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The Sultanate of Oman is a land of historic forts, diverse landscapes, strong Arabic culture and tradition, and great food. Oman is also one of the most progressive Middle Eastern countries with great hospitals and schools. Adding to this, the nation’s friendly locals make it an even better place to spend your holidays.
Muscat is the capital of Oman and also its main port. At the very first glance, you will notice that the city’s architecture is somewhat unique and that’s because it is mandatory for buildings to have a dome or an arabesque window. One of its finest examples would be the Grand Mosque of Muscat, a stunning piece of architecture, with a remarkable interior of colourful and intricate mosaics, a massive jewelled chandelier and extravagant designs. The Mutrah Souq, where you can experience traditional Arabic shopping culture, the Royal Opera House and the Old Muscat area are popular attractions in the city.
Do you know there are more than 500 forts and towers in Oman? Fascinating, right! The 17th century Niwa Fort, in Nizwa city is the most famous one and offers great views from the top. The fort in Bahla city is the only UNESCO-listed fort in the country and is believed to be built around the 12th to 15th century. Near this complex is the 17th century Jabreen Castle, which is a great piece of Islamic architecture and also displays an impressive interior.
Jebel Shams is the country’s highest mountain and part of the Hajar Mountains. From demanding hikes to the peak to camping under the stars, Jebel Shams offers plenty of outdoor activities. Travelling to the northernmost part of Oman, you will reach the Musandam Peninsula. The location is dotted with rocky inlets, small villages and seems like a different world from the bustling vibe of Oman’s cities.
Wadi Sab is a popular destination in the small village of Tiwi in northeastern Oman. Walking along the canyons and exploring waterfalls here make it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. Sur is a port city on the coast of the Gulf of Oman with good beaches, forts and souqs. Around 50km southeast of Sur lies Ras al-Jinz, an important breeding ground for endangered green turtles. The desert region of Sharqiya Sands in the eastern coast of Oman is the home to the nomadic Bedouin people and their culture. Camping, camel riding, and desert safari are the most popular things to do.
The colourful city of Salalah in south Oman is famous for its archaeological sites and Arabic Sea beaches. Mughsail Beach is quite famous for its blowhole and mountain scenery. Salalah has a desert landscape, which, in the Khareef (monsoon, generally July to September) season, turns green with lush forests and seasonal waterfalls.
Oman’s rich historical and cultural wealth coupled with its diverse natural terrain, makes it a great country to explore in the Middle Eastern region.
Do you know there are more than 500 forts and towers in Oman?