Are there any tourist attractions in Oman apart from Desert?
When my brother invited me to Oman, I instantly refused. Deserts do not lure me. I firmly believed there are no tourist attractions in Oman or in any of the Middle East countries for that matter.
“But Oman is different brother, come and see and you will change your ill-informed opinion”, said my brother.
Reluctantly I agreed but still, I decided to do my own digging and try to come up with at least a dozen places to see and 6 things to do in Oman to keep me busy for a week. I decided I won’t stay more than 7 days in Oman.
At the end of my 6 hours of research, the list of tourist attractions and the fun activities that are in store in this small middle east country for a tourist ran to three A4 sized pages. A little less than 50 places to see here glared at me. They include:
Hmm… I was impressed with my research but not sure whether I will feel the same when I actually visit it.
In this blog post, I have compressed my findings of Oman’s important places to see. I am looking for some feedback about my findings from people who are actually living in Oman here.
Location of Oman
Oman’s location is an interesting one. Oman’s bordering countries are Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, and Dubai. Oman is actually a peninsula on the Arabian sea.
Oman as one of the Middle East countries has excellent connectivity by flights with just about every country in the world. Its capital is Muscat.
Food in Oman
Predominantly non-vegetarian Arabian cuisine, It can be a tough place for vegetarians to survive. As far as I could find, there are no cheap restaurants in Oman. Yes, food can be expensive here.
Staying in Oman
Similarly, the staying options too cannot fit a middle-class tourist’s wallet. Less said is enough to guess the expenditure involved in staying in hotels and resorts at it.
Tourist Attractions in Oman.
Oh yes, it looks like the Marine Drive of Mumbai and Marina Bay of Singapore. It’s a typical corniche running along the Arabian coast’s waterfront. Generally, such corniches in the world become lively in the night, with colorfully lit commercial buildings along the beach road, various food and drinks stalls, mini fountains with colored lights, and more.
Similar to Singapore’s corniche, the Muttrah Corniche is the place to spend your entire evening. You will have plenty of things to do till midnight.
After the waterfront’s visit, we now hit the dry and hot desert. What a contrast between the two important tourist attractions of it.
The Sharqiya Sands is also called “Wahiba Sands”.
In this desert region is where the Bani Wahiba tribe lives. The Sharqiya desert is a fairly large desert covering an area of about 12,500 sq.km.
Flora and fauna of Wahiba Sands
We all believe the deserts are no place for any kind of flora and fauna. How wrong we are all! The Sharqiya desert is home to 5 species of avifauna, 200 species of wildlife and as many as 16000 different invertebrates. As far as the flora is concerned, 15 species of flora thrives in the Wahiba Sands. (Source: Wikipedia)
Don’t return to the air-conditioned comforts of your hotel without taking a back-bending camel ride when you are visiting the Wahiba Sands here. You won’t get another chance n your life.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
After the waterfront corniche and a desert in Oman, we now visit a stunning looking building called the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It is a huge mosque and surely a grand one.
The dome, the minaret and the walls of the Grand Mosque are said to have been built with Indian sandstone.
As many as 20,000 people can pray at a time occupying the inner and the outer space of the Grand Mosque.
Jebel Shams Mountain
It’s time to look at the mountain in Oman called Jebel Shams. Don’t imagine it’s just a hill, buddy! Jebel Mountain’s peak is at height of just about 10,000 feet. You need to travel 240 km from Muscat to reach this scenic attraction of Oman.
Though there is almost no greenery in such a tall mountain, the temperature drops below the water’s freezing point in winter.
Al Qurum Beach
So, let us now head to the best beach in Oman. It is called the Al Qurum Beach, Muscat, the capital city.
As this tourist attraction gained popularity, high-end hotels, shops, and restaurants have started coming up in the vicinity of the seafront. However, I wonder how a beach in this hot country can attract tourists. I would stay in my sea-view hotel and watch the people enjoy the beach.
It is not a natural swimming pool, folks but a natural pedicure place. People sit at the edge of this lovely green water body, dip their feet in the water to allow the fish to nibble the feet gently till the dead skin is removed. The sinkhole (what a name) is located inside the Hawiyat Najm Park, just a few hundred meters from the Arabian Sea at Bimmah town.
I have gathered the names of a few more sightseeing places of importance here but I am yet to get detailed travel-related information on them. Nevertheless, I would cite them below for your own research.
- Birkat Al Mawz mountain
- Wadi Shab canyon
This would be my first place of visit to Oman. It is a breathtaking natural sight.
- Nizwa Fort
- Ayn Khor waterfall, Salalah city
- Daymaniyat Islands ( an archipelago of nine islands)
- Bandar Al Khayran
Some more forts and a couple of museums are other tourist attractions of Oman. I doubt whether they attract large crowds.