Muscat: Oman has no plans to enforce a dress code law for tourists, but it aims to create an awareness about "dressing appropriately," according to a senior official at the Ministry of Tourism.
The ministry is planning to organise an awareness campaign through its branches abroad by distributing brochures that advocate "decent dressing" norms while visiting Oman.
The contents of the brochure have not been finalised as yet.
Urging tourists to wear "respectful clothing," the official said, "Oman is a very conservative community, therefore, visitors following a decent dress code would mean showing more respect to the community."
He advised visitors to show respect to the local culture.
The Ministry of Tourism understands that it has a responsibility to create awareness among visitors to avoid any embarrassment that they may otherwise encounter, the official explained.
The ministry is working along with other government agencies to provide brochures about the "modest dress code" of Oman.
"These brochures will be distributed through Oman border posts to visitors who arrive in Oman through roads and at the time of applying for a tourist visa," said an official at the Royal Oman Police (ROP). The same brochures will be distributed to expatriates by the Ministry of Manpower when they issue a work visa.
The decision to create awareness and distribute brochures was taken by the Ministry of Tourism after members of the public and Majlis Al Shura urged them to impose an appropriate dress code for expatriates and visitors.
Many support the idea of instituting a dress code because they feel that many visitors and residents do not respect the sensitivities of the community by not adhering to norms about wearing decent clothes in public.
Recently, two tourists were summoned by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) for allegedly committing "indecent acts" in Mughsayl area of the wilayat of Salalah. The video of the two tourists inappropriately dressed and seen frolicking in the presence of other tourists had gone viral on the social media.
"Foreign visitors to Oman are advised and informed by various government and tourist organisations to dress appropriately. It is important to respect public sentiments. It is the duty of the visitors to update themselves about the culture and customs of the country they are visiting," said an official at the ROP.
According to Oman Penal Code's Article 312, anyone who appears in public wearing indecent dress or indulges in acts against the public morals will be jailed for one day to 10 days and can be fined OMR1 to OMR5.
However, there are others who feel that "strict rules" for tourists would hit the tourism industry in the Sultanate.