Friday, October 30, 2009

Oman - What a fantastic country to visit

About 10 years back I was asked to go and do some work in Oman, great I thought - real adventure - and I am ashamed to say I quickly looked for a map - I knew nothing about this great country, not even where it was. My first trip to the Middle East - but it was definitely not my last.

Over the next 5 years I visited Oman on numerous occasions (as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi), usually working in Muscat. Whilst working there I usually took the opportunity of tagging a few days holiday onto the end of each working visit (I’ve never understood why more business travellers do not do this – the company has covered the cost getting you there) to allow me to see more of this wonderful country.

For people like me, who would find a week on a small sandy 'Paradise Island' hell this is a great country. Don't get me wrong, it has superb sandy beaches, and a sea which is like getting into a warm bath in the summer months, but Oman has so much more to offer than just beaches.

The stunning sands of the Wahibi Sands Desert, the rugged mountain ranges, the culture and forts, the sights, smells and sounds of the souks with their burning scents, the wadis (river beds – often dry) which are so much fun to explore, its own grand canyon at Jabal Shams, the amazing Al Hoota caves, superb game fishing, stunning diving and snorkelling, an abundance of dolphins and turtles.....

This is a country with so much to offer its visitors. A country which has recognised the fact that many of its treasures lie within its natural beauties. With this in mind Oman carefully markets itself to eco tourists, those who come to discover and explore this wonderful place.

And I almost forgot to mention the people and the hotels - The hotels are stunning, luxurious and you are very well looked after. The people are very warm and welcoming, and always seem to carry a smile!

Oman offers you the chance to see Middle East culture, without feeling threatening. The bars and restaurants in the hotels serve alcohol, other than at the times of major religious festivals (so check if you need a drink!).

To find out more about Oman and some of the great activities on offer try http://www.thingstodoinoman.com/ and take a look at some of the great pictures of this stunning place.

Oman is close enough to Dubai to make it an ideal two centre trip – I would personally do Dubai first, see the glitz, glam and then unwind in Oman.

I recommend you make the effort to get across there.

I want to go back....



Paul

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