There are many reasons why people travel. Some go on cultural trips, some in search of great food and wine, shopping, stunning scenery, wildlife, climate, heritage and historical sites. Some of us travel to retrace our roots, meet old friends and family, or to make new acquaintances. Some follow sporting events, others to partake in their favourite sports. Whatever your passion; Oman is an outstanding country to visit. Here is why.
Oman is unlike so many of the neighbouring countries. It is not all about high rise buildings, theme parks, foreign workers, strict religious adherence, and massive shopping arcades. So, if that is your passion, read no further. Oman is all about highlighting its culture, historical sites, friendly and hospitable people, diverse landscapes, unspoilt beaches and above all it offers you; a warm welcome wherever you may explore.
This outstanding destination offers those that visit its shores a variety of awesome attractions from its grand forts, exquisite palaces and mystical souks to majestic mountains and magnificent desert landscapes. Marvel at the fresh water wadis and ‘miles upon miles’ of unspoilt sandy beaches. This is truly an Arabian experience to refresh your soul.
A little History
Oman has a rich history some estimate dating back 100,000 years to pre-historic human habitation. To appreciate and discover this unspoilt land, one can travel back in time and unravel some of its many endearing tales and legends. It was the birthplace of the Queen of Sheba. The last resting place of Prophet Job and the home and port of the famous adventurer, Sinbad the Sailor.
The Portuguese arrived in Oman and occupied Muscat for 143 years, from 1507 to 1650. By the 18th century however, the Omani Empire had grown in influence and stretched from present day Oman down the east coast of Africa to Zanzibar.
When the Sultan Qaboos took over the running of the country in 1970 he embarked on economic reforms, including a policy of modernisation evident by increased spending on health, education and welfare. Today the government encourages tourism as a generator of revenue, investment and employment opportunities.
Oman is blessed with striking natural beauty. It offers natural geysers, soothing hot springs, colourful coral reefs, and mesmerising wadis. Oman is one of the few places where the endangered Arabian Oryx can still be seen in the wild and only one of three places in the world where rare Greenback Turtles breed.
Its beaches are breath-taking, miles of unspoilt shorelines welcoming sun worshipers and lovers to enjoy the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. Experience desert safaris and twilight cruises, go scuba-diving or try your hand at deep-sea fishing.
The Capital City – Muscat
Muscat is clean, exotic, laid back and offers a selection of awe-inspiring sights from the Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace to forts, museums and mosques. Visit a souk and bargain for anything from spices to Arab hand-embroidered shawls; which are worn as turbans. Muscat is an awesome city to explore.
Muscat is a port city and capital of Oman. Mountains, desert and sea surround the city. This intriguing city has a rich history dating back to ancient times. There is lots to see and do in this vibrant capital. Make sure you visit:
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
- Royal Opera House Muscat
- Al Jalali Fort
- Sultans Palace
- National Museum of Oman
- Mutrah Souq
- Nakhal Fort
- Marina Bandar Al Rowdha
- Mutrah Corniche
- Bait Al Zubair
There are some truly outstanding resorts and hotels to enjoy in this magnificent country. From lead-in accommodation to the grandest of residences. I am only highlighting two of the best the country has to offer.
The Chedi Muscat
The Chedi Muscat is one of the finest 5-star hotels you can stay in. Offering the very best in hospitality, service and amenities. This hotel offers guests a choice of 158 Omani influenced guestrooms and villas set in a stunning 21 acre, tastefully landscaped, garden oasis
With stunning views over the majestic Al Hajar Mountains and the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Oman. This is a place to indulge your senses, kick back and relax in stunning comfort.
While experiencing, The Chedi Muscat, you have the choice of dining in no less than six distinct restaurants. Get pampered in their 13-suite Balinese spa, cool off in one of the three swimming pools or work off those extra pounds in their 700-square-metre health club.
Desert Nights Camp
This is truly an Arabian experience one should not miss while in Oman. The stars in the night sky is enough to have me there every night. It reminded me of the Kalahari Desert, just spectacular, as if it has been illuminated just for you.
The Desert Nights Camp is nestled amongst the silky dunes of the Omani Desert. This luxurious resort offers guests the choice of 39 luxurious Bedouin-style tents.
Wake up and enjoy a camel ride or head off dune bike-riding in the golden red sands of the Wahiba. This is an Arabian Desert adventure at its best, with a spectacular backdrop of craggy mountains in the distance, endless dunes and crystalline wadis.
The guest rooms are fully air-conditioned with luxurious en-suite bathrooms. Enjoy a magical night feasting on traditional Omani fare in the flickering glow of the campfire while being entertained by the staff.
The Desert Nights Camp offers several free services to guests, including a scenic drive up to the dunes in a 4×4 vehicle to watch the sunset, with light snacks and soft drinks served on the trip.
The scenic transfer from Muscat takes around 2 ½ hours. If your vehicle is not suited to an off-road adventure, make arrangements to pick up the shuttle service from the local town of Al Wasil.
Fly Oman Air
Oman Air is a first-class airline offering passengers superior quality, comfortable seating, great entertainment, scrumptious in-flight dining and seriously good service. Flying from London’s Heathrow Airport you are just 7 ½ hours out of Muscat, the service offers daily flights. From Manchester it will take 8 hours.
Get a feel for the country and this great airline by watching this awesome Oman Air Safety Video. I loved this video and it gives a fabulous overview of what to expect in this remarkable corner of Arabia.
This small, friendly nation, has captured my heart. It has culture, history and landscapes in abundance. From traditional markets in the vibrant capital city of Muscat, to dessert excursions, to amazing scenery and beautiful beaches.
If you have never been to Oman, now is the time to get a trip organised, step into an outstanding country and enjoy exploring this awesome destination: Oman.