The Sultanate of Oman is located in the far east of the Arabian Peninsula, with its capital Muscat. It is bordered by the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman to the north. As for the south-east, it is bordered by the entrance of the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the west is bordered by Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Oman adopts the Sultanate's system in its political governing. Arabic is the official language of Oman. Its currency is the Omani Rial and its official religion is Islam.
The climate of the Sultanate is a desert climate. The Sultanate also has natural resources such as gas, gold, petroleum, natural coal and silver. It is worth noting that minerals, fish, natural gas, oil, dates and bananas are among the most important products of the Sultanate of Oman.
Tourism in the Sultanate of Oman is diverse and fun; Oman has a variety of attractions, such as markets, traditional houses, and many places classified as World Heritage sites (UNESCO). In Oman, the tourist can practice various sports, such as fishing, sailing. Animal lovers can also watch rare turtles, dolphins, swim with them. For touring the cities of the Sultanate of Oman, the visitor can visit these places for their unique tourist attractions. For example Mutrah, Nizwa, Jabal al-Akhdar, Jabal Shams, Nakhal Fort, Dhofar, Musandam, Ras al-Janz, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House. There are some valleys such as Wadi Tiwi, Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Shab.
The tourist resources in Ash Sharqiyah North Governorate are an important tourist attraction in the Sultanate due to the diversity of ground forms and tourist sites quality, environmental and natural details. During winter, these places and elements play a role in enriching the winter tourism, for what the Sultanate in general and Ibra in particular, have of attractive tourist elements environment.
At the beginning of the winter tourism season, a lot of tourists from inside and outside the country visit the places in the Sultanate to enjoy the weather and the various places. For example water springs, castles, forts, valleys, natural parks, camping, heritage villages and ancient neighborhoods (Hara) as well as local markets and ponds. These types of tourism are accompanied by many events and activities that attract and boost tourism such as recreational activities, Omani arts, camel and horse racing, four-wheel drive, sand-skiing, mountain climbing and sand climbing with SUVs.
The governorate's accommodation is also one of the tourist components to improve the winter tourism. Places such as hotels, rest houses and tourist camps as well as specialized offices for travel, tourism and organizing trips.
The water springs are natural elements that reflect the divine beauty in their creation. The provinces of the governorate have many water springs that currently attract visitors. The most recognized water springs are in Wadi Bani Khalid, "Doh”, "Canara”, "AL Matjar" Al-Makhda, Al-Hager, Alala. Water springs in Wadi Dima wa'Tayeen, Al-Falaj, Falaj Al-Mur, AL Sekhna and Al-Musfah. These water springs are tourism source for their natural aesthetics.
The castles and forts in the governorate are distinguished by their exquisite architecture, where the ancient ancestors created their design for security purposes. Today, however, they become tourist attractions for their architectural beauty and its magnificence. The most famous castles and forts, for example, "Al-Muntrab" castle in Bidiya, "Bait Al-Yahmadi" in Ibra , "AL Ruwdha" fort and "AL Khubaib in AL Mudhaibi. All played a vital role in the definition of the history of Oman as a meeting point for political, social and religious interaction.
The valleys and nature parks were prepared to provide the tourists with necessities of leisure and promenade and other activities. These places have been provided with requires that make them a destination for visitors. Also they have been provided with signs and instructions that highlight the most important tourist components in the Ash Sharqiyah North Governorate, such as the valleys in AL Mudhaibi and Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Dima wa'Tayeen, where the valleys and natural parks are featured by the natural terrain.
When talking about the desert, it is necessary to talk about Al Sharqiya Sands and camping as these sands represent a treasure of nature, in Bidiya. These sands have been used for camping, which in turn added a beauty to those golden Sands where tents are set up. This type of tourism attracts tourists from outside the Sultanate to enjoy all the elements of desert tourism and camping on the sand.
The traditional villages and ancient Hara (neighborhood) featured by an attractive architectural designs of houses built by ancient ancestors. Nowadays they have become a tourism element in the governorate; tourists come from around the world to visit them. "Almenzfa" village is one of the most noticeable heritage villages in Ash Sharqiyah North in Ibra, with its unique geometrical architecture since ancient times.
The local popular markets (souq) are other platforms that introduce crafts and industries that characterize each province of the governorate, which meet the commercial convoys in the past. Today, however, they are an element of tourism in the governorate, especially during winter, in which these markets are active during this period. Particularly the Wednesday souq in Ibra , Tuesday souq in Samad Ash Shan , Thursday souq in Sinaw , AL Mudhaibi, In addition to Monday souq in Wadi Bani Khalid. The ponds are main factor of tourist attractions in the province, where tourists spend most of their free time around these beautiful ponds. Tourists visit the water ponds in Wadi Bani Khalid to enjoy their beauty during the year.
Also there are fun activities held in the governorate such as camel racing, horse-riding sports, and horse-riding events.
There are other sports that promote tourism, particularly in Bidiya, riding bikes and driving SUVs, which are challenging and thrilling for those who like such sports, they can play this sport on the sand dunes. In addition to sand skiing, a unique desert sport on the sand which is another fun to enjoy and experience the challenge.
The University, represented by the Department of Human Resources, facilitates the admission of international students who have been admitted to the university to obtain their visas and complete their residency applications in cooperation with the Royal Oman Police. Students are required to submit the following documents for visas:
- Higher Education approval
- Admission and Registration approval
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People in Oman are strength, friendly, ambitious and multi-talented. The Sultanate has scenic places that provide a decent livelihood for its generous people. Muscat, the capital, was selected as the second best city in the world by Lonely Planet's Best in Travel in 2012. Demographic data indicate that 42.6% of Oman's population is aged 25-54 years. The cost of living is also lower compared to neighboring countries in the region. There are many restaurants that offer Arabic, Indian and international food, Famous international restaurants such as Kentucky, Burger King, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Avan and others. People can shop in many world-class shops such as Carrefour, Lulu, and the Fair. These large shops include a variety of vegetables, spices, in addition to the world famous brands in all categories with the latest fashions, electronic devices and jewelry. In terms of accommodation there are many international hotels, hotel apartments and houses where they can rent directly from the owner with a contract. The rent prices range from RO 200 - 400 per month.
The telecommunications sector in the Sultanate is one of the most advanced and rapidly developing sectors. The sector has achieved great progress in line with the government's 2020 strategy and vision aimed at liberalizing the telecommunications sector by private sector investments to achieve the economic and social development of the Sultanate and transforming it into an attractive and competitive sector. This sector has witnessed a significant shift in the entry and participation of foreign companies and increased the services offered as well as availability and affordability of these services. All these factors have constituted an important leap in this sector. There are currently 6 telecom companies, such as Omantel and Oredoo and the rest are run by these companies.
Info: How to Get SIM
For a new prepaid number, the students may contact the Telecommunications Company (Omantel- Ooredoo) as preferable, as per the offers available from the company and the residence card will be required.
There are many transportation options available in the Sultanate to travel around. For example local taxis and buses- Operated by Oman National Transport Company, Mwasalat. In addition, the international transport services such as airlines, cruise ships, ferries and buses that travel outside the country. The Sultanate has launched the latest airports for local and international travelers. Tourists who visit Oman may be required to obtain a tourist visa which can be obtained through travel agency, on arrival or electronically via the Royal Oman Police website, depending on the nationality of the visitor. You can rent a car from the car rental agency in the Sultanate or from agents of international companies that are offering a range of services such as luxury car rental with driver, regular saloon cars, tourist buses, and small and large SUVs, to explore the country. These companies have branches all over the country as well as at the airport. To rent a car, you must have an international driver's license, a passport, a credit card and a valid insurance policy.
The Omani Rial is the local currency, where there are smaller categories of Riyal, such as 500 Baiza, 100 Baiza, 50 Baiza, 25 Baiza, 10 Baiza and 5 Baiza, where 1000 Baiza are equivalent to 1,000 Riyals. There are also higher categories of Riyals: RO 5, RO 10, and RO 50.
The Omani Rial versus some international currencies
1 OMR = 2, 28 euro
1 OMR = 2, 60 USD
There are many banks, whether local or international. The most prominent local banks which have branches spread in all governorates of the Sultanate: Oman Arab Bank, National Bank of Oman, Bank Muscat, Bank Sohar, Bank Dhofar and Bank Nizwa. There is also Islamic banking such as Meethaq, Bank Alizz Islamic Bank and Maisarah. It is easy to open a current account in one of the branches of known banks. The following documents must be provided to open a new account:
- Resident card
Working days of the Public sector starts from Sunday to Thursday: 7:30 am - 2:30 pm (except for the holy month of Ramadan, where the working hours are from 9 am - 2 pm). The private sector working days are from Sunday to Thursday (as per the companies’ policy). The official holidays of the Sultanate are 7 official holidays, including religious and national events according to the Omani law:
1-Eid al-Adha (Dhu al-Hijjah)
2- Eid al-Fitr (Shawwal)
3- Islamic New Year (Muḥarram 1st)
4-Isra'a Wal Mi'raj (Rajab 27th)
5- Prophet Muhammad's Birthday (Rabīʿ al-Awwal 12th)
6- Renaissance Day (23 Jul)
7-National Day (18 Nov).
The University provides internal dorms for female students who prefer to stay in university accommodation. It is equipped with all the facilities of a comfortable life that enable them to enjoy the basics such as life services and infrastructure. All aspects of living suitable for female students are available in A’Sharqiyah University's accommodation such as transport according to the schedule of transportation from the university vice versa, and transportation to the hospital, the bank, the shop, the restaurant, the stationery. Also, accommodations have TV rooms, study rooms, electrical devices like microwave, washing machines. The accommodations also arrange for trips to various areas in the Sultanate, In addition to internal activities and ongoing events such as workshops, exhibitions, events and educational meetings and health awareness.
As for male student hostels, there are currently no university dormitories for male students. Students can share with other students the rent of houses, apartments or some buildings with private rooms that are rented by investors for the student at his own expense.
A- Arrival and Departure of Students
The University provides free transfer to the students from the University to Muscat International Airport and vice versa at the end and the beginning of each academic year, as well as on long official holidays and during semester breaks.
B- Health Care
The University offers free primary health care to all students in the University Clinic. International students must have an annual health insurance and obtain a health insurance card to be treated in private hospitals. Personal accident insurance is granted annually to all university students, including students' exposure to accidents while under the supervision of the university or during their participation in any activities of the university or during their transfer to and from these activities.
Studying in another country is difficult; however students could have times full of fun and entertainment. In addition to the academic study, there is a study of the country’s culture where the student will learn about customs and traditions of this country. The university also pays great attention to international students for recreational and educational trips on the country's originality and tourist attractions that may help students to create new concepts about the country and break the routine of the daily life.
- Royal Oman Police (Emergency) 9999
- Ibra Police Station 25570099
- Ibra Hospital 25570533
- Ibn al-Haytham Center 25571899-4
- Umm Balqis Clinic 94518351