Oman is fascinating, charming, unique, and full of dignity. The hand-crafted oasis of Muscat and the ancient Nizwa, excursions to medieval forts and the sands of Wahib welcome travelers from all over the world. Why do we recommend visiting this country? First of all, unlike other countries of the Persian Gulf, there is a very picturesque nature: mountains, waterfalls, savannahs, tropics, fjords. Secondly, Oman has miraculously preserved its Arabian identity. In fact, it is the only Middle Eastern country that has not "succumbed" to modern civilization while maintaining a high standard of living. Thirdly, there is a huge variety of sightseeing. Traveling in Oman will be a life memoring holiday! The history of this land can easily compete in the richness of events and locations. However, for young people in Oman, there are few options for entertainment and nightclubs.
Oman is also the place where Job was buried, the Queen of Sheba ruled, and where Sinbad sailed on his legendary voyage. The country's ruler, the Sultan, pays a lot of attention to the environment: there are national parks in all corners of the country, and the coastal areas are under protection. The reserves of Oman are home to rare animals: oryx antelope, giant sea turtle, almost extinct Arabian tahr (wild goat), wolf, leopard, striped hyena, and ash falcon. Most of the tourists travel here for the best scuba diving. There are also good conditions for motorsports and karting.
Oman is the only country in the Persian Gulf where you can see mountains, waterfalls, deserts, and oases. All of this will help you wholly feel the twist of cultures of Persia, Africa, India, and the Far East.
Weather in Oman
Oman has a subtropical arid climate with a strong monsoon influence. Summers are hot and humid on the coast and hot and dry in the center of the country. It is not the best season to travel to Oman. Winter is moderately warm. The best time to visit Oman is from September to April. It is very hot and humid from May to August. It rains very rarely, for example, Muscat has 320-350 sunny days a year.
The best season to travel to Oman is traditionally considered the cooler period from mid-October to mid-March.
However, the weather often has surprises. On the northeast coast in December and January, it can be quite cold (by local standards, of course - +15-19, especially at night). In addition, New Year's Eve is the peak tourist season, and places in most hotels have to be booked in advance. Check your reservation before traveling! Prices also go up for almost everything, and the water in the Gulf of Oman is not very good for swimming. It is better to wait for the more relaxed season for traveling.
A reasonable choice to travel to Oman would be September-October or April-May when the air and water get as warm as possible and the prices are lower than in the high season. However, on the coast of the Arabian Sea, water maintains a comfortable temperature for swimming all year round, and most hotels have heated pools.
Summer is not a good time to visit Oman because the temperatures can reach +50 degrees Celsius, and the humidity and sunlight make relaxing outside impossible. However, this period is good for shopping, as it is the lowest price point (including hotel accommodation), and all shopping malls are perfectly air-conditioned. Many travelers visit Oman to buy new clothes and stuff during this season.
Muscat, capital of Oman
Muscat is modern Oman, a progressive and tolerant city due to its national composition: here live Arabs, Hindus, and other nationalities. You would probably love traveling here in sprong: Muscat is especially beautiful because everything is in bloom. The riot of vegetation is rare in this country, and all green areas are created by human hands. In addition, the city has many historical and cultural attractions for travelers. It is worth visiting the Great Mosque of Sultan Qaboos, a colorful old bazaar in Muttra, the palace of Al-Alam, and Fort Al-Jalali.
For priceless treasures and cheap souvenirs, visit the colorful Mutra Market in the Matriarch district. The intricate streets of Mutrah sell everything your heart desires. Be sure to haggle! Original products by Omani craftsmen may be found at the Omani Craftsman's House. The prices here are fixed (and a bit inflated), but the goods are guaranteed to be of high quality and, most importantly, made locally.
Salalah is the second-largest city in Oman. It is considered the capital of the southern region of the country and is very different from Muscat. Here,travelers have a great opportunity to explore the lives of the locals, see the history of Oman with their own eyes, and visit archaeological excavations in the southern region of the country. Coconut and banana plantations and magnificent beaches make this town a tropical paradise.
Salalah's beaches are sandy and clean, with crystal clear water. In addition to beach lounging, vacationers are offered a variety of water activities: water skiing, motorcycles, sailing, diving, and snorkeling. But remember that ocean currents are strong and unpredictable.
Safety in Oman
Oman is an absolutely safe country. There is no Islamic opposition here and the attitude towards travelers is very friendly. Tap water is usually artesian or desalinated seawater and is perfectly safe. But because of the complete absence of mineral salts in the water, it is recommended to use mineral water. Drinking and buying alcohol can be done in designated places (licensed hotels and restaurants). In public places, women should not wear revealing clothes. Shoulders and knees should be covered. Men should wear pants and shirts in public. It is forbidden to sunbathe topless. Do not take photos of residents without their permission.
Festivals and events in Oman
The vast majority of the population adheres to the Islamic faith, which has affected the number of local festivals and traditions. Except for National Day, all other holidays are purely religious.
For most believers, the whole month of Ramadan matters. Here, the date of start is determined by a committee of astronomers and theologians who calculate and observe the moon to announce when this year's Ramadan begins. On the very first day, one must get up before dawn to have time to drink water and eat breakfast, as it is forbidden to drink or eat during daylight hours. During the fasting period in Oman, all recreational activities are prohibited.
This holiday is celebrated on the last day of Ramadan and signifies the end of the fast. Men gather in the mosques to perform a festive namaz, and women begin preparing meals. The celebration lasts for three days, all of which are weekends.
The biggest festival of Omani culture offers a unique opportunity to learn about its history and customs. Held during January-February, the exact date varies from year to year. Everyone can admire the compositions, some of which are installed directly in the open air, and communicate with locals.
National Day of Oman
National Day is a public holiday in Oman and the birthday of the country's ruler, Qaboos bin Said. Before this holiday, Qaboos has been touring the whole country for many years. He invites anyone to ask him any question, and he will certainly answer it. Qaboos does not ignore the needs of his people and, as a result, he is highly respected in the country, where many attribute the improved situation of the country in recent decades to his actions.
Nature of Oman
You will probably fall in love with Oman's nature! The country is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, and it seems that its territory has gathered all the best that can be found in this region. Protection of flora and fauna has been declared a state task in Oman. Special protection is given to the rare Arabian oryx gazelle, giant sea turtles, tahr goats, Arabian wolf, and leopard, as well as flamingos and several falcons. It has the largest number of protected areas in the Arabian Peninsula. Of particular interest are the Jeddah al-Harasis Reserve (included in the UNESCO World Heritage List), Wadi Sarin, al-Salil, the Daymaniyat Islands, the Jebel Kahuna, and al-Krum parks, and the Sultan Qaboos Nursery.
Oman's coastal waters are famous for their practically untouched environment, which attracts divers from all over the world. Especially popular are the coral reefs near the islands of Halaniyat, Cat Island and al-Jazeera, Simetri Bay, the fjords of Musandam and Bandar Khairan, Ras Sheikh Masoud, the rocks of Hayut, Khor Nejd, the caves and tunnels of Ras al-Hamra Recreation Center and the reef of Darsay. Diving is prohibited in Khor Muscat Bay, Sidab Bay, and the Sib Airport area.