Oman, also known as the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab state in southwest Asia and lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a country that is filled with natural beauty, an intriguing history and ancient legends. It is a country where tradition mingles with modern times, and where mountains and ancient forts, castles and souks blanket the land.
Oman is also teaming with adventure activities and you can try everything from scuba diving, boating, climbing; to trekking, kite-surfing and caving. Visit the deserts and try camel racing, head to the waters and enjoy whale watching.
Whatever you enjoy, Oman is a country that has it all.
Things to see and do
Muscat is the capital of Oman and is a busy centre which is located on the Arabian Sea along the Gulf of Oman. Muscat is well known to be the friendliest and safest city in all of the Middle East. It is the heart of the country and is a vibrant city that has an appealing combination of ancient and modern.
You will find a variety of new versus old architecture and shopping and dining experiences to suit all budgets and tastes.
If you want to truly experience Omani history and culture, Muscat is the ideal location. Breathe in the air as you take a walk through the streets and you will be engulfed in the fragrances of frankincense, which was once more prized than gold. Enjoy shopping at Muttrah Souk, visit the enormous Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which can hold up to 20,000 worshipers at one time and is home to the world’s largest hand woven carpet; see the 16th Century Al Jalali Fort which was built on Muscat Bay; and take time out to visit the City Gate to Old Muscat. Al Alam Palace is the official residence of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and the palace is uniquely designed with a beautiful forecourt.
Learn more about the local history with a visit to the Bait Al Baranda museum, which tells the story of Muscat, from 100 million years ago until today, while the National Museum includes collection of silver jewellery, ladies’ national dress, household items, model dhows and guns as part of the story of the last 5 Al Said Sultans of Oman.
THE WESTERN HAJAR
The Western Hajar, or Al Hajar al Gharbi, in found in north eastern Oman and the eastern United Arab Emirates and are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian peninsula. The Hajar mountains are Oman’s geological backbone and they extend along the east coast of the country from Sur to the Musandam Peninsula. One of the main reason tourists visit here is to see the old town of Nizwa which was the former home to the imams and is a convenient base for those who wish to explore the mountains, including Jebel Akhdar, east of Nizwa, and Jebel Shams, to the west, the highest summit in Oman.
Sharqiya, or “The East”, is the most diverse region of Oman, both for scenery and culture. Tradition also stands strong here and the people have a proud history of tribal independence.
Sharqiya is divided into three parts, the coast (including Quriyat, Qalhat, Sur and Ras al Jinz), the Eastern Hajar mountains and on the far side of the Hajar, the dunes of Wahiba Sands and a number of traditional towns.
From the coastline to the mountains and into the Wahiba Sands, there is plenty of natural beauty to enjoy.
Turtle-watching at Ras al Jinz
Hiking in the Western Hajar
Cruise Khor ash Sham
The mountains of inland Musandam
Dhofar during the khareef
Beehive tombs at Al Ayn
The old port town of Sur
Antiquated mudbrick houses at Misfat al Abryeen
The Rustaq Loop
Nizwa - Oman’s most historic town
Muttrah Souk - traditional Arab market
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Royal Opera House
Visit the Sultan’s Palace
See Al-Mirani Fort and Al-Jalali Fort, both built in the 1500s
Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum
Marina Bandar al-Rowdha
Qurm Natural Reserve and beach
Kalbuh Bay Park