In the region, towns are often extensive, and public transport is poorly developed; owning a car is essential for expatriates. Motorcycles are also a popular way to get around town. Spare parts for Japanese models are the easiest to find. The summer months are not conducive to motorcycle trips.
Unless you come to settle in the region for a long time, taking your vehicle can present more inconveniences than advantages. For a limited time, it is more reasonable to rent a car. If you plan to stay for a long time, it is cheaper and less complicated to buy a vehicle there and sell it before you leave.
Even though most foreign driving licenses are accepted, it is better to have an International Driving Permit (IDP)
International and local car rental agencies have counters at international airports and five-star hotels. The prices are average compared to international rates. It is sometimes necessary to book in advance if you are traveling during peak season, especially during the pilgrimage to Mecca and significant national or religious holidays.
To drive in the desert or off-road, a 4×4 is essential. You can rent one in all branches. Don’t try to save money by renting a sedan for off-roading: your insurance would be null and void as soon as you left the paved road. In the event of an accident, the rental agency will not help you. Motorcycle rental is almost non-existent.
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Documents to provide To rent a vehicle, you will need your driving license and, for some countries, an international driving license and photocopies of your passport and visa. The minimum age varies from 21 to 25 years. Bank cards are now essential.
Some of the international car rental companies present include Avis, Budget, Europcar, and Thrifty, but dozens of local agencies offer slightly cheaper rates. For a two-wheel-drive car, count a minimum of 16 OMR per day and at least 30 OMR for a
4×4. Always carry plenty of water (the 12-pack of 1.5L bottles costs 1.7 OMR at petrol stations) and a tow rope (4 OMR at large supermarkets). The ice packs (freezer packs, 600 oz each) allow you to keep the cold in your cooler during the day, even in summer, and in the evening, you can ask the hotel to put them back in the freezer for the night.
InsuranceHaving insurance is compulsory. Considering a large number of road accidents, it is strongly recommended to take out comprehensive insurance (and not just third party insurance). This insurance covers the old law required to “pay the price of blood” in the event of injury or death of a person (sometimes an animal). Car rental companies automatically provide insurance, but it’s best
To check the conditions carefully.
In the event of an accident, do not move the vehicle until the police have arrived and submit the accident report as soon as possible to your insurance company or, if you are renting, to the car rental company.
Condition of roads and equipment
Quality of roadsThe region’s road network is one of the best in the world, with very good two- and four-lane roads. Few of the ways are unpaved (except in Oman), but 4x4s are required to travel in the desert.
Travelers have told us that some Omani roads marked as “4×4 only” were passable with a two-wheel drive car. In absolute terms, it is doable, but … A classic car is not designed to tackle potholes, wavy surfaces, and steep gravel-covered slopes, let alone long distances until the next one—a gas station.
Also, with this type of car, you are not covered by insurance when you leave the road network; and if you break down, it is undoubtedly not the rental company that will come and picks you up! Given the almost total absence of traffic on specific routes, you are very vulnerable, especially in the scorching heat of summer. In short, you risk losing out, wanting to save on the rental of the 4×4.
All-terrain The English term off-road refers to unpaved roads that have been leveled, with a road roller, or to tracks made by cars that have followed old paths (camel drivers
Or muleteers). To take these tracks, a 4×4 is essential. Responsible drivers will not leave the already marked trails and will never create new roads.
Gasoline Petrol stations are ubiquitous along major roads and in cities. In more deserted areas, they may be rarer and more distant from each other. Outside of large cities, it’s best to refuel as soon as you can, as gas stations in more remote areas sometimes run out of fuel. Gasoline is very cheap throughout the region. Most cars run
GaragesThey is even found in the smallest towns and villages. They have spare parts (and labor) for most of the most common car models (including Toyota and Land Rover).
Signage Good throughout the region, it uses international symbols. The signs are bilingual, but the English spelling of the places is fanciful
and rarely matchesThe maps.
Parking A puzzle in the cities. Traffic policemen and parking meters are now more common.
Traffic LawsControls are strict, in particular in Muscat (Oman). Failure to comply with the rules listed below can result in substantial fines, although this would be very surprising as the locals are usually bad drivers.
We drive on the right in both countries.
Speed limits vary between 100 and 120 km / h on motorways, and between 45 and 60 km / h in towns and cities. Most urban areas and highways are equipped with speed cameras.
In Oman, a warning system in most vehicles alerts you to speeding, and many surveillance cameras encourage drivers to respect this limitation. To reduce accidents, the state is instituting speeding tickets.
Wearing a seat belt is compulsory (Omani fine: 10 OMR).
It is an offense to use a mobile phone while driving without a headset or speaker.
The use of the horn is not recommended, except in an emergency.
Never part with your driver’s license.
Always be equipped with a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a warning triangle.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol (in any amount) or drugs is not only considered a serious offense. It can also void your insurance. In the event of an accident, all costs incurred will be your responsibility, whether or not you are responsible.
In Oman, the law also punishes those who drive a dirty car – the fine is OMR 5!