If one would ask ten different tourists as to what they look for before traveling to a particular country, there may be ten different answers. While some would say they love anything to do with greenery and parks, others would prefer the tranquility of beaches. There would be some who would prefer adventure of any kind while others would love shopping from the top brands on the planet. What if a place provides all this and more?
Situated in the Arabian Peninsula, Sultanate of Oman – the land of Queen of Sheba and Sindbad the Sailor is a country of many contrasts. From high barren mountains to flush green parks and gardens; from the largest sand desert in the world of the Rub-Al-Khali to the clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea, Oman has a lot to offer to every traveler.
Oman has an absolute monarchy. After Sultan Qaboos Bin Said came to power in 1970, he ensured that the path to development and growth had to be made. With investments in various sectors, he began the journey to modernize the country. And the results have shown with Oman being regarded as one of the most improved and peaceful countries in the world.
So what all does a tourist look forward to in this beautiful country? Let’s check out some of the must see attractions:
If Qantab Beach in Muscat (the capital city) leaves you dazzled with the beautiful rock formations all around, Mughsayl Beach in Salalah with its blowholes would leave you stunned. But if this was not enough, there’s Tiwi Beach which keeps you away from the beaten track with its stunning blue waters and provides a beautiful snorkelling and scuba diving spot off the coast of Oman. For those looking for something else, Ras Al Hadd Beach towards the south of Muscat provides an excellent nesting spot to see turtles lay their eggs.
Riyam Park, Naseem Park, Kalbooh Park, Seeb Park, Qurum National Park and many more provide an excellent atmosphere for those looking to loose themselves in nature. Though its a country with a very harsh climate, the Sultan has ensured that the city looks beautiful and is nature friendly in every way. During summers, you would find flowers of different colours and varieties beside the various highways in the country.
If man made greenery is not your thing, then you can rush to Salalah. With its unique Khareef monsoon season, Salalah truly feels like a hill station. Now that’s a rarity for the Middle East, isn’t it? With greenery as far as the eyes can go and the beautiful frankincense trees in the background, this is a destination one can’t miss.
Imagine this scenario: You are in a boat and the water body on which your boat is traveling is quite narrow and there are tall barren mountains on either sides. Does it feel exciting? Fjords, winding roads, narrow waterways and much more – Musandam has it all. Situated to the north of Muscat and reachable by flight or ferry through Khasab, this is a place for the true adventure lover.
Mountain Biking, Caving, Rappelling, Dune and Wadi Bashing, Mountain climbing, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling – Oman has all this and more. Catering to adventure tourists from all across the world, Oman has ensured that its natural beauty is preserved despite modernization in every aspect of life. The tour operators ensure and comply with all the safety rules to provide the best possible experience for prospective travellers.
Spending a night in the Wahiba Sands, trekking through the Snake George, hiking up the Jebel Shams (the tallest peak in the Sultanate) or watching dolphins along the coast of Muscat – all of it sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Oman has a rich historical past. And it has been maintained with utmost care and finesse. Whether its the various forts like the Sohar Fort, Nizwa Fort, Bahla Fort or the palaces, tombs and museums, there is a lot to see for every historical enthusiast.
For those looking for malls and brands, there are a number of them from all around the world. But what is most interesting is the various Arab styled souks like the Muttrah or the Nizwa Souk selling everything from souvenirs to handicrafts to even household items. Though they have been there for years, they are well maintained and they help the foreigners gain more knowledge on the lives and products of the locals.
Situated around the old Muttrah area of Muscat, Corniche faces the calm waters of the Arabian Sea. It’s a beautiful spot for an evening walk admiring the peace and tranquility around the harbour and beyond.
Royal Opera House Muscat
If you love theater, arts and culture, the Royal Opera House Muscat(ROHM) is your destination. With a capacity of more than 1000 people, this masterpiece is one of the only opera houses in the Middle East. With performers from various parts of the world, you are bound to have a lovely experience.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
With one of the largest hand woven carpets in the world and a chandelier more than 15 meters tall, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which is one of the largest mosques in the world is a beautiful architectural masterpiece.
Whether its the Muscat or Salalah Khareef Festivals, the International Fireworks Championship, the Tour of Oman, the Oman International Rally among others, Oman provides a great spot to host national and international events. With its exotic locations, beautiful scenery and a rich history, the events attract thousands of people from across the world.
Blessed with a rugged coastline, hospitable people and miles and miles of tranquility, Oman is truly a jewel of Arabia. Khushwant Singh has rightly said that you need to visit Oman at least once before you die.
And that’s why, beauty has an address!
Among the top 3 winners for this contest organized by Indiblogger in partnership with Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman