Oman is easily one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East, and I can’t recommend a trip there enough. While Muscat itself is a pretty cool city, the real wonders of Oman are outside of Muscat, as the landscape is breathtaking. Oman has everything from sand dunes to mountains to waterfalls to beautiful waterfront property.
In the past when I visited Oman I’ve always just gotten a visa on arrival. While you could get a visa in advance, it never seemed worth it to me, as I’ve only had to wait a few minutes at Muscat Airport, where the process of obtaining a visa on arrival is quick, easy, and cheap.
Oman is changing up how they issue visas, and it’s something to be aware of. Oman has been transitioning to an eVisa system, allowing visitors to apply online rather than having to go to a consulate. However, up until now the option has still been there to just get a visa on arrival.
As of March 21, 2018, Oman will only issue tourist eVisas. That means the only way to get a tourist visa to Oman will be online, and not at a consulate or on arrival in Oman. This system was first launched last July for travelers from 67 countries, and has progressively been expanded since. The timing of this coincidences with Muscat Airport’s new terminal opening, as that’s happening on March 20.
— Oman eVisa (@OmanEvisa) February 18, 2018
It has been a while since I’ve visited Oman, so one thing I wasn’t aware of is that Oman quadrupled the cost of tourist visas last April from OMR5 (13USD) to OMR20 (52USD), per Gulf Business. All of this comes as Oman is trying to increase the number of tourists they welcome by 2020 to four million.
Personally I’m somewhat indifferent when it comes to them switching from visas on arrival to eVisas. It’s one more thing to remember before the trip, but at least it’s one less line to wait in on arrival. However, what I’m not a fan of is that they quadrupled the cost to visit their country, something which doesn’t seem in line with their goal of increasing tourism significantly. $50+ for an eVisa is certainly one of the more expensive ones out there…