While many travellers love to book a layover (or even an entire vacation) in Dubai, savvy globetrotters are flocking to Oman. The ideal country in which to experience famous Middle Eastern hospitality, it has only been open to hospitality for a decade. That said, this spectacular destination won’t be a hidden gem for long – here are 10 reasons why you should visit Oman sooner rather than later.
- Rest and relaxation is the top priority
While you can choose to go on adventures into the mountains or dive beneath the sea, one of the highlights of Oman is simply relishing a slower way of life and enjoying the peace of nature. Even the capital city of Muscat is clean, pleasant, and easy to navigate. Rest and relaxation is a top priority on any visit to Oman.
- Dive in Musandam
Oman might not immediately spring to mind when you think of a stunning place to explore the underwater world, but the coast near Musandam boasts a number of dive shops and sites. With legendary wrecks, tropical reefs similar to those in Jordan and Egypt, and whale sharks floating by in September and October, scuba aficionados will be keen to dive in Oman.
- Relax on a white-sand beach
Oman is surrounded on three sides by the sea, with thousands of miles of pristine coastline to explore. With some of the most elite and luxurious beach resorts in the Middle East, Oman is the perfect place to relax on a white sand beach and take a dip in crystal clear waters. Snorkel, dine on gourmet fusion food and spend a day (or two) at the spa – heavenly.
- Eat like a local
Omani food is fresh, delicious, and filled with exotic flavors. A typical meal includes roasted vegetables, barbecued meats, creamy dips, and fresh salads. Make sure that you taste some Majboos (a rice dish with saffron and meat) Mashuai (roasted kingfish served with lemon rice), and Mushaltat, stuffed flatbread filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese.
- Enjoy some sweets with your coffee
Now that you have had some food, it’s time to have dessert! You will love Omani coffee, flavored with cardamom and served piping hot. Make sure you also have a sweet – halwa is a popular option (a jellied sweet made from wheat starch, water, eggs, sugar, and ghee, and flavored with cardamom, saffron, nuts, and rose water), as are local dates and date spread (datella) served on bread.
- Take a dip in a pristine ‘wadi’ (rock pool)
A wadi is a dry riverbed or water hole that fills up with clear water for some (or even all) of the year, making a lush oasis in the middle of the desert. Journeying to a wadi for a swim is one of the purest pleasures in Oman, and something that should not be missed!
- Take an adventure trek into the desert
No trip to Oman would be complete without an adventure into the desert of Wahiba Sands. There are many different options for desert exploration, including dune buggy tours, camel trekking, or staying the night at a desert camp.
- Witness turtle hatching season
If you love nature and animals, you should plan your trip to Oman between July and October, during turtle hatching season. Visit the Al Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve to witness some of the 20,000 sea turtles that clamber onto the beaches to bury their eggs.
- Omani hospitality is legendary
The Middle East is known for its hospitality, but the Omani people take it to the next level! They will welcome you into their homes, and into their hearts, offering you food, fruits, and coffee. The smell of burning frankincense will fill your nostrils as you chat with locals and feel your heart swell as you make new friends.
- Experience the rich Omani culture and heritage
Omani culture is truly unique and is known for its elaborate costumes, jewelry and accessories. If you get the chance to attend a festival or wedding, make sure that you go! It is an experience you will never forget, filled with color, folk music, sumptuous food, and dancing.
Oman is a world-class vacation destination
Oman is like nowhere else on the planet and is sure to become a highly visited destination in years to come. Why not beat the crowds and book your trip now?
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