Since driving out the Portuguese in 1650 and defending the country against the Persians in the 1740s, Oman has largely enjoyed independence and freedom, with friendship agreements negotiated with Britain recognising the independent state signed in 1908 and confirmed in 1951. The current Sultan is largely responsible for installing modern government processes and upgrading education and health facilities. Today, the country maintains positive relations with its Arab neighbours and western nations, welcoming visitors to its shores with open arms.
Oman experiences a hot climate year round with very little rainfall. June is generally the hottest month with the mercury rising to 40 degrees, while February is the coolest month at an average of 26 degrees.
Held annually, the Muscat Festival celebrates the arts and culture. The Tour of Oman is a cycling race and yachts compete in the Extreme Sailing Series. Other interesting events include the Oman Food Festival, Muscat Fashion Week and the celebration for the Sultan’s birthday.
There are no direct flights from Australia to Oman. Airlines fly via a third city and then onto Muscat. Airlines that fly from Australia to Muscat include:
Oman has multiple border crossings within the United Arab Emirates.
Muscat boasts many luxury accommodation options including the Grand Hyatt, InterContinental and the Chedi.
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
The country’s capital, Muscat boasts two impressive forts, the Al Jalali and the Al Mirani Fort, both built in the sixteenth century and now converted into museums. Other attractions to admire include the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace. As the sun sets, enjoy strolling through the cornice area and appreciate the impressive waterfront.
Throughout the country there over 500 forts and towers built as defensive structures against invasion. The oldest fort in Oman is located at Bahla, about 200 km from the capital. It was built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and recently enjoyed a US$9 million restoration. Nakhal Fort is another impressive construction.
The Oman countryside offers breath-taking scenery, with rugged mountains and spectacular dry river beds known as wadis. The coastal region is home to sea turtles who come ashore to breed.
Don't leave home without...
Sunscreen and insect repellent are available through the country, however they may be more expensive than bringing them from Australia.
Oman is a Muslim nation that follows Islamic traditions. Be considerate during Ramadan and don’t eat in front of locals observing the fast during daylight hours. Dress modestly when visiting religious buildings and remove your shoes when entering a mosque.
Things to be careful of…
Possession of trace amounts of illicit drugs can lead to lengthy jail sentences.
If you plan to explore the Oman desert independently, ensure you make the appropriate preparations. Always travel in a convoy of cars and leave your itinerary with a friend. Take several spare tyres and a pump. Ensure you have sufficient petrol and excess water.