The 5 best things to do in Oman

Whether it’s the vast desert of Oman that stretches from one side of the country to the other or the mountains of Hajar  Oman has a range of attractions for visitors. We couldn’t decide which one we liked best, so we’ve put together our top five favourite things to do in Oman.

1. Visit the capital city of Muscat

 

Muscat is one of the hidden gems of the Middle East, but as soon as you arrive in this vibrant city you’ll fall instantly in love with it. At its heart is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It may not be as old as some of the region’s other mosques, but this modern interpretation of traditional Arabic architecture is genuinely stunning. It embraces three of the key elements of Arabian culture – art, religion and, surprisingly, mathematics! It even has the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world, measuring 230ft by 200ft. As well as the mosque you’ll find ultra-modern shopping malls, entertainment, world-class dining and hotels, and a typically warm Omani welcome.

2. Explore the Wahiba Sands

 

Stretching across 110 miles of the country from the north to the south, the Wahiba Sands are just a four-hour drive from Muscat and everything you would expect from a picture-postcard-perfect desert landscape. It’s vast, it’s staggeringly beautiful, and is a wonderful playground for adventurous holidaymakers. Try 4x4 ‘dune bashing’, or camp for the night and see the stars as you’ve never seen them before. Film buffs will love this place too, as it’s served as the location for The Matrix and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

3. The majestic Hajar Mountains

 

Oman is a wonderful country for adventure travellers, and the Hajar Mountains that line the country’s northern border are a fabulous playground for those who love going off the beaten track. They’re the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, so if you’re into trekking, climbing and hiking then this is definitely the destination for you. You won’t have to ‘rough it’ too much, though, as there’s some excellent luxury accommodation on offer. Our top tip: Make sure you plan at least one trek to the top of Jebel Shams, the highest mountain in the entire range, for some exceptional sunset views.

4. Diving in the Gulf of Oman

 

The Gulf of Oman is one of those world-class diving spots that only those in the know are aware of. Avoid the crowds at the usual hot-spots along the Med and head to the coast of Oman for waters that are filled with wildlife and are crystal-clear, making them ideal for open-water scuba diving and snorkelling. There’s also some seriously good sports fishing to be tried here, too.

5. Discover a lost city

 

For thousands of years, the city of Ubar was thought to be nothing but a legend. However, in 1992 Ubar was rediscovered, hidden under the desert sands. Today, this land-locked ‘Atlantis’ has been brought back to life, and archaeologists are slowly uncovering its secrets, including its distinctive octagonal fortress with eight towers, and thousands of artefacts dating back to 3000BC.