Members of the opposite sex do not generally touch – do not offer your hand to an Omani of the opposite sex unless they offer you theirs first.Invitations to visit an Omani home are common – don’t be surprised if your driver asks you back to his house at the end of a tour for coffee and dates.
If invited for a formal meal, it’s polite to take some form of small gift, ideally gift-wrapped – chocolates or dates are ideal.
Remember to take your shoes off when entering any Omani house.
Once inside, it’s considered polite to take whatever form of food or drink is offered, since refusal may be construed as dissatisfaction or disapproval.
Conversations in Oman generally run along well-regulated lines – your country, age, marital status, number of children (if any), religion, profession, reasons for visiting Oman and impressions of the country being the usual topics.
Sultan Qaboos introduced many reforms funded mostly by the oil revenue, targeting development and social services.
He also appointed the Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Council), a body of representatives elected by the people that review legislation.
Women should wear loose clothing, with arms and shoulders covered.
Skirts, if worn, should reach at least beneath the knee, although wearing trousers is probably a better option.
A few pre-prepared phrases of pidgin Arabic should help smooth the progress of any visit.