Middle East Holidays

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Star attractions

  • Diverse Scenery
  • Traditional Arabia
  • Stunning Coastline
  • Luxury Resorts
  • Mountain and Desert

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Getting there

Flight details Oman Air flights to Muscat depart daily from London Heathrow. For even more flexibility, call us for options to fly with KLM via Amsterdam, Etihad via Abu Dhabi or Qatar Airways via Doha.

Flight time 7 hours 40 min.

Time GMT +4 hours.

Handy stuff

Ramadan, from 28th June – 27th July 2014 (followed immediately by Eid) is a festival like no other, and visiting during this period offers a fascinating insight into Emirati culture and religious traditions.

Currency Omani Rial.

Visa requirements British citizens require a visa, which can be obtained from the Oman embassy, or these can be purchased locally on arrival.

Language The official language is Arabic. English is widely spoken.

Alcohol Legal drinking age is 21 years.

Holidays in Oman

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Arabian Opulence. Lost Cities. Dazzling palaces. Fantasy runs through the very heart of Oman.

If you are looking for a modern destination, you will find cosmopolitan shopping malls and well-equipped water sports facilities, alongside traditional and ancient trading towns, where you can smell the aroma of frankincense. Very much an Islamic country, resplendent mosques jostle alongside large hotel complexes.

View all Oman tours

Things to see and do in Oman

Best for families

Perfect for families, Oman boasts an incredible climate, luxury hotels with excellent amenities and sandy beaches with safe, shallow waters. It’s also a place where history comes very much alive for everybody with so many fascinating sights to see. There are water sports galore to suit all levels with younger kids enjoying just splashing about in the blue stuff or dolphin spotting. The Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is highly recommended for families, offering a kids club, teen club, children’s pool and the Omani Heritage Village featuring authentic Arabian horses and camels.

With over 1600km of coastline, Oman is home to some of the cleanest, most stunning beaches you could wish for! Qurum Beach is very popular with pristine white sands, picnic areas and palm shades. At low tide you can take a 4km walk towards the Embassies’ area in Shati Al Qurum – well worth the effort. Other great beaches include Bandar Jissah with its rock pools and children’s playground plus Marjan Beach, which has small coral reefs, perfect for the novice snorkeller.

Best for couples

Take a trip to Turtle Beach and get front row seats for the miracle of nature at Turtle Beach just outside of Sur. You'll watch on in wonder as these beautiful creatures pull themselves out of the water, climb up the beach and then lay and bury their eggs in the sand.

When you can tear yourself away from the beach, head inland to the desert for a spot of wadi bashing or a desert safari perhaps. Alternatively, wander round some of the many sights, including the Castle of Bahia the Bat Tombs and the Frankincense Route – a group of locations that contributed to the flourishing frankincense trade during the Middle Ages.

Something different

There are over 500 forts, castles and towers in Oman – all very much needed in days gone by to protect the expansive coastline from invasion! Jalali and Mirani are amongst Oman’s most famous forts, standing at the entrance to Muscat Bay, whilst Rustaq Fort, dating back to the 13th Century, is the oldest and tallest. Bahla Castle with its 7-mile long walls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Al Hazm Castle, in the middle of a large oasis, stands out due to its magnificent shape and size.

Immerse yourself in traditional Islamic culture in Oman, a land unspoilt by time or commercialism. Ancient history and colourful traditions ensure every inch of this nation bears witness to its immortal heritage with some incredible cultural experiences, including the Grand Mosque with its stunning Arabic architecture. There are also several UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore, including the Bat Tombs, which date back to the third millennium BC and the Frankincense Route, a group of locations that contributed to the flourishing frankincense trade during the Middle Ages.

Seeking adventure

Oman is one of the best kept secrets in the diving world! There are numerous coral reefs surrounding the Sultanate with dramatic wall drop-offs to tempt the experienced diver and scenic coral lined fjords, ranging in depth from 6-40m. Kayaking is another widely available watery pursuit or head to the desert for a 4x4 safari or spot of wadi bashing! Oman is also one of the best places on earth to spot dolphins, so take a boat trip off the coast of Muscat and enjoy!

Weather / Best time to go

Thanks to Oman's sub-tropical location, it can get a tad on the warm side; for instance, in the summer time (Jun-Sep), temperatures can rise to over 40°C. However, don't despair, if you're considering a visit during the autumn (Sep-Nov), or spring (Feb-Mar), then you'll be treated to a mostly dry country with pleasant temperatures in the mid-to-late twenties. December and January can be a lot cooler, as can autumn and spring evenings, so bring some warm clothes and, if you're visiting in the winter, you may be well advised to pack a brolly as this is considered the rainy season.

Sightseeing ideas

Oman is packed to bursting with natural wonders, including several stunning mountain ranges, gorgeous waterfalls or wadi’s as they’re known, dramatic caves and vast deserts. In fact, the Empty Quarter is the largest desert in the world or visit instead Sharqiyah Sands – a sea of undulating dunes stretching far into the distance. Of particular note is the Musandam Peninsula, a place where the desert meets mountain and sea – the scenery here is so stunning, it will take your breath away!

Additional Info

Don't forget to visit Wadi Shab, located in the Wilayat of Sur, Wadi Shab is known for it's shimmering emerald green water housed in seven pools.

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