At first sight, Oman may sound odd, weird and, perhaps, adventurous. Middle East countries are often associated with either luxurious destinations or looming danger and when it comes to Oman, people barely know how to label the country within the short range of possibilities.
The Sultanate of Oman is, however, a one-of-a-kind country in the Arabian peninsula. Neither high-rise buildings nor a traditional conservative arabic society are found here, due to strict laws banning skyscrapers and a multi-cultural society, revealing its geo-strategic significance in the Indian ocean. Immigrants, mainly from India, Southeast Asia and some African countries, are welcomed everyday, and so are tourists from all over the world.
Throughout 13 days, in August, we explored some of the main Omani attractions, from the capital Muscat to the fjords of the Musandam peninsula in the Strait of Hormuz.
Therefore, we list below the main reasons why we think Oman is the new Middle East gem and why it should be your next destination, but first take a look at this slideshow:
Weren’t the pictures enough to persuade you to go to Oman?
Check the information below!
- Oman is safe
Despite Middle East instability and neighbouring Yemen’s unstable political situation, Oman remains trouble-free for tourists.
Only in the province of Dhofar (border with Yemen) you should avoid driving since the border is open and the threat of terrorism is real. Also, for those travelling by sea, the south coast of Oman – Gulf of Aden and Somalia – is under threat of piracy and armed robbery, although there have been no reports of such situations for a long time.
- You can easily obtain a visa
Although you must obtain a visa in order to enter and stay in Oman, passport holders of these nationalities are able to pay for it upon arrival.
- Historical heritage & sites
Unlikely its neighbouring country, United Arab Emirates, the history of Oman is ancient, rich, complex and multi-cultural.
As it is previously stated, the country has a geo-strategic significance in the region and from the early european discoveries to the establishment of the Sultanate, the Omani territory was sought by the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Thus, there are several heritage sites across the country, including the capital city, Muscat, where Portuguese forts are still undamaged.
- Dazzling landscapes
Oman offers, from the North to the South and from the East to the West, breathtaking views.
The scenery is diversified and includes stunning beaches, wonderful sand dunes, steep fjords and beautifully shaped mountains behind endless cities.
- World-Class beaches
From Musandam, in the North, to Salalah, in the South, the country has a wide range of terrific beaches with warm and clear sea water the year round.
- Great climate
Oman has two different climates and both allow any visitor to explore and do outdoor activities any time of the year.
On the one hand, the northern part of the country is hot and dry with average temperatures ranging from 17º to 30º and from 30º to 40º in winter and summer, respectively. Little rainfall may occur from December until mid-April.
On the other hand, the southern area, mainly the province of Dhofar, experiences a tropical-like climate due to heavy rainfall between June and September, caused by the monsoon season. Nevertheless, temperatures rarely drop below 18ºC in winter and usually range between 20ºC and 30ºC the whole year.
- Quality accommodation & food
Muscat, Musandam and Salalah are the country’s major touristic areas. Therefore, Oman hosts some of the world’s major hotel chains, such as Hilton, Six Senses, Shangri-La, InterContinental, Grand Hyatt or Radisson, among others. Cheaper options are also available, especially in Muscat, where Best Western, Ibis and local hotels provide lower price rates.
Another positive thing about Oman is that it is easy to eat tasty food. Omani cuisine merges Arabic and Indian food and it is unbelievably delicious.
Thirteen days were spent in the blink of an eye, an adventure shared with remarkably friendy locals to whom we have promised to return, eager to see and explore more of Oman’s wonders.
For more info about Oman click here.