Tourism in Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

is a country on the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

. Tourism in Oman has grown considerably recently, and it is expected to be one of the largest industries in the nation.

Oman has one of the most diverse enviorments in the Middle East with various tourist attractions and it's particularly well known for Cultural tourism
Cultural tourism
Cultural tourism is the subset of tourism concerned with a country or region's culture, specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of those peoples, their art, architecture, religion, and other elements that helped shape their way of life...

. The capital
Muscat, Oman
Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2008, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 1,090,797. The metropolitan area spans approximately and includes six provinces called wilayats...

 of Oman has been named the Second Best City to visit in the world in 2012 by the the travel guide publisher Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world. The company is owned by BBC Worldwide, which bought a 75% share from the founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 2007 and the final 25% in February 2011...

. Muscat also was chosen as the Capital of Arab Tourism of 2012.


A single entry visa is issued at the point of entry and is valid for one month. A fine of $4 per day is charged for an overstay beyond the validity of the visa. There are also an express visa, a multiple entry visa and a common visa with Dubai and Qatar, and GCC resident visa.


Oman is lined with some amazing beaches. Activity for beach visitors include sunning, swimming,Kitesurfing, diving, snorkeling
Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may also be worn...

, boating, surfing, beach combing and shell collecting.

'The Intercon Beach' faces Muscat Intercontinental Hotel and extends two km to Crowne Plaza hotel. This beach is ideal for family outings, morning walks or a jog in evening. The beach is lined with restaurants, snack bars and cafes. The Qurum beach allows entrance barbecuing. At Qantab beach local fishermen will offer to take you fishing and at Bandar Jissah
Bandar Jissah
Bandar Jissah is a coastal town in northeastern Oman. It is located at around ....

 beach the view of the rocky coastline is just fabulous. The drive to Yitti beach through hilly terrain will lead to a fishing village with winding dirt track that lead to the beach through a long shallow cove. At the beach fishermen are busy at work but there is still ample room for any kind of beach activity. You can wade in the shallows or investigate the shell encrusted outcrops along the shore.

The popular Al Sawadi Beach Resort is about an hour west from Muscat. The resort offers dives, snorkeling, speedboat rides, water scooters, temperature controlled swimming pool and Jacuzzi. The coast beyond Quriyat can be reached by driving southeast on a four wheel drive. There are a variety of beaches between rocky outcrop, the most prominent being Mokallah (also known as White Beach). This spot is very popular for overnight camping on the shore and it is excellent for snorkeling.

Kitesurfing in Muscat is Now becoming very popular due to the daily sea breeze effect and large white sanded beaches and fanastic coastlines Oman has to offer. Kitesurfing lesosns is done on alzaiba beach in the city.

Kite Surfing

Oman offers world class kitesurfing Conditions, due to the daily sea breeze effect. Muscat city offers clean safe conditions for learning to kitesurf. Alzaiba Beach is the hot spot for kite surfing and kitesurfing lessons. There are only One Kite school located within the heart of Muscat city. The schools here specializing in kite surfing services and offer a complete range of kitesurf courses, kite surfing equipment, lessson activities plans. The kite school has qualified International Kitesurfing Instructors. Kite surf qualification(IKO)is issued for every student.


With Oman's long coastline and clean unpolluted waters, there is a wealth of underwater flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...

, marine life and diving thrills awaiting the underwater explorer. Several companies specializing in diving services offer a complete range of diving courses, diving equipment and activities. The diving available in Oman provides adventure and enjoyment with dramatic wall drop-offs to scenic coral
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...

 lined fjords. Sea life is abundant with a variety of hard and soft corals. Oman enjoys an average visibility of 20-30 meters. Night dives are popular and divers are often astounded by the amount of phosphorescence
Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. Its name is a hybrid word, originating from the Greek bios for "living" and the Latin lumen "light". Bioluminescence is a naturally occurring form of chemiluminescence where energy is released by a chemical reaction in...

 found. Several dive sites encircle Muscat and (PADI
Padi or PADI may refer to:* Padi, Chennai, India* Padi , a musical group* Paddy field, a type of cultivated land * Professional Association of Diving Instructors, a scuba organization...

 instruction)is available .

Turtle, dolphin and bird watching

Several species of turtles living for over 100 years swim the length and breadth of the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and return every year to lay their eggs on the beaches of Ras al Hadd
Ras al hadd
Ras al Hadd is a village in Ash Sharqiyah district in Oman. It is considered the last point in the East of Oman and is located in the conjunction between Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea...

, Ras Al Junayz and Masirah island.

Dolphins frequent the seas of the Oman on a regular basis and can be seen in close proximity to the coast. Whales can also be found swimming in the waters of Oman, albeit less frequently, in particular the Humpback
Humpback Whale
The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from and weigh approximately . The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the...

 and the Orca
The killer whale , commonly referred to as the orca, and less commonly as the blackfish, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas...

. Fahal Island is a good site to spot dolphins in hundreds roaming around or following the tuna. Spinner
Spinner Dolphin
The Spinner Dolphin is a small dolphin found in off-shore tropical waters around the world. It is famous for its acrobatic displays in which they spin longitudinally along their axis as they leap through the air.-Taxonomy:...

, Common
Common dolphin
The common dolphin is the name given to two species of dolphin making up the genus Delphinus.Prior to the mid-1990s, most taxonomists only recognised one species in this genus, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis...

 and some Bottlenose dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Bottlenose dolphins, the genus Tursiops, are the most common and well-known members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphins. Recent molecular studies show the genus contains two species, the common bottlenose dolphin and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin , instead of one...

s are the main types. Orcas playing round the island have also been reported. Trips are normally carried out using traditional Omani fishing boats in early morning and at sunset.

Oman is increasingly becoming a significant destination for bird watching. More than 460 different bird species have been recorded in Oman, out of which, 80 species have been classified as resident, while the rest are migrant and seasonal species. Oman offers a unique opportunity to watch birds from Europe, Africa and Asia in one spot during their annual migrations in Spring and Autumn. These migratory periods coincide with the cooler weather between October and April. Some of the common resident species one expects to see within or around Muscat include: Herons (Striated and Western Reef), Osprey
The Osprey , sometimes known as the sea hawk or fish eagle, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than in length and across the wings...

s, Swift Term, Laughing Dove
Laughing Dove
The Laughing Dove is a small pigeon which is a resident breeding bird in the tropics in Africa south of the Sahara, the Middle East and southern Asia east to India. In India it is also known as the Little Brown Dove...

s, Egyptian Vultures, and Indian Roller
Indian Roller
The Indian Roller , also called the Blue Jay in former times is a member of the roller family of birds. They are found in southern Asia from Iraq to Thailand and are best known for the aerobatic displays of the male during the breeding season...

. Common Migrant and seasonal species include: Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
The Cattle Egret is a cosmopolitan species of heron found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Bubulcus, although some authorities regard its two subspecies as full species, the Western Cattle Egret and the Eastern Cattle Egret...

, Little Stint
Little Stint
The Little Stint, Calidris minuta , is a very small wader. It breeds in arctic Europe and Asia, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to Africa and south Asia...

, Greater Flamingo
Greater Flamingo
The Greater Flamingo is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southern Asia , and southern Europe...

, Caspian Gull
Caspian Gull
Caspian Gull is a name applied to the gull taxon Larus cachinnans, a member of the Herring Gull/Lesser Black-backed Gull complex.- Description :...

, Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
The Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata, is a small passerine bird in the Old World flycatcher family. It breeds in most of Europe and western Asia, and is migratory, wintering in Africa and south western Asia. It is declining in parts of its range....

, Grey Heron
Grey Heron
The Grey Heron , is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae, native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is resident in the milder south and west, but many birds retreat in winter from the ice in colder regions...

, Dunlin
The Dunlin, Calidris alpina, is a small wader, sometimes separated with the other "stints" in Erolia. It is a circumpolar breeder in Arctic or subarctic regions. Birds that breed in northern Europe and Asia are long-distance migrants, wintering south to Africa, southeast Asia and the Middle East...

, Sandwich Tern, Red and Green shanks
Tringa is a genus of waders, containing the shanks and tattlers. They are mainly freshwater birds, often with brightly coloured legs as reflected in the English names of six species, as well as the specific names of two of these and the Green Sandpiper. They are typically associated with northern...

, Ruff
The Ruff is a medium-sized wading bird that breeds in marshes and wet meadows across northern Eurasia. This highly gregarious sandpiper is migratory and sometimes forms huge flocks in its winter grounds, which include southern and western Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Australia...

 and White Wagtail
White Wagtail
"Pied Wagtail" redirects here. For the related African bird, see African Pied Wagtail.The White Wagtail is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. This species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa...


There is a massive array of bird watching sites in other parts of the country. Eagles are popular in Musandam
Musandam Governorate is a governorate of Oman.Geographically, the Musandam peninsula juts into the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow entry into the Persian Gulf, from the Arabian Peninsula. The Musandam peninsula is an exclave of Oman, separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates...

. Arabian Oryx
Arabian Oryx
The Arabian Oryx or White Oryx is a medium sized antelope with a distinct shoulder hump, long straight horns, and a tufted tail. It is a bovid, and the smallest member of Oryx genus, native to desert and steppe areas of the Arabian peninsula...

 Sanctuary in Al-Wusta Region provides an excellent opportunity to watch desert species, notably Spotted Sand Grouse, Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

 and Houbara Bustard
Houbara Bustard
The Houbara Bustard, Chlamydotis undulata, is a large bird in the bustard family.-Description:The Houbara Bustard is a small to mid-sized bustard. It measures in length and spans across the wings. It is brown above and white below, with a black stripe down the sides of its neck. In flight, the...

. Masirah Island is the home of thousands of birds especially in the winter such as Greater Flamingo
Greater Flamingo
The Greater Flamingo is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southern Asia , and southern Europe...

, Seagulls, Terns and Herons. Dhofar with its diverse terrain and monsoon rains is a true paradise for birds particularly African species.

Whale watching

Whales visit the shores beaches of the Sultanate at irregular intervals, especially in Ash Sharqiyah and Al Wusta regions, in addition to Dhofar Governorate. The most famous types of whales that visit Oman are: Bryde’s Whales or Tropical Whales, Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Sperm Whales, Dwarf Sperm Whales, Cuvier's Beaked Whale, Pygmy Killer Whales, Killer Whales, Melon-Headed Whales and False Killer Whale. Note that dolphins that are often seen in Oman sea belong to the whale species.

Desert safari

The most renowned Omani desert is Sharqiyah Sands (formerly Wahiba Sands) with its dune
In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind...

s rising to nearly 200 meters. Witnessing sun setting is an inspiring event in itself but once the sun has drifted below the dunes a truly spectacular blanket of stars is revealed. Desert adventures in Oman can be by camelback or four-wheel drives. Activities generally include sleeping out in Barsti huts, Omani BBQ under the stars, camel riding and visiting the Bedouins. No desert tour would be complete without jumping on-board a sand board. As with snow boarding, sand boarding is becoming a loved sport.


Oman abounds with many caves of different sizes, topography and ruggedness, some of which can be accessed with a group of amateurs, like Muqal Cave in Wadi Bani Khalid in Ash Sharqiyah region, while others need considerable effort, training, experience and specialized equipment. The most famous cave in Oman is Al-Hoota cave. It's located at the foot of Jebel Shams
Jebel Shams
Jebel Shams , is a mountain located in northeastern Oman north of Al Hamra town. It is the highest mountain of the country and part of Al Hajar Mountains range. It is a popular sightseeing area located 240 km from Muscat...

 of Al Hamra
Al Hamra
Al Hamra is a 400-year-old town in the region Ad Dakhiliyah, in northeastern Oman. It is home to the mountainside village of Misfat Al Abryeen. Ghul lies to the west of the town....

. It has one of the largest cave systems in the world.

The limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 rich sedimentary deposits of Oman's mountains offers some of the most exhilarating cave adventures in the world. There are caves to suit all adventurer's tastes from simple to complex. Oman is home of the world's second largest cave, Majlis Al Jinn
Majlis al Jinn
Majlis al Jinn also Majlis al-Jinn , local name: Khoshilat Maqandeli is the ninth largest cave chamber in the world, as measured by the surface area of the floor. It ranks higher when measured by volume...

 (Genies meeting place) with a volume of 4m cubic meters. Be sure to bring long rope as the entrance to the cave is 160 meter free descent. Al Hotah Cave near Al Hamra features an underground cavern and unique underground lake system. Other caves of interest are Moqul Cave in Wadi Bani Khalid
Wadi Bani Khalid
[File:Wadi Bani Khalid oman.jpg|thumb|Add caption here]]]]Wadi Bani Khalid is a wadi about 203 km from Muscat, Oman. It is the best-known wadi of the Sharqiyah region. Its stream maintains a constant flow of water throughout the year. Large pools of water and boulders are scattered along the...

 and the mostly unexplored Tiq Cave in Dhofar
The Dhofar region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. Its mountainous area covers and has a population of 215,960 as of the 2003 census. The largest town in the region is Salalah. Historically, it was the chief source of frankincense in the world. However, its frankincense...



Omani Souqs (Markets) are preferrable locations to purchase handicrafts and are always bustling with tourists]]Omani markets are characterized by their diversity. Old markets are full of handicrafts like silver, gold, textiles and masterpieces produced by other Omani industries like daggers and coexist with modern shopping malls and other shopping centres that contain everything the visitor is looking for at the best prices.

As for the traditional markets in Oman, the morning hours are the best time for shopping. There are Souqs in every Omani town. The most famous amongst these are the Ruwi and Muttrah Souq. Shoppers can even get their hands on old Arabian muskets at these souqs.

Trekking and rock climbing

Rock climbing enthusiasts of all levels will find plenty to keep them busy as routes of all grades are available. Rugged mountains, steep cliffs overlooking breathtaking sceneries, rouged paths, deep canyons and towering cliffs present an enigmatic challenge. The rocky towers of Wadi Ghool, scales to a height of 300 meters and the gorgeous façade
A facade or façade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face"....

 of Jabal Mishfat has climbs from 120 to 500 meters. Abal Misht remains the model location due to its rocky façade that extends roughly for 6 km and rises to 850 m. The book "Rock Climbing in Oman" suggest some of the best climbs in Oman.

From intimidating deserts to rugged mountains, serene beaches and tranquil wadis; Oman's landscape offers some exciting opportunities for adventure. Avid trekkers will enjoy the walks through trails over mountains and into canyons, some which have running water all the year round. At the village of Mazara you will find rocky tracks fording the wadi, crystal clear pools of water ideal for a swim. You can hike 13 km into the canyon clear through the other side. Heading out of Mazara on the track to the coast will take you to unusual limestone formations and a track that leads to another scenic area of Wadis Arbien and Suwaih. Both of these Wadis have running water with spots ideal for picnicking and swimming. If you enjoy narrow slot canyons with sheer faces and crystalline pools of water, Wadi Shab, Snake Canyon and Wadi Hajir have just what you are looking for. The book "Adventure Trekking in Oman" covers a number of suitable routes. Oman Tourism Portal will soon make some trekking maps available online.


Nearly every Omani city and town has it own fort. Most of them were built or had major expansions during Al-Yarubi
History of Oman
-Prehistory:Prehistoric migration of Homo Sapiens is likely to have taken place around 100,000 years ago and to have followed the coastlines from Africa along Yemen and the sea shores of Oman. Archaeological sites in Yemen and Oman have yielded a stone tool style that is distinct from the East...

 dynasty rule of Oman in between 1624 and 1744. They represent the fine Omani architecture and prosperity at that time. In times of war and with high and thick walls, their purpose was as a refuge for the people and a last line of defense for the town. Forts were prepared to withstand long siege with water wells, food storing capacity and secret tunnels ending many kilometers away from the walls of the fort. In times of peace they served as a centre of governance, a place for education and a social interaction point.

The list is long but here are some of the well-known names: Al-Jalali Fort, Al-Mirani Fort, Nakhal Fort
Nakhal Fort
Nakhal Fort is a large fort in the Middle East in the Al Batinah Region of the sultanate state of Oman....

, Rustaq Fort, Sohar Fort, Nizwa Fort, Bahla Fort
Bahla Fort
Bahla Fort is one of four historic fortresses situated at the foot of the Djebel Akhdar highlands in Oman. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the oasis of Bahla was prosperous under the control of the Banu Nebhan tribe. The fort's ruined adobe walls and towers rise some...

, Qurayat Fort, Khasab Fort, Al-Hellah Fort, Al-Khandaq Fort, As-Suwaiq Fort, Barka Fort, Bait An-Nuaman, Al-Hazm Fort, Ibri Fort, Bait Ar-Radaidah, Jibrin Fort, Al-Muntarib Fort, As-Sunaisilah Fort, Bilad Sur Fort, Ras al-Hadd Fort, Mirbat Fort, Sadah Fort and Taqa Fort.

World Heritage Sites

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 through its International Heritage Preserve Programme Administration
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

, aim to categorise all significant heritage sites worldwide.

Bahla Fort

Bahla Fort
Bahla Fort
Bahla Fort is one of four historic fortresses situated at the foot of the Djebel Akhdar highlands in Oman. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the oasis of Bahla was prosperous under the control of the Banu Nebhan tribe. The fort's ruined adobe walls and towers rise some...

, Bahla Fort lies in Bahla State in Dakiliya region. Since 1987, its name has been included in the World Heritage Sites List. Bahla Fort includes: Bahla Oasis with its traditional souks, old alleys, ancient mosques and its wall that extends over a distance of approximately 13 kilometres and whose construction dates back to the pre-Islamic era.
Originally, Bahla Fort was built in the third millennium BC. The length of its South façade is about 112 kilometres, while its eastern façade is about 114 metres.
It is evident that Bahla Wall that extends over a distance of 12 kilometres, with its terraces, apertures for opening fire and guards houses had been designed for defence purposes.

Ancient settlements and tombs

The third millennium (BC) settlement and tombs in Bat, the Al-Khatm and Al-Ain locations in Adh-Dhahira region, Bat Tombs historical sites are located in Bat, Al Khutum and Al Ayn in Ad Dhahirah region in Ibri Governorate. They are considered one of the archaeological and historical sites that date back to the third century BC and are located to the east of Ibri. In 1988, Bat Tombs was the second site to be included in the World Heritage list in Oman.
In the southern part, the site is a collection of graves built on the lines of those found in Um AnNar, while in the northern part, the graves look like beehives and date back to the third millennium BC. The architecture is similar to the tombs built in the Hafit period. Another cemetery containing 100 tombs built of stone was also discovered, where the evolution from the beehive style to cemeteries built during Um AnNar period is apparent. While the beehive cemetery contained between two to five tombs, Um AnNar cemeteries were mass graves. A similar cemetery of this style was discovered containing 30 burial chambers. The historic significance of the Bat site is that it is located at the crossroads of an ancient trade route. Caravans loaded with goods heading to other nearby destinations passed through Bat. Included with the Bat settlement in the World Heritage List are two other sites: Al Khutum “Al Wahrah” and Wadi Al Ayn Tombs.

Frankincense Route

The luban (frankincense
Frankincense, also called olibanum , is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra, B. carteri, B. thurifera, B. frereana, and B. bhaw-dajiana...

) route in Dhofar
The Dhofar region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. Its mountainous area covers and has a population of 215,960 as of the 2003 census. The largest town in the region is Salalah. Historically, it was the chief source of frankincense in the world. However, its frankincense...

. The route comprises the ancient cities of Al-Blaid and Shasr, Khuwr Rori, and Wadi Dooka. These locations collectively contributed to the flourishing of frankincense trade for many centuries.
The frankincense trees in Wadi Dukah, the Al Shisur Oases and the ports of Khawr Ruri and Khawr Al Baleed have contributed to the prosperity of the frankincense trade in the region for several centuries. It was one of the most active trades in the Middle Ages and earlier.

The Frankincense Route contains a number of sites where the process of manufacturing and exporting of frankincense took place. Some of the frankincense trails incorporated in the World Heritage List in 2000 are:


Five falajs. In July 2006, the World Heritage Committee endorsed the inclusion of the five Omani falajs in the World Heritage List to express the international standing of this unique water system that represents a cultural legacy created by the Omanis over 2,000 years ago, being the oldest irrigation structure in the region. It is still the major source of irrigation in the Sultanate and a water source that can be relied on in most Omani cities and villages. It is rare to find anything like these falajs elsewhere in the world. They are:
  • Falaj Daris is one of the largest falaj in Oman and lies in Wilayat Nizwa in A'Dakhiliyah Region. It is a Dawoodi Falaj. It consists of two branches: The “Big Branch” running for a length of 1,700 metres, and the "Small Branch” with a length of 1,900 metres. Falaj Daris stems from Wadi Al Abyad (White Valley). A lot of this State’s residents depend on Falaj Daris to water their crops that extend from Shariat Al Falaj in Daris to the market area.
  • Falaj Al Khatmayn: Falaj Al Khatmayn lies in Birkat Al Mawz village in Wilayat Nizwa in A'Dakhiliyah Region. It is a Dawoodi Falaj and is fed by Wadi Al Muaydin that flows heavily during rainfall. Its total length is about 2,450 metres. It is a branch of the Dawoodi falaj that flows plentifully during heavy rainfall. Its overall length is about 2,450 metres. Falaj Al Khatmayn is characterized by its acute precision in the distribution of falaj water and continuous flow throughout the year. What distinguishes this Falaj is that its course runs through Bayt Ar Rudaydah, one of the famous castles in Oman.
  • Falaj Al Malaki: Falaj Al Malaki is located in Wilayat Izki in A'Dakhiliyah Region. and is one of the oldest falaj in the Sultanate. Falaj Al Malaki is considered one of the largest Dawoodi Falaj as it has 17 branches that feed the falaj.
  • Falaj Al Muyassar: Falaj Al Muyassar is one of the most important falajs in Wilayat Ar Rustaq in Al Batinah Region. It is characterized by its deep waterway and the large number of its branches
  • Falaj Al Jaylah: Falaj Al Jaylah is an Ayni Falaj. It lies in Al Jaylah town in Sur in A'Sharqiyah Region(Eastern Region) and is fed by Wadi AlShab. Feeding from Wadi Shab, this falaj is the town’s main water source. The length of its open channels that starts from the fountainhead and ends and at the water basin is 161 metres. Falaj Al Jaylah water is used for irrigation. This falaj has been included in the World Heritage List.

Horse and camel racing

Between the months of September and June equestrian
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 races organised by Oman Equestrian Federation are held in various towns. The Royal Stables in Seeb is a good spot to observe equestrian events staged for public and private gatherings. Al Kamil/Al Wafi region of the country has the best breeders and trainers. Horse Races are often opened by the art of Al-Taghrood (chanting) enticing riders and horses. This act signifies both courage and chivalry and lauds the virtues of the horses.

Omani people take pride and full care in raising their camels implementing strict methods of taming and nourishment. Camels bred for racing undergo intensive training in order to compete at national and international levels. Camels are given names reflecting their respective abilities and endurance. A good racing camel can fetch a price of R.O. 30,000 (US $ 77,400). Jockeys are drafted for their size (or lack thereof) and some make their professional debuts around five years old. Camels participate in long distance races held on specially built race tracks. Crowd enthusiasm is high on these occasions. The races are normally held on public holidays and during National Day celebrations. As with Horse Races, camel races are arranged by OEF. Some Regions organize their own local races.

Muscat Festival

Muscat Festival is held annually between January and February. With a large Heritage Village on-site, visitors can experience the traditional Omani lifestyle, through various artistic and cultural activities held daily. As the Festival comes to town, so too does the Circus as well as a wide range of musical stars, both local and international. The Festival also hosts a vast array of international exhibitors. Furthermore, local and foreign troupes engage audience with their folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 dances and amusement parks charm the children.

Salalah Festival

Salalah Festival takes place in the months of July and August. As the temperature soars in the North of Oman and the rest of the Gulf states, the Khareef
Khareef is a colloquial Arabic term used in southern Oman and southeastern Yemen for the south east monsoon. The monsoon affects Dhofar Governorate and Al Mahrah Governorate from about June to early September. Towns such as Salalah depend upon the khareef for water supply...

 season sweeps over the Southern part of Oman dropping temperature to and below 23°C (73 °F). Salalah in Dhofar gears up to take over the role as the Oman top tourist destination. The monsoon rains nourish the region of Dhofar and fog hangs over the land, resulting in some of the most stunning natural scenery. The festival rolls into town with plenty of family fun in the form of cultural, traditional and modern artistic shows. This combination of idyllic weather, the green land and man-made celebrations make visitors experience something truly unique.

Cultural Theatre Program

Every year, during the period from December to the end of March, the Ministry of Tourism organises a number of cultural evenings at the ancient Al Flayj Castle Theatre, hosting popular groups from around the world.

The Ministry also organises similar evenings in Al Morooj Theatre, Salalah, Dhofar Governorate.

Dubai–Muscat Offshore Sailing Race

Dubai–Muscat Regatta takes place every January. Boats set sail from Dubai passing through the Straits of Hormuz before heading down towards Muscat, ending their quest at the Bandar Al-Rawdah Marina.

Sinbad Classic

An international deep sea fishing contest, the Sinbad Classic is one of the IGFA World Championships qualifying rounds taking place each April with participants coming from all across the globe to fish in the event. The 2008 event runs from 27-29 March and in contrast to previous years is taking a firm stance on sustainable development within the sports industry. For more information on the Sinbad Classic go to

Oman Adventures

This event which is held annually in November features teams of two individuals each; one runs while the other cycles. Held over a five-day period, with each day constituting a one-day phase, the race starts in the early hours of the morning and concludes in the evening, with a one-off special night phase. The challengers face a systematically organised course parts of which necessitate the carrying of the bicycle on the shoulders. Each team is entirely responsible for the preparation and coordination of their own food and water supply, in addition to any spare parts needed for their bicycles.

Oman Intl. Rally

Oman International Rally; held annually in March, is one of the few rallies that constitute the Middle East Rally Championship.

Oman Desert Express

An annual event held in February, the Oman Desert Express Rally is of great interest to adventurers seeking the ultimate challenge of nature.

Bidiyah Challenge

Held every February in the town of Bidiya
Bidiya or Bidiyah is a town in the middle of the Ash Sharqiyah Region of the Sultanate of Oman. It is located at 233 kilometers from the capital city, Muscat...

 in Sharqiyah Region. Recently introduced to the Gulf Region’s sporting calendar, the aim of the race is to scale sand dunes in the least possible time.

Oman World Fireworks Championship 2010

The Oman World Fireworks Championship 2010 was one of the largest and most spectacular fireworks competition in the world. It was part of the 40th National Day Celebrations of the Sultanate of Oman, and it considered to be the largest fireworks event ever held in the Middle East. Coming from Europe, Asia, Australasia and the Americas, six of the world's very best pyrotechnic production companies had put their skills, artistry and technological know-how to the test, as they battle it out for the coveted Champion's Trophy. The Winner's Trophy was awarded to Lacroix-Ruggieri of France, with second place tied between Panzera of Italy and Vulcan of China.

Tour of Oman

This cross-country cycling event is now held annually. Its stated goals are to promote cycling as a sport in Oman; to put Oman on the world stage as an attractive tourist destination; and stimulate trade and economic activity within the country.


Almost all International Hotel Chains have opened up their outlets in Oman seeing the Sultanate's vast tourism potential. Grand Hyatt, Crowne Plaza
Crowne Plaza
Crowne Plaza is a chain of full service, upscale hotels catering to business travelers and to the meetings and conventions market. It forms part of the InterContinental Hotels Group family of brands, which include InterContinental and Holiday Inn and operates in 52 countries, usually located in...

, Intercontinental
InterContinental Hotels Group
InterContinental Hotels Group plc is a global hotels company headquartered in Denham, United Kingdom. It is the largest hotels company in the world measured by rooms , and has over 4,500 hotels across over 100 countries...

, Shangri-La
Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains...

, Chedi
The Chedi Muscat
The Chedi Muscat is a luxury 5-star hotel and restaurant in Al Azaiba in northwest Muscat, Oman, set on a private beach. The hotel has 156 rooms and fuses together traditional Omani architecture with Zen, Arabic, Japanese and European influences....

, Ramada
Ramada is a hotel chain owned and operated by Wyndham Worldwide.- History :The lodging chain was founded in 1953 by longtime Chicago restaurateur Marion W...

, Sheraton
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts is Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide's largest and second oldest brand . Starwood's headquarters are in White Plains, New York.-Sheraton history:...

 and Golden Tulip Hospitality Group
Golden Tulip Hospitality Group
Golden Tulip Hospitality Group is a hotel company with its head office in Amersfoort, Netherlands.At one time the company considered merging with Apollo Hotels & Resorts. In 2009 Golden Tulip went into voluntary receivership...

 are just a few to be named. Apart from this the domestic Hotel Chains have also made a brand name for themselves like Al Nahda Resort, etc.


Oman’s mix of traditional and cosmopolitan shopping venues offers a great insight into the life and culture of Omani people. The traditional Arabic market place is called the Souq
A souq is a commercial quarter in an Arab, Berber, and increasingly European city. The term is often used to designate the market in any Arabized or Muslim city, but in modern times it appears in Western cities too...

 and it sells household items as well as traditional handcrafts. Beside its economic purpose, the Souq has long been a focal point of social interaction. A visit to Muttrah, Nizwa and Salalah Souqs is a must. Tourists could buy carved hand-made distinctive Omani Khanjars
The khanjar is the traditional dagger of Oman. It is similar to the Yemeni jambiya.The khanjar is curved and sharpened on both edges...

 (daggers), rose-water sprinklers, fragrant frankincense
Frankincense, also called olibanum , is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra, B. carteri, B. thurifera, B. frereana, and B. bhaw-dajiana...

, incense
Incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term "incense" refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, and for...

 burners, garments, rug
A carpet is a textile floor covering consisting of an upper layer of "pile" attached to a backing. The pile is generally either made from wool or a manmade fibre such as polypropylene,nylon or polyester and usually consists of twisted tufts which are often heat-treated to maintain their...

s and saddle
A saddle is a supportive structure for a rider or other load, fastened to an animal's back by a girth. The most common type is the equestrian saddle designed for a horse, but specialized saddles have been created for camels and other creatures...

s. Women jewellery ranges from small silver boxes, to earrings and rings, bracelet
A bracelet is an article of jewelry which is worn around the wrist. Bracelets can be manufactured from metal, leather, cloth, plastic or other materials and sometimes contain jewels, rocks, wood, and/or shells...

s, anklet
An anklet, also called ankle chain or ankle bracelet, is an ornament worn around the ankle. Barefoot anklets and toe rings historically have been worn for centuries by girls and women in India. In the United States both casual and more formal anklets became fashionable in the late twentieth century...

s and necklaces. In some Souqs like Nizwa and Sinaw livestock are auctioned and bartered.


Omani cuisine is a tasty blend of flavor as a long tradition of seafaring and trade has brought culinary influences to Oman. The diverse terrain of the country has created styles of cooking that vary from region to region. The first thing that most visitors will sample is the rich and aromatic Omani coffee (kahwa). Served from the typical metallic or ceramic jug called 'Dallah' into tiny cups 'Fingans'. The coffee powder is brewed with water and spices, notably cardamom
Cardamom refers to several plants of the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India and Bhutan; they are recognised by their small seed pod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds...

 and is served without sugar. The traditional accompaniments are dates
Date Palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...

 and 'Halwa'. Halwa is a sticky dessert made from sugar and spices and flavoured with sesame
Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods....

 seeds or almonds. This dish is always present in special occasions.

The Omani cuisine uses a variety of spices: cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

, cardamom
Cardamom refers to several plants of the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India and Bhutan; they are recognised by their small seed pod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds...

, cloves, black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, onion, ginger, garlic and lime. Rice is eaten for lunch almost in daily basis plain or coloured. Plain rice is served with Marak, a curry made from vegetable with lamb, chicken or fish. Makbous is a rice dish, tinged yellow with saffron
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Crocus is a genus in the family Iridaceae. Each saffron crocus grows to and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas, which are each the distal end of a carpel...

. The Rukhal bread is a round bread and it is eaten at any meal and typically served with honey for breakfast or crumbled over curry for dinner.

The two main religious festivals Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha feature specially prepared dishes. The principal dish is Shuwa. An entire cow or goat is marinated in a mix of spices, wrapped in banana leaves and then roasted for over 48 hours in a special underground pit oven. Other dishes include Aurssia (lamb or chicken cooked with rice), and Harees
Harees or harissa is a Middle Eastern dish of boiled, cracked, or coarsely-ground wheat and meat or chicken. Its consistency varies between a porridge and a dumpling.-Preparation:...

 (wheat mixed with meat) and Mishkak (char grilled meat chops).

A wide variety of restaurants are available Arabian, Indian, African, Chinese, French and International. Fast food outlets like McDonald’s, Hardee’s and Pizza Hut can also be found.

See also

  • Oman
    Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

  • Royal Opera House Muscat
    Royal Opera House Muscat
    The Royal Opera House Muscat is Oman's premier venue for musical arts and culture. It was officially opened on October 12th, 2011, with a production of the opera Turandot, conducted by Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo. The opera house is located in Shati Al-Qurm district of Muscat, Oman...

  • Geography of Oman
    Geography of Oman
    Oman is a country situated in Southwest Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and United Arab Emirates .-Location:...

  • Economy of Oman
    Economy of Oman
    Oman is a country in the Middle East. has expanded continuously in the past half-a-century. It grew 339% in the Sixties reaching a peak growth of 1,370% in the Seventies scaling back to modest 12% growth in the turbulent Eighties and rising again to 34% in the Nineties.-Macro-economic trend:This...

  • Cities in Oman
  • Provinces of Oman
    Provinces of Oman
    The regions and governorates of Oman are subdivided into provinces .-Ad Dakhiliyah Region:*Nizwa*Samail*Bahla* Adam*Al Hamra*Manah*Izki...

  • Muscat
    Muscat, Oman
    Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2008, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 1,090,797. The metropolitan area spans approximately and includes six provinces called wilayats...

  • Muttrah
  • Salalah
    Salalah , is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009....

  • Sohar
    Sohar is the most developed city in Sultanate of Oman outside the capital Muscat. It is about 200 kilometers north of Muscat. Sohar was an ancient capital of Oman and many believe it to be the birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor...

  • Nizwa
    -Attractions:The main tourist attractions in the city are Nizwa Fort, the traditional Souq and Falaj Daris. In the 1990s, the Jama, the fort and the souq which sit next to each other in the centre were renovated using the same traditional materials...

  • Sur
    Sur, Oman
    Sur is a capital city of Ash Sharqiyah Region, northeastern Oman, on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. It is located at around , and is 93 miles southeast of the Omani capital Muscat. Historically the city is known for being an important destination point for sailors...

  • Al Alam Palace
    Al Alam Palace
    The Al Alam Palace is the ceremonial palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman.-Overview:The palace was built in 1972. It has a facade of gold and blue...

  • Blue City
    Blue City, Oman
    Al Madina A'Zarqa is a $15 billion megacity project in the Sultanate of Oman. Spread over 32 square square kilometers and 16 kilometers of coastline along the coastal region at Al Sawaadi, only 45 minutes from Muscat. When completed, the city will include more than 20 hotels, hospitals, university...

  • Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
    Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
    Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is a three-hotel resort in Oman opened in late 2005. It comprises the 180-room Al Husn , 198-room Al Bandar , and the 302-room Al Waha.-Awards:...

  • The World Fireworks Championship
    The World Fireworks Championship
    The World Fireworks Championship is one of the largest pyrotechnic competitions in the world. The competition takes place annually over three weeks in December and features separate fireworks displays from six international pyrotechnic production companies....



Visitors impressions

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