Five visits to Oman in two years might sound a bit excessive. I mean, why repeatedly spend away time in a GCC country while there are so many more interesting destinations to discover, right? Well, I’ll tell you a thing or two about Oman that you probably didn’t know, and that’ll make you want to add it on the top of your must-visit list.
1- No, Oman is not Jordan. Jordan’s capital is Amman, while the Sultanate of Oman is one of the countries that constitute the GCC, and its capital city is Muscat.
2- Oman’s nature has nothing to do with any of its neighboring countries. The “desert and camels” misconception leaves it one of the lesser-known treasures in the Arab region, which brings us to the next points.
3- 3,165 kilometers of sandy beaches, rocky coasts, and beautiful secluded bays and lagoons. Say what? Yep, a rarely diverse topography that makes Oman a perfect destination for fishing, boat outings, water activities, and camping by the sea. (hello bbqs and fire camps!)
4- Oman is one of the most frequented diving destinations in the region. With an exceptionally rich marine life and a unique geographical nature including bays, caves, marine cliffs and islands, the country is a dream place for every diver. Click here for Oman’s Diving Center and everything you need to know about diving in Oman.
5- Oman has Jabal Shams. With a large percentage of its environment constituted of mountains, and home to the highest peak in the Arabian Peninsula, Jabal Shams (3,004 meters), Oman is every hiker’s playground – and an actual attraction for hikers around the world.
7- You can do island hopping in Oman. Because there are islands. A trip to Al Daymaniyat Islands (70 meters west of Muscat) will reveal an archipelago of nine islands where crystal blue water, pristine beaches, and many kinds of coral reefs are at the welcome. Protected as a natural reserve since 1996, the group of islands hosts a large number of sea turtles and migratory birds, and is one of Oman’s main dive spots.
8- Did you say wadis? Another generous feature of Oman’s topography is its wadis (valleys) – and a lot of them. Beautiful landscapes, fascinating fauna and flora, water cascades, and more…wadis are great tourist attractions for the explorers who would like to live an exciting adventure that combines hiking, walking, swimming and enjoying stunning hidden natural spots.
9- Oman has “Sugar Dunes”. If you’re into trekking and wild camping, you should absolutely not miss this fabulous white desert (yep, white sand desert)! I mean how often will you have the chance to walk on pristine sand dunes and camp on intact beaches? Getting there will require driving and trekking in the desert for 2 days. Did I just make it even more exciting?
Restaurants I tried and highly recommend:
- The Pavilion, Al Bustan Hotel (I’d rate it as the best restaurant in Muscat with an incredibly enjoyable romantic beach setting)
- Indus, Royal Opera Muscat (the best Indian food I’ve ever had!)
- The Chedi Hotel Restaurant (Try the Friday brunch!)
- Sliders (for a delicious burger bite!)
- Left bank (your best bite/drink place choice)
So if you haven’t been to Oman yet and you’re looking for a sunny destination that competes with the beautiful getaways you dream of, it’s good to know there’s a hidden paradise closer than you think.
Best months to visit: between October and April.