Oman is steeped in history with more than 500 forts and castles scattered throughout the country with 22 managed by the Ministry of Tourism. An historian’s dream, many forts and castles have been restored and are open to the public with some available for private functions.
Oman has old markets full of handicrafts including silver, gold, textiles and masterpieces produced by traditional industries such as dagger-making. These are best visited in the mornings. Alongside the traditional, are modern shopping centres which open from 9am – 1pm.
They open again from 4pm – 10pm, seven days a week except Fridays when they open after 4pm.
Modern shopping malls are open daily from 10am-10pm
Heralded as the second largest mosque in the world, the intricately carved stone archways which graces the entrance to the outer courtyard of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque gives little hint to the scale and beauty within. The breathtaking blue, white and gold interior of the mosque’s dome, an eight tonne 1,122 bulb Swarovski crystal chandelier, exquisitely carved wooden doors, stunning stained windows and 1,700 million knot single piece Persian carpet make the main prayer hall a sight to behold.
Oman is blessed with a number of waterways and valleys known as “Wadis”. Nestled amongst palm trees, these cool and inviting oasis are popular picnic and swimming spots for both Omanis and visitors to explore, relax and refresh.
The first in the Gulf Region, the Royal Opera House Muscat is a world-class centre for performing arts; a venue that showcases cultural performances from around the world. Its vision is to serve as a centre of excellence in global cultural engagement and to enrich lives through diverse artistic, cultural and educational Programmemes.
Take time to explore the lanes of traditional villages that were built thousands of years ago and which, through design, take advantage of natural occurring springs, which demonstrate how to use natural resources to fulfil basic needs.
A surprisingly wide array of flora and fauna call the sands home, as do about 3,000 Bedouin, some of whom you will get to meet when you visit the Wahiba.
There are also camps to spend the night in the desert, a remarkable experience that starts with a golden sunset, continues with a densely-starred sky and concludes with the soft light of a desert dawn.
Wadi Tiwi Leaving the Wahiba Sands, a scenic drive passes between the contorted slopes of the eastern Hajar mountains and the shore, past the stunning water pools and shady canyon of Wadi Bani Khalid.
On the coast, Ras Al Junayz is a small sandy bay where green turtles come ashore to nest all year round (though the principal nesting season is July to September) and there is the opportunity to visit the turtles in the late evening or early morning.
Nizwa Oman is a city that’s steeped in history, culture and legend. It’s an ancient place, found in the mountains inland of the Omani capital of Muscat, a place that has long acted as a crossroads between the rugged interior and the coastal lowlands of the region.
Throughout its history, Nizwa Oman has been at times the nation’s capital, but these days, it plays second string of course to Muscat. It’s still one of the most intriguing places in Oman to visit, with plenty of great things to do in Nizwa and experiences to be had in the city and the surrounding area.
Salalah is the precious natural gem of Oman. Located in the southern region of Dhofar, the city has plenty to offer visitors. Here is our guide to spending two full days in Salalah, to enjoy a full architectural, cultural and natural experience.