More visa curbs on women tourists

By Zainab Al Nasseri — MUSCAT: Dec. 21: The Directorate General of Passports and Residence at the Royal Oman Police has imposed more tourist visa restrictions on women from some countries. The announcement comes in the wake of repeated cases of tourists from an Asian country indulging in human trafficking and drug dealing/abuse. Tourists from these countries should have a confirmed return ticket and a four-star hotel reservation before they enter the country. Reservations at hotel apartments or guest houses are not acceptable. Asian women on tourist visas are not allowed to stay in the country for more than 10 days. The visa is non-extendable. They will not be issued a tourist visa unless there is a gap of one month from the date of their previous exit from Oman.

Those found violating rules will be put on the ‘prohibited list’. Omani Penal Code imposes three month to a three-year jail term and a fine of RO 20 to RO 100 each on those arrested for fornication or making someone do so. Same penalty is imposed on those contributing in running, managing or promoting the same for money. Many Asian women have been arrested in the last few months on charges of prostitution in some areas in Muscat.
A total of 43 women were arrested recently from Al Khuwair, Wilayat of Bausher, on similar charges. Policemen from Muscat Directorate, in cooperation with the special missions’ forces, caught 10 Asian women red-handed and 33 more for soliciting.