General Information

ABOUT MUSCAT

Muscat is the capital of Oman and the country's largest city. The city is  the  heart  of  the  Sultanate,  the political  and  administrative  hub  of  the nation and the center of tourism and commercial activities. The capital area is a prime example of  intelligent  and  aesthetic  development, amalgamating modernity with tradition.
Muscat means 'safe anchorage', and the protected harbours of Old Muscat and Mutrah, ringed by serrated mountains and watched over by 17th-century forts, comprise the heart of the capital.
Described as "Arabia's jewel”, this city is a blend of the old and the new and has always represented a crossroad of cultures.
Old Muscat has a quaint charm about it with many forts, castles, mosques and towers doting the landscape. Of particular note are Jalali and Mirani forts flanking Al Alam Palace. The Corniche, with its promenade and souqs (markets) is one of the highlights of the city.
On the other hand modern Muscat is home to a range of luxury hotels with upscale restaurants. Among its attractions are  a  number  of  magnificent  beaches  and breathtaking  creeks  such  as  Al-Bustan Qurum  Beach, Al-Jissah and Yitti. Several restored forts, folk museums and traditional souqs are other popular attractions not to be missed.

GETTING AROUND

The roads in Oman can be compared to the best anywhere in the world. Driving in Oman is a pleasurable experience. The condition of the asphalt is excellent, traffic lanes are well defined, signals, driving regulations and guidelines clearly posted at regular intervals. Motorways link Muscat with all major cities and towns in Oman. There are excellent roads leading to Dubai. An international driving license is valid in Oman.

Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road. It is essential to carry vehicle documentation and driving licenses and it is mandatory to call the police for any accident however slight it may be.

Buses

ONTC (Oman National Transport Corporation) offers regular bus service to Salalah, Nizwa, Sohar and Dubai among other destinations. For fares and schedules contact the ONTC at +968 590046.

Taxis

Taxis are orange and white. They are not metered so it is advisable to negotiate a fair before the start of a journey. Seeb International Airport to Muscat costs about RO 6. Shared taxis are considerably cheaper and practical. A short taxi ride from Ruwi to Muttrah would cost roughly 200 baizas.
Small vans (known locally as the baiza bus) following more or less fixed routes offer a cheaper alternative. Short hauls are about 200 baizas (US $ 0.50).

  • City Taxi - (for 24hrs) Phone: +968 24602211/24603363
  • Bid Bid Tax i- Phone:+968 24693377
  • Al Dar Taxi LLC - Phone: +968 24700555/24700777

LANGUAGE

Arabic is the main language in Oman, but English is widely spoken.

TIMEZONE

GMT +4 hour

CURRENCY

(O.R): OMANI RIALS

CREDIT CARD CURRENTLY USED

All major credit cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express etc.) are accepted in main hotels, stores, and most shops but in traditional souks, cash is the most preferred means for transaction.

CELL PHONE USAGE

Oman’s international dialing code is (+968).

VISAS

Oman Visa and Passport Requirements 

  Passport required  Return ticket required Visa required 
Australian Yes  Yes  Yes 
British Yes  Yes  Yes 
Canadian Yes Yes  Yes 
Other EU Yes  Yes  Yes 
USA Yes  Yes Yes 

 

Passports

To enter Oman, a passport valid for at least six months is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. 

Visas

Visas for Oman are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. 

Visa note

All nationals referred to in the chart above may apply for a single-entry visa on arrival at Muscat International Airport. 

A joint tourist visa between Oman and Qatar, or Oman and Dubai is available. This allows travel between the two countries and is available for all nationals listed above. See the Royal Oman Police website for more details (www.rop.gov.om). 

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements. 

Types and cost

Single-entry 10-day visa on arrival: OMR5 (around £9); single-entry 30-day visa on arrival: OMR20 (around £36). 

A cruise visitor visa is free for visits of less than 48 hours and OMR5 for up to 96 hours. 

Validity

Single-entry visa: 10 or 30 days. 

Upon expiration of the visa, the holder will be fined OMR10 for each day of the delay. 

Transit

An air transit visa allows you to enter the country only once and stay for a maximum of 72 hours provided you have sufficient funds and a valid ticket for onward travel. A road transit visa allows you to travel overland for up to three days. Both cost OMR5. 

Application to

On arrival (if applicable), at the nearest Oman embassy/consulate, or online via the Royal Oman Police website (www.rop.gov.om). 

Temporary residence

Contact the Oman embassy or consulate. Residence visas can be renewed on the Royal Oman Police website (www.rop.gov.om). Single parents in Oman need documentary evidence of parental responsibility when obtaining a residence visa for their child/children. 

Extension of stay

A single-entry visa originally valid for 10 days can be extended for a further 10 days at a cost of OMR5. A 30 day single-entry visa can be extended for one month at a cost of OMR20. 

Entry with children

Single parents, or other adults travelling alone with children, may be required to provide documentary evidence of parental responsibility on entering and leaving the country. To check what is required, contact the nearest Oman Embassy.

WEATHER

Because Oman is so large and the terrain diverse, the climatic conditions are as varied as the geography. The most popular time to visit is from October to April when the weather is warm and sunny and temperatures range from a very pleasant 25°C (77°F) to around 35°C (95°F) during the day. It is cooler at night, ranging in temperature from 17°C (63°F) to 19°C (66°F).

BADGES

Participants are kindly requested to wear the name badge when entering the Congress venue and to access any offered services.

Participants will not be permitted access without a name badge.
Badge colour coding is as follows:

Gold ISGS Executive Committee Members
Red Faculty
No colour Delegates
Yellow Exhibitors
Blue Accompanying Persons

 

CERTIFICATE OF ATTENDANCE

The certificate of attendance will be included in the Congress kit.

COFFEE AND TEA BREAKS

During breaks in the mornings and in the afternoons, delegates will have the chance to visit the Poster Area as well as the Technical Exhibition.

LUNCH BOXES

A Lunch box will be included in the registration fee for delegates attending on 19 and 20 February. Platinum Sponsors will offer lunch boxes before their Industry Symposia.

EXHIBITION

An exhibition of the latest pharmaceutical products, electromedical devices and scientific publications is planned.
Opening hours will be corresponding to the scientific sessions of the Congress.

LOST AND FOUND

For lost and found items, please refer to the registration desk on site.

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