Driving in Oman
Vehicles drive on the right hand side of the road in Oman and all cars are left hand drive.
The roads are of a good standard, many streetlit and many with two or three lanes each way. Speed limits on highways are generally 120kph (approx 80 mph) but you should be vigilant for limit changes.
When His Majesty Sultan Qaboos came to power in 1970, there were only 3kms of paved road in Oman! In 2017, over 2000kms of road were either built or improved.
Drivers should always be vigilant for camels or goats straying on the road.
There are fixed cameras at strategic points, very often you will not spot them as they tend to blend in with the landscape. Occasionally mobile cameras are positioned, often in front of car parked on the side of the road. There is a 10kph speed buffer before you are fined; speeding fines start from 10 OMR (about 20 GBP/26USD). Be careful not to run a red light; where there are roadworks and busy intersections it is surprisingly easy to do but the fine is 50 OMR/100GBP/130USD).
You may encounter police or army checkpoints on the roads; they will require you to stop and show your driving licence and car registration card (or a photocopy in the case of rental cars). Oman is an extremely safe country and these roadside checks contribute to its low crime rate so always have a smile and a cheerful word for the policeman or soldier who asks for your documents as I am sure they would rather be elsewhere than standing by the side of a dusty hot road!
There are three Oil companies selling fuel in Oman – Omanoil, Al Maha, and Shell – and in many regions you are never far from a fuel station. However once you go off the beaten track in for instance, Al Wusta (Central) Region or Dhofar, there can be over 100kms between chances to fuel up.
There are three types of fuel offered at most stations – Mogas 91(octane), Mogas 95 (w always recommend this for large engine cars/offroad use) and Diesel. You can also find Ultimax 98 at some city stations.
Petrol is currently about 0.50GBP/0.55EUR per litre but if you select tour option A then all petrol is included in the package.
Our rental cars – Nissan Patrol Y62 – have a 140 litre fuel tank which covers over 1000kms onroad and 650kms or so offroad, dependant on terrain. Our guide cars carry extra fuel, just in case, but it is unlikely we will need it for any of our itineraries as we do a maximum 600kms between petrol stations.
Some things carry fines/jail if caught
Using mobile phones while driving
Recording using dashcams or gopros on the road
Using a phone mount on the windscreen
Drinking and driving – the blood/alcohol limit for driving is ZERO
Photographing government buildings/anything police or military/oilfield installations (best stick to scenery like the pic on the left!)