When to visit Oman

Climate

Oman has a hot desert climate, with precipitation far below the upper limit of desert classification. Within this overall climate, it is possible to distinguish climatic variations: the northern coastal regions, the mountains in the north, the interior plain and desert, the southern coastal mountains and southern coastal plain. These climatic regions are affected by the two Omani seasons of winter and summer; there is scarcely a period of change between the two.

During the winter months, which fall between October and March, the northern coastal areas are warm and moderately humid with a daytime temperature of 20– 41°C in Muscat. The northern mountain heights are relatively cool and dry with occasional sharp drops in night-time temperature that may cause frost and, on rare occasions, snow from November to January.

In winter, the interior plain is warm and dry, with chilly nights. The southern mountains and coastal plain are warm and moderately humid, with Salalah enjoying a daytime temperature of 18–35°C. The winter season is the peak time to visit Oman, with temperatures broadly on a par with summer in the Mediterranean.

During summer, which runs from April to September, the northern coastal regions are very hot with Muscat’s temperature ranging between 30°C and 46°C during the day. The northern mountains’ heights are warm and dry, the interior plain is scorching and dry, and the southern mountains and coastal plain warm and humid, with temperatures in Salalah between 25°C and 37°C. Not surprisingly, as the temperature rises, the hotel prices in northern Oman fall. However, despite the heat, a visit during summer isn’t out of the question since all cars, and modern buildings, are air-conditioned.

Festivals and public holidays

Specific events include, during the winter season, the Muscat Festival. This is an annual month-long event running from late January until late February.

In Dhofar the Khareef Festival is another major event, which runs from late July through all of August. Here, in general, hotels are less expensive outside the summer khareef season.

The period of Ramadhan may also factor in your decision when to visit. Consuming food or drink (of any type) or smoking during daylight hours during Ramadhan is prohibited for any adult. Most independent restaurants are closed during the day and those hotel restaurants that remain open operate discreetly. If you plan to be in Oman during Ramadhan, ask your hotel for information as all hotels operate slightly differently.

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