OMAN

The Sultanate of Oman is the second largest nation on the Arabian peninsula situated on the Eastern edge of Arabia. With 1700km of beautiful coastline, Oman s shores face directly onto the Indian Ocean, giving rise to the name, The Arabian Sea. For centuries this magnificent and diverse land was referred to Arabia Felix . The true reason for this is thought to be largely based on the warm and hospitable virtues of Oman s people. Due to its position not being an airline 'hub' or transit point, it can be considered what the region was 'before' the overdevelopment of Dubai. Muscat has decided to use the catch phrase, 'Side trip of a Lifetime'. Indeed it is easy to make Muscat a side trip from both Dubai, Abudabi and Doha, being major airline hubs in the region.

A land stepped in history, dating back over 5000 years. Today, although blessed with modern infrastructure, the land of Frankincense and Myrrh has retained its sense of hospitality and friendliness.

The stunning natural beauty of Oman s majestic mountains, undulating contours of the Sharqiya desert (Wahiba Sands) and the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) the surprising lush green wooded hills of Dhofar and a pristine underwater world of coral reefs where rare and tropical marine life flourish, offers visitors a truly special and unique experience.

The Global Peace Index is an attempt to measure the relative position of nations and regions peacefulness. It is maintained by the Economist, an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks, together with the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, Australia rated Oman number 22 within the top 30 most peaceful countries Australia came in at 25, New Zealand in the top 10!

Only 45 minutes flight from Dubai with many daily connections ...

Ahlan Wasahlan .. Welcome, as we have countless travellers since the beginning of time.

The mountains, the sea and the past have met at Muscat to set one of the most beautiful capitals of the Arabian Peninsula and the one that has so happily joined past present and future. Muscat is harmony and fairy tale put together.

Harmony as no one is better at wielding past and present, showing off historical and cultural heritage, continuing architectural traditions while using the most sophisticated techniques and the noblest of materials. A fairy tale scene at night when the buildings lacy stone edges shimmer in the moonlight that reaches out to highlight the golden minarets.

Past, present .. Muscat juggles these words with brilliance.

In 1970 when Sultan Qaboos was enthroned it emerged out of a long sleep to expand, defying the mountain, nesting in its hollows, weaving its way through its valleys to settle at the foot of these magnificent mountains, the Hajar, with their fortress guarded passes.

Legends of Sinbad the Sailor, Queen of Sheba and merchants from all the great civilisations of the Gulf , the East or the West moored their loaded with gold, precious stones, incense, shimmering cloth, spices and hides turning Muscat like all other harbours on the Omani coast, into a large emporium still in evidence today - Muttrah, a suburb of the city, is where you will find the traditional souks situated in the long-winding alleys, where all types of traditional Omani products are on sale.

Muscat today has not been spoilt by its development. Sultan Qaboos has decreed that new cities and developments remain faithful to traditional Arab Architecture, Mosques, ministries, head offices, residencies, hotels and resorts have architectural harmony with a restrained majesty that successfully mixes tradition and creativity...

 

No buildings will be built over 6 Storey s high...

Ultra-modern complexes, world-class highways, 3 6 Star Hotels and Resorts, an international airport and a major seaport. A unique blend of old and new with many grandiose mosques, castles, forts, souks and towers uniquely blended with world class hospitality.

Faithful to is tradition of hospitality, Muscat light up to welcome you, to tell us its story, its hopes and the secrets of this harmony which so enchant everybody who visits. In 1995 at a young age it was selected at the most beautiful Arab capital and In 2004 the Clean- Scuba Diving / Snorkling: 1700km long wild and varied coastline; wealth of scenery / wildlife: Muscat Area / Fahal Island / Al Sawadi Beach Resort.

Deep Sea Diving: As part of the tourism development plan to further upgrade the Eco Tourism and Dive product the Royal 84 metre ship, "Al Munnassir . The 3,000 tonne ship was sunk in 30 metres of water in the turquoise waters of Bandar Khairan close to the country s capital, Muscat. This wreck is now become one of the most spectacular diving sites off Oman. It has now and will continue to become home to fish and other marine life. Divers can now see the development of the coral which will eventually make the Al Munnassir" an important part of the eco system. Other sites are also within easy distance from Muscat with Diving Centres being PADI accredited.

Kayaking: Available right off the coast of Muscat; Tours available among the fjords of Bander Al-Kheran and Muscat glass bottom boats are also available

Game Fishing: Marlin / Tuna with game fishing trips organised in the Arabian Sea. Plenty of bait fish abound to attract the big game fish. Sur and Masirah are also ideal locations.

Whale / Dolphin: Dolphins abound in the warm coastal waters hundreds roam around following the tuna. Sperm and Humpback whales are prominent truly a magnificent sight seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Watching tours can be organised by most tour operators with some operators taking tours in traditional dhow s)

Turtle Watching: The beaches of Ras Al Hadd / Ras Al Jinz and Masirah Island are some of the areas where several species of marine turtles come to nest and lay their eggs. Species include: Giant Green turtles / Loggerheads / Hawksbill and Leatherbacks which live for over 100 years, swim throughout the Indian Ocean, the length and breadth of the ocean but always return to the same site to lay their eggs! Ideal Season June through to October.

Wadi & Dune Bashing: Quite a unique activity in the Arabian Peninsula Basically the rules are you go crazy with a 4x4 in wadis (rocky & dry riverbeds) over the shifting deserts sands this achievement rates just as high as camel racing! Mix this with spectacular nature, animals (suicidal goats) camels, donkeys, and plenty of other 4x4 and it makes it one hair raising experience! Should only be carried out by experienced drives and tour guides ..

Camping: Why not camp out under the stars!!!! Sweeping Deserts to rugged mountain plateaus, plus fertile valley oases and sparkling beaches - located throughout Oman make the whole country a campers paradise! A night under the stars in the desert camps Al Raha Camp and Sama Wasil Desert Camp: ( http://samavillages.com/al-wasil/index.html) Tours / sites available from most wholesalers.

Rock Climbing:
Spectacular mountains rising 3,000m at highest point throughout the country mixed in with spurs, wadi s, deep canyons and towering cliffs make Oman a rock climbers heaven from the novice to the experienced climber! Best period for climbing: October to April. The rim walk on the Grand Canyon in the Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountains) is one out of this world must do experience s. Best Guide book for Rock Climbers: Adventure Oman (Anne Dale & Jerry Hadwin)

Camel Racing: An extraordinary part of Omani society as it s a highly valued tradition. Held at tracks in most regions