16 Jun 2015

10 reasons to visit stunning Oman

    The Jewel of Arabia,

Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, with friendly people, spectacular landscapes and not a skyscraper in site.  
While United Arab Emirates magnetize international visitors to its glammy five-stars hotels and massive shopping malls, its neighbour Oman, is using a different strategy in attracting and developing its tourism industry. 
Tidy and charming Muscat, the Capital, is surprisingly clean (almost spotless) and full of colourful flowers all over. Foreigners are generally made to feel very welcomed in Oman, although in return they would expect you to  abide and respect their cultural norms. 

Bashar Alaeddin Photography

Culture and Etiquette of Oman

 Behavior:    Expressions and overt anger or any razing of the voice should be strictly avoided whatever the situation will be, as well as any hand gesture. If deemed offensive, you could be punished under Omani law. They don't feel as comfortable with serious faces, being one of the happiest nations in the Gulf and expect the same of the tourists. So, smiling is essential. Is also not advisable for men to extend their hand in greeting to an Omani woman, even in a business situation as it could cause an offence. Always you must wait for the hand to be extended to you first. If that is not happening, do not consider it rude, is just a cultural consequence of the religion. While western woman can interact with the Omani woman, it is considered an offence if a western men interacts with an Omani woman. For example if a men sees a woman adjusting her hijab over her head he should avert his eyes immediately. 

      Dressing :    Perhaps the most important thing to remember.Woman should wear loose clothes with arms and shoulders covered  and no shorter then beneath the knees. Is also useful to carry a shawl to cover your hair in certain areas. For both men and women will help to dress conservatively, especially in the rural areas, it will show off your respect towards their culture and of course your manners that should never be left at home. However they are still a conservatory society and should be respected as one. 

For visitors who are just discovering the Middle East I think would be an excellent choice in visiting combined Oman and Dubai. 

   Woman travellers:    Western women travelling alone in Oman will be experiencing few problems, like may feel isolated, ignored or difficult to to make friends with Omani women. 

          Taboo Subjects:     Conversations in Oman with the locals will run along regulated lines: age, marital status, your country, number of children, religion, impressions about Oman. Sensitive subject not to be approached, or approached with extreme care is Sultan Quaboos.
Omani people come from a long line of tribal Bedouins. 
Pologamy marriage is tolerated in Oman, however only one in twenty married men has more then one wife. 
If you are thinking of traveling to Oman,  take note that is a peaceful and stable country with low crime. An Arab and Muslim country, Oman is predominantly Arabic- speaking with English as a second language. 

If you need a reason to travel to Oman, the time to go is now, before everyone else realises what they're missing.

10 reasons to visit Oman,

1. It's safe, welcoming and friendly,

Oman might be located in a troubled area,  but is a peaceful country and probably safer than your hometown. 

Nicola Sapiens De Mitri | Muscat City

Yousef Tuqan Photography

2.  More important than the clothes, are the people wearing them. 
Omanis are known in the Middle East for their generosity, kindness and hospitality. So when you do go there, I can assure you will receive a warm and smiling welcome .
For men and woman, traditional garb is both, stylish and comfortable.

Charles Roffey Photography

D'Arcy Vallance Photography

ophiuchus1 | Omani Women in Traditional Dress

Joe | Women selling brightly coloured cloth

                    3. Dont miss out the Grand Mosque in Muscat, the city's pride and joy. 

Sylwia Pecio | Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Xiquinho Silva | Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

                                  4. Explore the Wahiba Sands and the Empty Quarter 

New Range Rover Sport | The Empty Quarter Driven Challenge
Andrea Moroni | Wahiba Sands

                          5.  Hike the highest Mountain of Arabia, Oman's Grand Canyon
Andries3 | Jebel Shams Grand Canyon of Arabia

                                                         6. Visit Royal Opera House 

If you decide to visit Oman's premier venue for musical arts and culture, make sure you are using the right dress code. Jeans are strictly prohibited as well as t-shirts or tennis shoes.  The dress code is formal or business including suites or dinner jackets for men and conservative dresses below the knee for women. So, no tight dresses ladies, even if they are long ones. 

Andrew Moore | Photography

Riyadh Al-Balushi Photography

7. Discover Oman's Forts (over 500 pieces)
Francisco Anzola | Bahla Fort

Hungarian Snow | Nizwa Fort

                                                 8.  Explore the coastline (1,700 km)

Bevan Koopman | Straits of Hormuz between Oman and Iran

                                                           9. Sailing activities 

Oman Sail is a government funded project that teaches Omani children modern sailing techniques.
It also offering bespoke charter packages for tourists, from sunset cruises to overnight yacht tours. 

Land Rover and Extreme Sailing

                                                    10. Enjoy their amazing food. 

Omani cuisine is very diverse and has been influenced by many cultures. Omanis people usually eat their main meal at lunch time, while the evening meal is much lighter. Dont miss out the Ruchal bread. A thin bread baked over a fire made from palms leaves, eaten at any meal, especially served with honey at breakfast  time or crumbled over curry at dinner time.

                                                                   Love, A

1 comment: