Oman: the Middle East's best-kept secret?



Comments (22)
  • Val Thompson says:

    I have lived in this paradise called Oman for nine years as an expat Brit and live in Sohar two hours drive north of Muscat. Sohar is a bustling town with an international industrial complex. Hotels outside Muscat are not rustic or basic. Sohar has 5* Crowne Plaza and the Sohar Beach Hotel has beautiful gardens stretching down to the beach. The best hotel in Muscat is the Chedi with exquisite zen style gardens on the beach front. Life does not always revolve around Muscat. There is Sur, Salalah with luxury resorts, camel racing, bull fighting everywhere. However don’t forget the stunning Royal Opera House in Muscat where you can see international opera and ballet companies at incredibly low prices.

  • Saneesh says:

    Excellent Review.

    But Many of the tourists forget about Salalah which is the gem of Arabia….

  • Gaurav Mokhasi says:

    The turtle beach at Ras al Jinz near Sur (~400km from Muscat) is another unique experience. Stay at a hotel in Sur, and then drive there around midnight to get a guided tour of the beach where huge turtles unerringly appear to lay eggs. Completely secluded to ensure the turtles aren’t disturbed, the absence of artificial light at the beach gives you an amazing view of the starstudded night sky.
    We also spotted a fox there and were told by the guide that the fox further reduced the already low chances of the baby turtles’ survival. When 1 of the tourists asked why they simply didn’t get rid of the fox, especially since they’d taken so many other measures to protect the turtles, the guide said with his omniscient smile, “You don’t mess with Nature.”

  • Kavita Daga says:

    I have lived in Oman for over 15 years and my parents still continue to live in the beautiful location. Its a heavenly location with wonderful people and freedom to live as you wish. I ahve stayed at Al Husn, ShangriLa very recently with my husband. Having travelled to a lot of countries, I must say that the experience at Shangrila, Al Husn stands no comparison to any other place or 5 star hotel that I have been to. Muscat, you are awesome! Continue being so!! God bless the king and its people!

  • Arun says:

    Brilliantly reviewed. I have been a resident of Oman for over 15 years and the place never seems out of wonder. In addition to the above, some of the must visit sites include the Masirah Islands which has become the hub of adventure sports in Oman, Wahaiba sands for an amazing desert safari and Salalah which is the most scenic location in the county. Also the Muscat Opera Hall is a must visit for those who love arts and performances.

  • Christina Knight says:

    I lived, worked, met my Aussie husband Andy. Married in the Albustan Hotel and had our first child in Oman.
    The people are the most humble, friendliest, and happiest we have ever met.
    Oman will always hold happy memories in our hearts.
    Hopefully one day we will all spend a holiday in this wonderful country

  • Hilary Davidson says:

    And I also take exception to the basic or rustic hotels outside Muscat comment. Consider the Millennium Hotel, 4.5 stars, located on the coast with a fantastic marina and opportunities to scuba dive and snorkel…It is located not far from the old capital of Oman, Ar Rustaq, with its hot springs and wonderful wadis…..

  • Muna RR says:

    Thank you for this review of our beautiful country. We have thought for a long time that Oman is one of the best kept secrets of the World and we pray it will continue and that we shall not change our nature of hospitality and welcome as tourism opens up the country.

  • shiny v says:

    oman is just an awesome place.Born and brought up there,I have never felt that I am an alien out there.Its just like a home away from home.Even if u dont visit any place,the very feel that comes once u land there is pleasant.

  • Shivkumar Iyer says:

    when I arrived here 17 years ago, the predominant feeling was to pull along for a year or so and then get back to India or across to the other gulf countries for better prospects. did not even realise when the double whammy of considerate, kind citizens and the natural beauty of the place just grew on you. so much so that I find my hometown very artificial and people inconsiderate. having travelled across the length and breadth of oman, can say with conviction that there’s no place like this.

  • Mahesh Verma says:

    We have been living in this Paradise for the last 28 years…..and will be delighted if tourists don’t come here and spoil the serenity but will be equally delighted if they do and enjoy the Paradise on the condition that they don’t start screaming “Eureka eureka” almost like Archimedes when they see the absolutely gorgeous landscape.
    The best part of our country is the people, who are humility personified. Do visit our country, our Paradise and please let it remain a Paradise!

  • Ilham Al BUSAIDI says:

    Oman is indeed “a hidden secret” and we hope it continues to be so,
    Why, because as an Omani and with over thirty five years of experience
    In the service industry I know what mass tourism can do to destroy a
    Country. Oman, has all the adjectives applicable in selling a unique destination and more. It’s a destination to be experienced if one is to know what we offer. Be warned however, its not a cheap destination In fact to the contrary it’s an expensive destination but worth every penny you will spend. It’s greatest asset is its people.
    Welcome to Oman to experience the “holiday of a life time”.

  • Ros says:

    I have lived in Oman for 4.5 years and this is a very well written article that describes very well what a tourist may expect from this beautiful country.
    Of course it is impossible to cover all that Oman has to offer in one single article but it gives a very good idea of how different it is from the average destination in that region of the world. It is a gem worth exploring.

  • Shoaib Shaikh says:

    You should have visited ‘Salalah’. Its a 12 hour journey from Muscat. Its surreal natural beauty.

  • Audie Soriano says:

    ..I have live and worked for 15 yrs in that beautiful country together with my family and truly it’s like an oasis in the whole of Middle East..As a Filipino who migrated to US of A, I still considered the Sultanate as my second home and hope someday I can go back and pay a visit to all of my friends there.

  • Vivek Kapoor says:

    Heven in heven Is Oman.The best in Gulf countries.I worked all Gulf but culture,locals,development from 1983 to 2009 have been notices by me in the shelter of H.E Sultan Qaboos bin Ali al Saïd .May allmighty bless him long and healthy life.

  • Will Blake says:

    Certainly is the jewel of the Middke East. What is great to all visiting tourists is you can now have See Muscat at your finger tips by downloading the smart phone app on Android and Apple Devices.

    It’s Free and will help all visiting tourists looking at coming to the Capital as well as a wide range of services and attractions to view in the palm of your hands.

    We’ll recommended

  • M Al Mahrooqi says:

    WOW, I have always believed that our country is the jewel of the Middle East. To read these beautiful comments just confirmed my belief.

    As Omanis we love to interact with people in general and like to give the best hospitality. Any part of Oman you go to you will always be welcomed no matter how reach or poor the person is.

    Thank you very much for such encouraging comments about our country and you are always welcomed:-))

  • priyanka says:

    i ve lived in oman fo over 16 years… it is in fact a very very peaceful place… thanks fo this awesome article. very few pple are aware of this country’s existence… pple need to know what n awesome, pollution and friendly country this 1 is!

  • Lorraine Paton says:

    I have lived in Oman for nearly nine years I love it here. The Omani people are so kind, friendly and are so welcoming to us all. I now live at Jebal Sifah, this is a lovely place 45 mins from old Muscat. There is a lovely boutique hotel, fantastic fish restaurant on the beach and lovely apartments around the marina. There are villas and next year a golf course. Well worth a visit. Oman has so much to offer residents and visitors. It truly is an amazing place well worth a visit 🙂

  • Mohsina Karthik says:

    OMG ! U guys did not visit SALALAH ??? what a loss …
    Oman is nothing without it…

  • Sanjay says:

    Well written article! I have lived in oman for last 11 years and this country never ceases to fascinate me with its beauty. It has got many things which make a great tourist destination – sea, sand, sun, mountain and above all, wonderful Omani people. Many destinations have already been mentioned here but I would like to include Khasab which is in Musandam Peninsula and borders UAE. Famous for its fjords and cliffs plunging into the turquoise sea, it is often called ‘Norway of Arabia’.