Dubai and the UAE are the current hotspots for travel to the middle east. However, there is a hidden gem in that area of the world which people usually overlook. That country is Oman. It is one of those rare places that because not many other people have caught on to how incredible this part of the world can be, and how friendly and welcoming these cultures really are, that makes it a place that you should visit right now.
One of the fears when travelling to a new country is often visas. Fear not as there is now an Oman evisa which makes the visa process incredibly easy. Now all you need to do is sign up online and arrive hassle-free.
Now you know how easy and great Oman is, let’s look at exactly why the country has so much to offer to travellers.
Countries in the middle east often have a reputation of being unsafe, especially for women. This reputation isn’t fair for Oman. Oman is a very safe place and you can freely wander the streets at night without having to worry.
In the capital city of Muscat, a basic crime such as getting robbed, mugged or kidnapped is virtually unheard of (but always take normal precautions just to be safe). If you get lost, Omani people will offer their assistance even if they don’t know you. To get around, you can either take buses, private cars or even hitchhike, which is a popular option amongst travellers.
According to women that have travelled to Oman, it is one of the safest countries to travel to in the Middle East. Oman is safe compared to other Islamic countries and popular tourist destinations in the Arabian Peninsula like Jordan and Egypt.
Omani people are highly conservative, so they will generally treat you more respectfully because all Omani women are treated like royalty. Women are also allowed inside houses, whereas men usually can’t go past the guest room.
With the rise of globalisation, we have easy access to most cuisine even in our small home towns. This makes travelling often a little less exciting as we are already familiar with many of the foods they have to offer. This is not the case with Oman, who’s food hasn’t been overly exploited by western markets.
Omani food is a fusion between Iranian, Indian, Mediterranean and African cuisines, but also offers several unique dishes to the land. You can try the national dish called “shuwa” which is goat meat roasted in a special over that’s a pit underground. The meat is flavoured with a variety of spices and then wrapped in sacks made of dry leaves, which are in turn placed into the oven. This new fusion cuisine will be a fun and exciting aspect of your trip.
Epic Deserts and Sand Dunes
One image that has been romanticised in travel and tourism is that of the desert. There is nothing quite like it in many western countries and people flock from all over the world to see sights such as the Sahara Desert. Oman also has its fair share of sand-based sights.
The Omani desert may be the most beautiful part of the country. Specifically, the Wahiba sand dunes, which are a 3-hour drive from Muscat, are worth a visit. If you are with a guide or careful they make the ideal camping spot. Waking up to the sunrise across the sea of sand is one of the most breathtaking sights you can witness.
There are a number of locals who will live out in the desert who may not come across tourists very often. Keep an eye open and say hello, there’s a good chance they will offer you some hospitality.
Speaking of hospitality, Oman is famous for hospitality from the locals. This contrasts some of the countries that surround it so it makes a refreshing change. Omanis are one of the most kind-hearted peoples on Earth. Not just that, but Omanis love to invite visitors to their homes to honour them with generosity and friendliness.
Oman is part of the Arab population, well known for great hospitality. Nevertheless, Omanis seem to take this excellent virtue a step further. Omani locals will look out for you and make sure that you are okay. They take great pride in their tourism and reputation and want to ensure you leave with a great impression of Oman and Omani people.
See a Different Side to Muslim Culture
Again, some countries that are primarily Muslim have a bad reputation due to some preconceived notions. Oman is a Muslim country and allows you to see a different strand to the religion. As Islam is such a huge religion spanning multiple nations, there are bound to be a few different strands of the religion.
In Oman, they practice Ibadhism, where they dress and pray slightly differently than other Middle Eastern Countries. The men dress in ankle-length, collarless rown (robe) with long sleeves and a white hat with different patterns on it. The national dress for women includes a dress worn over trousers (sirwal) and a headdress. Their attire is notably colourful flashy.
Travel to Oman
Now you know all the amazing things about Oman, you need to witness it for yourself. Book online or head to your local Birmingham travel agents or whatever city you are based in. Just make sure you have an electronic Oman visa sorted before you arrive.