May 16, 2019 | By Theresa Tyo
Arabia conjures images of “Arabian Nights,” Sands of Arabia, Ancient History and the essence of Frankincense. –
It was my pleasure to travel to the Sultanate of Oman. It is a secret region that has lots just waiting to be discovered. It has not been visited yet by the masses and because of this, it offers unique and unforgettable adventure to those who travel there.
Oman is a culturally diverse and rich nation, one with ancient traditions, art, folklore that have been passed from generation to generation. But above all of this, the thing that struck me most is the friendliness and generosity of the people.
The Omani people respect others of different cultures and religions. Their smiles are genuine.
If you enjoy learning and studying about the beginnings of humankind, early Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Oman is the place to lose yourself in this exotic region of the world.
Concerns about safety are not an issue. The Omani people are not, nor have been involved in the conflicts with their neighbors or at war with any other region.
For US citizens, obtaining a Visa to visit Oman is simple and inexpensive. All that is needed is to fill out the e-Visa application online for a 26A Tourist Visit Visa, upload a copy of your passport and your photo and complete payment which I believe was $59.00 USD. Your application is submitted and processed for issuing.
Upon arrival into Muscat airport, your visa is issued.
Luxury options in Muscat are abundant. Shangri-La, located about twenty minutes outside of the center, is a place where you can relax and enjoy beautiful surroundings and graceful hospitality. The resort is actually three resorts in one and offers accommodations for couples, families and groups alike. The beach, pools, spa, and dining options are incredible. In the city center, The Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz Carlton hotel, the Kempinski Hotel, and the Chedi Hotel all offer luxurious accommodation, epic service and hospitality.
After visiting the sights, the Royal Opera, and the Sultan Qabous Grand Mosque, both are impressive pieces of architecture and art. A two-hour, forty minute drive then takes you to the Jebel Akhdar, Alila Hotel. Ladies must be respectful to the traditions by wearing attire covering arms and legs and should cover their head with a scarf. Men should wear normal shirts and trousers.
This area is known as “The Grand Canyon of Oman” and it is truly spectacular. Activities include sunrise yoga, archery, movies under the stars, afternoon tea in the Rose Lounge, Via Ferrata, (for those who are more adventurous) and a spa.
Then it is on to the Wahiba Desert to indulge in true “Arabian Nights.” The Magic Arabia, private mobile desert camp, is magical. There is something about the desert, something about the quietness and peace, the stars above as you are served sumptuous food, champagne to toast the desert and its ancient secrets, and to contemplate that you are actually in this magical place that is so undiscovered by most.
After leaving the desert, a short drive takes us to Wadi Bani Khalid. A Wadi is sort of an “oasis” where the waters are refreshing, surrounded by palms and little fish that will nip on the bottom of your feet as you dip your feet into the cooling waters. This “pedicure,” I must say was one of the most interesting things I have ever experienced.
Beach, Dunes, Arabian Sea, Frankincense filled air, lively souks, exotic and enchanting. This is Oman, an experience like no other!