Oman is one of the most enchanting and welcoming countries in the Middle East. Although it has only opened up to tourism relatively recently, the Sultanate has much to offer visitors - from the spectacular Al-Hajar Mountains and the charming capital, Muscat, in the north of the country, to the lush southern region around Salalah.
Turreted forts and watchtowers form striking landmarks up and down the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea coastlines. More than 500 forts were built to protect the country from invaders, but nowadays the country is peaceful and accessible. The distinctive Omani curved daggers called khanjars worn on the belts of men in traditional dishdashas are purely decorative these days.
Oman retains a distinctly Arabian feel, in contrast to the modern metropolises in other parts of the region. Instead of glass and concrete, you'll find traditional whitewashed buildings and the beautiful domes and minarets of mosques - the result of the Sultan's strictly enforced ban on high-rise structures. Labyrinth souks are also waiting to be explored, colourful market places where exotic spices and local handicrafts are bought and sold.
Some of the region's best luxury hotels fringe the rugged Oman coastline. They've been built with their environment firmly in mind, as the sandy bays and warm waters are home to abundant bird and marine life. Oman has some of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in the world.
Inland, rare Arabian Oryx roam the shifting sands of the Empty Quarter. This divine desert landscape is home to the Bedouin and extends into neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Its sands and people inspired the travels and writings of explorer Wilfred Thesiger and continue to inspire those who venture into Oman's interior on guided desert tours.
Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Oman, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0621.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0621.
The months between May and August are particularly hot and humid. The climate is best from September through to April. Rainfall varies according to the region. During the period June to September there is a light monsoon rain in Salalah.
Events are generally Muslim festivals and feasts. Other notable occasions include the Khareef Festival, held each July and August in the city of Salalah, Named after the annual monsoon that transforms and cools the lush south, it is an international event featuring music, cultural programs, arts exhibitions, sport and local crafts. Other attractions include horse and camel races held on Fridays and public holidays at a variety of locations.
Arabic, Lebanese and Indian food. Biryanis, curries and felafal available everywhere. Visitors are only allowed to drink alcohol in licensed hotels and restaurants. Coffee houses are popular.
Hospitality is fundamental to Omani culture. It is not unusual for an Omani to invite visitors into their home and it would be considered rude to refuse. Islamic ideals provide the conservative foundation of Oman's customs, laws and practices. Foreign visitors are expected to remain sensitive to the Islamic culture and visitors should dress modestly, especially women. Long skirts or dresses are appropriate. Beachwear is prohibited anywhere except the beach. Collecting seashells, abalone, coral, crayfish and turtle eggs is prohibited. Visitors should ask permission before photographing people or property
Muscat (MCT) 40 km from the city.
Principal road routes run from north to south. Good roads to neighbouring states. Car hire available.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Oman. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0621.
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Oman. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Oman, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0621.
The types of holiday listed below are just a flavour of the experiences available in Oman. We can also suggest and plan alternative types of holiday to take into account your individual interests. To start planning what to do whilst away, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0621.
Rui Ribeiro - Middle East Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0621