Places to see in Oman
Located alongside the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is the charming gateway to the Arab world. It’s more than just an oil-rich country with spectacular sand dunes, historical forts, great architecture and majestic mountains. It is also a rapidly-developing tourism hub and vacation destination with many incredible places to visit.
Things to do
Some of the things to do here include a trip to its numerous forts, enjoying the tranquil beauty of its sun-drenched beaches, riding over the rolling Wahiba sand dunes of the desert, exploring its secretive canyons as well as getting enthralled by the natural scenic beauty of its towering mountains. You could visit the grand mosques, ancient forts and its majestic palaces to get a feel of its culture and history. And since a vacation isn’t complete without shopping, there are many modern malls as well as traditional souks and bazaars here, overflowing with local handicrafts to choose from.
Some of the most striking landmarks of Oman are its more than 500 ancient forts that were the traditional defence and lookout points. The spectacular Jalali and Mirani Forts date back to the 16th century and guard the entry into the Muscat Bay.
The Bahla fort is a spectacular 13th century masterpiece and nestles at the base of the Jebel Akhdar Mountain; its walls are said to extend around 7 miles in length. Another famous fort is the 17th century Nizwa fort famous for its honey traps and enormous cylindrical tower. The remarkable architecture of the beautiful Qasr al Alam Royal Palace is another must-see attraction as well as the Seeb Palace and the recently excavated Queen of Sheba’s Palace in Salalah region.
A visit to Oman isn’t complete without spending time in the desert. Go for a camel ride in the Wahiba Sands or have fun dune-bashing on the endless desert dunes. A night camping out with the Bedouins is another authentic way of enjoying desert life. Other amazing places of natural beauty include the Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Shab (Canyons) and the astonishing Bhima sinkhole. The spectacular mountains, some of which go up to 9000 feet above sea level, are a true marvel. The majestic Jebel Shams, Jebel Al Humr and Jebel Akhdar (Green mountain) are worthy of a visit.
Oman has hundreds of miles of uninterrupted coastline that is a real treat. A stroll along the Mutrah Corniche at night is another rewarding experience. Some of the beaches here are well-known breeding grounds for turtles and the Masirah Island just off the mainland is where four species, including the leatherbacks, come to nest. And if you want to see turtle hatchlings, the best place to visit is the Ras Al Jinz beach between May and October.
The predominant religion here is Islam and a number of beautifully architected mosques abound in Oman. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque has a contemporary design with marble panelling and the world’s second largest hand-loomed Persian carpet. The Islamic architecture of the subtly embellished mosques here vies for your attention, along with the delightful National Museum and the Frankincense Museum.
No holiday is complete without indulging in some souvenir shopping and the same goes for Oman too. You could go the traditional way and shop in the labyrinthine souks and bazaars overflowing with authentic merchandise and enjoy an unforgettable experience....you could even bargain a little with the locals who have refreshingly humble outlooks. Oman offers a variety of multi-storeyed, high-end shopping malls too including Oman Avenues Mall, Muscat Grand Mall, Panorama Mall, Lulu Mall, Salalah Gardens Mall, Sabco Centre, etc.