Oman is the country to visit if you want to visit the pure Arabian culture, without the massive modernisation that’s occurred in various other gulf states. Even so, Oman still isn’t widely visited, which for the intrepid few that do make the journey is a good thing!
If you haven’t considered going to Oman before, check out the eight reasons below why it should be high on your list of places to visit!
The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Oman This Year
1. The People
Omani’s are some of the friendliest people on the planet. In other countries you may feel harassed, especially when in tourist areas or looking to make a purchase.
But in Oman you will always be made to feel welcome.
The population as a whole is very educated and a large proportion in the cities will speak excellent English. As tourism isn’t a major industry they don’t feel the need to hassle and sell to every stranger they see. Instead they offer a welcoming hand.
I’m not sure many were expecting mountains to be a reason to visit Oman.
Between the large empty desert and the coastline lies the Al Hajar mountain range. The peaks aren’t the highest but they do deliver some amazing contrasts between the surroundings. Any journey in Oman takes twice as long due to all the photo stops along the way.
With over 82% desert, Oman has the Arabian nights feel that one would expect when travelling to this part of the world.
If you hire a car, you will be able to see large parts of the desert but for the full experience head to Wahiba Sands and spend a night amongst the sand dunes.
Do you want to see traditional architecture of the region. Are you fed up with seeing stainless steel skyscrapers?
Oman has kept all of its buildings low rise and painted white to blend in to the traditional homes already built. The closest you will get to skyscrapers are the minarets of the mosques. Oman is one of the few countries you can explore today that has the same traditional architecture as years past.
5. Road trip
Who doesn’t love a road trip?
Oman is designed to be road tripped around!
Whilst it does have public transport in the capital Muscat and taking you out to other cities, it isn’t reliable and nor is it frequent.
The best way to see Oman is to hire a car and drive around for a few days. They drive on the right and have large wide highways and sensible driving laws. Within a few hours you can be picking your car up in a city, pass by the coast, driving over mountains and end up in a desert. What isn’t to like?
Espresso coffee that Europeans are used to hasn’t made it en masse to Oman but what it does have is some of the most traditional coffee in the world.
Omani’s spice their coffee with cardamon and rose water giving a sweet but spicy tang to the usual bitter drink. When they serve it with dates at the end of the meal it just adds that extra little bit of *chef’s kiss* to a meal.
How many places have a history dating back thousands of years taking in nomadic tribes, cross continental trade and even inventing an entire system to get water.
Everywhere you look and all the best places to visit in Oman there is some form of history, from the coastal town of Sur with its history of creating dhows to sail the Indian ocean, to Bahla Fort, the inland fortress built in the 12th Century.
And Nizwa Fort is a fantastic place to learn about the Aflaj system, one of the earliest types of irrigation in the world. And whilst you’re in Nizwa, be sure to check out the weekly goat market for a real taste of history.
Oman is home to some of the most breathtaking natural scenery on the planet. The natural wadi’s dotting the coast make an ideal place to stop and enjoy the cool fresh water whilst also getting to admire the gorgeous gorge’s that surround them. Take your swimming trunks and go for a dip!
Dan is an avid traveller from London. His first big adventure was in 2010 living in Malaysia for 3 months and becoming a divemaster. He has been on the road almost constantly since 2015 travelling to destinations that aren’t on the mainstream tourist trail.