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General Information

How To Reach Oman

How to get to Oman By Air
UK, USA, Australia, India, Egypt and other Gulf countries have flights to and from Seeb International Airport (Muscat). High Season is mid June to mid October and about ten days on either side of Christmas

How to get to Oman by Rail and Roads
There are no trains in the country. Entry or departure by road from Oman means traveling from UAE. The border between Yemen and Oman is not open to travellers. Visitors can drive around the country and abroad freely as long as they have valid international driving licenses. Many car hire agencies have offices at Oman Seeb International Airport, in Muscat and in Salalah.There is a daily bus between Dubai and Muscat.
Events
Camel racing is an extraordinary sport, with large numbers of camels and their owners congregating at the racetrack. Camels are carefully bred for the track and reared on highly nutritious diet. Juvenile jockeys astride oddly loping mounts generate tremendous excitement on these occasions, which are held mainly during National Day celebrations, and other public holidays. Seeb is the center for this unique sport, which can also be seen in Salalah, the Interior and Batinah region.

Bull fighting is another popular sport where two bulls of the same size are pitted against each other without a drop of blood being spilt. The first to run away is declared the loser before a cheering and enthusiastic audience. The fight lasts just for a few minutes and the bulls suffer little or no injury, except for a few scratches and a bruised ego of both the losing bull and its owner.

Tourist Attractions
Nakhl Castle
Located in Al-Batina region, the castle sets on top of a 200-metre rocky prominance in the foothills of the Western Hajar Mountains, overlooking the extended verdant palm farms of Nakhl countryside which gave the castle its name.

Bahla Castle
Located in Bahla; Ad-Dakhliyah region, the Castle is one of the oldest remaining strongholds in Oman and has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1988.
Cities in Oman

Wadi Shab
The Wadi is 76 Km from Qurayyat-Muscat. The road to the wadi dips as it crosses the bed of the ravine and rises steeply on the other side where the houses of Tiwi cling to the cliffs. At the mouth of the wadi is a single beach dotted with fishing boats.

Wahiba
Ash-Sharqiyah Sands (also known as Wahiba Sands) offer the romantic visitor desert in the accepted sense of the word. Rolling sand dunes, varying from deep red to a rich honey colour sands stretching as far as the eye can see.

Jabrin Castle
Located in Jibrin town in Wilayat Bahla; Ad-Dakhliyah region, Jibrin Fort resembles a remarkable blend of defensive architecture and sophisticated artistry. It consists of three floors and 55 rooms, and is penetrated by Falaj Jibrin.

Wadi Daikah
Known as the Devil’s Gap, Wadi Dayqah was described by explorer S. B. Miles in 1896 as the most singular piece of earth sculpture in Arabia. The wadi runs through a narrow winding vertical-sided canyon that looks as though the mountain has been split in two. The walls soar to 1,700 meters and close in to 12 meters in some places.

Muscat
Muscat, the capital city of Oman lies sparkling white, topped with golden minarets in the middle of a maze of brown pleated mountains reaching down to the Arabian Sea. Described as “Arabia’s jewel”, this city is a blend of the old and the new. Muscat is green as green can be, and defies being classified as part of a desert country.

Sur
Sur, a placid sea coast town with its striking traditional dwellings is a pleasant getaway and one of the most important towns in the Eastern region. The drive from Muscat via the interior cuts through wadis and passes through the Hajar Mountains. An alternate route down the coast through the village of Quriyat is adventurous and offers fabulous views of sparkling white beaches covered with multi coloured shells, deep ravines, cliffs that fall dangerously into azure seas, rocks sculpted by wind and waves and lush green wadis (river beds). The journey ends in the city famous for its dhow shipyards (and presumed home of the legendary Sinbad the Sailor). A trip through Sur’s labyrinth of streets reveals many fine old houses with carved doors and arabesque windows. From the corniche, the dhows in the harbour can be seen against the scenic backdrop of the Gulf of Oman.
On the way to Sur one can stop over the fishing village of Quriyat, which was a major port centuries ago. Wadi Shab is another of the must-see wadis of this region – one of several wadis with running water throughout the year. Beyond Sur about 40 kms away lie the beaches of R’as Al Hadd and R’as Al Junayz where every year about 30,000 turtles come to lay their eggs

Nizwa
Nizwa, the verdant oasis city with its blend of the modern and the ancient was the capital of Oman during the 6th and 7th century. One of the oldest cities of the Sultanate, this was once a center of education and art. Nizwa has been an important cross roads at the base of the Western Hajar Mountains connecting Muscat, Buraimi, and the lower reaches of Dhofar. The Falaj Daris of Nizwa is the largest single falaj in Oman and provides the surrounding country side with much needed water for the plantations.

The city, famous for its historical monuments, handicrafts and agricultural products, has an expansive Souq showcasing a wonderful array of handicrafts – coffee pots, swords, leather goods, silverware, antiques, and household utensils. Nizwa fort, completed in the 1650′s, was the seat of power during the rule of the Al Ya’ruba dynasty and is Oman’s most visited National monument. The reconstructed Sultan Qaboos Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Oman. In the evenings, the call of the muezzin fills the air calling the faithful to prayer.

Wahiba Sands
The great Wahiba sands are longitudinal dunes 200 km long and 100 km wide running south from the Eastern Hajars to the Arabian Sea. The dunes are 100-150 metres high in shades of colour from orange to hues of amber. Bedouin camps can be found along the tracks and trails in this isolated desert. In sporadic areas can be found stands of single-species woodlands. Where the sands meet the ocean, outcrops of aolianite (sand compressed into rock) can be found displaying unusual and attractive abstract shapes. Here the beaches mellow into soft shades of yellows and whites.

To the west of the Wahiba of the small towns of Rawdah, Samad Ash Shan, Al Akdar and Lizq. Rawdah and Samad Ash Shan contain ruins and reconstructions of old forts while Al Akdar is the home of Omanis pit weavers who design elegant textiles from their looms dug into the ground. At Lizq can be found remains of structures that date back to Bronze Age. South of Lizq are the prosperous towns of Al Mudaybi and Sinaw where you can find almost every day the bustling Bedouin souq at the centre of town

Masirah Island
Masirah is idyllic for those who really want to get away from it all. It is an island in the Indian Ocean, 20 kms off central Oman coast just South of the Wahiba Sands. The stark rocky landscape is rimmed with isolated beaches whose only visitors are the logger head turtles that come to nest there. Beachcombers may come across a variety of shell fish and other speciments of marine life. There is also evidence of early settlements.

Jebel Akhdar
Jebel Akhdar in Arabic means “Green Mountains” and this region of the most verdant outside of Salalah and the Batinah Coast. To go there requires a 4-wheel drive ( and a road permit because of military installations in the area). One of the most scenic areas in Oman, coupled with the friendly local inhabitants, this region is a natural spot for tourism. Points of interest include the towns of Wadi Bani Habib, Saiq and Al Ayn, where local farmers raise grapes, pomegranates, apricots and walnuts. The climate is moderate year round as the mean altitude is about 1800 metres. Also of interest is the lookout over the canyon recently named Diana’s Point, for the late Princess of Wales who spent time here in the late 80s.