Little known Oman is a fascinating place to visit. With marine life off the southern coast in Dhofar Province, a wealth of rich history to discover in Muscat, mountains and deserts to discover, it’s perfect for the intrepid traveler. But just when is the best time to visit Oman? That’s a good question, and one that we’ve answered with this handy guide.
Those deserts can get mighty hot and uncomfortable when the sun is at its peak strength, and most people prefer to discover the wonders of the country when the weather is a little less brutally hot. To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve also included a selection of Oman’s best festivals that will knock your socks off.
When is the Best Time to Visit Oman?
Weather in Oman in January
January is the coldest month in Oman. No surprises there. On average, the temperature across the country is a pleasant 21°C, with highs of 25°C. An average of nine hours of sunshine daily means plenty of time to get out and see the country – it certainly won’t be busy with tourists, either.
It’s also a pretty dry month, with just one rainy day (on average) of around 10mm across the month. The sea is 24°C, and, in Muscat at least, even nights tend not to drop below 17°C. However, Saiq (2,000 meters above sea level) has an average temperature in January of 10°C.
Weather in Oman in February
Another good time to visit Oman, February shares the cooler temperatures of the preceding month. The temperature in Muscat (the capital city) hovers around 22°C, with highs of about 26°C. Rainfall, however, increases. Approximately 24.5 millimeters of rain falls during February – these are often short, sharp bursts of showers, however.
Elsewhere in Oman, such as along the coast of the Arabian Sea in Salalah, Dhofar Province, temperatures hit as high as 28°C and there’s almost no chance of rain. Sea temperatures are 25°C, so seeing the marine life here a viable option. Inland deserted areas fluctuate between 14 and 30°C, a good time to check it out.
Weather in Oman in March
In Muscat, March brings higher temperatures (25.5°C) with sunny days (11 hours per day of sunshine). Daytime highs of 30°C possible and lows barely drop to 21°C. Around 15 millimeters of rain falls in March, across an average of just two rainy days.
In the Al-Hajar Mountains, northeastern Oman, it gets warmer: Saiq sees temperatures of around 10°C and rainfall of 35 millimeters, but it can reach 20°C in the daytime. It’s one of the best times to visit Oman if you want to go to Salalah; temperatures hit highs of 30°C with a minimum of 22°C.
Weather in Oman in April
Things really start to heat up in the Arabian Peninsula in April, and that goes for Oman, too, of course. Muscat has an average April temperature of 30°C, with highs that soar to 35°C. There’s hardly any rain across the country, but if you’re looking for a beach break, Muscat is a great option: the water temperature is 27°C.
Even the mountains are warming up at this time of year, with temperatures hovering between lows of 14 and highs of 24°C; even rainfall eases to around 30 millimeters. The southern coast gets hotter: the island of Masirah, for example, has a maximum temperature of about 34°C.
Weather in Oman in May
The average temperature for the Omani capital of Muscat in May starts rising. We’re talking about 34°C, with lows barely dropping below 30°C and highs almost rising to 40°C. It doesn’t sound like the best time to visit Oman, but it only gets hotter from here!
Sea temperatures are a balmy 29°C, which is nice if you want to take long dips in the warm Arabian Sea. Salalah is a better option than Muscat since it’s slightly cooler: 33°C is the high, with lows hovering at a comfortable 27°C. Desert temperatures creep up, too, climbing to crazy hot highs of 43°C.
Weather in Oman in June
June brings with it the hottest temperatures of the year for Oman. It’s seriously baking. Muscat has an average of 35°C (highs of 40°C; lows of 30°C).
The desert has regular highs of above 40°C (usually about 43°C). Masirah is 35°C, Salalah is 32°C. It’s hot, and it’s only the best time of year to visit Oman if you really, really love scorching weather. If you must go, we would probably recommend Salalah above other destinations.
Weather in Oman in July
July in Oman is still hot, but on top of that, the humidity starts to climb up. In Muscat, the average temperature is 34.5°C (they can reach 38°C and dip to 31°C). There’s still lots of sunshine, too – 12 hours of it, in fact – and warm seas to swim in.
Cooler temperatures can be had 2,000 meters above sea level in mountainous Saiq; the average low is 21°C, but temperatures can climb to 31°C. It rains a lot in the mountains, however, with 45 millimeters falling across four days. On Masirah, it gets cloudy, so there’s less sunshine, plus it’s humid; the same goes for Salalah, with increased fog, too.
Weather in Oman in August
The heat starts to ease off – but not that much. Muscat’s temperatures are around 31.5°C, with average highs of 35°C. This time of year is not the best time to visit Oman as the threat of tropical cyclones is higher; they don’t always hit, but they certainly might.
It’s still hot in the desert (obviously), with minimum temperatures in Haima hitting 25°C and highs reaching 42°C. A good place to visit in Oman this time of year is Qairoon in Dhofar Province: with its green mountainsides and cool temperatures (early 20s), it’s a pleasant escape from the heat.
Weather in Oman in September
It’s 32°C in the capital during September – a break from the intense heat of summer, but it’s still very warm, with highs of 36°C. The southwest monsoon brings cloud banks that account for these lower temperatures, but don’t worry; there’s zero chance of rain (in Muscat, at least).
Along the east coast on the Arabian Sea, temperatures are still pretty high, with lots of clouds and lots of humidity (temperatures between 24 and 31°C). Salalah sees drizzle and fog, with lows of 24°C and highs of 39°C.
Weather in Oman in October
October temperatures are low again. It’s still not the best time to visit Oman: the heat is still there, and the coastal areas are still seeing a lot of cloud and humidity. However, it’s getting better in general.
Muscat’s average temperature is 30°C (highs 35°C; 11 hours of sunshine daily). In the Al-Hajar Mountains, October brings lower temperatures and the nights start to get actually cold – we’re talking 13°C – but there is generally less precipitation than in previous months. Masirah cools down, too; temperatures can still peak at 32°C and it gets around 10 hours of sunshine per day.
Weather in Oman in November
In November, it really starts to be a good time to visit Oman. As the country heads into winter (but maybe not winter as you know it), the temperatures are finally dipping below 30°C, with an average of 26°C in Muscat and lows of 24°C in the capital, too.
The downside is slightly increased rainfall, but not so much that it will affect your vacation. November in Saiq gets cold, with lows of 9°C and highs of 20°C. Masirah and the southern coast at Salalah can be pretty pleasant, the former being between 23 and 30°C, while the latter sees similar fluctuations. The sea, however, is still hot at around a warm 27°C.
Weather in Oman in December
It’s December and temperatures in Muscat are finally cooler. The temperatures of 23°C, reaching 27°C maximum, make it one of the best times to visit Oman if you want to explore the capital and see the sights – comfortably! The mountains really get cold this time of year, with Saiq seeing night temperatures of as low as 6°C; there’s even a frost sometimes.
The east coast in December still gets fairly warm temperatures and can be pleasant: Masirah doesn’t drop below 20 (highs of 28°C), while Salalah’s temperatures are around 28, 29°C. The desert isn’t so hot anymore (maximum temperatures only around 29°C and a minimum of 15°C), making it a good time to visit.
Festivals in Oman
Spring Festivals in Oman
On March 19 in Oman, you’d better ready yourself for the Sultan Camel Race Cup. This is a big festival because practically everywhere on the Arabian Peninsula, camel racing is a big deal. It’s an old Arabic tradition and plays out on a grand scale during this festival in Oman. You can expect camel racing, obviously.
Though the date varies because of the Islamic calendar, March 22 in 2020 marks Isra’a Wal Mi’raj, celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem before ascending to heaven. This festival in Oman is a national holiday.
Jebel al Akhdar – meaning “Green Mountain” – is famous for its roses, which bloom from late March to April. While not strictly a festival of Oman, it’s a big tradition to harvest the roses, which are turned into rosewater. There are plans to make this more of a celebration in the 2020 iteration of the harvest.
In 2020 at least, May is the time of Eid Al-Fitr. This is the most important religious festival in Oman, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which the Muslim population fasts during daylight hours. Eid Al-Fitr lasts for three days: the first day is about mosque-visiting and performing Eid prayers; after that, the celebrations and feasting with friends and family occur. There’s lots of gift-giving, people wearing new clothes, and big communal meals.
Summer Festivals in Oman
From mid-July to late August, over six weeks, you can catch the Khareef Festival in Salalah. “Khareef” refers to the “rain-bearing fog” that hangs over the area during this time – typically the start of monsoon season – and the festival is a celebration of the Dhofar region in general. Expect performances, heritage plays, kite festivals, and poetry readings in a bonanza of history and contemporary events that show off Dhofar Province.
Renaissance Day is a national holiday and festival in Oman that marks the anniversary of the first day of Sultan Qaboos’ reign back on April 23, 1970. His ascent to the throne meant changes for the country, ending isolationist policies and leading to reforms and development. It’s an important day for Omanis and is a day of celebration.
Fall Festivals in Oman
Green turtles start to breed in September in Oman. They go to the beaches in the country, particularly in the east. You’ll probably be able to see them in the natural turtle reservation called Ras al Jinz, or near the Shangri La Al Husn. Go on a tour of the reservation, watch as the turtles make their journeys onto the beaches as they go to lay their eggs, and even observe baby turtles hatching and making their treacherous way to the sea.
In mid-November, the Oman Desert Marathon sees intrepid runners hot-foot it across the Omani Desert from the oasis of Bidya to the Arabian Sea. It’s 165 kilometers – much longer than a marathon – run in six stages.
Oman National Day falls on November 18 and is a national holiday. Celebrating the country’s independence from Portugal in 1650 after a 143-year-long colonial period, it’s full of fun and festivities, such as streets festooned with flags, fireworks, parades, and camel races (of course!).
Winter Festivals in Oman
The Cultural Theater Program starts in December in Salalah at the Al Flayj Castle Theater. The venue hosts performing groups and acting troupes from around the world, while there are many other cultural events taking place at this time, too.
In January, the Dubai-Muscat Regatta takes place, celebrating Oman’s seafaring heritage. There are races, but also later in February, traditional boats called “dhows” compete for prizes.
From January 16 to February 15, it’s the Muscat Festival. Touted as one of Oman’s most important festivals, this huge festival is all about showing off Omani culture to the world. The month-long extravaganza showcases the beauty and history of the country at multiple venues throughout the capital; expect things like international food stalls, fireworks displays, theatrical performances, and music. It’s grand and bright.
Plan and Pack for Oman
Just throwing this into your bag is going to make packing for Oman a breeze. A Shemagh is the perfect travel accessory for both the men and the women travelers out there. This can be worn for just about anything. It will keep you warm, cover your face, protect valuables in your backpack, and even double as an eye mask the shemagh has tons of different uses.
It’s perfect for anyone heading into the Sahara wanting to keep the sand out of their face. I would personally recommend buying this before you land because once you travel to the desert there will plenty of touts willing to sell you a cheap one at an exorbitant price.
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Oman. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.
We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.
Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but for those times when they may not I like to have a backup travel towel. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.
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