Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oman : Reliving the Arabian Nights


After hours of scouring through hundreds of countries on the world map to identify the perfect location for a vacation with an unparalleled experience, the answer lay right in front of my eyes hidden in plain sight.

Orthographic projection of Oman in a Globe
Source : Wikipedia 


A beautiful Arab State in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula bordering the mouth of the Persian Gulf.  It was the Oman Empire !

The country where the great sailor Sinbad began his epic journeys from the coastal oasis of Sohar thus beginning the tales of the Arabian Nights




With an irresistible and a stirring history that combines the rich Bedouin tradition , extraordinary forts and other traditional architecture. ,Oman's diverse natural beauty by itself is the main trump card and a paradise for those who visit it. Here you'll find long stretches of pristine raw beaches, the ramparts of mountain ranges and the perfectly sculpted sands of the fabled Empty Quarter. Esp if you're an adventure lover, there's no better place in the world where you'd want to be other than Oman


Oman has got something for almost everyone, be it scuba diving , camel racing, trekking in the cliffs of the gorgeous Oman valleys or rock climbing in the rugged mountains to up to nearly 3000 metres , or scuba diving in the the most prominent diving areas around the capital

 Listing the varied things  to do in Oman  and reasons to visit , it could be an endless exercise but if I were to summarize the Top 10 of them , here's what I do :

Top 10 reasons why you should visit Oman

1. One of the most beautiful countries in the world , and definitely rated one of the top tourist destinations in the world



2. To experience the Arabian jewel in the Middle East with a rich blend of history , culture

3.To experience the vast Arabian deserts and indulge in some awesome dune bashing in a 4*4

4. Budget Friendly for travelers across all countries including India

5. A plethora of Archaeological sites including forts , museums and caves


6. Extremely beautiful secluded beaches
















7. Nearly  20 + diving spots in the country and indulge in scuba diving as well in the beautiful ocean

8. Absolutely gigantic mountain cliffs, rocks and valleys to spellbound any person in the world

9. To Experience and photograph the breathtaking Omani Architecture

10.  Shopping in Souks  : From khanjars to framed silverwork, gold and spices, this labyrinth of alleyways in Oman Souks are endless and you can never get tired of shopping for more

To top it all Oman is regarded one of the most safest , peaceful countries in the world, esp for Tourism

Top 10 Things to Do  in Oman

 1.   Scuba Diving: As per the Oman Tourism website ,the most prominent diving areas around the capital Muscat are: Al Khayran, Al Fahil Island, Dimaniyat Islands, Al Makbara Bay (Old Muscat)

 
Source : Oman tourism Youtube Channel

2. Shopping : From khanjars to framed silverwork, gold and spices, this labyrinth of alleyways in the Oman souks are endless and you can get amazing deals if you know the right technique for bargaining

3. The Empty Quarter Desert
Visit the biggest desert in the Arabian Peninsula , with its infinite Sandunes ,though void of any oasis and experience a Dune Bashing in one of those monstrous 4* 4 vehicles
Several Specialised companies organise tours of the Empty Quarter, led by experienced guide

4.Dolhpin Watching
Visit the enchanted sights of dolhpins  jumping around the sea in delightful loops along the shores of  A'Sharqiyah South Governorate and AlWasta

5. Visit the Grand Mosque in Muscat  :
Among several activities in an Oman's tour, a must visit is His Majesty’s Sultanate Qaboos’ Grand Mosque.  It is the second largest mosque in the world, following the Abu Dhabi Mosque.  The Grand Mosque boasts the largest chandelier in the world that weighs over 7 tons.  

6. Exploration to the caves : With its rich ancient Middle Eastern history, Oman has got large natural caves in several parts of the country . Some of the key ones include the ones in Dhofar Governorate, Abu Habban Cave, AlHoota Cave etc and should be definitely included in one's itinerary to the country
 
Source : Pic Courtesy Buzzfeed - Regha Jha

7.Drive over the Hajar Mountains from Al-Hamra to Wadi Bani Awf, Oman's most spectacular road

8. Enjoy the very famous Omani cuisine and taste their spices , kebabs, baklawas and end with one of their famous hookahs

9. Experience the gorgeous Wadi Shab, one of the most gorgeous destinations in Oman. Beyond the breathtaking entrance, the Wadi entices you with views of aquamarine pools, waterfalls and terraced plantations and kingfishers 

10. City Tour of Muscat & Nizwa : Visit the Muscat moosques, head on to Muttrah, a delightful quarter of Muscat, experience the shopping in the busy souk and finally to the Old Town where you proceed on foot, strolling around Portuguese forts Jalali and Mirani and Qasr Al Alam
Nizwa is another historic town , couple of hours from Muscat surrounded by thick palm oasis, forming a natural gateway to the historic sites of Bahla and Jabrin
For more info on Toursim of Oman ,visit http://www.omantourism.gov.om 
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