that the horse is an image of its master and a reflection of his courage, stamina and ability.

Zaad AL-Rakeb – the first horse in Arabia to which all the Arab progeny horses comes from. It belonged to the Uzd, the old members of the Arab Uzd tribe of Omani Sultanate.

Land of the best Arab horses in the whole world. #arabhorsesheavenClick To Tweet

Pink Horse, Oman Interesting Facts

10. Open for tourists! 

If you would ask me what is Oman famous for before I went there it would be exactly this fact related to Oman travel situation. That it is one of the youngest countries to visit for tourists.

Officially country was open to expensive package tours and business travellers only and its allowed tourists to enter its territory freely only starting in 1987 when the Omani government decided to eased visa restrictions.

Up to 1970, there were no hotels in the country at all! These days they have some of the most amazing resorts to host you. It is really worth a visit, so pack and go before all the others will. Especially if you are such a desert lover as I’m!

If you want to visit Oman do not hesitate, it is a great country! One of the best I have visited in the Middle East.

Opened only in 1987 to wide tourism is a real gem of Arabian Peninsula. #visitOmanClick To Tweet

Wahiba Sands, Oman Interesting Facts

Check out Interesting Travel Facts about other countries!

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Are you having questions about Oman? Do not hesitate to contact me or ask in the comment section, more than happy to chat!

Cheers, Marysia


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99 thoughts on “Oman – Interesting Facts

  1. Tom

    Thank you so much for sharing this great post…

  2. Laurie Kucel

    Hello, extremely useful posting. My spouse and I have been trying to find extensive facts on this subject sort of stuff for a little bit, nonetheless we couldn’t until now. Do you think you can make some youtube video clips concerning this, I do think your webblog will be more in depth if you ever did.

  3. Michael Ibbotson

    It is illegal to have a dirty car in Oman !!
    Roundabouts are cherished in Oman – you will find a castle on some of them – there is a website dedicated to them somewhere.
    You mention the unique doors but windows are a feature too in Oman.
    They try hard to preserve the Arabic architecture there too and buildings
    must not exceed a certain height – five stories, I seem to recall.
    I lived and worked there for seven years and loved the Country and the People.
    The police and authorities were generally most polite but it would be unwise to take liberties with them.
    You really ought to respect the norms, traditions, religion, culture and laws of the Country. It is not too hard to become acquainted with them before you go so as not to cause offence.
    When I was there there were many quirky examples of English spelling but I shall refrain from
    listing them here. I am willing to bet they have long since vanished !!??
    As a child, I received dates in my Christmas stocking from a country then known as “Muscat and Oman” –
    that “dates” me (sorry about that one – couldn’t resist it !!).
    Oman is truly unique – it can restore your faith in human nature.

    • So very true, Omani people are so kind, it is overwhelming! It seems like you loved your time there!
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  4. Jamie Hardward

    This is an amazing blog about some interesting facts about Oman and I found it very informative and helpful So thanks for sharing it with us.
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  5. Rudy

    This actually answered a lot of my questions, thank you!

  6. hi, things changed since you were there – now coca cola is everywhere and weekends are Friday – Saturday . Though its still the most friendly place in the earth

  7. Kelsey

    This is awesome! I have never been to Oman, but now I hope I can go. I found you on Pinterest and you’ve got an awesome site! The Mountain Dew bit made me laugh haha. Have you ever visited Turkey? I highly recommend it! I’ve got a few posts on places to visit, and more coming in the next few months. I’m an expat here and love adventuring around, but I would love to see more of the Middle East, too!

    • Hey Kelsey, thank you so much for your kind words, I have been in Turkey many times and really love it. I think you are a first person that found me Pinterestest ever!
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    • Nabil

      I highly recommend it ….I have been teaching here since 2008 .Fishing moments are unforgettable .The weather is hot .The winter is very fast here and not like winters in other countries …

  8. Amelie

    Awesome pictures!!Thanks for sharing this interesting and informative article. Oman is a beautiful place,Visit majestic mountains, Forts, desert dunes best places in Oman

  9. Jud

    Grеat articⅼe! That is the type of info that should be shared around tһe web. Shame on Google for now not posіtiоning thiѕ post higher!

    • What are you talking about? It is actually number 1 on Google even recommended on top of the search….
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair 196My Profile

  10. Allan

    Modern, traditional, ancient all in one. Muscat airport every bit as modern as Dubai’s with roads to match. Amazing amount of history, castles and forts in abundance. Yet thoroughly modern with Souks, Supermarkets or Malls , whatever you prefer.
    A geological gem , the equal of which is only visible in very few locations on the planet. Hot but by no means dry, just google ” heavy rain in Oman” for a shock.
    Muscat fish market is a match for any in the Med. while in the Deep monsoon watered South , year round whale watching is possible.
    A very different destination.
    Omani’s move mountains, literally.

    • I don’t understand your comment, are you trying to advertise Oman to me? There is no need for that, I have been there and loved it and thanks for trying to educate me but I know it can rain a lot in Oman.
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      • Mark

        Was Avicii on a yacht off the coast of Muscat when he died or was he on the land at a house or business? I always wondered that. Great information by the way. I decided to check it out just from hearing about it in the news recently w/ the demise of Avicii there. Sounds like a pretty awesome country.

        • To be honest, Mark I have no idea, I was not Avicii fan even though I saw his concert life in Romania, I didn’t know he passed away.
          Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair 196My Profile

  11. Eugene Smaul

    Thanks for sharing this interesting and informative article. Also the pictures are just great!

    • Thanks for stopping by!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affairs 187My Profile

      • Passie McLove

        Oh my thanks for this post of 2012. Have you visited again.

        I’m in Oman now and Yes weekends already changed to Friday and Saturday. So literally Sunday is my dreaded day if you understand what i mean😉.
        Yes these people love to talk, eat as they sip on coffee.
        Yes until now i haven’t seen cocacola… So i mix coffe with pepsi to kinda fill my void!
        I guess you checked on their education and health systems too. All things free… free buses to and fro, books too!!
        School and day jobs close at 2PM!!!!
        And in some parts of the sultanate they keep goats, sheep (almost every next home has them in hundreds)
        and few cows!

        But the most outstanding tree for me in Oman is the palm-like tree. Which produces the fruits they eat raw, ripe, dried, juiced (as honey) and also feeds their cattle. Not sure of it’sEnglish name but its fruit has several names in Arabic… Tamir, sehe,

  12. Khourshem

    This was really enjoyable to read. Having read this there seem to be some wonderful places to visit.Had a quick look at your blog and love it already. Have subscribed. Looks like you’ve spent time in many of the places listed in this post.

  13. Oman is amazing and there is so much to see in this country. The only thing I missed when I was there was seeing the turtles in Ras al Hadd (they weren’t on the beach the day I visited). I did not know about the Coke thing (I don’t drink most sodas).

  14. Mellisa

    I’m glad that they don’t have coca cola in oman .(p.s. I hate coca cola)

  15. Rebecca

    Nice post. I wish I can live and work in Oman, if possible.

  16. Omar

    Thanks for the lovely post and hope you come back and visit Oman again!

    I wonder how you were not able to find Coca Cola! it is found everywhere!

    Again thank for the facts and we look forward to welcome you again here :)

    • Not really sure but seriously I have went through all my pictures again and it is always a Pepsi sign everywhere lol
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  17. Helen

    Great post! I had the pleasure of visiting Oman a couple of years ago while my boyfriend was working there and really loved the country. I definitely think more people should visit!

    • Oman is amazing, I really ant to go back for more exploration :)
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      • Julius egbe

        Good day, how are you doing I want know if Oman is safe to travel to, how is there hotel his there, I will I get there visa he it Visa free or what?

  18. Jessica Brown

    I like the doors to heaven. Doors are really very beautiful.

  19. Amir Aal Amir

    Welcome to Jewel of Arabia, we are tradition based modern people in Oman. Coffee and dates are the welcome custom in my country, don’t miss the Omani Halwa ( Omani Sweets), it’s also a part of Omani tradition to provide to welcome our guest.

    While in the northern parts of Oman gets hot and wild during the summer, the southern region enjoys what is known as Khareef or Monsoon in English. It becomes lush green and misty in Salalah.

    There’s a lot to see in Oman, such as the turtle beach where you can watch turtles that come to lay eggs, you can go down south to swim with our huge friends the sperm whalea, you can go to far north in the Musandam Peninsula to have fun with Dolphins, and there are must see places, so welcome to Oman and we call it Jewel of Arabia.

    • Hey Amir, thanks for your words, I know all that as I have been travelling in Oman back in 2012 but thanks for sharing with my readers :)
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  20. distancesfrom

    Oman is easily #1 on my Middle East travel list and for all of the reasons you have just shown. Dates with coffee? Fantastic. Ornamental doors? Sign me and my camera up, please. Seriously though, it just seems like the perfect place to get your feet wet in the Middle East and I hope to follow in your footsteps soon. So, I guess they don’t have a problem with all the caffeine in that mountain dew?

    • Ha ha ha Oman is just amazing! I loved every minute in this country! I’m not sure if it is perfect introduction to Middle East, after travelling for years I would say that Jordan is much better, especially for someone who have never been in the region as it is better organized for travellers. I love both countries, Oman a bit more but Jordan just after it… You know i have this unofficial list of the nicest nations in the world and Omani are 2nd and Jordanians 3rd :)
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  21. Marysia, I have to get to Oman, and especially that women only souk…looking up tickets….
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  22. Loay

    You can find coca cola in Oman almost everywhere. Second of all. The holiday is oh Friday and Saturday. Not Friday and Thursday.

    • Hey, appreciate your comment but not sure you read my article. First of all my article in from 2012 and the weekend were on Thursday and Friday when I was there, I as well mention that it will be change soon and provide a link with all details. And as for Coca Cola as I have mentioned that many times in the comments, it was my impression that everywhere they well selling Pepsi, I went to many places, little coffee shops and big hotels, as there were no Coke anywhere, just Pepsi. Maybe it was only my impression but what can I do about it?!
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  23. Oman Independent Traveller

    Great article, I have shared your post on Facebook and I agree with your note about Pepsi though why people are taking it that there was NO coca cola in Oman is amazing, some people don’t know how to understand humour I guess! Safe travels :)

    • Hey, thanks for sharing my post and thanks for assuring me that I didn’t go insane, as I really thought that Pepsi was omnipresent and Coca Cola not.
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      • Darryl

        You are right about Coke. I live in Muscat, and whilst it is possible to get Coke in major supermarkets, Pepsi is far and away the brand leader. Nice article by the way!

        • Glad to hear it, I was thinking that it was something weird with my experience in Oman, ha ha ha
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  24. Ahmed

    Great article! Being an Omani myself, I would agree on all the points except for the Coco-Cola part! It is widely found everywhere from small neighbourhood shops to supermarkets. Oman now is developing in the tourism field in a very wide manner and unlike other arab countries, Omanis welcome tourists and are open minded and accepting other foreign cultures.

    • As I have mentioned few times before I know there is Coca Cola in Oman but I must admit I have only found it in big hotels not in small shops, maybe it was just me! But I liked the feeling, it was a bit unrealistic! My style :)
      I can confirm with all my words that Omani are amazing people, one of the most hospitable, welcoming nation I have come across on my travels!
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    • Valerie Wade

      I have to agree with Ahmed. I lived in Oman for the past 3 years and have been able to find coca cola everywhere including the smaller local shops and restaurants. Im a coke drinker myself. I think it was just some strange fluke that you weren’t able to find coca cola during your visit.

      • Guys it actually may have been some fluke. I had a look at all the pictures I took in coffee shops, streets and I do not see Coca Cola anywhere. As I have said I know in my hotel you could get it and I didn’t visit super markets, but even when I was travelling around the country and stopped somewhere for coffee there was only Pepsi… I guess now I have to go back to Oman to buy some Coca Cola and have this impression I had changed :)
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  25. Sakhawat Jameel

    I am doing a project on Oman, as an Islamic country, in course of “Islamic World View & Civilization” while my degree is B.S in Software Engineering but it’s a General Course (University Requirement) but sorry to say I can’t get the knowledge that I need for my project but this article is perfect and amazing!!!! And Friday holiday is must like few other Muslim countries due to Jumma(Friday) prayer. Woman – only Souk, I like that method as no men should be near that, and it should be in other Muslim countries.

    • You know i have spend only few weeks in Oman so my knowledge of this country is kind of restricted to what I have observed on my travels, what I understood from conversations with people and what I have read around after the trip. But I’m sure there is many study cases that can be found online.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #72My Profile

  26. Charli

    How strange that there are no Coca Cola products. Having said that I wish more countries restricted the sale of mass produced food that ruins our health! Great post!
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    • Thanks Charli!
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    • Cynthia

      Coca-Cola products are available in Oman and have been for many years. Any supermarket and some independent eating establishments (including McDonalds) all sell Coke!

      • Cynthia as I have said in few comments already there was Coca Cola in exclusive hotels, but thats it, each little shop which I have entered had only Pepsi and that is more than fine, and sorry but I do not visit McDonalds as I much prefer to eat the local food.
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  27. I thought that I would know at least one little thing about Oman, but all these are new to me. How fascinating! I can’t decide if I’m more amazed that Coca-Cola doesn’t have a foothold there or that frankincense is used for feedstock. Parts of Malaysia have Fri/Sat off for the weekend, but other parts have Sat/Sun off. I hear it’s really hard for parents and kids when work and school have different weekend days.
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    • Oh yes Michele, majority of countries is adjusting, and I fully understand that, but it is nice to experience it, it is a bit surreal, you know weekend days are so set up in my mind that I kept forgetting :)
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  28. Marysia, you are right! I definitely didn’t know many of these Oman facts. Their way of drinking coffee seems very special, and something I can easily indulge in.
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  29. I don’t know very much about Oman but this is quite interesting. It must feel a bit strange to have a different weekend when visiting. Those doors are exquisite. I’m glad they allowed visitors to what seems like a wonderful place to visit.
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  30. This article is way better than history class!! Thanks for transporting me to the exotic world of Oman! :D

    PS. Will the locals love me if I smuggle some cans of Coca Cola into the country?
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  31. Brianna

    A friend recently visited Oman to teach a medical course and found it to be a thoroughly fascinating country. Thanks for some interesting tidbits, hopefully they’ll help if I ever find myself on Jeopardy.
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  32. I just missed spending several days in Oman this winter and your post is only reinforcing my desire to get there. It seems like a fascinating and different country,
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    • It is an mazing country and very beautiful! Oh and people are amazing there. Omani have 2nd position in my most Welcoming Nations List!
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  33. Wow, what a great post! I love this kind of quirky information. I would love to visit the women-only souq, and see a frankincense tree. Wonder what they look like!
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    • Oh I should put a picture of one here, they are very old, usually having more than one trunk… very specific :) Woman only souk was great!
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  34. Stacey

    Why are the weekends on Thursday-Friday?

    Also, did you go to the womans-only souk. What was it like with no men around?

    Also, I love your little tick boxes as the end of the comment. I feel much happier being a geunine sweetheart and hearing about love afairs with my comments! :)
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    • Stacey I’m glad you like my boxed, I wanted them to go with my blog tittle :) It is on Thursday and Friday because of Muslim religion, a Special Prayer is at the ‘End the week’ meaning Friday. I think Oman, Saudi and Afghanistan are last countries to have weekend on Thursday and Friday as weekend. You know all Muslim countries adjusting to the rest of the world for economic reasons! Omani banks switched already but only banks! You know when they have Thursday and Friday and we have Saturday and Sunday off that lives you only with 3 working days for international business! Economy is the biggest change drive around the world those days!
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  35. Jenna

    Interesting facts! Surprised there isn’t any Coke there and that hotels weren’t around until the 70’s!
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    • Yes, Oman was quiet close country! I think it has some pluses… the traditions are very strong there!
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  36. Megan

    There is really no Coca-Cola? WOW and I thought they had invaded every corner of the globe lol impressed!

    • Really, maybe somewhere in the very expansive hotels you can get it but normal shops, coffee shops etc do not sell it. Pepsi is a king :)
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  37. Urska

    Wow! It sounds amazing! I would love to see the women only souk!

  38. What!? Only Pepsi? That’s the oddest things to find out about Oman. I though Coca-cola was everywhere.
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    • Ha ha ha, really! Recently I have found out that they have Coca Cola is some big resorts, but in shops it was impossible to buy!
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  39. Escape Hunter

    Oman would be a great place to stop and visit… I love the colors of the landscapes. Shades of brown and green. The colors of the desert and the green vegetation. Love the contrast!
    If I’ll check out Oman, I’ll also pay a visit to Wadi Shab!

    • Wadi Shabi was amazing! You can see some more pictures in my Picture section. Generally whole country is superb!
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  40. Loren

    Oman is a really nice country to visit, and really nice post as well you have here. The information given is quiet impressive. Thanks for sharing

  41. Jon Patrick

    Fantastic! I couldn’t help but think I should surprise my ex-wife with a trip to Oman – because she refuses to drink any product that’s not Coke! :) (just kidding)
    Neat little tidbits about an interesting country, I appreciate this.
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  42. Mohamed

    Glad to hear that about my awesome country, not sure about some points thhough haha ;p As far as I know anyone above 21 can buy liquor in specified places like hotels and bars :P

    • Thanks Mohamed and actually possibility of buying alcohol in hotel bars is weird for foreigners, we can buy alcohol in normal shops and nobody really go to hotel bars in you do not stay there as a guest, while in Oman if you want to go to the bar or club you have to go to the hotel :)

  43. Oman is probably our favorite country in the region. (And the scuba diving is fantastic!)
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