If you yearn for jaw dropping mountain views and an authentic taste of Omani art and culture, Nizwa should be in your travel itinerary. It’s not just the imposing mountains that make Nizwa a unique experience; it’s also the heady mix of conservatism with modernism and the magic of witnessing a city in transition that gives Nizwa a one-of-a-kind status. Even though you cannot completely be care free here, you are sure to enjoy the sprinkle of modernity over a very conservative and traditional mindset.
The minute you enter Nizwa, you can feel the sense of pride in the air; Nizwa has enjoyed an important stature in Oman. When you walk by the Jama Mosque, you tend to understand why this magnanimous structure was once an important centre for Islamic learning. One visit to the souk and you are transported to the days where Nizwa was one of the most important trading centers in the country.
Nizwa is worth so much more than just a day trip. There is so much more to explore in this city. The traditional souks, the beautiful mosques, the lovely traditional food is sure to make you fall in love with the city of Nizwa. The people here are very warm and yet rigid in the way they think. Interacting with them though is a completely different experience. The language is so lovely, that you would love to take back with you a lot more than just souvenirs from this town. So give Nizwa a considerable amount of time to grow on you because it definitely is going to. To fully soak in the beauty of this northern town and experience all that this enchanting city has to offer to you, you will have to come here again and again.
Essential travel information and Nizwa tips for your visit
TRAVEL TIPS AND WARNINGS
Time Zone: Gulf Time Zone. UTC +(04:00)
Currency: Omani rial
Electricity: Electrical sockets (outlets) in the Sultanate of Oman usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.
Internet: Internet is not very easily accessible here and the speed is not very high.
Languages: Official language is Arabic. English and Hindi to an extent is understood in tourist areas.
Emergency contact numbers:
- Directory Information For International Numbers 1327
- International Operator 1305
- Internal 198
- Faults and complaints 192
- Enquiries on traffic violations 24510228 / 7
- Passports and Immigration 24569606
- Medical Services 603988
- Emergency Accident Services 561447
- Other Medical Emergencies 563625
- Talking pages 24600100
- Flight information 24519223
- Lost Luggage 24519504
- Weather Forecast 24519113
- Foreign Exchange Rates 1106
- Duty Free Shop 24519923
- AAA (Arabian Automobile Alliance 24697800-(24 hours roadside assistance 365 days a year)
- Do not go away from souks with anybody.
- Do not talk against the religion as it is of really high regard for the people here.
- Be dressed appropriately as it is a society with conservative mindset.
- Women travellers need to remember that it is a male dominated society.
- Tipping is not customary but is appreciated. Keep lose change to give to people in Souks and also in restaurants and hotels. Specially people who perform some service for you like picking up your luggage or calling a cab.
- Do not get lured into offers for high end brand in souks, most of this stuff is stolen.
- You will find two distinct types of women’s clothing in the region: one is for the locals and the other is for expatriates. Outside their homes, most Arab women dress according to the religious customs that they follow, which basically that they must cover most of their body, from head to foot.
- People here generally hold civility in high regard. It is important that you greet and leave local people in the correct way. The use of Arab names can be confusing to you initially.
- The most common greeting all over middle east countries is Salam alaykum which means ‘Peace be upon you’, to which the correct reply is Wa alaykum as-salam which means ‘And upon you be peace’.
- You should accept refreshment whenever it’s offered as a polite gesture. Remember to use your right hand for drinking and eating, as the left hand is regarded as unclean.Similarly, avoid showing the soles of your shoes or feet, which comes across as you thinking that the other person is ‘dirt’.
- You should therefore keep your feet flat on the ground and avoid crossing them.
General tips and Warnings
- Don’t offer alcoholic drinks to an Arab, unless you are sure of the fact that he does drink. This can cause great offence and a major issue for you.
- Do not walk on a prayer mat even by mistake or cross any person who is praying. Try not to stare at people who are praying.
- Don’t try to enter a mosque without taking permission. It is highly unlikely that you will be allowed in otherwise.
- Avoid blasphemy at all costs.
- Avoid putting a localite in a position where he might suffer a ‘loss of face’ in front of fellow citizens.
- Don’t call people with the action of your finger, as this is considered quite impolite. Arabs generally use such a gesture to summon a dog.
- Do not shout or show any displays of aggression or drunkenness at any time. Such behaviour is rarely tolerated.
Know the pollution level of Nizwa before you plan your visit.
Water Pollution 50 (Moderate)
Unattended dirt and garbage 50 (Moderate)
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 25 (Low)
Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 25 (Low)
Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 100 (Very High)
How safe is Nizwa for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Nizwa.
Mugging and Robbery 25 (Low)
Corruption and Bribery 25 (Low)
Safety walking alone during daylight 100 (Very High)
Safety walking alone during night 75 (High)
Property crimes and Vandalism 25 (Low)
Safety Index 91.18 (Very High)
Climate Index 85.33 (Very High)
Pollution Index 22.41 (Low)
Traffic Commute Time Index 12 (Very Low)
Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.
Here's how much it will cost to shop in Nizwa
Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.16 USD
Summer clothing in a chain store 19.48 USD
Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 64.93 USD
Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 15.58 USD
*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced and subjected to change without notice.