In a world where the Middle East seems to be in constant turmoil, it might surprise to find out that there are still great travel destinations in the area, where you can enjoy a respite from the action in fascinating Muscat in Oman and other destinations in this exotic land.
Up until 1970, Oman was considered an under-developed nation and was virtually closed off to the outside world. However, tourism and education have taken off in the country and Oman has seen a great turnaround and has turned into a bustling travel location.
The Omanis themselves are a friendly and helpful people, always ready to assist tourists and are proud of the progress made in their country, as Oman is one of the great sea-faring nations of the world.
Of course, despite the changes in Oman, travelers must always respect the traditions and way of life of the people and there is much to see and do in this historic and fascinating land.
Muscat is the Omani capital and offers much to the tourist, including endless and stunning golden beaches. The city itself has many activities on offer and is a green oasis in what is otherwise a desert land. While ancient buildings have been retained and well-looked after, these mix with more modern construction. The streets of the city display green lawns and shady trees and in winter, a multitude of colorful flowers line the pavements.
Various areas of the city are a respite from the turmoil of daily life as you travel in Oman. Always bearing in mind the local traditions, it is possible to visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, an important religious landmark of the city with all the splendor of Islamic architecture on display and close by the very lovely embassy quarter of Muscat.
For a different experience, head to Muttrah, a separate quarter of the city where you can visit the fish market or walk along the Corniche, a beautiful beachfront promenade where there are many lovely merchant houses to be seen.
The souk in the area is an absolute treasure-trove of souvenirs, with its craft shops selling silverware, local artisans’ work and perfumes.
In the city there are several museums to visit on those hot summer days, including the Museum of Omani Heritage, Bait Al Zubair Museum and National Museum of Oman, where it is possible to learn more about the country and its people.
It is also possible to enjoy a little culture at the Royal Opera House Muscat in the Shati Al-Qurm district of Muscat.
The Portuguese had a hold over Oman way back in time, and tourists can still visit the ancient Portuguese forts of Jalali and Mirani which flank the Al Alam Palace.
Another site that welcomes tourists is the original Palace of HM Sultan Qaboos, where tourists are in great company, as even Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has visited here in the past.
As for the beaches, these attract tourists from all over the world, including Shatti beach, pictured below.
For a look at real luxury, visit the Port of Muscat, where the Sultan’s yacht can often be seen in all its glory. Muscat has the world’s largest natural harbor, and traditional Omani Dhows can also be seen, moored offshore.
While the rest of the world around Oman is in turmoil, travel to this marvelous land continues to be enjoyable and a true respite from daily stressful life, as can be seen in the video included below.
By Anne Sewell