Oman is famous for its amazing natural beauty – every region has a range of mountains that surround villages, beaches, islands and wadis. The most famous mountains in Oman are the Al Hajar mountain range in northern Oman, Jebel Samhan in Dhofar Governorate in southern Oman, and Jebel Ghawil in Al Buraimi Governorate in western Oman.
Oman is also surrounded by water from three different directions: the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf from the North, and the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean from the east and the south. This gives Oman amazing beaches with golden or white sands, and crystal turquoise or blue waters that are filled with mind-blowing sea biodiversity. It is also important to mention the spectacular wadis in Oman like Wadi Shab, Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Tawi, which combine green plantations, blue lakes, beautiful waterfalls, and rocky surfaces.
Omanis are one of the friendliest people in the Arab World. They are very kind and welcoming, as they enjoy meeting new people and inviting them to enjoy their country. If you ever get lost in Oman, Omanis will help you find your way or take you where you want. It is also important to mention that Oman is a very safe country and people like to have visitors enjoy their stay. Visiting Oman means you will meet these amazing Omani people, and will probably exchange contacts as you’ll find yourself with a new family.
With all the natural attractions that surround Oman, it’s a perfect destination for adventure-seekers and those who enjoy activities in the great outdoors. Visitors can enjoy hiking, rock-climbing, scuba-diving, snorkeling, paragliding, swimming, surfing, sand-boarding and camping. Between wadis, mountains and deserts, visitors can enjoy the natural beauty and satisfy their love for adventure.
Traditional Omani cuisine is distinguished by special spices, unique flavors and exceptional cooking methods. One of the most famous dishes in Oman is shuwa, which is beef meat that is wrapped with palm leaves and cooked in a deep hole in the ground, using the heat of the earth. Desserts in Oman, meanwhile, have their own seasoning and fresh components. Cardamon for example is usually added to different sweets, especially traditional Omani halwa.
Dates and coffee are the main part of the must-have traditional Omani hospitality course. Every house in Oman invites guests for kahwa (traditional coffee) and mouthwatering dates. Omani coffee is made with Arabian coffee beans, cardamon and cloves. As for dates, they come in different types and colors, usually yellow, brown or red, and they can be served fresh or dry.
Every corner in Oman is worthy of taking a picture. The whole country is a reflection of the real beauty of nature, and the Omani culture that is deeply ingrained within the country’s houses, forts, castles and streets. Wherever you walk in Oman, you’ll find something interesting; how people are traditionally dressed; Omanis gatherings to celebrate, to talk or even to eat together in the street; boys and girls playing; ancient houses and abandoned forts.
There are also the traditional Omani souqs in every town and city. In these souqs, you’ll find amazing Omani handicrafts made from silver, gold, palm leaves, and leather. You’ll also see the amazing colorful Omani fabrics, food stalls and halwa shops. Some of the best souqs in Oman are Nizwa Souq in Al Dhakhliya Region, Bahla Souq, and Muttrah Souq in Muscat. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, taking photos to capture the country’s charm is worth getting lost for.
Between mosques, museums, courthouses, forts, castles, and even houses, Omani architecture is an exceptional wonder as it combines Islamic, Arabic and traditional Omani styles. Buildings here are distinguished by their beautiful arches, mind-blowing wall decorations, cheerful colors, splendid ceiling paintings and spectacular interior design. Most buildings, whether public, private or governmental, are surrounded by well-tended gardens. In addition, most Omani houses are surrounded by farms and palm trees, while streets have palm trees on both sides, which adds to the beauty of the country’s cities and towns. As if you needed proof of this charm, a visit to any number of examples including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Royal Opera House, the Muttrah Souq, the Alam Palace, or the National Museum, will win you over.
Oman has a rich history that is still alive in the memories of Omanis, and in the forts and the castles around the country. Every fort in Oman has a unique story of the great mind of the Omanis, of how they protected their country, how they fought invaders and how they planned for the prosperity and development of Oman. Most forts and castles were also the homes for the leaders of the cities they were built in, and now they are museums. Most Omani cities have more than one fort and one castle, but each stands out for its history and achievements. Among the best forts to visit are Al Jalali and Al Mirani Forts in Muscat, Jabreen Castle and Nizwa Fort in Al Dhakhliya Region, Sohar Fort in Sohar, Khasab Castle in Musandam Governorate and Taqah Castle in Dhofar Governorate.
Omanis are one of the most exceptionally generous people in the Middle East. They love inviting people to their houses and treating them with the best food, traditional drinks and desserts. The Omani course of hospitality is called kahwa, which means coffee in Arabic. Nevertheless, it includes way more than the traditional Omani coffee. Usually Omanis present the traditional Omani kahwa with Omani dried dates and a side dip of tahini (sesame sauce), and sesame seeds or other nuts. Then they bring a huge plate of fruits that include bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, kiwis, and pears. They also serve wide range of Omani bakeries and sweets including cake and baklava.
This does not included any main meal. In other words, if you are invited for lunch or dinner, you will still get this course of hospitality either before or after the meal. Moreover, Omanis love to give their guests bags of dried dates or plates of fresh dates, on their way out after the visit. Every once and a while, they will also send a plate of food or dessert to their neighbors. What is surprising to foreigners is that they do the same with strangers and tourists, because generosity simply exists in their norms and traditions, and is a deeply-rooted characteristic of the Omani people.
With kind-hearted people, amazing attractions, and mind-blowing activities, Oman is the perfect escape for a truly peaceful break. Wherever you go, whichever region or Governorate you choose to visit, or even if you chose to get lost in Oman, you’ll never regret choosing this unique destination.