5 ways to experience Oman
With over 1,600 kilometres of unspoiled coasts, stunning desert and mountain landscapes, unparalleled diving and snorkeling, and fascinating architecture, mosques and markets, Oman is on the rise as a tourist destination. Andrew Carroll, global head of sales and marketing at bespoke luxury tour company Exotic Voyages, shares five essential experiences in this lively country. If you're planning a trip there anytime soon, Exotic Voyages has just listed Oman as one of the places they offer tours in. Get onboard.
1. Explore the desert landscape
Leave the capital of Muscat behind and make your way through Oman's rugged mountain terrain, past quaint villages and historic forts, to Wahiba Sands. The country's largest desert covers 12,500 square kilometres and is a prime spot to spend a night under the stars, like the local Bedouins. Bring warm clothes and huddle around the campfire at night and wake early to catch the sun rising over the sand dunes.
2. Try local delicacies
Traditional Arabian staples like kebabs, hummus, and dishes seasoned with saffron, turmeric and garlic dominate the culinary scene, along with cuisine from India and Asia. However, with such vast coastlines, there's no shortage of delicious fresh seafood to feast on. Be sure to round up your meal with robust Omani coffee and succulent plump dates that the country is known for.
3. Visit an oasis
Wadi Bani Khalid's rich turquoise waters framed by lush palms are a stark contrast to the barren desert landscape throughout much of the country. Swim in the large natural pools that make up this desert oasis and sun yourself on the rock formations that border the clear waters.
4. Tee-off in an emerging golf destination
Muscat is home to some beautiful courses including Almouj, a signature 18-hole Greg Norman golf course, perfectly placed along six kilometres of shoreline with sea views from each hole. Another notable place to tee-off is Muscat Hills Golf & Country Club, an 18-hole course spread over four hectares of nature-inspired terrain with canyon-like wadi throughout.
5. Get lost in a traditional bazaar
The Muttrah Souk, in the old city of Muscat, is as much a cultural experience as a chance to pick up some local goods. Its warren of alleys house stalls touting a range of products. Pick up some fragrant frankincense and myrrh — two musky scents that you'll smell throughout the country, or purchase some gold or silver adornments from the many jewellers.