Friday, November 4, 2011

Splendiferous Oman: Beholding the real beauty

With the most awe-inspiring natural landscapes under an incessant Middle Eastern Sun, Oman offers travellers an experience of enchantment. With a vibrant culture that coexists with modernity, Oman has all the expected allure for those seeking the exquisiteness of nature.
From the fjords and barrenness of Musandam, to the sand deserts of the Wahibar, from the Hajjar mountain range, to the green monsoon area of Dhofar in the south, the draw of Oman lies in the outdoors. The Sultanate enjoys an unspoiled culture and traditional lifestyle in almost every aspect. Even in its modernity, Oman is distinctly Arab and offers visitors a glimpse of many unique old-world wonders.
Muscat, the capital city, is the pulsating heart of the country. Popularly known as "Arabia's jewel”, Muscat lies sparkling white, topped with golden minarets in the middle of a maze of brown pleated mountains reaching down to the Arabian Sea.
The older part of the city has many forts, castles, mosques and towers dotting the landscape. Of particular note are Jalali and Mirani forts flanking Al Alam Palace. Among the city highlights are the Corniche with its promenade, and the old souq of Muttrah - an ideal spot to buy souvenirs and treasures. Greater Muscat showcases eminent business properties, world-class highways, upscale suburbs rooted in traditional Islamic architecture, elegant mosques, large green parks, archaeological sites, museums and world-class hotels. The intermingling of ancient cultural heritage and modern style allows Oman to preserve its historic character while enjoying its contemporary spirit.
Muscat is conveniently located for a plethora of activities like cultural trips to explore the Nizwa fort, the rocky terrain of Jebel Shams or the coastal Sur. Those seeking an adrenalin rush can go wadi bashing through the Wadi Shab, sand dune bashing or relax at one the Bedouin camps at the Wahiba Sands, or simply discover the Hajjar mountains through a mountain safari, mountain biking, quad biking, trekking & caves exploration.
Sur, a placid coastal town, is famous for its dhow shipyards (and presumed home of the legendary Sinbad the Sailor). En route one can stop at the must-see Wadi Shab.
Nizwa, with its historical buildings and imposing fort, is also famous for its expansive souq that sells everything from local artefacts, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables to spices, dates, gold and silverware. See the silversmiths hammer patterns into the hilts of khanjars. Amble through the souk for a glimpse of the traditional Omani lifestyle.
The beautiful dunes of The Wahiba Sands could keep one occupied for days. It is a vast mass of red and white sand with dunes rising up to 150 meters. There is a scattering of Bedouin camps in the desert and Bedouin herders still wander from waterhole to waterhole. The sands contain quite a variety of terrain and vegetation.
Another must-see is Oman’s efforts towards adapting eco-tourism. Ras Al Jinz, is world renowned for nesting endangered green turtles in the Indian Ocean, and is the only place where one can watch the nesting process of these amazing sea giants.
Nicknamed as the "Norway of the Middle East" because of the inlets likened to Norway's fjords, Musandam provides a spectacular bird's eye view. Here one will find placid waters, marine life, secluded beaches and isolated outposts.
Oman has some of the best beaches along its 1700 km long coastline. From the placid waves and stillness of the sea to the crashing surf and palm fringed shores of golden sand, Oman’s pristine beaches and quiet coves with its rugged and rocky coastline are thoroughly enthralling.
Enjoy swimming, diving, snorkeling, boating, surfing and sail boarding, beach combing and shell collecting at the popular Qurum beach, Bandar Al-Jissah, Sawadi beach or Al Bustan beach. See the beautiful coral reef formations and marine life whilst diving off Daymaniyat Islands or around Muscat. The Oman Dive Centre, located at a private cove between Qantab and Barr Al Jissah, is an ideal place for those who’d like to learn diving or take advanced diving courses while on a holiday in the sun.
Discover Oman, a magical country in the Arabian Gulf. 

No comments:

Post a Comment