Oman tailor-made holidays
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.
At a glance
Top itineraries in Oman
See the varied natural and cultural highlights of northern Oman on this unforgettable eight-day tour in the company of a private driver-guide.
Top places to stay in Oman
Shangri-La’s award-winning Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is a luxury complex of three hotels set between rugged mountains and the Gulf of Oman’s sparkling Al Jissah Bay, in Oman’s capital city of Muscat.
This exceptional, eco-friendly boutique property is the first Alila property in the region. A mix of tradition, nature and contemporary living, it is a very welcome and unexpected base from which to explore this fascinating part of Oman.
This luxury hotel offers a 1,000ft private beach, views of the Gulf and surrounding mountains, an exceptional spa and one of the best restaurants in Muscat. For king beds and BOSE sound systems, we recommend a Deluxe or Deluxe Club Room. Club Suites have open-plan bathrooms with rainforest showers.
Where to go in Oman
The old capital Nizwa is the birthplace of Islam in Oman and the site of many castles and ancient mosques.
Wahiba Sands is a remote sea of sand dunes, best experienced on a guided desert tour. Although sometimes called the Sharqiya Sands, this enticing swathe of honey-coloured sands is most often referred to as Wahiba, after the name of the local tribe.
Salalah is the gateway to the unspoiled beaches of southern Oman and the mountains of Dhofar, which turn lush and green after the summer monsoon rains, the Khareef.
Oman's clean and amiable capital city, Muscat, is the main entry point for most visitors. It's a pleasant mix of old and new, and a lovely place to spend a few days before venturing further afield. Muscat means ‘anchorage' and the sea is integral to the life of the city, with cruise ships and tradi…
For many visitors to the Middle East and North Africa, it's the local markets that provide the real attraction (or distraction, depending on how you see it). From Istanbul's Golden Horn to the shores of the Gulf and beyond, here's a selection of the best.
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While Dubai builds high and Qatar flaunts its wealth, Oman – in its silent deserts, low-rise towns and fishing village coastlines – keeps the region’s rich, Arabian heritage alive. We take a look at the beauty of this country during its sensational springtime rose season.
Oman is a rare mix of the exotic and familiar, the traditional and modern. Add to that the clutch of slick hotels dotted around the country - which range from desert camps to ornate palaces - and you have a destination just waiting to be discovered.
Meet our Oman experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0621Meet the team