Thing's to do in Oman
Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It has become popular in recent years and makes for us a nice change from the hustle and bustle of other Arab countries such as Dubai.
Quietly imposing from the outside, this glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year of reign. The Persian carpet alone measures 70m by 60m wide, making it the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world; it took 600 women four years to weave. Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering arms and legs and avoiding tight clothing. Women and girls (aged seven and above) must cover their hair
Khor Al Sham
This beautiful inlet is interesting for its stone fishing villages, accessible only by boat. Huge flocks of seabirds, particularly comorants, gulls and terns, can be seen along the cliffs surrounding the entrance to this inlet. It's best visited on a dhow cruise from Khasab.
This traditional souq is housed under some makeshift awnings in a sandy-coloured complex of buildings just off the corniche, and is a fun place to explore. Selling camel ropes and walking sticks, piles of spices, fruits and vegetables, it's very much a locals' market, but there are a couple of shops selling bright-coloured headdresses that make good souvenirs. The wet fish market has its own building further west along the corniche.
Many people come to Mutrah Corniche just to visit the souq, which retains the chaotic interest of a traditional Arab market. Shops selling Omani and Indian artefacts together with a few antiques jostle among more traditional textile, hardware and jewelry stores. Bargaining is expected although discounts tend to be small. Cards are generally accepted in most shops, but bring cash for better deals.
Built in 1675 by Imam Bil-Arab Bin Sultan, Jabreen Castle was an important centre of learning for astrology, medicine and Islamic law and, unusually for Oman's forts and castles, there's quite a lot to discover inside the vast battlements. Head for the flagpole for a bird's-eye view of the latticed-window courtyard at the heart of the keep; the rooms here have distinctive painted ceilings.
Royal Opera House, Muscat
Built by the same architects as the Grand Mosque, the Royal Opera House Muscat is worth a visit simply to admire the harmonious amalgam of marble, inlaid wood and arabesque design. In fact, even if you're not intending to catch a show, there's a sociable ambiance at the restaurants and coffee shops outside the opera house and window-shopping is fun in the opulent Opera Galleria arcade that forms part of the same complex.
Find our new SS19 shorts in The Chedi, Muscat. One of the most prestigious hotels in the country.