Cardamom-scented souks, wave after wave of rolling desert dunes and off-road rides through mountains; holidays to Oman are an astonishing Arabian adventure
Experience that red-hot haze over desert sands, dawn’s evocative call to prayer, a capital city filled with cream-coloured architecture and indigo skies home to the brightest of stars. As dusk falls, light twinkles over Oman’s most beautiful buildings – the marble and sandstone Grand Mosque, the world-famous Royal Opera House and the private residence of the Sultan’s Palace. Oman holidays are an extraordinary adventure. Life here is quieter than elsewhere in the Middle East, steeped in old Arabian tradition and filled with the scent of sandalwood and rose. We’ve been to Oman and can tell you first-hand that the hotels are out of this world – extravagant spas, magazine-worthy pools and sublime service – and that the landscape gives you a true feel of Middle Eastern customs; men and women are dressed in dishdashas and abayas, souks are filled with spices and leather and Malabar hardwood dhows bob up and down in the water. There’s the taste of sugar cane, coconut and strong Arabian coffee, the fluttering eyelashes of desert camels and wild spinner dolphins gleefully playing off the Muscat coast. Lie back on damask cushions as you sail by traditional Omani boat over Gulf waters through those photogenic Musandam fjords, discover ancient fortresses and tombs in the cities of Nizwa and Bahla and get ready for an epic 4X4 drive into Bedouin desert. Call one of our Personal Experts and we’ll start crafting your next Oman holiday.
The best months to visit Oman are March, April, September and October when the days are largely warm and dry, with temperatures averaging between 26 and 35°C. January to March is slightly cooler and you are more likely to experience occasional rainfall. During the summer months it becomes very hot and humid – so much so that many hotels close a number of their outdoor restaurants and bars.
Oman holiday highlights
Oman is a wealthy country where hospitality is outstanding, tradition is prized and heritage rich. Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Muscat Opera House for a look at exotic Islamic architecture, and enjoy a haggle in the Muttrah Souk where you’ll find antiques, textiles and gold. If you want to swim among coral reefs and turtles, hike through cities high up in the mountains and walk along golden beaches where coconut and banana plantations fringe the coast. You’ve got a choice of forts, the most popular being Nizwa where you can climb to the top for fantastic city views and see lots of Bronze Age beehive-style tombs. Around Jebel Akhbar and Al Hajar braver hikers can tackle vertical cliff drops and balcony walks in the spectacular Omani mountains, and rock climbers can end an amazing ascent with Oman’s first zip line. If you prefer to snorkel and sunbathe, you’ve a choice of beaches from Al Qurum in Muscat, one of the most beautiful and popular in Oman; and Bandar Jissah, a resort of golden sands, bright blue seas and coconut and banana plantations just outside of the capital city. Swim deep into turquoise waters in tropical-like wadis and head into the desert for a breathtaking adventure on rolling red dunes. Much of Oman is covered in desert known as the Empty Quarter while Wahiba Sands, just three hours drive from Muscat, has dune bashing and Arabian sunset feasts. Spend the day away from the city exploring undulating red and white dunes in a 4x4 or choose a night under the stars at an authentic Bedouin desert camp. Separated by the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates, Musandam is perfect for those seeking even more adventure; rock climbing, canyoning, hiking, sea kayaking and scuba diving. Alternatively, opt for a more sedate experience with a cruise on a traditional dhow cruise around the stunning Musandam khors (fjords) and try to spot the bottlenose and spinner dolphins that frequent these waters. You can reach the capital city of Khasab by a flight from Muscat or by road from the United Arab Emirates.
Where is Oman?
On the south-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman shares borders with the United Arab Emirates to the north-west. The Musandam peninsula is an exclave separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates, which juts into the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.
Hiring a car is the most convenient way to travel around Oman as public transport is limited. A car and driver itinerary is the best way to explore the mountain villages, wadis (valleys) and desert dunes. Our suggested itineraries include an experienced driver to navigate the steep mountain roads and take you into the Omani countryside for an enlightening cultural tour. Taxis are available in Muscat – they are orange and white – but are not metered, so make sure to fix the fare before you get in.
You’ll find both international and high street brands in lavish malls in Muscat but the real adventure lies in shopping in the traditional souks. Muttrah is the most famous of these, filled with a maze of tiny alleys with stalls selling everything from jewellery to wooden handicrafts and Arabian perfumes to decadently embellished textiles. In Nizwa and Salalah you’ll also find captivating souks, with the latter known for its famous Dhofari frankincense. And while the shopping malls may be filled with well-known brands, it’s the supermarkets that are a highlight, where you can pick up Yemeni honey, huge jars of dates, exotic spices and sandalwood soap.
The Complete Oman Tour Planned by Experts
- Home to immense mountains, dramatic coasts and desert oases, you can experience completely diverse landscapes all in one country
- The preserved ancient architecture of palaces and forts make Oman an interesting alternative long-haul stop-over destination to Dubai and Abu Dhabi
- With stretches of largely untouched coastline and a number of decadent hotels to choose from, Oman is an excellent option for a luxury escape
Resorts & hotels in Oman
There’s the scent of damask roses and those sensational Hajar Mountain views, dining under lantern-lit cabanas on white gold sands and that first dip into an infinity pool that stretches almost as far as the eye can see. Oman hotels strike an extraordinary architectural balance between the modern and the traditional – think authentic design blended with contemporary touches including Far Eastern-inspired treatments in luxury spas, Moorish gardens that give way to deep-blue pools and extravagant mountaintop escape where the VIP treatment is second-to-none. Our recommended Oman hotels and resorts
Discover Oman multi-centresDestinations once a distant, mysterious dream have become a near, exotic reality. The first thing to note in Oman is the sheer beauty of the landscape: stark, rugged and rolling down to the Gulf of Oman. The country just feels ancient and undisturbed. A pride in tradition has conserved a fascinating culture rooted in the ancient code of Arabic hospitality, and well-planned, small scale development has preserved an attractive backdrop that remains un-blighted by high-rises and eyesores. You could contrast the traditional sights of Oman with the splendid isolation of the Maldives, or choose to continue the exotic feel with a stay on the spice island of Zanzibar. You could even explore more of the UAE and visit one of the lesser known emirates such as Ras Al Khaimah, or also experience the dynamic ambitious nature of Dubai. Choose any of our featured hotels as part of your holiday – many of which also have special offers for Kuoni customers. Call us on 02085708283 or visit us in store to speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts and tailor make your own holiday with https://skytraktravel.com .
Royal Opera House Muscat
The Royal Opera House Muscat is a must visit the place to admire the pleasant fusion of marble, inlaid wood and arabesque design. Few popular names in opera and ballet have performed within this stunning building since its inauguration in the year 2011. When it comes to the quality of the productions Royal Opera House frequently wins international acclaim. The season from September to May. Is the best time to visit here.
Grand Mosque looks magnificent from the outside, Sultan Qaboos Gifted this glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture to the nation to mark his 30th year of rule. The main prayer hall is amazingly rich. The Persian carpet only measures 70m by 60m wide, and consider as the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world; it took 600 females four years to weave.
A day-long dhow cruise familiarizes you with the varied landscape of Oman—extending from climbing mountains merging out of the sea and villages settled among rocky outcrops to sandy seashores and blue waters. Get on a traditional dhow cruise to the coastal area of Muscat the attractive sounds of Musandam.
There is so much to explore in the Wahiba Sands. Travellers consider it as the perfect location to indulge in quad biking, dune-bashing, camel riding, and much more. Pack snacks and Carry some snacks and head to the top of a sand dune to experience the sky change colours—from sunset to moonrise. Stay overnight at a Bedouin camp and experience the peace and calmness.
A visa is required for all UK passport holders travelling to Oman. This can be obtained online prior to travel or on arrival at the airport.
Sample Oman's culture and heritage through music and theatre performances, art exhibitions, sporting events and many more traditional activities held at several venues around the city
During the Holy month there will be restrictions on alcoholic consumption, restaurant facilities and entertainment
Eid Al Fitr
A three-day celebration following the Holy month of Ramadan