Category Archives: Oman

Holidays in Muscat: What to do

Shadowed by the rocky Al Hazar Mountains on the west and overlooking the Arabian Sea on the East, the ancient city and the capital of Oman, Muscat, is ranked amongst the most stunning destinations in the Middle East. Apart from the smorgasbord of places to explore and activities to indulge in, the city’s proximity to desert, forts and historical ruins leads to an ultimate holiday experience.

Muscat

Here is a list of places to explore and activities to indulge in Muscat.

Panoramic view from Muscat Gate Museum

Built above the official gate used to guard the old city of Muscat, the Muscat Gate Museum is a historical piece of architecture not to miss. The museum makes use of vintage photographs to narrate Muscat’s story and the way the ancient gate was used to check movement in and out of the city. The panoramic view from the top of the museum will leave you spellbound.

A show at Royal Opera House, Muscat

Royal Opera House is Oman’s premier venue for cultural and musical evenings. The list of legendary artist groups to have performed here includes the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Ballet Theatre, Soprano Renee Fleming, Placido Domingo and Yo Yo Ma. The pipe organ concert with the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra is a majestic experience.

A Persian Carpet weaved over four years!

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is home to one of the largest Persian Carpets in the world. This marvel, weaved in over four years by more than 600 women, hangs in the impressively built main prayer hall. The Sulatn Qaboos Grand Mosque, located near the international airport is perhaps the best introduction to Oman and the city of Muscat.

A Walk by the Muttrah Cornice

Muttrah, the main port in Muscat resembles a beautiful small village situated by the stunning waters. The walk from Muttrah stretches all the way down to Old Muscat. There are multiple shops in between offering artefacts crafted by local artisans. You can also stop for a quick bite at the local eateries.  If you feel like cycling down the cornice, there are cycles available for free in the morning.

The Big Bus Tour

With first bus starting at around nine in the morning, the hop on hop off big bus tour is perhaps the best way to discover Muscat in a single day. The bus covers all the major buildings and other tourist attractions in fewer than 120 minutes. However, the passengers are free to hop off at locations of their choice, explore and hop on the next bus from the nearby stop. The view of the city from the Muttrah fort, a must visit attraction during the Muscat tour, is a lauding one.

Explore the Exquisite Gems of Oman

Oman is one of those exotic places, which still remains largely unexplored by most. Visiting the destination gives you some rare insights into the myriad facets of the Arab world – its landscapes, its culture, its cuisine, and its architecture.

oman

Refreshingly, there is no excessive display of wealth. Oman is blessed with natural beauty, which finds reflection through its rugged mountains, vast deserts, and a virginal coastline. A trip to the country will also let you experience its intriguing traditional culture, delicious cuisine, the warm hospitality of its simple people, and a lot more. Listed below are some of the beautiful experiences which travellers should not miss during a visit to this country.

Soak in the Scenic Views of Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain)

Get amazed by the rugged beauty of Jabal Shams, also known as the Sun Mountain, which is considered to be the tallest peak in the Arabian Peninsula. Jabal Shams reaches the heights of 3,004 metres above sea level and boasts of several slopes and summits. A popular tourist attraction in the Sun Mountain is a deep chasm known as the ‘An Nakhr Balcony’ – a deep ravine in the centre of the rocks. The views of this ravine from the top are very scenic. The surrounding region has many good guest houses.

Explore the Turtle Reserve

Travellers must visit the Turtle Reserve at the Al Sharqiyah South Governorate to experience the scenic beauty of the beaches and to get up close to these meek creatures. The area ranging from Ras Al Hadd to Masirah Island is protected as a turtle reserve, where the rare green turtles can also be found. Explore the Ras Al Jins, a turtle sanctuary where turtle eggs are protected. Travellers can enjoy spotting the turtles in their natural habitat and lucky visitors may even see a green turtle with eggs in its nest.

Bathe in the Alkasfah Spring

A new and unique experience in a desert region, travellers must visit the AlKasfah Spring located at Wilayat al-Rustaq in Al Batinah South Governorate, Oman. The Alkasfah Spring is a group of several natural hot water springs, with temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius. The hot water from the Alkasfah Spring flows out through many streams and is used to irrigate orchards. These hot water pools are well-known for their sulphate therapeutic waters and swimming pools, ideal for bathing. The hot water pools are accessible to the public all round the year.

Enjoy a Boat Ride at Bandar Khayran Reserve

Another must-experience activity in Oman is going on an enjoyable boat ride across the Bandar Khayran Reserve. The reserve is located in the centre of Muscat and can be reached by a boat ride of around 30-40 minutes from the Bandar Al Rawdha Marina. Enjoy the views of playful dolphins swimming along the boats. The boat ride will also offer travellers scenic views of rugged mountains with small white houses overlooking the sea. After reaching the Bandar Al Khayran, explore its rich underwater life of rich coral reefs, exotic fish, and other diverse sea creatures. The place is a paradise for divers and has over 22 diving locations.

Tours and Cruises to Explore Diverse Facets of Muscat, Oman

Muscat is widely known for its centuries-old Arabian charm as well as captivating natural attractions and world-class hospitality. Tour operators in the Omani capital offer an array of tours and cruises to help tourists explore various facets of the city. We have selected the most popular tours and cruises that cover major attractions in and around Muscat. Choose the ones that best suit your plans.

Half Day City Tour

omanThis is perhaps the most common tour in Muscat. Usually, such tours span both modern and ancient sights. Muttrah Souk, Grand Mosque, Bait Al Zubair Museum and Al Alam Palace are among the integral parts of these guided tours. Buy spices and perfumes at Muttrah Souk, take a look at the world’s second largest hand-woven carpet at Grand Mosque and explore the extensive collection of cultural artefacts at Bait Al Zubair Museum. Nature buffs must opt for the tours that offer a visit to Hajjar Mountains and the harbour’s forts.

Wahiba Sands Day Tour

Wahiba Sands makes for an impressive day trip from Muscat, especially for the ones who crave adventure. Sit in a 4×4 vehicle to enjoy a bone jarring drive amidst towering sand dunes. Besides the thrilling dune bashing experience, the tour offers one the chance to experience Bedouin culture and lifestyle at Bedouin hamlets. Set aside a few moments to admire the beguiling aura of the arid desert. Lunch is complimentary but you may need to pay for soft drinks.

Dhow Sea Cruise

The evening trip on a traditional Arabian Sailing ship, known as dhow, is sure to add a differentiating touch to your holidays in Muscat. Board a dhow and watch the sun set behind the hills and observe the stunning spectacle of how the rays of the setting sun bathe historical structures in a soft light. The cruise starts from Marina Bander Al Rowdha, Muscat and will pass by notable attractions such as twin Portuguese forts, Al Alam Palace and the grand Al Bustan Palace Hotel. All tour operators do not offer complimentary dinner or snacks. Also, the timing and duration of the cruise depend on the weather conditions.

Walk down the Memory in Some of the Legendary Cities in Middle East

Walk-down-the-Memory-in-Some-of-the-Legendary-Cities-in-Middle-East

Extraordinarily rich and deeply rooted in history, Middle East still retains the charm of yesteryears. This is the very land where some of the major civilisation arose and three fabulous religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam took birth and left behind the treasure trove of marvellous historical cities and momentous building redolent of the glorious times when history was written. This is where many travellers having proclivities for past sate their longings and enjoy rendezvous with satiety. Read on to know about the top five historical destinations in Middle East that lure history lovers in droves and set them on a mad scramble for flight tickets and holidays in UAE, Egypt, Israel and Istanbul.

Cairo, Egypt

With the bounty of ancient sites in and around Cairo literally pose dilemma for all those history aficionados who do themselves a big favour of investing on tickets and planning holidays in Egypt. There is the legendary Pyramids of Giza, Egyptian Museum, Museum of Islamic Art, Bab Zuweila and dozens of remnants of past that await visitors in Cairo.

Jerusalem, Israel

Abundance and diversity define the historical beauty of Jerusalem. It has almost 4,000 years of history and bursts at the seams with old world charm. Every corner and nook and cranny still resonates with sounds of the past. With sites like City of David, The Tower of Dad, The Western Wall Tunnels, The Broad Wall and much more, it has everything what it takes to spellbind the history buffs.

Sharjah, UAE

Air tickets to UAE’s enchanting emirate of Sharjah are just the ticket to past. Intrepid travellers will have amazing time wandering around the historic wonders of UAE like Al Hisn Fort, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Bait al-Naboodah and Sharjah Archaeology Museum.

Muscat, Gulf of Oman

The proud capital of Oman, Muscat is home to some of the fascinating historic gems such as Al Jalali Fort and Al Mirani fort, Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace, Bait az-Zubair Museum and Nakhal Fort. A visit to scenic Wadi Shab would do a world of good to all those buying tickets to Oman for historical trip and holidaying.

Istanbul, Turkey

The star attraction of Turkey is one of the most enthralling historical destinations in Middle East. Its long history has left behind the wealth of gems like ancient monuments belonging to Ottoman and Roman periods like Sultanahmet Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Basilica Cistern.