Book a holiday to Oman, UAE and read our guide

As one of the oldest civilisations in the Arabian Peninsular, the Sultanate of Oman offers visitors opportunities to immerse themselves in its rich history and heritage.

Oman Introduction

Considered as more unspoilt than some of its neighbours, Oman comprises three very distinct regions: in the south Salalah is a tropical oasis, while the Musandam peninsula in the north is a landscape of mountains and fjords. Most of the built areas and current developments are concentrated around Muscat, the capital city. Oman is ideal for a long weekend or a short break for travellers looking for watersports, exotic and diverese sceneries and an eco-friendly destination.

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diving in Oman
Getting there

National carrier Oman Air operates daily direct flights from London to Muscat International Airport.

Getting around

Taxis are the best way of getting around Muscat, with the bus services which operate between the main cities being reliable. For a twin-centre holiday between Oman and Dubai, travellers can choose between a short flight and the daily bus service connecting the two cities in three hours. Care hire is widely available.

Don't miss

Scuba divers are spoilt for choice in Oman with more than 1,000 miles of coastline and numerous untouched dive sites.The closest ones to Muscat include Bander Knayran Cave Site, Fahal Island and Cemetery Bay. If you have five days to spend in Oman, besides touring Muscat, plan a trek in the Hajar mountains and a desert camping trip for camel riding and spending a night under the stars.

Shopping

Oman is famous for the high quality of its craftsmen whose works can be found in the many traditional souks, especially the Mutrah and Nizwa souks in Muscat. Visitors will be particularly impressed by the sterling silver which can be purchased there. For authentic Omani souvenirs, bring back some fragrant frankincense, hand-crafted khanjars (the traditional Omani dagger) and rose-water sprinklers. The Ruwi commercial district is home to most of the cosmopolitan shopping malls and boutiques in Muscat.

Eating and drinking

Luxury hotels all come with gourmet restaurants and bars. Great eateries include The Chedi which serves Arabian, Mediterranean, Indian and south-east Asian cuisine, the Shahrazad at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, China Mood at the Al Bustan Palace Intercontinental and Tuscany at the Grand Hyatt, all in Muscat. Bars attached to hotels are recommended as alcohol consumption is strictly monitored in the sultanate.

Sightseeing

The Grand Mosque in Muscat is an architectural gem and an impressive religious centre which can host up to 20,000 worshippers.

Also worth noting in the capital city are the old walled port area and two Portuguese forts dating back to the 16th century. Four localities are listed as Unesco world heritage sites including the Castle of Bahla; the settlement and tombs in Bat dating from the third millennium BC; the Frankincense Route in the Governorate of Dhofar and the five Aflaj irrigation systems thought to be two thousand years old.

Type of holiday destination

Oman is perfect for single travellers and couples who are looking for an unique combination of culture and outstanding sceneries. Ecotourism is big on the agenda of the Sultanate and there are plenty of natural beauties to explore during a long weekend or a short break.

Climate

From April to September the weather is hot and humid throughout the country apart from Dhofar. Rainfall varies according to the region; light rain falls in the Dhfar region from June to September, with heavy fog across the hills.

When to go

The period from late September to early April when temperatures are between 25° C  to 35° C is recommended.  

Places to stay

Top quality accommodation in Oman include Al Husn at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa; The Chedi Hotel; The Al Nahda Resort and Spa and the Al Bustan Palace Intercontinental in Muscat; the Six Senses Hideaway at Zighi Bay in Musansam in the north; Desert Nights, a luxury tented camp and simpler camps in Wahiba Sands, two-hour away from Muscat.