Planning a vacation to the Middle East? Well, you must know that there are many other options beyond Dubai! Maybe the Sultanate of Oman lacks the glitz and glamour like its flashy Dubai neighbor. But mind you, the place is a hidden gem for the avid traveler who wishes to put forth a truthful adventure and explore the depths of the country with curiosity and vigor. Oman is perfectly equidistant from being too historical and being too modern. Essentially, the much-needed getaway you need from the hustling busy city life, yet not feel abandoned.
There are plenty of adventurous things to see and do in Oman. If you haven’t made plans for your next vacation, why not consider Oman your next destination? You are not going to feel disappointed as the place has plenty to offer to all kinds of people! Not convinced yet? Here are 13 beautiful reasons why you have to travel to Oman for your next vacation!
1. Oman’s stunning nature
Oman is Probably one of the most picturesque countries in the Arabian Peninsula. In fact, it is the perfect escape route for nature lovers. If you are wondering what to see in Oman, the answer is “a lot!”. From dreamlike deserts, majestic mountains, turquoise waters, white-sand beaches to the lush vegetation and greenery, the natural marvels are many. The Jebel Shams, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Oman, is 3000 meters high and is hauntingly beautiful. If you feel adventurous, try hiking on the Balcony walk, a trail along the edges of the steep cliff.
2. The wonderful Wadi’s
“Wadi , is an Arabic term that describes a valley or channel that is usually dry other than in the rainy season. Thanks to the immense rainfall that the region gets, Oman is blessed with many such freshwater lagoons, some even having waterfalls and swim through caves! Map your travel to Oman to explore the popular or hidden wadis in Oman, as each one has unique and distinctive features to discover. Not essentially a tropical place, Oman has but quite a lot of resemblances, particularly when you see the Wadis. You will be impressed to see the refreshing relief of water bodies amidst the hot and humid climate here.
3. The coastline and beaches
Spanning over 3000 kms, Oman's coastline is home to rich marine life and beaches of varying atmospheres. This quite obviously draws several creative options of what to do in Oman! From indulging in exciting water sports to enjoying a calm picnic between the palm trees or a light stroll on the white sands, the options are endless. Pitch your tent amidst the palm trees and enjoy a camping trip on a secluded beach like the Sifa beach, which is just an hour is a scenic drive from Muscat.
4. Well preserved historical heritage
Oman is well known for the rich cultural and historical heritage that the country has meticulously preserved throughout all these years. If you are a culture vulture of a traveler, then you are definitely in for some fun. Enjoy bliss by visiting the five cultural properties inscribed on UNESCO’s heritage list and finding plenty of options for what to do in Oman here! The Land of frankincense is one such heritage site that is a tribute to what to see in Oman. Located in the Dhofar province of southern Oman, Frankincense's land showcases the history of trade Omanis had with the Europeans, who were enchanted with the Arabian frankincense scents and perfumes. You can visit the museum of Frankincense land to find out more about the exciting history.
5. The Salalah Khareef festival
One of Oman's most popular public events, the Salalah Khareef festival, is a celebration of the monsoon months, known as Khareef, in Oman. Happening from the mid of July to the beginning of September, this festival draws in several locals as wells as tourists to be part of it. The mesmerizing season of autumn is welcomed with this tourist festival that showcases traditional performances and lip-smacking local cuisine. The monsoon season is welcomed in Oman with much fervor as, during this time, the city turns into a natural paradise with flowers, blowholes, lakes, and oasis.
6. Delicious local cuisine
Are you a meat or seafood lover? Then you are in for some luck. Omani authentic cuisine features meat, chicken, or seafood at almost every meal of the day. Also, while here, don't forget to check out the "Shuwa", a famous rice meat dish that comprises marinated meat that is slow-cooked in an underground oven. Also, we recommend you try the Omani “Khawa”, a spiced coffee flavored with saffron, rose water and cardamom. If you have a sweet tooth, then better not miss the Omani Halva, too (a traditional sweet made from semolina, nuts, and ghee).
7. The traditional costume
Omanis are people who are proud of their rich culture, traditions, and values. As a result, they hold their traditional costumes at heart, although they wear it only on special celebrations and rituals. You can find the opportunity to click snaps donning these modest, vibrant colored outfits here. Also, it is good to keep in mind that Omanis are normally fond of modest wear. So, while here, try not to expose too much skin, apart from when you are in the beach resorts,of course!
8. The cleanliness
Your travel to Oman is worthwhile as it is one of the most comfortable places to visit, considering the standards of cleanliness and hygiene the country maintains. The roads and highways are clean not only because of the strict fines levied but also because Omanis are genuinely fond of their country and try to keep it pretty clean.
9. Shopping at the Muttrah souk
The Muttrah Souk is a treasure trove of ceramics, pashminas, gold, leather, and souvenirs to bring back. You can haggle in peace here as the place is not crowded with tourists, unlike other prominent shopping locations. Being located in the waterfront region of Oman, you can also enjoy a walk beside the corniches and enjoy the sea breeze while having a refreshing juice and snacks from the small restaurants there.
10. The Ras Al Jinz turtle resort
This eco-friendly reserve stretches over 120 sq. km and is home to endangered species of turtles. This is probably one of the main answers to what to see in Oman! You can visit the research laboratories, museums, and enjoin guided tours to view the turtles' nesting process. The reserve area also offers accommodation in eco-friendly tents that are air-conditioned!
11. The luxurious hotels and resorts
Travel to Oman is a vacation of choices. Mountain top resorts, beachside hotels; you name it. Oman has a diverse portfolio of some luxurious hotels that is sure to enthrall the vacationer in you. You can enjoy a luxurious five-star retreat at the Alila resort situated 2000m above sea level among the Hajar mountains, or succumb to a sensational stay at the Zighy Bay at the Musandam Peninsula region.
12. The friendly locals
Maybe you won’t find massive skyscrapers, astonishing shopping deals, and jaw-dropping tourist destinations like in Dubai. The differences from Dubai to Oman doesn’t end there! Local Omanis are extremely hospitable and will indulge in personally to show you around for a customized experience. Moreover, the place is extremely safe for tourists, even for female solo travelers. Oman is a haven for travelers who seek a peaceful, calm, welcoming, and safe trip. Omanis are warm and friendly and are usually very supportive of tourists.
13. World’s best diving experience
Oman has one of the world’s best diving spots that offers exciting moments of exhilarating experience for divers. Muscat, the capital of Oman, offers several diving sites within a day trip distance. About 4 hours’ drive from there, Musandam has several private islands and unique marine reef, which is a potential sanctum for divers.
How to reach Oman
These are but a very few of the amazing reasons that allures you to visit the beautiful place, Oman. Well, for all those who can’t think of any other place other than Dubai as the prime holiday destination, we have some advice. If you are in for some fun, you can add a day or two on your itinerary to make a short visit to Oman, while in Dubai. After all, the road trip from Dubai to Oman takes probably only around 5 hours! Feeling edgy about that? In that case, you can fly over from Dubai to Oman with Oman Air, which is hardly a one-hour flight!
Also, you can directly fly over to Oman from any country to land in any of the three airports in Oman- Khasab, Muscat or Salalah. The official airline of the Sultanate of Oman, Oman Air, operates from almost all major airports in the world.