Preserved, picturesque and peaceful – Oman is an Arabian destination with gargantuan appeal. It is, however, relatively undiscovered in terms of tourism, which is equally as enticing if you’re looking for a private Middle-Eastern vacation away from the crowds and glitterati.
If the allure of Oman has you intrigued to find out more, then here we have noted our top 10 reasons to visit this enchanted and charming destination.
1. Meet the Omani people
Ethnically diverse and highly-educated, the Omani people form a modern society that proudly embraces their culture and heritage. Omanis are relaxed, affable and very welcoming to foreign visitors, with whom they are keen to share their customs and traditions.
While in Oman, we can introduce you to all the locals, including friendly Bedouin families, enabling you to immerse in the local culture and experience many of the exclusive, hidden areas of beauty that the usual tourists don’t see.
2. Camp under the desert sky
Wild camping is legal in Oman – whether that be on the beach, in the mountains or in the desert. You can quite literally pitch your tent anywhere on public land, as long as you don’t camp near villages or in wadi beds.
If, however, you fancy something a little more luxurious than a standard tent on your private Oman vacation, then we recommend staying in a luxury Bedouin camp in the Wahiba Sands. Sprawled across a 10-acre desert site you will find a true Arabian paradise here with spectacular sunsets and a blanket full of stars to sleep underneath.
3. Take a hike in breath-taking mountains
Oman’s stunning scenery will continue to amaze you, and nowhere so much as in the Al Hajar mountains. Oman’s tallest mountain is Jebel Shams, with a peak that is 3000 meters high. Known as the Grand Canyon of Oman, you can hike the mountain via the Jebel Shams Balcony Walk, which takes around 4 hours to complete.
Visit remote Omani villages en route, as well as cascading waterfalls and friendly mountain goats as you gaze over stunning vistas of the wadis below.
4. Bathe in secluded wadi pools
Picture bathing in your own paradise lagoon surrounded by palm trees, banana farms and mango orchards. This is a reality when you stumble across one of Oman’s wild wadis. Just like tropical lagoons, the wadis have pools of cool water, some with fresh flowing streams, springs and waterfalls. Each wadi is different, but equally as worthwhile to visit.
Bathing in a wadi is a must-do experience while on your luxury vacation in Oman, and our local experts will be there to guide you on visiting the best and most private wadis possible.
5. Embark on thrilling dune adventures
The towering dunes of the Wahiba Sands desert offer the ultimate undulating canvas for high-octane Omani adventures.
Whether you fancy jumping in a 4x4 to negotiate the colossal dunes or prefer a more personal dune-bashing journey on a single-person quad bike, you are certainly in for some high-speed adrenaline-filled fun. Sand boarding is also an option here if you want to tackle the slopes from a new perspective. Otherwise, camel rides are available for those looking to experience the sands at a slower pace.
6. Visit well-preserved historic forts and castles
Oman is blessed with numerous forts and castles with fascinating origins. You can pay a visit to the fairy-tale-like Muttrah Fort, which has guarded the harbour of Muttrah and the road to Old Muscat since the 16th century.
Also, Ar Rustaq is one of the most historic forts in Oman, with legends dating back to the pre-Islamic Sassanid era. Here you can bask in the beauty of its abundant date trees and scenic wadis, as well as taking a private guided tour to find out all about its incredible history and search for ancient burial sites.
7. Enjoy barefoot beaches
With a coastline of 1700km, it’s not surprising Oman has some pretty amazing beaches. There are plenty of secluded little beaches near Wadi Tiwi which are perfect for a morning of snorkelling with the diverse marine life.
Turtle beach is renowned for its extreme beauty, lush greenery and hefty rocks – not to mention its most precious inhabitants. It’s best to visit the beach after 8.30pm when these incredible endangered species come to the shore for some undisturbed bathing with their friends and families.
8. Encounter a majestic whale shark
Whale shark season in Oman occurs between July and September. It is then that you have the opportunity to come face-to-face with these giant, gentle creatures as they search for plankton in the warm waters near Daymaniyat Island.
This species is the largest known fish alive, and is completely docile. Fancy a swim alongside them? We can arrange a private whale shark diving experience, putting you right alongside these rare and enchanting creatures.
9. Track rare Arabian oryx
Visiting the Al Wusta Wildlife Reserve gives you the opportunity to view a small herd of 600 Arabian oryx that were reintroduced into the wild in 1980 after the last wild oryx was reportedly poached in 1972.
We can arrange permission for you to enter the reserve granted by the Office for Conservation of the Environment, as well as introduce you to a retired ranger who will take you deep into the reserve to increase your chance of spotting the oryx, as well as gazelles, hares and ibex who inhabit there too.
10. Experience exclusive 5-star service
With all the culture, adventure and wildlife comes a big dollop of indulgence too. Rest your head at one of the most exclusive and luxurious hotels in the Middle East – The Six Senses Zinghy Bay. Nestled into Oman’s dramatic Musandam Peninsula, the hotel offers 82 indigenous style pool villas all made out of natural stone and set between swathes of palm date trees.
With its gourmet mountaintop restaurant and holistic spa, Zinghy Bay is the perfect place to retreat after a day of exploring the local area. The hotel is also built upon the idea of sustainability and recycles 85% of its waste. So, you can relax soundly in the knowledge that you are treading carefully as a responsible traveller while here in Oman.
If this article has given you inspiration to take a luxury private vacation to Oman this year, then we would love to help you put together a carefully curated itinerary.
Get in touch with one of our travel experts today to start planning your perfect Arabian story.