With its magnificent blue-hued mountains that extend to the horizon, endless golden deserts inhabited by indigenous Bedu, and opulent mosques filled with tranquillity, the Sultanate of Oman is a destination that is sure to remain in your most treasured travel memories. The vastness in Oman, from glorious deserts to the stunning blue seas and culture of this progressive society is what makes traveling to Oman an exciting adventure in the Middle East.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat
The impressive Grand Mosque in the capital city of Muscat is relatively new, opening in 2001. Gaze in awe upon entering the mosque with its opulent shimmering interior. The intricate patterns of the Mihrab and the pristine high-domed Main Prayer Hall are a sight to behold. At nearly 2.65 square miles, the Persian carpet handmade by 600 eastern Iranian women within a period of fours years is at the forefront of the mosque.
Bait Al Baranda National Museum, Muscat
You are in for a real treat when visiting the Bait Al Baranda Museum in Muscat! Opened to the public in 2006, the museum has 14 permanent halls displaying the unique heritage of Oman from the 1st Century AD. With such a wealth of artifacts and national treasures, you can rest assured that you will have plenty of opportunity to explore. Children are welcome in the museum, where dedicated events in the summer allow them to gain a sense of self-expression through the rich culture of Oman.
Al Hasn Souk, Salalah
A popular Oman holiday destination, the coast of Salalah is a beautiful beach oasis. After a day at the beach, you can explore the birthplace of Sultan Qaboos and the location of his palace, the Al Hasn Souk, which flows through laneways near the Sultan's palace. The traditional goods and architecture of Al Hasn Souk will attract travelers searching for authentic souvenirs or an Instagram-worthy photo opportunity. You'll be entranced by the frankincense incense, Omani hats, and colorful local clothing. Women are generally not present at night, with men being the predominant members of the market crowd.
Al Baleed Archaeological Park, Salalah
After another day splashing around in the white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters of Salalah (or the Hawana Aqua Park if you have kids), your historical tour is about to begin. You'll wonder if you have stepped into a painting or a time machine as you gaze upon the remains of Zafar, the ancient frankincense trading port from the 12th Century AD at the Museum of Frankincense Land. It displays the archaeological ruins of Al Baleed (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and other world heritage-listed artifacts from Ash Shisr and Sumhram. If you wish to walk along the ocean, there are several miles of paths in the area flanked by reed beds. The park can be viewed at night when passing in a vehicle from the road or in the day by tour. Opening hours are from 8am to 8pm.
Travel Tip: Golf carts can be hired to save your legs from walking around the site, particularly during high temperatures.
Exploring the native desert life of the indigenous Bedu is a must-see when traveling to Oman. A day trip to Sharqiya sands is suggested, yet definitely worth staying overnight. Stay in a traditional hut made from palm fronds and eat honey and handmade bread while stargazing under the night sky. As you visit the local towns, you will notice the intricate designs of doors and Omani Bedu women wearing elaborately patterned full-length abeyyas with painted hands. You'll also see camels in the distance hauling goods across the distant sand dunes.
Jebel Shams Mountain
Before leaving Oman, you shouldn't miss the spectacular views from Jebel Shams, the highest mountain in Oman. You'll see Wadi Ghul, known as the Grand Canyon of Arabia, and admire the steep cliff. Don’t worry, the edge is bound by a fence! Photographers will surely want to capture the amazing natural landforms. This 150-mile trip from Muscat is well worth it!