Here's what you need to know if you're collecting a hire car from Muscat International Airport and driving in and around Muscat:
Age Requirement: Typically, you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car in Oman, though this might vary by car type and rental agency. For certain specialty or luxury vehicles, the age requirement could be 25.
Driving License: International visitors should have an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with their valid driving license from their home country.
Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive insurance. The rental agency will offer this, but always double-check the coverage details.
Vehicle Inspection: Before leaving the rental premises, inspect the car for any damage and ensure it is noted on the rental agreement to avoid disputes when returning the car.
Drive on the Right: In Oman, you drive on the right side of the road.
Seat Belts: They are mandatory for both front and rear passengers in Oman.
Mobile Phones: It's illegal to use a mobile phone while driving unless you have a hands-free system.
Roundabouts: Vehicles within the roundabout have priority, but always approach with caution as this might not always be observed.
Alcohol: Oman has a strict zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving. The blood alcohol limit is 0.00%.
Route: The primary route from Muscat International Airport into the city center of Muscat is via Sultan Qaboos Street (Route 1).
Distance: The distance from the airport to the city center is approximately 14-16 km, depending on your exact destination.
Driving Time: Under normal traffic conditions, the drive from the airport to the city center should take about 15-20 minutes.
Road Conditions: The main roads and highways in and around Muscat are in excellent condition. Signage is clear, usually in both Arabic and English.
Parking: In Muscat, you'll find both paid parking lots and street parking. Always ensure you're parking in a designated area to avoid fines.
Fuel Stations: Petrol stations are widespread in and around Muscat. Most of them are open 24/7, and many accept credit cards.
Traffic: Like many capital cities, Muscat can have traffic congestion, especially during morning and evening rush hours. Factor in some extra time if traveling during these periods.
Navigation: While the roads are well-signposted, having a GPS or smartphone navigation app can be beneficial, especially if you're unfamiliar with the area.
Safety: Omani drivers are generally courteous, but as with anywhere, you'll encounter various driving styles. Stay alert and drive defensively.
Documentation: Always carry your driving license, IDP, car rental agreement, passport, and insurance details when driving.
Checkpoints: While less common in Muscat, there are checkpoints on roads leading to other parts of Oman. Always have your documents ready.
In summary, driving in Muscat and its surroundings can be a pleasant experience thanks to the good road infrastructure. Stay informed, adhere to local regulations, and enjoy your trip!
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