Oman’s immigration authorities have recently tightened the conditions for visa exemptions extended to citizens of the Maldives. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Malaysia has confirmed this development. Formerly, Oman was one of 13 countries where Maldivian citizens enjoyed visa exemption privileges. However, an incident involving a Maldivian family detained for 12 hours at an Omani airport has prompted revisions to visa regulations.
Oman Introduces Stricter Conditions for Maldives On-Arrival Visas
Under the new rules, Maldivians can now avail of a 14-day visa exemption, provided they possess a valid Schengen Visa or visas from select countries or hold citizenship in those countries. Additionally, individuals from the Maldives must provide evidence of a confirmed hotel reservation, return tickets, and valid health insurance.
The stricter visa conditions have raised concerns among Maldivian officials who are striving to persuade the Omani government to ease the rules and potentially reinstate on-arrival visa exemptions without conditions.
Tourism Strategies And Growth
In a bid to boost the tourism sector, the Omani government previously opened its doors by introducing visa-free entry for citizens from 103 countries a few months ago. This move resulted in a substantial 348 percent increase in tourists in 2022 compared to 2021, with 2.9 million tourists arriving in Oman, as reported by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Furthermore, hotel data revealed a notable rise in the occupancy rate, soaring by 31.3 percent to reach 53.7 percent, compared to 40.9 percent during the corresponding period in 2022. The number of guests in 3-5 star hotels also witnessed a substantial increase.
Visa-free entry was extended to numerous countries. Here’s the list of countries:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
So here’s the list of 53 countries that are exempted from visas to arrive in Oman as per the tourism board and ministry.
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva Stock Images
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