In this first post in our new series of destination guides, we share an overview of the stunning Sultanate of Oman.
From sprawling deserts to majestic mountains, beautiful beaches to cultural attractions, the Sultanate of Oman has much to offer – including the warmest of welcomes.
Boasting a unique combination of ageless heritage and modern life, Oman is a country where you can explore the desert on a camel in the morning and attend a world-class performance at Muscat’s Royal Opera House in the evening, before retiring to a five-star resort or enjoying a night of wild camping.
A variety of landscapes
With more than 3,000km of coastline, towering mountains, deep gorges, wadis and deserts, the diverse beauty of Oman is apparent in every part of the country. With this variety of landscapes, Oman provides the perfect opportunity to experience an adventure holiday like no other. Snorkelling the colourful coral reefs of the Daymaniyat Islands, camping under the stars in the A’Sharqiyah Sands and exploring the mountains that rise over 3,000m into the sky; adventure is at the heart of every journey through Oman. Activities such as mountain biking, hiking, climbing, paragliding, caving, kite surfing, a variety of water sports and so much more offer the chance to see Oman in so many different ways.
The country and its surroundings are filled with wonderful wildlife, too. The oceans surrounding Oman are home to a range of fish species as well as dolphins and migrating whales; together with stunning corals and unique species of seaweeds that support the marine ecosystem. Inland, vast areas are protected, serving as important breeding grounds for endangered species such as the Arabian Oryx, Nubian Ibex and rare Arabian Leopard. The Sultanate is also a bird watcher’s paradise, witnessing the migration of over 130 species of birds each year.
Visitors who would rather just have a relaxed holiday are well catered for too, as Oman offers beautiful beaches and a rich cultural scene. It is also home to some of the very best hotels including Anantara, Ritz Carlton, Six Senses and Shangri-La. From Muscat to Musandum, the mountains to Salalah, no matter where you’re looking to go there is an excellent hotel waiting for you to enjoy. For those who don’t have a luxury hotel budget, there are a range of other options including some unique homestay properties or even wild camping for the more adventurous – wild camping is permitted anywhere in the country.
Safe and welcoming
Wherever you choose to stay and whatever you choose to do, you can rest assured that Oman is one of the safest countries in the world. You will also be charmed by the unique warmth of its people. Omanis are very welcoming of visitors from other countries, a fact that is reflected in the generous hospitality extended – whether it is Omani coffee in the shade of a date palm or leading the way when asked for directions.
Did you know?
- It’s thought that people have been living in Oman for at least 106,000 years, making it one of the oldest inhabited countries on Earth.
- Oman is one of the few countries where frankincense trees are grown naturally, especially in the southern part of the country.
- Sultan Qaboos Bin Said is the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East.
- Coffee is the national drink – but surprisingly the soft drink Mountain Dew is nearly just as popular!