Oman offers the opportunity to experience traditional Arabia with a rich heritage, strong cultural traditions and abundant natural beauty.
Up until 40 years ago, Oman was virtually closed off to tourists and was considered an under-developed nation. It was in the 1970s that the previous Sultan was exiled by the current Sultan, with rapid and progressive results for Oman.
A little more discreet than its ostentatious neighbours, Oman offers the opportunity to experience traditional Arabia. With a rich heritage, its people are very proud of their development and while parts of the country are very contemporary, it manages to retain its strong cultural traditions. It’s also a country full of natural beauty. With some of the best dry wadis in the world; visit Wahiba Dunes by day, sleeping in the desert under a million twinkling stars at night. Enjoy diving in a pristine underwater paradise in the Sea of Oman and explore fascinating Bronze Age beehive tombs in the ruggedly beautiful Hajar Mountains.
Famous for its historic forts, of which there are 500, some of the best ones are conveniently located in Muscat and date back to the 16th century. Visit the magnificent Bahla Fort. With 7 miles of walls, it was built in the 13th and 14th centuries to protect Bahla which was a thriving oasis town at the time. The forts of Al Hazm and Nakhal are some of the best preserved forts in the country and can easily be explored on a day trip from Muscat. While in Muscat, you can visit the spectacular Grand Mosque with the second largest hand-loomed carpet in the world. Experience sensory overload in the frenetic Mattrah Souk; get lost in the maze-like alleyways with its heady scents of frankincense, jasmine and spices.
Surprisingly, Oman is a large breeding ground for sea turtles with the most leatherbacks in the world. You can do a night tour in the fishing village of Ras al-Jinz where you can see the turtles nesting at the Turtle Reserve. A few hours out of Muscat is Wadi Shab – a beautiful valley with lush palm trees, glistening emerald-green rock pools, rocky canyons, cascading waterfalls and caves to explore.
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