SULTANATE OF OMAN, MINISTRY OF TOURISM

SULTANATE OF OMAN, MINISTRY OF TOURISM

SULTANATE OF OMAN, MINISTRY OF TOURISM
Showing posts with label Muscat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Muscat. Show all posts

Friday, 20 November 2015

18 Stunning Legendary Forts In Oman That You Need To See




Do you want to know what's it like to visit a Fort, in Oman? Wondering what are the most impressive ones?

Each fort in Oman has distinctive engineering and architectural features that make it a physical challenge and an education to visit today. Be prepared for plenty of climbing up and down steps in your exploration of these enormous structures. In this article, we will show you 18 Stunning Legendary Forts In Oman That You Need To See


Al Mirani Fort

Al Mirani Fort lies in old Muscat and overlooks the Sea of Oman. It is also known as Al Gharbiya Fort as it commands a view of a high rocky hill at the end of the west wall. It can be reached by climbing a flight of stairs carved into the rock.

Some say that the fort’s name was originally "mirante", a Portuguese word meaning "Admiral", while others say that the fort was named after a Persian leader by the name of “Miran Shah".

At the base of the hill a large dock was built, and visitors can only view the castle from the outside.



Al Jalali Fort

Al Jalali Fort lies in old Muscat and overlooks the Sea of Oman. It is also known as the Ash Sharqiya Fort. Some say that the fort’s name origin is "Al Jalal", meaning "great beauty", while others say the name is that of the Persian leader “Jalal Shah".


The fort consists of two towers connected by a wall punctuated by holes for cannons. The building is completely isolated and cannot be accessed from its rocky façade; instead there is a small bridge and stairway ending at one of the holdouts for safe exit. Visitors can only view the castle from the outside.




Mutrah Fort

Located on top of a rocky, narrow hill, Mutrah Fort stands tall facing the sea and inhaling the winds that waft the fragrant memory of ships gone by, ships that once sailed these azure waters.


The fort seems as if it were the only passage connecting Mutrah and Muscat. Currently, it consists of three circular towers: a huge one sitting on the summit and the remaining smaller two are located one at the first point in the West, and the other, which still houses one of the old cannons, to the north of the fort near the large tower. Visitors can only view the castle from the outside as it is currently undergoing renovation.




Nakhal Fort

Nakhal Fort is one of the most prominent historical monuments in the Sultanate. It derives its name from the Wilaya itself. The fort lies amidst palm orchards in Wilayt Nakhal in Al Batinah South Governorate. It is an entrenched building that rises above a rocky hill at the base of Mount Nakhal in the northeast of Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain).

The fort, also called Husn Al Heem, lies 120 kilometres from the capital Muscat and is located at the entrance of Wilayt Nakhal in Wadi Ar Raqeem.

This fort’s architecture does not follow a particular pattern, as it was designed around an irregularly shaped rock. You'll find that some rock parts become part of the building. This can be observed in some towers, particularly on the fort’s western side.


The construction of the castle dates back to the pre-Islamic era.



ArRustaq Fort


ArRustaq Fort lies in Wilayt ArRustaq in Al Batinah South Governorate  . It was originally built in 1250, but was reconstructed to its present state during the reign of the Al Y`aribah in the sixteenth century. It consist of two floors, in addition to a ground floor, and houses residences, weapon stores, reception rooms, gates, a mosque, a prison and water wells. ArRustaq Fort has four towers: The Red Tower, The Wind Tower, The Devils Tower and the Modern Tower.



Sohar Fort

Sohar Fort is considered one of the most important castles and forts in Al Batinah North Governorate due to its outstanding location and the significant role it played over past centuries. This fort dates back to the end of the thirteenth century and beginning of the fourteenth century. Archaeological excavations carried out fort confirmed that it was completed in the fourteenth century.


Sohar Castle is an eminent historical landmark. The building’s current features were built during the rule of the Portuguese. Currently, the fort includes a museum, opened in 1993, that showcases many archaeological and historical aspects of Sohar City as well as other places in the Sultanate of Oman. The museum also highlights the important role played by the copper trade in this city and its relationship with the city of Canton in China, in addition to various artefacts found during archaeological excavations inside the fort and other locations in Oman.


Nizwa Fort


Nizwa Fort is one of the oldest forts in Oman and lies in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate. It has a unique large round shape. Its height reaches 24 metres, with an outer diameter of 43 metres and an inner diameter of 36 metres. This fort has seven wells and multiple openings for stationing the fighters defending the fort. Nizwa Fort was built by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Y`aribi in the middle of the seventeenth century. It was this imam who expelled the Portuguese from Oman. The fort, which took 12 years to build, is linked with a castle by means of intricate corridors. Near the fort and castle is the traditional Nizwa market famous for its artefacts.




Bahla Fort

Bahla Fort lies in Wilayt Bahla in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate. Since 1987, its name has been included in the World Heritage Sites List. Bahla Fort includes: Bahla Oasis with its traditional souks, old alleys, ancient mosques, and its wall that extends over a distance of approximately 13 kilometres and whose construction dates back to the pre-Islamic era.

Originally, Bahla Fort was built in the third millennium BC. The length of its South façade is about 112 kilometres, while its eastern façade is about 114 metres. 

It is evident that the Bahla Wall, which extends over a distance of 12 kilometres, with its terraces, apertures for opening fire and guardhouses, was designed for defence purposes.



Al Fiqayn Fort

Al Fiqayn Fort lies in Wilayt Manah in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate. It consists of four storeys through which the visitor can see the old quarters and surrounding farms. Al Fiqayn Fort is located in the centre of Al Fayqayn Village, characterised by its unique architectural design.


Prevalent in Wilayt Manah is the Al Matek bush which is used in manufacturing indigo colour, used in old times to dye clothes and to extract some traditional anti-toxin medicines. Wilayt Manah has made the Al Matek its logo.



If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om

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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Friday, 25 September 2015

15 Museums Around Oman You Haven't Heard About Before

Do you want to get the most out of a museum visit? Wondering what are the best museum alternatives in the Sultanate? 




Museums in Oman tell about its long history. They take visitors on a journey through the various stages of development and growth of the Sultanate. In this article, we'll show you 15 museums around Oman you haven't heard of before:

#1: Muscat Gate Museum
Located above Muscat Modern Gate this museum has an amazing view which you see through the broad stairs leading to the museum’s gate.



Timings
Sunday - Thursday :8:00 am to 2:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: closed

Fees
Adults : Free

Children : Free

#2: Natural History Museum
Located in the Ministry of Heritage and Culture building in Al Khuwayr in Muscat Governorate. It is considered one of the major Omani museums and houses exhibits depicting aspects of life since it first appeared in various forms on the Sultanate territory.

Timings
9:30-13:30 Morning, 17:00-19:00 Evening 17:00-19:00

Fees
500 Baiza

200 Baiza, 100 Baiza for under 6



#3: Children's Museum
This museum simplifies science and technology and presents them in an animated version, allowing visitors to see the vital role played by science in various aspects of life. The museum is headquartered in two large domes in Al Qurum area in Muscat Governorate and is visible from afar. Although this museum is called the Children's Museum, its exhibits are suitable for all ages and are presented in a simplified fashion to facilitate access to information for future generations.

Timings
9:00-13:00

Fees
500 Baiza
100 Baiza

#4: Omani Museum
Located in the Media City in the Muscat Governorate. It includes the Department of Ancient History which displays many relics of ancient civilizations such as stone tombs, rock carvings and remains of tools used by ancient civilisations, including agricultural tools, old types of steatite and some stone necklaces.

Timings
9:30-13:30 Morning, 17:00-19:00 Evening

Fees
200 Baiza, 100 Baiza for under 6

#5: Omani-French Museum
This museum is located in the city of Muscat near Al Alam Palace in Muttrah State. An old house built about 170 years ago accommodates the museum.

Sultan Faisal bin Turki donated the house to the first Consul of France in Muscat to be the French Consulate in 1896.

In addition to the Hall of Maritime Navigation, the museum rooms include models of Omani and French ships, a traditional costume hall and many other artefacts and pictures that reflect the cultural connection between the two countries.

Timings
9:00-13:00 Morning, 
16:00-18:00 Evening

Fees
500 Baiza

200 Baiza
National Museum


#6: The National Museum 
Opened in 1978 and was formerly known as the Museum of the House of Mr. Nadir Bin Faisal Bin Turki. In 1988, it was moved to Ruwi in Muscat Governorate and named the National Museum. This museum includes a number of sections, like the main hall where tourists can see many varieties of bracelets, necklaces, rings, copper tools, and aspects of Omani traditional life.

Timings
9:30-1:30 Morning, 
17:00-19:00 Evening

Fees
500 Baiza

200 Baiza, 100 Baiza for under 6

#7: Currency Museum
Located within the Central Bank of Oman building. It displays the succession of currency circulated in the Sultanate of Oman, both paper and metal. The museum includes numerous old and new coins that have been circulated since the early days of the Islamic State.

Timings
Sat-Wed:09:00-13:00
Thur-Fri: Closed

Fees
more than 6 years : 0.250 RO

less than 6 years : free


#8: Armed Forces Museum
Located at Fort Al Falaj House in Ruwi region in the Governorate of Muscat.
The museum accommodates weapons, clothing, instruments, and other defence systems that display both visually and audibly the development of the Omani armed forces throughout history.


Timings

8:00-13:00 Morning, 

15:00-18:00 Evening


Fees
500 Baiza 
free for Children 

#9: Bait Az-Zubair Museum
Opened in 1998, Bait Al Zubair Museum is located in the old city of Muscat. It displays Omani artefacts and collectables, including a group of conventional weapons, jewellery, clothing, household items and some old models representing Omani rural and urban environments

Timings
Saturday - Thursday: 9:30AM - 6:00PM
Friday: Holiday

Fees
Adults : 2 Riyal
10-15 years old : 1 Riyal

#10: Bait Al Barandah Museum
One of the historical and cultural sites in Muscat, known also as the House of Naseeb. He was the merchant Naseeb Bin Mohammed who built the house in the late nineteenth century. “Al Barandah” is the local pronunciation of the foreign word “veranda”, which means “balcony”. The House was named after the balcony that extends along the length of the façade on the first floor.

Timings
09:00 - 13:00 and 16:00-18:00

Fees
1 OMR
0.500 OMR

#11: Oil & Gas Exhibition Centre (OGEC)
First opened in November 1979, after extensive remodelling, it was re-opened in November 1995 as a "Gift to Nation" to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The centre was designed to explain how crude oil and natural gas are formed underground as well as how they are then found, brought to the surface, delivered to processing facilities and how the end products are ultimately used.

Timings
Sunday - Thursday: 8:00AM - 3:00PM
Friday - Saturday: Closed

Fees
Adults : Free
Children : Free

#12: Land of Frankincense Museum
Considered one of the most prominent historical museums in Oman because it includes historical and cultural features from different eras.

The museum is located in Dhofar Governorate in the heart of a historic site that was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000 as an archaeological and tourism park after consultation with the international organisation.

Timings
08:00 - 14:00
16:00 - 20:00

#13: Sohar Fort Museum
Opened in 1993. It relates the history of the ancient city of Sohar and its cultural ties with many other civilisations.

The museum includes three galleries, each divided into several rooms.

Timings
8:00-13:30

Fees
500 Baiza

#14: Turtles Museum
Ras(Cape) Al Hadd is an internationally renowned nesting site sanctuary for the Green Sea Turtles, Chelonia Mydas, harboring one of the largest nesting populations in the world. Around 13,000 Sea turtles come ashore along this sanctuary every year. Ras Al Hadd  sanctuary is the largest nesting site in the Indian Ocean and the only site in the world where Sea Green Turtles come every night all year round.

Timings
09:00-20:00
09:00-20:00

Fees
1.000 OMR : 1.000 OMR
0.500 OMR : 0.500 OMR

#15: Maritime Museum
The city of Sur is abundant with examples of the Omani marine heritage that highlights the leading role the Omanis played in the maritime industry for a long period of time. In order to preserve this tradition for future generations, the Maritime Museum was built in Sur in the Al-Aruba Club headquarters to reflect the various aspects of Oman’s maritime heritage.

Timings
16:00-20:00

Fees
Free



If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om

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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

7 Amazing Caves You May Never Have Heard Of

 

Caves in Oman vary in terms of type, length, size and geographic formations. Annually they attract a large number of speleologists.



Dhofar Governorates contain a large number of caves, some of which have springs near them. In former times, residents of the mountains areas used the caves as abodes and safe havens from the vagaries of weather and nature.

In this article, we will show you 7 amazing caves in Oman you may never have heard of:

1 - Al Kittan Cave:
Located in Ibri State, the Ad Dhahirah region - 8km from Ibri. The cave's uniqueness lies in its extreme luminosity which looks like marble, earning it the name "the marble cave".

2- AlHoota Cave: 
Lies in the southern part of Al Jabal Al Akhdar (The Green Mountain), about two hours drive away from Muscat and half an hour from Nizwa. The cave extends for 5 kilometres underground, but it may only be accessed from a distance of 860 metres ending at Cave Lake.



3- AlHoota Cave Lake: 
Located at the end of a footpath. It is 20 metres deep, but there are many parts whose depths surpasses that. 

4- Majlis Al Jinn Cave:
Out of sight in the heart of brown hills located at the foothills of the eastern Al Hajar Mountains hides one of the greatest and most beautiful natural wonders.




5- Muqal Cave:
Located in Wadi Bani Khalid in the Ash Sharqiyah Region, near the famous water pools in Muqal region. Your eyes will be captivated by the beautiful rock formation.


http://www.omantripper.com/caving-trip-at-salma-plateau/

6- Abu Habban Cave
Located in Willayat Dimma and At Tayyin in the Ash Sharqiyah Region, at a distance of 10 kilometres from the centre of the state to the east, it is characterised by the presence of many rock formations of varying colours.

7- Al Marnif Cave: 
Lies in Shatti Al Mughsayl area about 40 kilometres from Salalah. The sound of the gushing water lends the place a unique ambience of its own.

If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om


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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Thursday, 18 June 2015

A Quick Guide to Exploring the Captivating Capital of Oman

What are some recommended places to visit and activities to do while in Muscat, Oman?


Muscat is the capital of the country – where traditional architecture sits beside stunning beaches and bustling souks – reflects Oman’s past and its present. Set between the sea and rugged mountain ranges, Muscat, with its melting pot of cultures, is the perfect starting point for an Omani adventure.




Located at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, Oman’s major mountain range, Muscat faces the Arabian Sea. Architecturally, the city is characterised by a typical oriental Arabesque style with its white and sand-coloured low-standing houses. The skyline is dotted with the minarets and domes of the city’s mosques.

Archaeological remains suggest this was the site of an early fishing settlement as far back as the fifth millennium BC, making Muscat one of the oldest cities in Arabia. As a trading port, Muscat experienced continual growth and attracted sailors and merchants from all over the world.

In 1507 it was conquered by the Portuguese, who occupied the city until 1650 when it was freed by Sultan bin Saif, who founded an empire that stretched from Pakistan to Zanzibar. In 1832 a second capital city was settled on the African island of Zanzibar. This marked the beginning of a period of decline for Muscat, which only regained its former glory after the current sultan, His Majesty Qaboos bin Said, rose to power in the 1970s.

Today, there is plenty to captivate the visitor. Start with a stroll along the Mutrah corniche. First thing in the morning, this busy port is the site of a fish market, while in the early evening locals flock there to take in the sea air. Looking out over the seafront are some of the city’s oldest and most beautiful houses, as well as the Lawati mosque, with its blue minaret and majestic dome decorated with mosaics. The same area is also home to the best-stocked souk in the Arabian Peninsula.

Here, in its maze of alleyways, it is possible to find traditional clothes, jewellery, spices, antiques, hand-woven Bedouin carpets and craft workshops. Look for the craftsmen making traditional sculpted silver and ivory daggers known as khunjars.



Within walking distance of Mutrah is a magnificent private home called Bait al Baranda, or “House of the Porch”, now a museum dedicated to the history of Muscat from prehistory to the present day, with a section dedicated to the current ruling dynasty. The museum is open from Saturday to Thursday, 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 6pm. The breathtaking Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, opened in 2001, is a must for anyone visiting the country. It's elegantly 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 chandelier hangs from the dome and the floor is covered with a Persian carpet handcrafted by 600 weavers and spanning 4,263 square metres.

Set between sea and mountain, the capital of the Sultanate seduces with its blend of ancient and modern charms.

One of the first nations to embrace Islam in a peaceful manner, Oman converted Ibadi Islam in 700 AD. This denomination – also called Ibãdiyya – is believed to be a division of the Khawaji school of Islam. Formed some 50 years after the death of Mohammed, Ibadi is the dominant form of Islam in Oman and Zanzibar, although there are also Ibadis in the Nafus mountains in Libya, the Mzad valley in Algeria, the island of Jerba in Tunisia and in East Africa. The Grand Mosque is open from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 11am.

You may not be able to venture inside the Al Alam Royal Palace in the Old Muscat area, but it still worth a visit. Built by Sultan Qaboos in 1972, its elaborately decorated façades and the impressive courtyard give visitors a good idea of the opulence within the palace, which is used for high-profile public ceremonies and meetings. Opposite the Palace, the imposing forms of the Jalali and Mirani Forts stand on the high ground around the city and are among its most distinguishing features. Built during the Portuguese occupation in about 1580, their exceptional structures make these two of the most beautiful forts in the country.

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
Opened in 2011, the Royal Opera House – the first of its kind in the Arabian Peninsula – is the Sultan’s vision for the future of Oman’s cultural heritage and legacy. It is in the heart of the city and its calendar features classical music, jazz, symphony and ballet, as well as international acts. To see the list of performances and to buy tickets, visit www.rohmuscat.org.om


The fortress-style Old Town gates now house a magnificent museum that allows you to explore how the city appeared – from its ancient wells to sprawling souks – in days past. From its highest windows, there is also a panoramic view of the city and ocean.

The beautiful home of Bait al Zubair is a complex of private buildings transformed into an ethnographic museum. It has recently been extended, with the addition of an Oman Renaissance building. Its broad collection of traditional clothes, objects and jewellery helps paint a picture of daily life in the Sultanate over the centuries. 

The museum also has a collection of local and contemporary art and organises temporary
exhibitions, concerts and events to support young and up-and-coming artists. It is open
from Saturday to Thursday, 9.30am to 6pm.

The old French consulate – Bait Fransa – has also been renovated and converted into a delightful museum. Focusing on the building of ties between Oman and France, it also has a cool, luxuriant inner garden. It is open from Sunday to Thursday, 9am to midday.

Nature lovers will take great pleasure in discovering the flora and fauna of the Sultanate – including some in fossilised form – at the fantastic Natural History Museum in the Ministry of Heritage and Culture Building in the Al Khuwair area. The star exhibit, dominating an entire room, is an enormous skeleton of a whale. The museum is open from Sunday to Thursday, 9am to midday.

Need more inspiration? Check this Note: An Evening in Muscat

Thursday, 9 April 2015

9 Gorgeous Places To Eat In Oman

What are some of the most delicious foods and drinks in Oman? Where are some of the best places to eat?

Omani cuisine reflects our rich ethnic and tribal mix. Our chefs blend flavours from the Arabian and Indian subcontinents in dishes such as grilled mishkak kabas, shuwwa and harees.

Omani families entertain at home rather than in restaurants, but our hotel scene is expanding, and with it, our restaurant culture.



Our classic sweet delicacies are dates and halwa, a soft blend of sugar, semolina, ghee, saffron, almonds and fragrant rosewater. Both go perfectly with khawa. This is an aromatic black coffee, flavoured with cardamom and poured from a metal coffee pot into beakers (finjan), as a sign of hospitality. It is always polite to accept. When you have finished, just shake our cup gently, saying Bas, shukran (Enough, thank you)

In this article we will show you 9 Gorgeous Places To Eat In Oman:

1. Al Bustan Palace. One of the finest places in Oman for fresh, locally - caught fish and seafood. You can enjoy it right beside the sea, under the stars. Muscat

www.ritzcarlton.com

2. Bin Ateeq. Reassuringly authentic, with majlis cushions on the floor, khanjar daggers on the walls and harees on the menu. Branches in Muscat, Salalah and Nizwa.



3. The Chedi. This stylish hotel's award-winning restaurant offers Omani, Asian and international cuisine in serene surroundings which ooze modern-Arabian chic. Al-Ghobra.

www.ghmhotels.com/en/muscat/
4. Kargeen Caffe. Popular with expats and locals, this laid-back Muscat restaurant serves Omani grills and Italian dishes in a lantern-lit garden and shisha lounge. Madinat al Sultan Qaboos Plaza. 

www.kargeencaffe.com
5. Mumtaz Mahal. One of Muscat's best Indian restaurants, with excellent cooking and sweeping views. For a theatrical finish, order a Snake Coffee, flavoured with flambéed orange peel. Qurum.

www.mumtazmahal.net
6. Opera Galleria. The complex adjoining Muscat's beautifully designed Royal Opera House Café and fine dining restaurants with an international flavour. Muscat.

Royal Opera House, Muscat (iwillbehomesoon/500px)
7. Silder Station. This industrial chic restaurant specializes in gourmet and classic sliders and burgers as well as a wide range of American grills, tapas and salad.

www.sliderstation.com
8. Shangri - La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa. This impressive resort has restaurants - choose between Arabian, Moroccan, Italian, Lebanese, Asian or traditional Omani seafood. Barr al Jissah.

www.shangri-la.com/muscat
9. Tokyo Taro Restaurant. Enjoy authentic Japanese food with a "Tepanyaki" counter and variety of sushi, sashimi and tempura.

www.omanhotels.com

Many hotels serve international cuisine, but if you would like to try something more authentically Omani, look out for qabooli (a hearty dish of rice, nuts, raisins and mutton or beef), harees (meat stew, thickened with wheat) and shuwa (tender, lightly spiced, slow-roasted meat).

What would you like to eat in Oman? Where do you think it is the best place to go for a dinner? 

Please, take a moment to leave your comment below! 


Thursday, 2 April 2015

The First Ever Classic Car Grand Tour Of Oman

A unique invitation to Arabia's best kept secret. An exciting addition to the international calendar for long - distances luxury rallies.





With a network of superb roads and premium facilities, this rally will unite luxury classes of period cars with premium lifestyle experiences. If you love to explore new places, be inspired by culture, history and nature - or you just love driving - then this tour is for you.



Do you want to experience the lifestyle of royalty? Why should you join us? In this article we will show you six reasons to join us and awaken your senses to all that Arabia offers.

Architectural Heritage 


Culture and Heritage



Natural History


Scenery and Landscapes



Spectacular Driving



This is going to be an historic long-distance classic car rally for the region. After much preparation and planning the registration for owners of regional and international pre-seventies classic cars who would like to join us is already open. 





To enter please complete the no obligation form here:



*Registration / Expression of Interest form.

Which spot are you dreaming about in Oman? Would you join us in this incredible event?

Please, take a moment to leave your comment below! 



Thursday, 26 March 2015

6 Of The Best Wildlife - Watching Hotspots In Oman

Have you hiked along a shady wadi or camped out among our dunes? Have you discovered our secret beaches and islands?


Pack your swimwear, boots and binoculars, and prepare to be amazed.



You have heard of our cities, mosques and souqs but did you know Oman's nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries totalling almost 30,000 km2? The sheer diversity of our landscapes will astonish and inspire you.

In this article we will show you 6 of the best wildlife - watching hotspots in Oman.

1. Best for dolphin: Khasab.

Take a dhow cruise through the ruggedly scenic, fjord-like khors of northern Musandam, where humpback dolphins are commonly seen at play.


Flickr: Tom Olliver (via: Flickr)

2. Best for turtles: Ras al Jinz.

Visit Sharqiya's turtle reserve on a summer's night, and watch in amazement as female turtles haul themselves up the sands to dig their nests.



3. Best for whales: Mirbat.

This picturesque southern town has a small fort looking out to sea. If you are on a sailing trip, you may see humpback whales in the waters nearby.



4. Best for tropical fish: Damaniyat Islands.

Dive The Aquarium, as the islands' best scuba site is known, to see flitting fish, dazzling nudibranchs and delicate seahorses.



5. Best for birds: Masirah Island.

Well over 300 species including kingfishers, plovers, terns and flamingos have been counted on Masirah's wetlands and mudflats.



6. Best for desert mammals: Wusta.

This arid region is home to endangered Arabian oryx, a striking - looking gazelle, plus Nubian ibex, desert foxes, sand cats and caracals.



Our natural heritage is extraordinarily precious. If you love nature, our landscapes will beckon you on at every turn. 



Which spot would you choose? What would it be your best advice for a wildlife - watcher?

Please, take a moment to leave your comment below! 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Top 10 Awesome Things To Buy In Oman

What are some of the most beautiful things to buy in Oman? What can Oman offer to its visitors?



Oman offers a wonderful range of traditional Arabian products both natural and manufactured, ranging from inexpensive bags of aromatic frankincense and tubs of bukhoor through to elaborately wrought khanjars and chunky Bedu jewellery.

In towns like Mutrah, Nizwa, Rustaq and Salalah, trading is a way of life. The aim is not just to buy and sell, but also to pour coffee, share it with friends and catch up on the news. 

Visitors, too, can take the pulse of an Omani town by exploring its souqs or covered markets, their stalls stacked with incense, produce, spices and antiquesOmanis like to shop in the cool of the evening. To enjoy the souqs at their most lively and atmospheric, visit after sunset.

In this article we will show you the top 10 things travellers can buy in Oman.

1. Frankincense.



2. Pottery incense burner.


3. Omani honey and dates, available in most souq.


4. Hand thrown pottery.




5. Amouage perfume.


6. Traditional craft items (woven baskets, mats, tribal weaving, camel trappings).



7. Khanjar (dagger) - but make sure you check first if you can import this into your country!



8. Bedouin handmade silver jewellery.


9. Replica miniature dhow.


 10. Wooden Mandoos (dowry) chests studded with brass tacks.


What would you buy in Oman? Is there anything else you would include in this list?

Please, take a moment to leave your comment below!