When is the best time to visit Oman?

The beauty of planning a visit to Oman is that it’s a year-round destination.  With its unique and varied geography, there is almost always some part of the country experiencing amazing weather for tourists to enjoy.

Best time to visit Oman

On this page we will cover:

  • Weather in Oman by geographic region
  • Public Holidays and more crowded times of the year
  • Festivals and events

This post is part of our Oman with Kids series – read more here


Weather in Oman

Oman is mostly tropical desert, with some rain experienced in mountainous areas and clouds brought by summer monsoons along the east coast.

It is best to look at the country by its geographic regions rather than by season as seasons vary dramatically.

The North-East Coast (from Sur through to the UAE border, including Muscat)

The North-East coast of Oman faces on to the Arabian Sea.  Generally, the coast is warm and sunny year round. Winters are mild with limited rainfall, and summers are slightly cooler than other parts of the Gulf due to the influence of the Summer Monsoon.

Muscat is hottest in June (expect averages around 38c), whilst cooling a little in July and August and experiencing cloud cover, daytime temperatures may only reach 34 to 36c.

Ocean temperatures are pleasant year-round (for most!) and you should be able to swim (between about 24c to 31c – 75F to 88F)

Musandam

The northernmost enclave of Oman that juts into the Strait of Hormuz can experience winter rainfall from December to March. In the summer it is arid and hot, experiencing similar weather to much of the UAE and Gulf states.

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The best time to visit Musandam for pleasant air and water temperatures is November to March.

Read more about visiting Musandam here

The Hajar Mountain

The Hajar mountain range runs up the spine of the north-eastern coast of Oman, the highest point being Jabal Shams (3,009m – 9,872 feet). The summer monsoon does bring a little rain to the mountains and on very rare occasions the Hajar Mountains can experience snowfall in winter. 

You can expect frosts at high altitude in winter and day time highs in June – July of around 30c / 90F making it a pleasant escape for many in hotter cities such as Dubai & Abu Dhabi.

South & East Coast of Oman through to Salalah

Salalah, the capital of the Dhofar region in the southern corner of Oman has a very different climate to the rest of the country. In summer it experiences “the Khafeer“. From late June to September, wet currents blow towards the Asian continent. It brings a little rain but also brings a cloudy fog that lowers temperatures and makes this part of the country quite lush and green.

Day time temperatures in June reach the early 30’s (90F), but then the temperature drops to 27-29c (81-84f) in July and August. The water here is warm for most of the year though perhaps a little too cool for swimming at the peak of the Khafeer.

The rest of the year is mostly warm and pleasant. From April to July, winds can blow from inland accompanied by sand storms and temperatures in excess of 40c.

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Check out Salalah accommodation options here

The interior – arid desert

The remainder of the country (which is actually most of the country’s land mass!) is arid desert. It is mild in winter and boiling hot in summer with peak temperatures as high as 50c. Summer maximums can drop, however, in July and August due to the cloudiness from the monsoonal weather to the south.


Holidays and crowds in Oman

Crowds are still very infrequently experienced at attractions in Oman – rarely will they spoil an experience. 

It will generally speaking be busier at times that coincide with school and public holidays in neighbouring Gulf states such as the UAE, and to some extent the European school holidays around Easter & Christmas.

Border crossings particularly will be congested on public holidays (you can read more about UAE border crossing here) and popular wadis may be more crowded than usual on hot days.

Visiting the Hajar Mountains in popular on long weekend breaks from the UAE

Public and religious holidays to be aware of in Oman 2019

Note religious holidays follow the Hijri Calendar which moves approximately 10 days annually on the Gregorian calendar. Dates given are estimates only, confirmed by moon sighting committee. 

  • 1 January – New Years Day
  • 3 April – Isra’a Wal Miraj (the Prophet’s Ascension – 27th Rajab)
  • 4 to 7 June – Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan)
  • 23 July – Renaissance Day
  • 11 August – Arafat Day
  • 12-14 August – Eid Al-Adha Holiday
  • 31 August – Islamic New Year (Muharram)
  • 9 Nov – The Prophet Muhammad Birthday
  • 18 November – Oman National Day (Independence from Portugal)
  • 19 November – Birthday of HM Sultan Qaboos
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Ramadan in Oman

Ramadan is strictly observed in Oman.  During the 9th month of the Hijri Calendar (this year predicted to be May 5 to June 4) day time fasting occurs and it is a quiet time for religious reflection. Eating or drinking in public during daylight hours is against the law.

Many attractions will shut completely, or only open evenings after Iftar (breaking of the fast).  Major hotels will normally have a sectioned off area for non-Muslims to eat during the day. It is an interesting time to visit a Muslim country, though may not appeal to all so be careful of limitations if planning a trip around this special time of year.

School Holidays in Oman

Local school holidays will not have a great impact on tourism and crowds but something to be mindful of. They have a three-term school year that generally runs September to mid-December, January to March and mid-April to June. Schools may also have mid-term breaks in October and February.

The beautiful Musandam Peninsular in Oman
The beautiful Musandam Peninsular in Oman, explored by traditional dhow

Seasonal activities and events in Oman

Muscat Festival – takes place January – February in Al Qurm Natural Park. Showcasing culture & arts also features a circus and concerts. Learn more here.

Salalah Festival – held during the Khareef (15 July to 31 August) a cultural celebration and parades held around town.

Turtle Breeding Season – Around Ras Al Jinz is predominantly May to September when you can join nightly and dawn tours. Learn more here.

Turtle season a baby Hawksbill turtle Oman

There are also many events happening at the Royal Opera House Muscat and a packed sporting calendar that attracts international participants to Muscat and various regional towns.

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You can learn more about seasonal events here on the Experience Oman website.


So when is it best to visit Oman?

There is clearly no one answer as it’s a country that allows for exploration and interesting events year-round. For most outdoor exploring you will want to stick to the cooler winter months October through to April. There is certainly merit still in enjoying the uniqueness of the Khafeer and enjoying wildlife experiences and cooling Wadi’s and beaches over the summer months.

You can learn more about many of the destinations we have discussed here:


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Researched and written by our Editor-in-Chief Keri Hedrick, an avid traveller, writer and mum of three based in the UAE.  You can learn more about our contributing writers here.  This article is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the businesses mentioned but does contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission.