SULTANATE OF OMAN, MINISTRY OF TOURISM

SULTANATE OF OMAN, MINISTRY OF TOURISM

SULTANATE OF OMAN, MINISTRY OF TOURISM

Thursday, 29 October 2015

45th Renaissance Anniversary at WTM 2015




   
The Sultanate of Oman is celebrating the 45th Anniversary of its Renaissance and the evolution of the tourism industry from desert expeditions to adventure travel, luxury and cruise experiences. 

Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism is joined at +World Travel Market London by a delegation from the ministry and 24 companies from the Oman private sector including the cupcake celebration taking place on Monday, the first day of the exhibition. The 45th anniversary of the glorious Renaissance marks an era of progress and prosperity under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. 

Both Salalah and Muscat International Airports are under development with a planned capacity of 1 million passengers and 12 million passengers per annum respectively, they are expected to be the new gateways to the Sultanate of Oman. 


The Sultanate of Oman began to flourish since the dawn of modern renaissance on July 23, 1970. Since then it has brought about radical changes in the life of Omani citizens to evolve into a modern, forward-looking country with a wide range of award-winning five-star and boutique hotels. However, Oman remains authentic and wherever you go in Oman you will still find traditional Arabian hospitality, arts and crafts. 




The Star Middle East Tourist Office Award for the UK office will be presented for the second consecutive year to Her Excellency, Maitha Al Mahrouqi at this year’s exhibition.



Celebrating the 45th Anniversary: The Crossing the Empty Quarter Project (CEQ) From Salalah on the Indian Ocean coast of Oman, through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to Doha the capital of Qatar.  A team of Omanis is taking on the challenge – leading British explorer Mark Evans across the desert. Mark Evans will be following in the footsteps of Bertram Thomas, the intrepid British explorer, who set out to travel Arabia's vast Rub Al Khali desert, one of the world’s most extreme and inhospitable environments 85 years earlier. 

Private sector representatives are attending WTM 2015 as an opportunity to promote Oman’s hotels, attractions and tourism services including recent openings such as the Six Senses Spa opens at The Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz Carlton Hotel. Nizwa Fort will re-open on 06 November 2015.

Further properties in the pipeline to be opened in 2016 include: The Anantara Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, a rare jewel in the rocky contours of the vast Saiq Plateau on Oman’s fabled Green Mountain, magnificently perched almost 3,000 metres above sea level on the curving rim of a great canyon; The Anantara Salalah Resort, situated between a beach and natural lagoon on the south coast of Dhofar in Salalah, Oman, The Kempinski Hotel and Residences at Muscat’s Al Mouj Muscat. Muscat has seen recent growth in the MICE market and this is anticipated to grow even faster with the opening of the new Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Salalah International is expected to have a capacity of 1 million passengers per annum whilst Muscat International will have a more substantial capacity of 12 million passengers per annum. Both airports will be able to accommodate the world’s largest aircraft, the Airbus A380 and will be designed with the latest state-of-the-art technology. There are further plans to subsequently expand Muscat International in three phases, ultimately boosting the airport’s capacity to 24, 36 and 48 million passengers per annum.
The Sultanate of Oman stand is the ideal spot for WTM visitors to take a short well deserved break during the show where they will find Omani coffee and dates served in traditional Omani style. 

Travel agents will have the chance to see traditional Omani weaving and get a Henna tattoo. 

Travel Agents can also receive a keying or banner pen if they send their selfie with the Omani dolls hidden on the stand to Tourism UK @Oman_Tourism_UK on twitter.

Notes to Editors:
New figures from Oman’s National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) reveal that 79,365 Brits visited the Sultanate between January and June 2015 an increase of 1%. In total, more than 629,911 tourists visited Oman during the six-month period.

Nizwa Fort will be officially re- opened to the public on the 6th November 2015

For more information & high-res images please contact:
Oman Ministry of Tourism Representative Office in the UK and Ireland
Tel: + 44 (0) 208 877 4505 / 4504

Email: oman@representationplus.co.uk 
Visit: www.omantourism.gov.om 

Monday, 26 October 2015

Win an Ipad Mini at WTM 2015 with the Oman Ministry of Tourism

(Stand ME500)

In celebration of the 45th Renaissance Anniversary of His Majesty the Sultan's reign - leave a business card on the stand and share a selfie with our dolls mentioning @Oman_Tourism_UK and #OmaniDolls to be in with a chance of winning!

The winner will be announced on Twitter on Monday 9th November.



The first 10 entries each day will receive an Omani gift (ask at the Oman desk):
- Frankincense
- USB charger
- Keyring

The main prize winner will be announced the following week after +World Travel Market London on +Twitter 
This winner will be randomly chosen through a business card draw of eligible entries.
We will contact the business card owner to verify their identity and eligible Tweet.

Terms and Conditions:

Prize: Ipad Mini

- One prize per person.
- Only for UK and Ireland residents
- Prize cannot be exchanged for cash
- Contest starts 2/11/15 and finishes 05/11/15 at 23:59 pm. After closing date, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
- The winner will be announced on the morning of 09/11/2015

There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received or ineligible for whatever reason.

The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.


Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

WIN AN IPOD NANO, what shall we call our dolls?

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:


Entry here: http://bit.ly/OmaniDolls


WIN AN IPOD NANO (1).png


To enter, simply answer the question on the post and tag two friends.


Prize: Ipod Nano


- The winner must provide us with their email address in a private message or email.
- The Winner will be chosen randomly from the eligible entries of the most popular name choice. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
- One prize per person.
- Only for UK and Ireland residents
- Prize cannot be exchanged for cash
- Contest starts 22/10/15 and finishes 01/11/15 at 23:59 pm. After closing date, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
- The winner will be announced on the morning of 03/11/2015


There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.


The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.


The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.


Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Family Traveller Awards 2015 winners announced



Taking place at London's highest viewing platform at the top of the tallest building in Western Europe, The View from The Shard, The Family Traveller Awards 2015 revealed the results of the public and panel votes on Tuesday night. An incredible 26,000 readers voted and a shortlist of 200 nominations across 18 categories was created. 

The Oman Ministry of Tourism is delighted to have been included in such a list - The Best Long Haul Destination category and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winner, Mauritius.



The full winners list including the highly commended and shortlisted companies is available to view here: 
http://www.familytravellerawards.com/




Oman attracts many visitors, every year, from the UK and Ireland with its variety of accommodation. The wealth of experiences on offer varies from the opulent to the adventurous, glorious golden sands and water sports. Observe whales, dolphins, birds… the variety of attractions and activities are endless. 

Wherever you choose to stay in Oman you are assured that all senses will be sated. The holiday of a lifetime awaits!

Want to learn more about Oman? Watch this video: 





If you want to discover more about the Sultanate, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om

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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Friday, 2 October 2015

12 Most Colorful And Vibrant Souqs In The Sultanate Of Oman

 

Wondering where the best places to shop in Oman are? Want to know about some of the most interesting tourist attractions in the Sultanate?




Souqs in Oman hum with an energy that has been handed down the centuries. 

In this article, you'll discover the 12 most colourful and vibrant souqs in the Sultanate of Oman:

#1: Mutrah Souq
One of the oldest markets in Oman, dating back about two hundred years. Its antiquity has perhaps increased the extent of its beauty, magic and allure. If you enjoy visiting public markets, you must see Mutrah Souq, the most beautiful market your eyes will ever see!



#2:  Al Hafah Souq
Al Hafah Souq lies 3 kilometres from the city of Salalah in Dhofar Governorate. It is surrounded by lofty coconut trees and is the perfect place to buy the best kinds of gum and incense, not only in Dhofar, but also in the Sultanate.




#3: Al Husn Souq
Characterised by its location in the middle of Salalah’s old neighbourhoods in Dhofar Governorate. This souq retains a traditional style with its handicrafts, conventional in their design, shape and function, such as braziers and other traditional handicrafts. Al Husn Souq retains its ancient architectural personality, having preserved the original features of its surroundings, apparent in every corner.

#4: Ar Rustaq Souq
Built in Wilayt Ar Rustaq in Al Batinah South Governorate, Ar Rustaq Souq is one of the most popular markets in the Sultanate. From the small hours of the morning this market becomes a hub of activity where various goods are traded such as traditional industries and crafts like silver, blacksmithing, palm leaves, folk remedies, various agricultural crops, in addition to a famous courtyard for selling sheep and livestock frequented by citizens from Al Batinah region’s various states.

#5: Sohar Handicrafts Souq
Located in Al Hajra region near Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Wilayt Sohar in Al Batinah North Governorate. Built in the style of Arab-Islamic architecture, Sohar Handicrafts Souq was inaugurated in 1999 with a view to encouraging artisans and to preserve Oman's traditional handicrafts. Craft shops sprawl over an area of 7,000 square metres and the souq houses under one roof various Omani traditional industries and handicrafts, such as leather, ceramics, palm leaves, cotton textiles, wool, gold, silver, as well as perfumes, herbs, natural medicines, honey, Omani sweets (Halwa) and traditional weapons.

#6: Ibri Souq 
An important landmark and an active economic and tourism centre. It is the most prestigious and largest souq in A'Dhahirah Governorate, built adjacent to Ibri Castle in the Eastern Province. Characterised by its specialised sections such as gold and silver shops, popular Arab supply shops and a dedicated area for the sale of animals. 

#8: Nizwa Souq
This souq lies in the vicinity of the walls of the famous Nizwa Fort. Its building embraces both traditional and modern architectural lines. Through its many alleys and divisions, Nizwa Souq has remained for hundreds of years home to a number of local industries, such as daggers, copper, spinning, livestock sale, fish, vegetables and handicrafts.

#9: Bahla Souq

Bahla Souq is a short distance from Bahla Fort. It has many traditional industries like making daggers and copper artefacts, in addition to Omani sweets (Halwa). This Souq is famous for its active commercial activity.

#10: Al Mintarib Tuesday Market

Every Tuesday of the week in Wilayt Badiya in A'Sharqiyah North Governorate (Eastern Region). This souq overflows with handicrafts made by Badiya villagers and adjacent areas, where the visitor will find small treasures made of gold and silver, as well as daggers, swords, textiles, objects made of palm leaves, leather goods, in addition to agricultural, meat and fish products. The souq is open only from six to ten in the morning.


#11: Ibra Wednesday Market
Every Wednesday of the week in Wilayt Ibra in A'Sharqiyah North Governorate - dedicated to women only. Every week, women head to this market to buy all they need. It is open from six in the morning until one in the afternoon.

#12: Sinaw Thursday Market
Is held every Thursday in A'Sharqiyah North Governorate. It is a very busy market due to its proximity to the Bedouin communities who head there to buy staples and sell their livestock and handicrafts. This market runs from six in the morning until one in the afternoon.

A journey of discovery awaits you in this welcoming land at crossroads between Asia, Africa and Western civilisation. Enjoy all of the marvels of this unique setting, the ideal gateway to Arabia.

If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om


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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Friday, 25 September 2015

15 Museums Around Oman You Haven't Heard About Before

Do you want to get the most out of a museum visit? Wondering what are the best museum alternatives in the Sultanate? 




Museums in Oman tell about its long history. They take visitors on a journey through the various stages of development and growth of the Sultanate. In this article, we'll show you 15 museums around Oman you haven't heard of before:

#1: Muscat Gate Museum
Located above Muscat Modern Gate this museum has an amazing view which you see through the broad stairs leading to the museum’s gate.



Timings
Sunday - Thursday :8:00 am to 2:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: closed

Fees
Adults : Free

Children : Free

#2: Natural History Museum
Located in the Ministry of Heritage and Culture building in Al Khuwayr in Muscat Governorate. It is considered one of the major Omani museums and houses exhibits depicting aspects of life since it first appeared in various forms on the Sultanate territory.

Timings
9:30-13:30 Morning, 17:00-19:00 Evening 17:00-19:00

Fees
500 Baiza

200 Baiza, 100 Baiza for under 6



#3: Children's Museum
This museum simplifies science and technology and presents them in an animated version, allowing visitors to see the vital role played by science in various aspects of life. The museum is headquartered in two large domes in Al Qurum area in Muscat Governorate and is visible from afar. Although this museum is called the Children's Museum, its exhibits are suitable for all ages and are presented in a simplified fashion to facilitate access to information for future generations.

Timings
9:00-13:00

Fees
500 Baiza
100 Baiza

#4: Omani Museum
Located in the Media City in the Muscat Governorate. It includes the Department of Ancient History which displays many relics of ancient civilizations such as stone tombs, rock carvings and remains of tools used by ancient civilisations, including agricultural tools, old types of steatite and some stone necklaces.

Timings
9:30-13:30 Morning, 17:00-19:00 Evening

Fees
200 Baiza, 100 Baiza for under 6

#5: Omani-French Museum
This museum is located in the city of Muscat near Al Alam Palace in Muttrah State. An old house built about 170 years ago accommodates the museum.

Sultan Faisal bin Turki donated the house to the first Consul of France in Muscat to be the French Consulate in 1896.

In addition to the Hall of Maritime Navigation, the museum rooms include models of Omani and French ships, a traditional costume hall and many other artefacts and pictures that reflect the cultural connection between the two countries.

Timings
9:00-13:00 Morning, 
16:00-18:00 Evening

Fees
500 Baiza

200 Baiza
National Museum


#6: The National Museum 
Opened in 1978 and was formerly known as the Museum of the House of Mr. Nadir Bin Faisal Bin Turki. In 1988, it was moved to Ruwi in Muscat Governorate and named the National Museum. This museum includes a number of sections, like the main hall where tourists can see many varieties of bracelets, necklaces, rings, copper tools, and aspects of Omani traditional life.

Timings
9:30-1:30 Morning, 
17:00-19:00 Evening

Fees
500 Baiza

200 Baiza, 100 Baiza for under 6

#7: Currency Museum
Located within the Central Bank of Oman building. It displays the succession of currency circulated in the Sultanate of Oman, both paper and metal. The museum includes numerous old and new coins that have been circulated since the early days of the Islamic State.

Timings
Sat-Wed:09:00-13:00
Thur-Fri: Closed

Fees
more than 6 years : 0.250 RO

less than 6 years : free


#8: Armed Forces Museum
Located at Fort Al Falaj House in Ruwi region in the Governorate of Muscat.
The museum accommodates weapons, clothing, instruments, and other defence systems that display both visually and audibly the development of the Omani armed forces throughout history.


Timings

8:00-13:00 Morning, 

15:00-18:00 Evening


Fees
500 Baiza 
free for Children 

#9: Bait Az-Zubair Museum
Opened in 1998, Bait Al Zubair Museum is located in the old city of Muscat. It displays Omani artefacts and collectables, including a group of conventional weapons, jewellery, clothing, household items and some old models representing Omani rural and urban environments

Timings
Saturday - Thursday: 9:30AM - 6:00PM
Friday: Holiday

Fees
Adults : 2 Riyal
10-15 years old : 1 Riyal

#10: Bait Al Barandah Museum
One of the historical and cultural sites in Muscat, known also as the House of Naseeb. He was the merchant Naseeb Bin Mohammed who built the house in the late nineteenth century. “Al Barandah” is the local pronunciation of the foreign word “veranda”, which means “balcony”. The House was named after the balcony that extends along the length of the façade on the first floor.

Timings
09:00 - 13:00 and 16:00-18:00

Fees
1 OMR
0.500 OMR

#11: Oil & Gas Exhibition Centre (OGEC)
First opened in November 1979, after extensive remodelling, it was re-opened in November 1995 as a "Gift to Nation" to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The centre was designed to explain how crude oil and natural gas are formed underground as well as how they are then found, brought to the surface, delivered to processing facilities and how the end products are ultimately used.

Timings
Sunday - Thursday: 8:00AM - 3:00PM
Friday - Saturday: Closed

Fees
Adults : Free
Children : Free

#12: Land of Frankincense Museum
Considered one of the most prominent historical museums in Oman because it includes historical and cultural features from different eras.

The museum is located in Dhofar Governorate in the heart of a historic site that was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000 as an archaeological and tourism park after consultation with the international organisation.

Timings
08:00 - 14:00
16:00 - 20:00

#13: Sohar Fort Museum
Opened in 1993. It relates the history of the ancient city of Sohar and its cultural ties with many other civilisations.

The museum includes three galleries, each divided into several rooms.

Timings
8:00-13:30

Fees
500 Baiza

#14: Turtles Museum
Ras(Cape) Al Hadd is an internationally renowned nesting site sanctuary for the Green Sea Turtles, Chelonia Mydas, harboring one of the largest nesting populations in the world. Around 13,000 Sea turtles come ashore along this sanctuary every year. Ras Al Hadd  sanctuary is the largest nesting site in the Indian Ocean and the only site in the world where Sea Green Turtles come every night all year round.

Timings
09:00-20:00
09:00-20:00

Fees
1.000 OMR : 1.000 OMR
0.500 OMR : 0.500 OMR

#15: Maritime Museum
The city of Sur is abundant with examples of the Omani marine heritage that highlights the leading role the Omanis played in the maritime industry for a long period of time. In order to preserve this tradition for future generations, the Maritime Museum was built in Sur in the Al-Aruba Club headquarters to reflect the various aspects of Oman’s maritime heritage.

Timings
16:00-20:00

Fees
Free



If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om

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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Friday, 18 September 2015

18 Of The Most Extraordinary Archaeological Sites In The Sultanate of Oman

 


Wondering what the most significant archaeological sites in Oman are? Do you want to discover spectacular "well worth a visit" archaeological sites in the Sultanate? 




For thousands of years, Oman has been a place of trading and encounters between the East and West ensuring a country with a rich and fascinating culture. Since ancient times, it has absorbed and given its own twist to traits and influences from India, Persia, Zanzibar, Portugal and the UK. 

Traces of the country's extraordinary heritage can be found in its archaeological sites, historical buildings, craftsmanship, clothing and cuisine. Visitors will find countless pleasant surprises - big and small - making a holiday in the Sultanate incredibly special.

A number of sites and cultural features in Oman have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. In this article, we'll show you 18 of the most extraordinary archaeological sites in the sultanate of Oman.

#1: Wadi Al Ayn Tombs
These tombs lie about 30 kilometres north-east of Bat settlement. The tower tombs are located on high rocky hills on the northern bank of the Wadi Al Ayn, where 21 tombs line up in an almost straight line. These tombs are of the same beehive style tombs as the Bat settlement and are also believed to date back to the third millennium BC.

#2: Al Manzafah
With its forts, towers and old buildings constructed from traditional Omani plaster and cement, contains inscriptions and decorations that are looked upon as a prominent cultural landmark.


#3: Bayt AlQefel (the lock house)
This type of house is common in Musandam Governorate. Bayt AlQefel represents a special kind of architecture that is a testimony to the old Omanis’ ingenuity and their adaptation to the conditions of the weather and life, and how they tamed the environment to suit their needs.

#4: Al Balid City
The Most Important Ancient Port on the Arabian Sea (Part of the Frankincense Trail) history dates back to before 2000 BC. Some archaeological research confirms that the city's prosperity dates back to the Iron Age. Much of this city’s remains lie in Dhofar Governorate.

#5: Bat Tombs and Settlement
Bat Tombs historical sites are located in Bat, Al Khutum and Al Ayn in A'Dhahirah Governorate in Wilayt Ibri. They are considered one of the archaeological and historical sites that date back to the third century BC and are located to the east of Ibri. In 1988, Bat Tombs was the second site to be included in the World Heritage list in Oman.

#6: Hasat Bin Salt
This is an ancient rock which has inscriptions and writings that date back to the dawn of history. This rock is reminiscent of the Rosetta Stone which was discovered in Egypt. Hasat Bin Salt is located in one of the most beautiful tourist areas in Wilayt Al Hamra in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate.



#7: Bawshar Tombs
The Tombs in Bawshar - located in Muscat Governorate- are distinguished by their circular shaped burial sites, lined with stones and covered with boulders. Researchers have put the age of these tombs at the second and first centuries BC. Many overlapping divided tombs have been found stretching to a length of 22 metres, dating back to the early Iron Age. This type of burial tombs is called honeycomb tombs.

#8: Hafeet Site
The site is located in Al Buraymi Governorate. It is an old settlement that dates back to the third millennium BC. This site was a meeting place for trade caravans between the Bat civilisation in Wilayt of Ibri, and the Um AnNar civilisation. Tombs in this region date to the third millennium BC and are built like the bee hive tombs of the Bat civilisation. 

#9: Jabal Hareem Fossils
Located at a height of 1,600 metres above sea level in Wilayt Khasab in the Musandam Governorate. The trip on the way up in the four-wheel drive pushing through mountainous villages, prairies planted with wheat and green valleys is an adventure itself, and the visitor will want to pause on the journey to take in the enchanting views.

#10: Kibaykib - AlJaylah Towers
The towers are located at an altitude of 2,000 metres above sea level in A'Sharqiyah South Governorate (Eastern Region). Around 90 towers were discovered still in good condition, and this is due to the durability of construction. They attain a height of 5 metres, with a 4 metre diameter.

#11: Old Muscat Gates
Comprise three main doors: Bab Al Mathaib, Bab Al Kabeer (The Big Door) and Bab Al Sagheer (The Little Door). Bab Al Mathaib is located in the western corner, below the Al Mirani Fort, and Bab Al Kabeer is located at the end of the western side of the walls and serves as the entrance to most roads leading to suburban Muscat and Mutrah City. Bab Al Sagheer lies in the mid-southern side and is considered one of the city’s main entrances.

#12: Qalhat & Bibi Mariam
In the past, Qalhat City has witnessed an ancient Omani civilisation, being Oman’s first capital before the advent of Islam. In the thirteenth century, it was the main commercial port linking Oman and abroad.




#13: Ras AlHadd Discoveries
Excavations in Ras Al Hadd and discoveries in the Wilayt Sur in A'Sharqiyah South Governorate (Eastern Region) reveal ruins that date back to the prehistoric period in the Sultanate of Oman. The building contains three rooms for two or three houses built round a small courtyard. It is believed that some relics found in this site may date back to the days of Mesopotamian civilisation. 

#14: Samharam
Located in Dhofar Governorate and is known to be part of the frankincense road. The location tells the story of an ancient civilisation in Dhofar, as Samharam city and its reputed port which history dates back to 1000 BC constituted a link between Dhofar and other parts of the world.

#15: Salut Archaeological Site
The historical significance of Salut is directly connected with the dawn of the Omani history, which first saw the light with the arrival of Arab tribes in Oman from different regions of the Arabian Peninsula. This site is witness to the beginning of settlements in Oman. Salut Archaeological Site is located on top of a rocky hill in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate. Ruins have been found that date back to the Iron Age between the period 1,400 to 600 BC.

#16: Shisr - Awbar
The ruins of Awbar lie in Dhofar Governorate. This city remained lost for centuries and was considered one of the mysterious archaeological secrets of the Middle East region. Lawrence of Arabia called it “the Atlantis of the Sands". Researchers believe that this city was built 5,000 years ago and played a prominent role in ancient times.

#17: Al Khutum "Al Wahrah"
This is located 2 kilometres south-west of the Bat settlement and includes a tower constructed during the third millennium BC on the top of a small hill. The tower is oval shaped and has two additional walls. Spreading over the hills surrounding the tower is a series of tombs dating to the third millennium BC.

#18: Zakeet Tombs
These tombs are located in A'Dakhiliyah Governorate. Historians say that they date back to the third millennium BC. The Ancient Zakeet Tombs lie on a cylindrical hill overlooking the village and consist of two walls of mountain rocks that resemble a beehive. The existence of these tombs on the hilltop led researchers to assume that the site was used as a fortress to repel invading armies.

If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om


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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Friday, 11 September 2015

Where to Find Some of the Most Beautiful Mountains in Oman?

 


Mountains constitute a large percentage of the environment in Oman. The flora and fauna living in these mountains vary. The Al Hajar Mountains are in the north of Oman and extend from Musandam Peninsula in the north to Ras Al Hadd in the Al Sharqiyah South Governorate. Wadi Samail divides it into two parts: east and west. Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain) summit is the highest point in the Al Hajar Mountains, rising to an altitude of 3,009 meters above sea level.



In the south, the mountains of Dhofar region extend from east to west off Al Hillaniyat Islands. Samhan Mountain, which includes the Arabian Leopard Reserve in the east and Jabal Al Qamar (Moon Mountain) in the west, is the most prominent mountain range in the region, rising to an altitude of 2,500 metres.

Natif - Hasik (Water Mountain): 
Natef is the site of a spring located in Wilayt Sadah in Dhofar Governorate. The location of this spring is an extension of Samhan mountaintops, in particular the Natif region. Natif means distillation of water. This site is characterised by constantly dripping water from the sediments and pools present on the mountaintop. In this article, we'll show you where to find some of the most beautiful mountains in Oman: 

Samhan Mountain:

Samhan Mountain is one of the most important mountain ranges in the Governorate of Dhofar, with a maximum height of 2,100 metres. Samhan Mountain includes many plateaux punctuated by narrow and deep gorges, some of which are about 1,000 metres deep.



Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain):

This rises to a height of 2,980 metres and is famous for its wide plateau close to the summit. The journey from Muscat to Al Jabal Al Akhdar takes about two hours and can only be undertaken by four-wheel drive.




Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain):

This is the highest peak in the Arabian Peninsula, rising to an altitude of 3,004 metres above sea level, and has a number of versants (slopes) and summits. Every time a tourist reaches a versant, they will find that it leads to another, until they reach the top.

If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om


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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Friday, 4 September 2015

Top 7 Most Beautiful Water Springs In The Sultanate

 


Wondering where to find water springs in Oman? Did you know that most of the them have water all year round?




The importance of natural water springs varies according to the quality of their water, ranging from warm and cold water, fresh drinking water, saline and alkaline water, mixed with valley water which is suitable for agriculture. There is another kind of spring that contains varying proportions of mineral salts, making them ideal for curative and relaxation purpose.

Springs of different kinds are widespread in various parts of the Sultanate. Most of these springs stem from the mountainous areas and vary in their abundance of water, temperature and quality ... including:

Dhofar is famous for the presence of more than 360 springs distributed on the mountain tops and the edges of mountains adjacent to the coastal plain while a small number of springs are present in An Najd area. Most of these springs have water all year round.

Seasonal rains, known locally as Al Khareef, are the primary source of the underground reservoirs in the mountain and plain areas. Rain falls regularly on the plains and the mountains adjacent to them from the end of June to September every year. Among the best-known springs in Dhofar are:

Arzat Spring: 
One of the most beautiful and abundant springs in the Governorate of Dhofar. Visitors should be sure to visit this natural tourist site in autumn to enjoy the flow of pure water through its rivulets and relax in the vicinity of its gorgeous surroundings. 

Sahalnawt Spring: 
This is one of the springs frequented by many tourists due to its proximity to and ease of accessibility from the city of Salalah.

Hamran Spring: 
Popular with visitors throughout the year, especially on autumn weekends. It is about 14 kilometres to the city of Salalah, and about 7 kilometres from the main road leading to Taqah.

Jarzeez Spring:
One of the most attractive water spring for many tourists because of its proximity to Iteen Plain. From the intersection of Iteen Plain, the distance between Jarzeez Spring and the city of Salalah is about 7 kilometres. What distinguishes this spring is the forest of shady trees that sits at the foot of the surrounding mountains.

Darbat Spring: 
Located in the eastern part of Wilayt Taqah on the main road leading to Mirbat, on a beautiful mountain slope facing the north. Tourists can see the cascading Darbat Falls from the main road when water levels in Darbat Valley rise after heavy rainfall and the spring gushes and froths.
What distinguishes this spring is its beautiful landscape, virgin nature and forests of large cactus and canard trees. 


AlKasfah Spring: 
Located in Wilayt ArRustaq in Al Batinah South Governorate. It is a collection of natural water springs whose temperatures reach up to 45 degrees Celsius. Hot water pours out of it in several streams to irrigate orchards. AlKasfah Spring is famous for its sulphate therapeutic waters.

AthThawarah Spring:
A collection of hot springs that gush forth all year round from Silud Mountain and flow from the valley for a distance of 300 metres before branching out into two tributaries: Falaj “Kabbah” and Falaj “As Sarooj”. Wilayt Nakhal depends on this spring and its tributaries to irrigate its cultivated lands.


If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om


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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Friday, 28 August 2015

‘Twelve Days in Oman’ video by Marko Roth

 


‘Twelve Days in Oman’ video by Marko Roth classified as nothing short of exceptional as he delivers the very best in visual storytelling…

Despite having only launched his travel site in 2015, Marko Roth is quickly becoming known as an internet sensation. Inspiring and educating people all over the world, he encourages them to experience remarkable cultures as he delivers the very best in visual storytelling. 

On a recent 12 day visit to Oman, Marko and his friends have beautifully encapsulated the true essence of Oman’s culture, showing authentic details, spirits and emotions, through a short four minute video that has been nominated for National Geographic’s Short Film Showcase.

No words are necessary to accompany Roth’s phenomenal cinematography, as he has flawlessly blended breathtaking scenes of the rugged mountains, deserts, souks and markets with time lapses of the night skies and footage of the new coastal road winding its way through the mountains.

One of Roth’s true talents is his ability to tell a story from behind the scenes, perfectly capturing Oman’s soul as created by the natives as the purity of their lifestyle and livelihoods, trades and traditions shines through.


The Short Film Showcase for which the video has been nominated classifies ‘Twelve Days In Oman’ as nothing short of exceptional and affirms National Geographic’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet.

Watch it here: 



If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om

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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

10 Of The Most Outstanding Beaches In The Sultanate Of Oman

 

Are you looking for a good beach destination? Do you want to know where the most beautiful coastlines in the Sultanate are? 




Oman's coastline stretches for a distance of 3,165 kilometres, including beaches overlooking the Sea of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Straits of Hormuz in the North. The nature of this coastal strip varies from tourist-friendly sandy beaches where summer holidaymakers hang out, and the rocky coasts, bays, islands and lagoons with their diverse geographical make-up, making them ideal for fishing and marine excursions. In this article, we will show you 10 of the most outstanding beaches in the Sultanate of Oman: 

Mutrah Corniche:
This is near one of the most important ports in Oman, Port Sultan Qaboos in the heart of the capital Muscat. It overlooks beautiful mountainous rocky formations and is one of the most gorgeous sites in the Governorate of Muscat, ideal for picnics, watching the sea and admiring ancient buildings.



Al Bustan Beach:
Located in the Governorate of Muscat, Al Bustan Beach overlooks the mountains, these mountains lend the beach an unsurpassed sense of privacy.




Al Uzaibah Beach:
Located in the Governorate of Muscat. Several cafes spread out along the beach. Big portions of this beach have been allocated and prepared to receive the public, where seats and shelters have been set up.

Al Qurum Beach:
This beach lies in Al Qurum Area in the heart of Muscat and extends over a large area. Its location is very near to shopping centres and restaurants. Walking enthusiasts can enjoy the boardwalk along the beach and then rest on the numerous chairs and umbrellas that dot the beach.



Dhofar Beaches:
As for lovers of diving and water skiing, they can rest assured that the shores of this Governorate are among the best in the Sultanate. You can easily access these shores through well-paved roads and other services.



Sohar Corniche:
Located in Al Batinah region. Along the route overlooking the coast and passing the Sohar Historical Castle, you'll see restaurants, signboards, umbrellas to lounge under, and every amenity for the visitor. 

As Sawadi Beach:
Located in Al Batinah region. It lies 70 kilometres from the capital Muscat. What distinguishes this beach is the beautiful rock islands scattered close to the coast. These islands lend a touch of the artistic to the location and are an important spot for both migratory and indigenous birds.

Ras Al Hadd Beach:
About 60 kilometres from Sur City, the capital of the Ash Sharqiyah Region. The beach is distinguished by its spectacular bays and rock formations which are havens for large numbers of birds.

Shores of Al Wusta Region:
Al Wusta region is characterised by a series of beaches varying in nature and topography. All its beaches enjoy mild weather that often blow cool breezes accompanied by a light water spray which gives them their distinctive atmosphere.

Duqm Beach:
This beautiful beach is known for its soft and clean sands, its azure waters and cool breezes, and is only 20 kilometres from the centre of Wilayat.

If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om


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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

7 Amazing Caves You May Never Have Heard Of

 

Caves in Oman vary in terms of type, length, size and geographic formations. Annually they attract a large number of speleologists.



Dhofar Governorates contain a large number of caves, some of which have springs near them. In former times, residents of the mountains areas used the caves as abodes and safe havens from the vagaries of weather and nature.

In this article, we will show you 7 amazing caves in Oman you may never have heard of:

1 - Al Kittan Cave:
Located in Ibri State, the Ad Dhahirah region - 8km from Ibri. The cave's uniqueness lies in its extreme luminosity which looks like marble, earning it the name "the marble cave".

2- AlHoota Cave: 
Lies in the southern part of Al Jabal Al Akhdar (The Green Mountain), about two hours drive away from Muscat and half an hour from Nizwa. The cave extends for 5 kilometres underground, but it may only be accessed from a distance of 860 metres ending at Cave Lake.



3- AlHoota Cave Lake: 
Located at the end of a footpath. It is 20 metres deep, but there are many parts whose depths surpasses that. 

4- Majlis Al Jinn Cave:
Out of sight in the heart of brown hills located at the foothills of the eastern Al Hajar Mountains hides one of the greatest and most beautiful natural wonders.




5- Muqal Cave:
Located in Wadi Bani Khalid in the Ash Sharqiyah Region, near the famous water pools in Muqal region. Your eyes will be captivated by the beautiful rock formation.


http://www.omantripper.com/caving-trip-at-salma-plateau/

6- Abu Habban Cave
Located in Willayat Dimma and At Tayyin in the Ash Sharqiyah Region, at a distance of 10 kilometres from the centre of the state to the east, it is characterised by the presence of many rock formations of varying colours.

7- Al Marnif Cave: 
Lies in Shatti Al Mughsayl area about 40 kilometres from Salalah. The sound of the gushing water lends the place a unique ambience of its own.

If you want to discover more about Oman, visit the official website here: www.omantourism.gov.om


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Written by: Oman Tourism UK. Official Account for the Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR in The UK & Ireland. Want to be part of our community? Connect with us!

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