Pearl of the Middle East - Oman
Being a corner spot in the Middle East, located between the Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Oman is a powerful Sultanate that lies snug but strategically. I've developed a love for this country and its ancient traditions, sandy desert-scapes and breathtaking coastline. An overview of my last trip to the far end of the Arabian Peninsula.
Misconception of Safety
Many ask me if it’s safe to travel to Oman. And yes, unlike its neighbour Yemen, Oman is a safe place for tourists. Although human rights have a different meaning in this absolute monarchy of the Sultan, tourism is growing exponentially. The Omani people are welcoming and friendly towards their visitors and proud to share their cultural and natural wonders.
The capital of Oman is located at the coast and just off the tip of the United Arab Emirates Peninsula. This peninsula forms the separation between the Gulf of Persia and the Gulf of Oman. The straight of Hormuz is a strip of sea that's only 39km wide but it of essential importance to the world. One third of the world's natural gas and 20% of the global oil passes through here.
Unlike almost any country in the West, Oman has a very young population. 43% of the Omani are under 15 years old and yet, traditions are kept with great respect. Below you can see pictures of the traditional dress of men and women and their ornaments.
Another young asset of Oman is the Grand Mosque in Muscat. The construction of the breathtaking Sultan Qaboos Mosque only started in1994. In 2000, the 416.000 square meter complex was finally open to worshippers.
I left Muscat behind me and drove inland to visit the Hajar mountains of Oman, the highest region in Eastern Arabia. The highest peak, Jebel Akhdar, consists mainly of limestone and measures 3075 metres in altitude. I've enjoyed the dazzling views during my drive through this dry mountain range. Truly a spectacular sight.
Middle Eastern Luxury
You've probably seen or heard of the luxury mentality in the United Arab Emirates. Well, in Oman is not staying behind when it comes to luxury pleasures. Below some photos of "The Chedi Muscat" Experience.
I definitely recommend visiting Oman and it's natural as well as cultural beauty. Tourism in the Middle East is growing fast and especially in Muscat, which was declared "Best City to Visit" by Lonely Planet a few years back.