Our Hot Resorts: Oman Untouched
Our World | On 11, Apr 2011
I want to stand at the water’s edge and watch the dolphins jumping in the crystal waters of the Gulf.
I want to breathe in the same air as the Queen of Sheba.
I want to walk along the same road from which the Three Kings set off on their journey with gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The truly exotic Sultanate of Oman is a place where you can experience real Arabia, while at the same time get in and witness a nation awakening rapidly to the modern world, but what makes it different from the Emirates and the rest of the Middle East?
Well the huge mountain ranges rising 3000 metres in the background for a start. The cultural heritage of forts, castles and watch towers is also very evident, but for me, next time, I want to travel in to the Wahiba Desert and camp overnight, simply to experience the beauty of the open desert.
The capital, Muscat, is surprisingly still under-developed and the Souk at Muttrah, famous for its wares of silver, pashminas, aromatic oils and spices, I don’t believe can have changed much from its centuries-old origins. However this seems to add an element of charm and authenticity to a destination that is drenched in culture.
Also not to be missed in Muscat is the Grand Mosque, with the world’s biggest chandeliers and a carpet that took 600 women 6 years to make by hand (and it’s a ‘go’ area for women to visit!). Seriously though, the building’s design and architecture is very impressive and I challenge anyone not to be amazed and inspired by the detail of the artwork.
Oman is just 7 hours from London and there is a wealth of deluxe hotels, personally I favour the Shangri-La. However the hotel should not be the sole reason for visiting such a beautiful country. The main advice that I would give to the MICE market is go and visit Oman while it’s still pure, hurry and you’ll discover the country before commercialisation takes over.
Susan Sexton, Events Team