Oman Tourism

Oman is famous for

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Beach Camping

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Historical Monuments

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Sand Dune Bashing

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Reviews (2)

Kanchan Lad

Kanchan Lad2.9/5

4 reviews

Solo Woman Traveler's Experience at Oman

I won a travel blogging contest by Conde Nast Traveller and got an opportunity to go for a fully sponsored trip to Oman all alone!

Being a solo woman traveller, I was a bit worried about going to this country but I was pleasantly surprised by the hospitality and beauty of this country.

I was staying at The Chedi, a classy 5 star hotel, where I felt absolutely pampered. Next day I started a road trip with my chauffeur (and guide) and out first stop was a Grand Mosque. It is the most exquisite Mosque in Oman and accommodates up to 20, 000 worshippers. A major feature of the main prayer hall is the hand-made Persian carpet which has been made in a single piece by 600 female weavers!

Then we continued to Quriyat (meaning villages) which occupies a narrow strip of coastline along the Arabian Gulf. I stopped here for few minutes to take pictures of the forts in this area. After a sunny break, we drove through the coastal road. This drive was absolutely breathtaking! I got a glimpse of the blue waters of the Gulf of Oman and the pristine white beaches.

I visited Wadi Araba Yeen where the deep pools of water were set among the date palms. After few minutes, Nasser (my guide) stopped in the middle of nowhere. I could see a park around but I didn't think it would be worth getting out in the scorching sun. Nasser said it was something right inside that I must see. Well, I said it better be good and started taking a walk inside the park. In few minutes, I could see a well-like structure. Must be a huge well, I thought. The moment I peeped in, I was dumbfounded! It was a huge limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom. The place was heavenly!

After a long photo session, we departed to Qalhat, an ancient and abandoned port town and then continued our journey through mountain terrain alongside the blue waters. Nasser knew exactly where to stop for pictures. As I was clicking, I saw a huge turtle (and I mean really huge! ) coming out of the water to take a quick breath. Before I could turn my camera towards him, he was long gone. But that moment made me so happy that I decided to stick around that place for some more time. I could see huge waves crashing on the rocks and making thunderous sounds. The water was so clear and clean that I could see blue-yellow fishes. I thought this must be the best part of my trip but I was wrong, there was more to come!

I had checked in to Turtle Reserve at Ras Al Jinz the earlier night. I quickly freshened up, had a light dinner and headed out for turtle museum on the first floor of that hotel. I got a gadget at the entrance which gave me information when I moved around the items kept in the museum. Very interactive! Then I left for the night guided tour of turtle watching. It just took 5 minutes to reach the beach in a private mini bus that the hotel had arranged. Sky looked gorgeous with thousands of stars & moon shining brightly. The guide took us to a location where a turtle had laid her eggs and was covering it with the sand. Apparently these turtles also make fake nests just to confuse the foxes and frogs. Brilliant isn't it? Eventually we saw a lot of turtles coming out of the sea, looking for a perfect spot the lay the eggs.

Later that morning at 4am, I came for another walk on the beach. Although it was tough to wake up that early, it was worth it because in the morning I even saw the eggs hatching and baby turtles taking their first steps! I returned back to the hotel after watching a sunrise over the mountains.

After a delicious breakfast, we continued our road trip to Wahiba Sands. Our plan was to visit Wadi Bani Khalid, one of the most beautiful wadi's in Oman. The drive to this wadi was through Eastern Hajar Mountains which had a panoramic landscape below.

We also passed many pretty villages embedded in the mountains. Here the road winded down to the wadi alongside a large, shallow pool fringed with vegetation and ended at a village. We parked our car at this point and continued a short trek to the deep blue pools of the wadi. This is where I went for a swim and relaxed before heading back for lunch. Next we headed for Bedouin house where the desert started and what an experience that was! I drove a 4x4 vehicle (SUV) in those sands which made it even more memorable! Later, we continued our drive through the dunes and arrived at Desert Night Camp by evening.

This camp was literally in the middle of nowhere and I had least expectations but once again I was pleasantly surprised! The tent was well equipped, huge and very beautiful. The wifi didn't reach any rooms but then hey, we all need to disconnect once in awhile! ;) The Night Camp guys gave a complimentary ride to the sand dunes to all their guests so that we could catch the beautiful sunset.

Well, the ride was thrilling but since it was cloudy, we couldn't catch the sunset. I met this Italian couple who was also at Ras Al Jinz so we did a small talk and got back to our rooms. Later in the night, I enjoyed a scrumptious dinner served by their Sri Lankan-Indian staff and also caught up with that Italian family who were pretty interested in my work and asked me to share the blog post once Conde Nast publishes it.

Last day. I was excited when I woke up. I wanted to make the most of this day. After a quick breakfast, we drove back to Muscat. Nasser had to get back home and after my lunch, Mohammad joined me to show me around the city.

Last day. I was excited when I woke up. I wanted to make the most of this day. After a quick breakfast, we drove back to Muscat. Nasser had to get back home and after my lunch, Mohammad joined me to show me around the city.

We started with Sultan's grand palace! Visitors were not allowed inside but I learnt that this palace was only used for Sultan's meetings. Fascinating isn't it? Then we headed towards to Old Muscat city which gave a beautiful overview of the mountains, diving and yacht clubs.

Later we took a halt at the Muttrah Souq (Souq means Market) where I got a good deal on frankincense perfumes, incense and Omani halwa.

I spent nearly 2 hours shopping and realized I was pretty late for my flight. Even still, Muhammad insisted on having that street side barbeque and let me tell you it was DELICIOUS! I quickly packed my bags and rushed to the airport where I spent last minutes in the duty free shop. On my way back home, I kept thinking how wonderfully amazing it is to travel alone to such a beautiful & welcoming country- Oman.

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Rita Pillai

Rita Pillai3.2/5

1 review

A stupendous place to visit

With everyone around me flying to Dubai for work and travel, I, too, decided to go for a short trip abroad. I wanted to have a UAE experience. So, I decided to travel to the next best destination Muscat, the capital of Oman. I opted for Thomas Cook as they had the most exciting itinerary. Trust me, it is a stupendous place to visit. Waters, mountains and deserts, almost all landscapes are found here. Muscat has it all. This city has a magical story hidden behind every place you see. I returned back to India with some wonderful memories. It is advisable to go by a tour, like Thomas Cook as the rules are strict at some places likeforts and mosques.

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Oman Overview

A stunning landscape dotted with rippling dunes, ornate mosques, beefy forts, bustling souqs, succulent dates, sun-kissed beaches, age-old traditions, ritzy hotels, beautiful wadis, friendly locals and incredible hospitality, Oman is now on every traveler’s itinerary. Located just 2 ½ hours away from India is Oman, a quaint, unexplored and beautiful destination in the Middle East. The Sultanate is connected via direct flights with major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Goa and Chennai among others.

We reveal to you the top 10 secrets of Oman that will surely surprise you.

Beautiful Beaches – Whoever thought Oman only has a desert landscape will surely be surprised. Oman possesses some of the most natural and pristine beaches in the world. The Sea of Oman, Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz lend Oman a 3,165-km long coastline. The pristine shores have smooth and sandy beaches where you can stick your toe or swim in the crystal clear waters. Some of the best beaches include Finns beach, Ras Al Hadd, Al Sawadi, Bandar Al Jissah and Yiti beach. Oman is a sailor’s delight as it houses several world class yachts, cruises and a stunning marina. Hundreds of dolphins jump in the air acrobatically and swim in the blue waters of Oman. Watching these dolphins frolic in the sea is an unforgettable experience. Also, visit Corniche- the beautiful promenade that runs for 3kms along the Muscat harbor and is lined with pristine gardens, parks, waterfalls and statues.

Scent of Amouage – For a sniff of something exotic, head to Amouage factory where the ‘most valued perfumes in the world’ are produced. Amouage is a home-grown perfume brand which uses exotic ingredients like frankincense, roses, saffron and spices to make their trademark scent. Take a tour of the factory during which the guide explains the entire perfume production process. A whiff of this perfume is enough to feel like a royalty.

Royal Opera House – A state-of-the-art opera house exists in Muscat where world class operas and musicians perform round the year. The opera house complex consists of a concert theatre, auditorium, formal landscaped gardens, luxury restaurants and an art centre for musical, theatrical and operatic productions. Watching a performance at the opulent opera house is a privilege one should not miss out on.

Grand Canyon of the Middle East – Oman has a topography that is enveloped with majestic mountains. Nicknamed the ‘Grand Canyon of Arabia’, Jabal Shams- the highest mountain (3,005 metres) is definitely worth a visit to experience pleasant weather while the rest of the country has higher temperatures. And if you’re lucky, you can even catch snow in the mountains during winters. You can trek, hike, or just spend hours gaping at the canyon which has vertical drop of 2,100 metres from the summit to the base.

Turtle Watching – Who would have thought that thousands of turtles come and nest in Oman? Watch the natural process of nesting and hatching in front of your naked eyes. Located at the headland of the Arabian Peninsula, Ras al Jinz houses one of the largest nesting areas for Green Turtles in the Indian Ocean. Another wonderful secret revealed.

Discover the Underwater Magic – Oman has a profusion of exotic marine life and some of the best dive sites in the world. The waters of Oman are home to countless species of fish and vast stretches of exotic coral reefs. A scuba-diving or snorkeling trip is highly recommended. Some of the most beautiful coral reefs sites of Oman are located in Muscat area, Daymaniyat Islands, Bandar Jissah, Bandar Khayran, Fahal Islands, Sharqiya, Barr al Hikman, Masirah Islands, Dhofar, Musandam and Marbadh.

Swim in the azure waters of Wadis – Indigenous to Oman are Wadis which are naturally created swimming pools due to rainwater. Characterized by a rich variety, diversity, and a wealth of natural attractions, these wadis form an integral part of the country’s environmental system. Among the most pristine is Wadi Bani Khalid, approximately 200 kms from the capital, which is always full of water and the local Omanis come for a day trip there, swim with their families and enjoy with friends. Adventure lovers can follow the riverbed on a journey lasting three days and two nights all the way to Wadi Tiwi which opens up among lush palm groves. Wadi Shab is also perfect for combining an excursion in the mountains with a camping holiday on the beach. In Oman, any Wadi you go to, the view is guaranteed to be gorgeous and worth a dip in the azure water.

Glamping in the desert – Honey, Russet, Orange, Sorrel, Chestnut, Sienna, Copper, Ochre, Amber- pick any shade of brown from the palette and you might just find it in Sharqiyah Sands, Oman’s longitudinal dunes that sprawl 200 km long and 100 km wide. The ever-changing patterns of the dunes are a photographer’s delight. Bedouin camps can be found along the tracks and trails of this desert and one can visit their homes to understand the culture of the Bedouin life. Engage Yourself In exciting activities like Sand Boarding, Dune Bashing, Quad Biking, Camel Safari among others.

Explore art and Culture – The historical forts and castles of Oman are the country’s most striking cultural landmarks and a major draw for visitors today. There were over 500 forts stretched along the long coastline of Oman. Walk up to the gates of the Sultan’s ceremonial ‘Al Alam Palace’ which was built in 1972 and admire the stunning gold-leaf and turquoise mosaic facade that stands behind impressive black gates. Get an insight into Omani life by visiting the Bait Al Zubair Museum. Located in a beautiful restored house, check out the fascinating collection of daggers, antique silver jewellery, incense burners, coins, rifles, men and women attires.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – One of the few mosques that allow entry for non-Muslims, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a real feast for the visual senses. The lavishly decorated mosque with its archways, courtyards, chandeliers, ornate doors, white marble floors and manicured lawns is an architectural marvel. The elegant carved arches’ lead to the courtyard and from there you can enter the huge main prayer hall, entirely decorated in white, blue and gold. An opulent Swarovski crystal chandelier hangs from the dome and the floor is covered with a handmade Persian carpet spanning 4,263 sq metres.


Things to buy in Oman: (shopping list)
Frankincense
Omani Dates, honey and Halwa
Bedouin handcrafted silver jewellery
Traditional craft like Omani woven baskets, mats, tribal weavings and carpets
Souvenirs like khanjar replicas, fridge magnets, khanjar key chains, wooden bookmarks, scarves and shawls.

Photos of Oman

Camping in the Desert, Oman

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Oman Tourism

Camping in the Desert, Oman

Getting to Oman

visa

Visa: Prior application

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Transit

Transit time: 2.5 – 3 hrs from major cities

Cost ₹ 950 per person

There is so much to see in Oman.

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