Oman, an oasis in the desert | Budget Adventure Travel

| May 15, 2017 | 19 Comments

The world as we know it is polarized – Haves & Have-nots, Democratic & Autocratic, Conservative & Liberal, Libertarian & Totalitarian etc.

Growing up, I always imagined if there is any place left in this world that follows a middle-of-the-road path to growth, commerce, social welfare, sustainability and environment policy.

After I discovered the Sultanate of Oman, I must say that the answer to my question could very well be a YES!

View of the City of Nizwa from the fort

View of the City of Nizwa from the fort

Oman is one of those countries that very few people in North America have ever heard of. Yet it occupies an important place in the geography and political environmental of the Middle Eastern countries.

Oman is one of 6 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

Under the leadership of His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the ruler of the country, Oman evolved from a fishing and trading backwater nation to a picturesque and beautiful nation that developed through sustainable development of its oil and gas reserves in just three decades.

Unlike its neighbors, most of whom you probably have heard of and perhaps visited, Oman’s growth strategy was (and still is) not based on excessive and garish development of faux islands and stratospheric buildings. Instead, the sultanate’s focus remained on sustainability and culture.

This is what an oasis in the desert looks

This is what an oasis in the desert looks like

Some notable facts about Oman:

  1. Remember the story of Sinbad the Sailor? Historic and archeological records show that Sinbad was a real sailor and was from Oman (from the port city of Sohar). A replica of his ship, Fulq Al-Salama, can be seen when driving through the City of Muscat.
  2. Oman built the first 7-star hotel in the Middle East – the Al Bustan Palace Hotel – a hotel fit for royalty. Of course, now such hotels are common place in the GCC countries.
  3. The first episode of tv reality game show Survivor was filmed in the lush green mountains of Jabal Akhdar in south Oman.
  4. The now defunct Concorde plane landed and flew out of Oman Airport during the 1970s during a test flight and once again in the 1980s with crew and passengers.
  5. The country is full of surprises and atypical for a middle east nation – it has the desert and snow capped mountains, traditional cultural ways of the Bedouins and modern shopping complexes for urbanites, virtually no restaurant in the Capital city serves up any “Omani” food, yet the City boasts a massive plethora of diverse cuisine.
  6. British culture and customs is not uncommon to find in the capital city of Muscat given the long trading and governance history between the two countries. Not surprisingly, British Airways offers one of the most frequent and extensive air travel routes to this country.
Ultra-luxe Al-Bustan Palace Hotel

Ultra-luxe Al-Bustan Palace Hotel

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Oman | An Oasis in the Desert

Traditional Omani Handicrafts and Culture

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Oman | An Oasis in the Desert

The World’s most exquisite mosque showcasing Islamic craft-work from different parts of the world – The Grand Mosque (below)

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Oman | An Oasis in the Desert

Oman also has modern shopping centers

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Oman | An Oasis in the Desert

The Famous Wahiba Sands where people go wadi-surfing or wadi-bashing in a SUV

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Oman | An Oasis in the Desert

At the same time the country has a lot of natural spring water. And I mean a lot of it!

As far as I know, it is the only GCC nation that has its own mountain spring water bottling facility!! For western Canadians, this is equivalent to having a major bottling facility for fresh glacial waters from the Rocky Mountains.

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Oman | An Oasis in the Desert

No visit to this multifaceted country is complete without a stop at the Nizwa fort

No trip in Oman is complete without doing some Wadi-Bashing (surfing the desert waves in a specially rigged SUV) on the vast Wahiba Sands. Click on the image below to view a clip of this amazing adventure.

larkycanuck.com Travel Adventures Oman

Click image to open video

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Oman | An Oasis in the Desert

For more information and planning a visit to this lovely peaceful oasis of the desert, please visit the Ministry of Tourism website.

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Category: Budget Adventure Travel, Oman Discovered

About the Author ()

Larkycanuck is the pseudonym for the spirited, spontaneous and zestful Canadian. The Blog is focused on showcasing budget adventure travels for working families. Larkycanuck has traveled to over 15 countries, 38 cities in 10 years. He has never quit a job to do this. He travels with his wife and on some trips with the house rabbit (Pepper).

Comments (19)

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  1. Jessica says:

    Fantastic pics and write-up! Now I have another place to add to my “must travel to” list …

  2. dohadude says:

    Nicely written and researched. I just finished my own article about Oman and am happy to feature your post for further reading. I focused on the famous omani hospitality… http://dohadude.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/famous-omani-people/

    best regards from Doha

  3. Thank you for pointing me to your blog by leaving a comment on mine – much appreciated! Insightful post, and I share your sentiments for Oman. I live in Dubai myself, and a trip to Oman is a feast! It is “only” 6 hrs (depending border formalities and traffic) to Muscat from Dubai. And that gorgeous place I wrote about, Musandam (thanks for the link!!!) is not 3 hrs driving from Dubai. One thing, the UAE has at least one spring water bottling plant that I know of, in Al Ain – also called the Garden City of the UAE!

  4. manonthelam says:

    Nice shot of Wadi Shab! I was there last week. 🙂

  5. Wow! The pictures of Oman are awesome! I’m glad you also like this amazing country. Most are kind and hospitable.My hubby and I have amazing stories of how wonderful Omanis are. Enjoy and Cheers!

  6. What a great pictures, will be great to stand there and enjoy that wonderful views.thanks to share

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