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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Top 10 reasons to visit Oman on your next vacation – There's something for everyone!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 10 reasons to visit Oman on your next vacation – There's something for everyone!

Even though Oman is not as popular as its neighbours it's a hidden paradise offering a myriad of exciting experiences to its visitors. Here are 10 reasons to choose Oman as your next holiday destination.

1

Enjoy the Hospitality

Alien or acquaintance you are received by Omani people immediately to make you feel 'safe at home'. Savour the single origin coffees (made of Arabica beans) commonly known as 'Qahwa' in the authentic Omani custom of hospitality and generosity. Usually, the aromatic beverage is freshly brewed and served as the starter to add warmth and foster friendship as you exchange pleasantries. Alongside the 'Qahwa' enjoy an assortment of apples, grapes, pears and bananas cookies etc.

2

Stunned by Scenery

The beautiful beaches of Oman are not to be missed. Ride wooden dhows or a majestic camel on vast stretches of the auburn dizzying desert across lunar-style landscapes. You will even discover rocky inlets like fjords in the Musandam peninsula, commonly known as 'Norway of Arabia'.

3

Exciting Escapades

Expeditions with Bedouins in the mountains, 4x4 rides on the Wahiba Sands to exploring saffron dunes, sand-boarding and camping under the canopy of be-speckled skies are mandatory adventure experiences you should take part during your time in Oman. You can't compare anything to the thrill of unrelenting winds across your face as you sip a freshly pressed pomegranate juice inside a goat-skin tent in the Al Hajar mountain range nestled in the Jebel Shams, Oman's tallest peak, and one of the country's greatest natural wonders; the Wadi Nakhr Gorge.

4

Sightseeing with a Purpose

Located between Yemen to the south and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to its west, Oman is roughly the size of Italy, with a population of just under five million. Explore the colourful history of Oman in the traces of petroglyphs, (old tombs built by nomads during the Bronze-age) forts and castles dating to the Portuguese period and the authentic man-made architecture of Islamic museums that acknowledge different civilizations.

5

Ocean Beauties

Catch the playful cetaceans frolic in the water as they perform mid-air acrobatics. The spinner dolphins and even sperm whales can be spotted on a boat tour around the Gulf of Oman. The adorable dolphins are known for dizzying mid-air pirouettes, as they hunt for tuna and sardines.

6

Vibrant history

The strategic location of Oman has made it an accessible destination. As you explore the country you can see the remains of over a thousand forts and watchtowers. Some of these such as Nizwa Fort has been restored to its former glory. Snaking through mazes of passageways beneath a grand central tower will make you want to explore the effects of the 'Blessed Renaissance', the era since 1970 when Sultan Qaboos took the authority to transform Oman into an oasis of peace and welfare.

7

Sensational Shopping

Souks are treasure troves for souvenirs or mementoes. At the Muscat grand bazaar, you are allowed to haggle for handmade bags, clothes, tools made of animal fur etc. The Muttrah souk is oozing with silver accessories, pottery, wooden and ceramic handicrafts jewellery, llama wool pashminas, gold and leather. Even simply meandering through the narrow alleyways of the souks will enrich you with majestic history and authentic culture.

8

Best Breaks

In the summer when lowlands are sweltering; mountains are a respite with fallow rose bushes that begin to bud and apricot trees are surrounded by sun-drunk bees. As you trek through skinny, treacherous paths cut out of the mountainside you will be surrounded by spindly, spiky pomegranate trees, the last of their fruit mummifying on their branches, and almond trees blowsy with pale-pink flowers. It is completely silent exposed to an abstraction - good, clean smell of bark and hot soil—the only thing that's real.

9

Stimulating Flavours

The foodie landscape includes platters of spicy rice, meats or lobsters, shrimps and other authentic dishes. Ask for 'Shuwa'; a marinated meat cooked in an underground sand oven. The meat is covered with banana or palm leaves and put it in a hole in the sand where it slow cooks for around two days. Even though alcohol consumption is forbidden by law in Oman, Resorts and hotels the likes of Alila Jabal Akhdar don't impose this rule on its guests.

10

The Essentials

The best time to travel is between May-August and the dress-code is fairly flexible with arms, shoulders and legs covered when entering places of worship and cultural importance.