Oman has it all.
The peninsula’s culturally authentic travel destination.
If you thought a trip to Dubai could give you a sense of Middle Eastern tourism as a whole, think again. Oman has a rich culture all its own. Hawazen Esber, CEO of The Wave, Muscat, says, “Oman has an authentic history and culture and Omanis are dedicated to developing their country through traditional values.” This, in turn, affords travelers with a culturally authentic travel experience.
Oman’s history goes back more than 10,000 years to the Stone Age. Modern archeological discoveries suggest that that’s when Al Wattih, in Muscat governorate, was first settled. This makes it one of the world’s very first cities. From there, the history only becomes more fascinating. Al Midhmar Mosque, one of the world’s oldest mosques, still stands in Wilayt Samail.
Teeing up and dressing up, all in a day’s rest.
Visitors can dive and snorkel in the Gulf of Oman, or play golf at the two-year-old, award winning golf course at The Wave, Muscat. At the right time of year, whale watching can also be a terrific activity for tourists to take part in.
Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Oman’s Undersecretary of Tourism, says, “We are so blessed by God to have this nature. We have the potential of adventure tourism, we have a massive potential in medical tourism. We have 1,000 types of tourism. But our main focus is definitely built on culture and heritage,” she says.
Visitors may also be interested in a night at the Royal Opera House. Ms. Al Mahrouqi boasts that the opera house in Muscat is “one of the best opera houses in the world”.
Beautiful, diverse natural landscapes.
For nature lovers, Oman is likely to be an ideal destination. It is home to such beautiful sights as Jebel Shams, a 9,800-foot high peak overlooking the canyons of the Al Hajar range and located just 150 miles from Muscat. Then there is the town of Bandar Khayran, with its clear blue waters, filled with coral reefs perfect for snorkeling. Finally, there are the beautiful and fertile wadis (valleys), where rivers and streams cut their way through rocky gorges, creating lush oases with palm trees and green grasses.
“People will get tired of going to Dubai – the traffic, noise, the size,” remarks Bernard Viola, General Manager of Al Bustan Palace. “People won’t escape from New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong and come to Dubai for the same thing. Here in Oman, the beauty is here, but the word is not out yet.”