Traveling in Oman
In Oman, the currency is the Rial Omani (RO), which is freely convertible; its value is linked to the US dollar. One rial equals 1,000 Baisa (Bs). Banknotes denominations are 1 RO, 5 RO, 10 RO, 20 RO and 50 RO. There are also smaller notes equal in value to 100, 200 and 500 Baisa. New notes were issued 1995 and 2005. However, you have to pay close attention to which notes you are using as the similarity of colors creates the possibility for confusion.
There are a number of ways to exchange money in Oman. For example, with the larger banks in the country, you can get your local currency in exchange for the euro and the dollar. However, one must expect an exchange rate that is not quite as good as in the official exchange offices that exist throughout the capital region and in the larger cities of the country. These are licensed by the state and thus authorized to make legal money transactions. Here, you usually get the best exchange rate. The worst exchange rate exists in the exchange offices in the hotels, which are also the easiest to reach and often have the same opening hours as the reception in the hotel itself.
In general, the import of currency is allowed in unlimited amounts, as is the export of domestic currency. The best way to get local currency is to use the debit card at the ATM. The ATM machines of the big banks in the country all accept the Maestro card. With this card, you can conveniently withdraw money in the local currency from your home account, receiving the actual, current exchange rate. Basically, this is always the cheapest rate one can get. However, the fees for withdrawing money abroad vary from bank to bank and should be clarified in advance.
It is always advisable to take part of your holiday funds in cash (be it in euros or in dollars). Dollars are especially good as a tip, because you can also pay in one-dollar bills here. In addition to a cash supply, you should carry a back up debit card with the Maestro logo just in case. The credit card is ideal for larger payments in a hotel or in good restaurants. In Oman, the Visa Card and the MasterCard are the most commonly accepted credit cards.