28th November 2017
We think that the Middle Eastern country of Oman has something to offer everyone, from those looking for a luxury stay to those wanting to get off the beaten track, and from culture vultures to adrenaline junkies. Here are our top five reasons to visit...
Oman offers an excellent and varied range of accommodation, from world class hotels to wild camping. The five star Six Senses Zighy Bay boasts an infinity pool and holistic spa, while The Chedi in Muscat is an incredibly stylish beachfront resort. Away from the five star resorts, accommodation is of a good standard with a range of boutique hotels. The more adventurous can take the opportunity to sleep under the stars, either wild camping in the Empty Quarter where it’ll be all hands on deck to set up camp, or glamping in a luxury fixed camp such as Desert Nights.
Omani food has been influenced by the country’s location in the Middle East as well as its proximity to Asia, particularly India. The Omani national dish is shuwa, slow cooked lamb or goat over aromatic spiced rice, and it’s a must try if you are in the country. Traditionally this dish was only eaten on special occasions, and was cooked in a type of oven dug in the ground, but you are now able to sample the dish in some Omani restaurants. Omani kahwa and dates are offered almost everywhere as a sign of hospitality, kahwa being Omani coffee, which is served with cardamom.
The scenery of Oman is spectacular, ranging from the world’s tallest sand dunes to wild beaches and rugged mountains. The Al Hajar mountain range is home to Jebel Shams, Oman’s tallest peak, and one of the country’s greatest natural wonders, the Wadi Nakhr Gorge. The Empty Quarter is 650,000 km2 of desert, with dunes of white and orange sand rippling across the horizon, while the fjords of the Musandam Peninsula hide isolated fishing villages and white sandy beaches.
Flight times from London to Muscat are around seven and a half hours, making it relatively easy to reach Oman for a short break. This means the country is a great mid-haul destination for those in search of some winter sun.
As well as the relatively short flight time meaning travelling to Oman with kids in tow is fairly stress-free, it’s also a great destination to visit over Christmas or the October and February half term holidays as this is when the weather is at its best. Not only that, Oman is one of the safest, most stable Middle Eastern countries, so it’s the perfect choice for families looking for something a little different. There is a range of family friendly activities from snorkelling to camel rides on offer.