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Oman

Oman Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Oman? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Oman

For an introduction to shooting in Oman see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Oman Film Locations

The Sultanate of Oman is an undiscovered gem of film locations. Oman is known for its spectacular arid landscapes, rocky canyons, sand dunes, wadis, beaches, old forts, palaces, mosques, and modern architecture. New roads built through spectacular arid mountain landscapes make for great car commercial locations.

Agricultural film locations include plantations of dates, barley, wheat, and corn. Industrial locations include oil and gas facilities.

Oman has hosted productions including Diving (2017), Personal Shopper (2016), and The Amazing Race (2001-).

Film locations can be divided into the following governorates:

Muscat

The whitewashed port city of Muscat is the capital and largest city in Oman. Film locations of note include Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Al Alam Palace, Royal Opera  House, National Museum, Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum, Zawawi Mosque, Mutrah souk, Mutrah corniche, Mutrah fort, Al Jalali fort, Al Mirani fort, and upscale suburbs designed in a modern Islamic style.

Outside of the city you can find the beautiful beaches of Yitti, Seifa and Quiryat.

Bimmah Sinkhole is an impressive film location with turquoise waters.

Ad Dakhiliyah

Ad Dakhiliyah is a centrally located governorate.

The Hajar Mountains that run around the north of the country offer spectacular rocky canyon landscapes. Locations of note include Wadi Ghul and Wadi Sahtan.

Bani Habib is a deserted mountain town.

Nizwa is a verdant oasis city known for Nizwa fort, Al Qala’a mosque, and the Nizwa goat market.

Bahla is known for Bahla fort and Jibreen castle.

Al Hamra is known for Al Hoota Cave and Bait Al Safah museum.

Tanuf is known for Wadi Tanuf and the Tanuf castle ruins.

Samail fort is an impressive film location.

Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort is one of the best resorts in the Middle East.

Birkat Al Mouz ruins are another film location in Ad Dakhiliyah governorate.

Ad Dhahirah

Al Dhahirah is located in the northwest of the country.

Jebel Misht is a mountain popular with rock climbers.

Al Ayn and Bat Beehive Tombs are a picturesque location.

Other film locations in this governorate include Bayt Al Marah castle, Ibri castle, Al Araqi fort, and As Sulaif fort.

Al Batinah North

Al Batinah North governorate is located in the fertile coastal north of the country.

The area is known for its forts in Sohar, Shinas, Liwa, Saham, Al Khabourah, Al Hazm, and As Suwayq.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is located in Sohar.

Al Batinah South

Al Batinah South governorate is located in the coastal north of the country.

Bilad Sayt is a picturesque traditional village with green terraced date palm plantations located on the side of the Al Hajar mountains.

The area is a home to many other beautiful wadis and villages, including Wadi Mistal and Wakan Village.

Other locations of note include the impossing Nakhal fort, Rustaq fort, Al Masnaah fort, and the hot springs of Ain Al Thowara.

Al Buraymi

Al Buraymi is located in the north-western part of the country.

The governorate is known for the sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Al Hillah fort, Al Khandaq fort, and Trench fort.

Al Wusta

Al Wusta is a centrally located coastal governorate.

It is known for vast sandy beaches, the flamingos of the Barr Al Hikman peninsula, Rock Gardens of Duqm, salt plains of Mahout, Sugar Dunes of Al Khaluf, and the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary.

Ash Sharqiyah North

Ash Sharqiyah North is a governorate located in the northeast of the country.

Film locations of note include the Sharqiyah sand dunes, Sinaw camel market, and Wadi Bani Khalid.

Majlis Al Jinn is a 500 feet deep cave chamber that is popular with base jumpers.

Ash Sharqiyah South

Ash Sharqiyah South is a governorate located in the northeast of the country.

The port city of Sur is known for its dhow yard where artisans hand-craft boats using centuries-old techniques.

Al Saleel National Park is home to wildlife including the Arabian gazelle, Egyptian eagle, Arabian wolf, and a variety of turtles and birds.

Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi are beautiful green locations.

Jalan Bani Bu Hassan castle.

Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is a turtle nesting area.

Masirah Island is a popular location for windsurfers.

Dhofar

Dhofar is the most southern governorate in the country.

Oman’s Dhofar Desert is so much like the surface of Mars, scientists have used the area to field-test technology for a manned mission to the red planet.

Ayn Athum and Ayn Khor are beautiful waterfalls that flow during Khareef, the monsoon season.

Taqah castle is located in Mirbat.

Salalah is a city of importance in the trade of frankincense.

Musandam

Located in the far north of the country, on the Strait of Hormuz, the governorate of Musandam is an exclave, separated from the rest of Oman.

Musandam is known for images of breathtaking fjords, desert mountains and waters of a beautiful shade of blue with traditional dhow boats sailing on by.

Khasab fortress is an impressive film location in Musandam.

Oman Film Location Permits

A letter from the Ministry of Information is generally all you need for low impact shoots that do not require exclusive use of public space. Larger shoots that require traffic control, large setups, stunts, pyrotechnics, and the like require additional permission and plenty of lead time. Drone filming in allowed with the consent of the Royal Oman Police. Note, it is illegal to photograph certain buildings. Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

The climate of Oman is extremely hot and dry, with the exception of the Dhofar region, which receives monsoonal rains from May to September. Winter in Oman (October to April) is warm and sunny. This is the best time of year to film for weather. Summer (May to September) has hot, humid conditions on the coast and very hot, arid conditions in the interior. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The Muscat Festival celebrating Omani culture takes place in January / February.

Oman is a predominately Muslim country. The majority of Omanis follow the Ibadi school of Islam. Many services close for the month of Ramadan.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Oman.

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Our Omani fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. Larger shoots will need to bring in key crew, equipment and talent which will add to those costs. The Emirates is the closest major production centre with Muscat a 5 hour drive from Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Oman.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Oman has a very small local pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Some key crew are available locally. Dubai is the closest major production centre for experienced, English speaking crews. Less expensive but still very experienced crews can be brought in from India.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Oman.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable.

Arabic is the official language.

The indigenous Omani population, an Arab people, make up half of the population. The other half are foreign national guest workers, particularly from South Asia, South East Asia, and the Middle East. Nearby Dubai has a larger selection of multicultural talent should you need to look further.

Oman Film Equipment

Equipment. Some standard grip, lighting and camera equipment such as Red Scarlet, Red Epic and Black Magic cameras are available locally. DJI drones are available locally. Larger specialised gear such as the Russian Arm, Technocrane, and gyro heads, can be easily brought in from abroad. Oman is not an ATA carnet country but the process of bringing in film equipment is easy.

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. Oman has some experienced crew available locally but it’s best to bring department heads in with you.

Studios and backlots. Locations are the main reason to film in Oman. Only small studios exist for pack shots and the like. Nearby Dubai has larger sound studios if need be.

Post Production. Basic post facilities. Dubai is the closest city offering a range of sophisticated post facilities and services including animators, editors, colorists, and visual effects teams.

Visas & Work Permits

Crews travelling to Oman on Western passports can get visas on arrival or apply for them ahead of time at their closest Omani embassy. Western crews with a large footprint may also be required to arrive on Express Visas which take about 2 weeks to process and require project and crew information to be sent for the application.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Oman has a fast and modern network of roads and motorways. Our Omani fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transport for off-road travel. Many airlines service Oman internationally.

Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Muscat and other parts of Oman. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Try local dishes such as majboos, shuwa, and harees.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Oman, please see below:

Hire Oman Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Oman, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Oman, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.