Is Oman worth visiting? Are you a nature lover or an adventure junkie? Or perhaps you are simply looking for some peace and quietude?
Is Oman worth visiting? No matter what kind of traveler you are, you will find beauty and excitement here in Oman.
The country is often overlooked on the tourist radar due to the glitz and glam of its neighbor, the UAE. Although they share the same border, Oman only welcomed 3 million tourists in 2018, compared to the UAE’s 16 million travelers.
Even when people consider where to visit in Oman, they often end up gliding through its capital city, Muscat.
In reality, there is so much more to Oman than Muscat! The country offers ample gems and scenic sites. From vast deserts to turquoise ocean to rocky mountains and hidden wadis, you could spend months and months before uncovering the best Oman tourist attractions.
Need more inspiration to visit Oman? Here is a huge list of the best places to go to in Oman. In it, you will discover why you should visit Oman right now.
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If you are contemplating the question of whether Oman is worth visiting, this post will give you a hint. Beware, you may find yourself booking a ticket towards the end!
- 1. Little Tourism so you can Immerse in Local Culture
- 2. The Omani People are Extremely Warm-hearted
- 3. Oman Offers Some Epic Adventures
- 4. It an Animal Wonderland!
- 5. Wild Camping in Oman is Common (and you can practically camp anywhere!)
- 6. Hidden Wadis and Oasis
- 7. Unspoiled Beaches & Pink Lakes
- 8. Fresh Juice Stands, Shawarmas, and Dates
- 9. Stunning Mountain Ranges and Breathtaking Sunsets
- 10. Simplicity, Peace, and Serenity
- So, is Oman Worth Visiting?
1. Little Tourism so you can Immerse in Local Culture
Have you ever experienced destinations that are so overflown with travelers that it seems the entire city has turned into a tourist town? From restaurants to hotels, everything was rebranded as if geared towards tourists from abroad. In recent years, the issue of over-tourism has plagued various destination hotspots. It has become standard to witness groups of travelers crowding the Eiffel Tower, climbing the Great Wall of China, and walking through the streets of Venice.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with exploring these popular tourist destinations. However, the world has so much more to offer than the distinctive sites. And this is particularly why you should visit Oman.
Unlike the UAE, specifically Dubai, Oman is still a relatively underrated tourist destination. It doesn’t have many tourist-specific attractions and as such, you can actually immerse in the culture and rhythm of the country. If you are in the UAE and are wondering where to go in Oman from Dubai, check out all you need to know about planning your Oman trip!
Being here feels like being at home. You can easily dine-in restaurants as the locals and relax in cafes as do the residents.
2. The Omani People are Extremely Warm-hearted
When it comes to local culture, the Omani people are really nice and warm-hearted! Religion is a very important aspect of the Omani culture and Islam is in every aspect of their tradition.
They are also very helpful and truly want you to enjoy their country. During my stay in Oman, many people offered to take me to their favorite spots around the country. From wadis to deserts, I experienced so much that I otherwise would not have been able to experience by myself.
I met a number of friends through Couchsurfing and on various tours. They were always inquiring about my wellbeing and whether I am enjoying my experience. I often had friends tell me that they are very proud to be Omanis and would like to portray their country in the best way possible. As such, Oman is also a safe and easy-going destination to travel around.
So why go to Oman? For the life-long friendships. Not being cheesy, but there are a few I now call brother and still keep in touch with!
3. Oman Offers Some Epic Adventures
If you enjoy adventures, Oman will be the perfect destination for you. Oman adventures are epic. Due to the varied geography and scenery, there are endless things that you can take part in. From extreme road driving to deep-sea diving and caving exploration, the country offers plenty of escapes that you will not find elsewhere.
One of the best things to do in Muscat is off-roading in the sand dunes. These sand dunes are home to desert races, which saw hundreds of jacked-up cars summiting the dunes an hour outside Muscat. There were no women in sight, but plenty of boys that gathered around their dads and brothers, drinking tea and chatting away.
Why you should visit Oman you may ask? For the sand dunes and the blue waters and the hidden caves and endless adventure.
4. It an Animal Wonderland!
If you love animals, then Oman is for you. One of the best seasons in Oman is its turtle-hatching months. Between July to October, you can spot hundreds of turtles digging holes and laying eggs. It is incredibly cute and a definite draw for anyone to visit Oman.
But there is much more than turtles (though, just these majestic meter-long creatures should wheel you in).
This one time, while cruising down Masirah Island (it takes about 2.5 hours to drive its ring road), my friend told me to pull over. He pointed to a few camels walking along the road and casually sais that those belonged to him. ⠀
This guy just has 5 camels strolling along the beach in the middle of nowhere! It was incredible and really random. But this is a common tale, once you step outside the Omani cities, you’d see dozens of camels chilling in the deserts of Oman.
Other than camels, there are so many goats and wild donkeys and random creatures that give life to the desert. It was my first time seeing crabs feeding and living seashells crawling about.
This should be the only answer you need when pondering “is Oman worth visiting?”. Who wouldn’t want to visit a country this lively?
5. Wild Camping in Oman is Common (and you can practically camp anywhere!)
Are you a camping junky? If so, you should definitely hop onto the next flight to Oman.
Wild camping in Oman is legal, and camping in general is widespread throughout the country. It’s no surprise to see friends with tents in their cars.
In fact, in Oman, everyone seems to have a tent in their car and is ready to go at a moment’s notice. You can easily grab a few bags of chips or a stack of bread, and head to the beach or mountains for a quick getaway.
There were many days that we’d drive for hours and set up camp when we come across a scenic view. At night, we’d grill meat or chicken on a small fire and set up tents in the desert, by the sea, along the mountain roads, or in the wadi. ⠀
I spent countless nights like this. Always surrounded by breathtaking nature. Always covered by a blanket of stars.
If you ask why travel to Oman? I’d say for the spectacular experience of living at ease.
6. Hidden Wadis and Oasis
A wadi refers to a dry ravine or valley that only carries water when there is a lot of rain. The dynamic landscapes of wadis in Oman provide some gorgeous views. Aside from pools of turquoise water among rocky hills, you will be surrounded by palm trees and little streams.
Whether it be a quick dip or a day-long swim, the wadis are perfect getaways that you don’t find in many other regions around the world.
Oman is also known for its oasis in the desert. An oasis is a small patch of vegetation in-between sand dunes. In Oman, Wadi Bani Khalid is a sight for sore eyes. It sits at the foot of the Hajar Mountains and perfect for some relaxation.
7. Unspoiled Beaches & Pink Lakes
Oman borders the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf and has a coastline of nearly 1,700 km! As such, Oman is dotted with beaches and waterfront views. Due to the small population and relatively low levels of tourism, there are many unspoiled beaches that you can find if you drive along the coastal region.
The Pink Lake in Al Ashkharah, South Al Sharqiyah is the most famous and colorful out of the few. It will definitely take your breath away!
8. Fresh Juice Stands, Shawarmas, and Dates
Much like India and the UAE, Oman is populated with fresh juice stands and shawarma joints. There are a few at every turn of the corner and you can easily walk into any shop to request a refreshing cup of عصير أناناس, عصير البرتقال, عصير تفاح, or عصير الرمان. (Very helpful I know, but they do provide a menu)
These juice shops usually have small bites like shawarmas and burgers. If we were hungry during a road trip, we’d put some mayo on pita bread and sprinkle crushed Omani chips on top to make a mini-burrito. If there was a town nearby, we’d stop for karak or fresh juice and a sandwich. Once they see you, the store clerks would come to deliver the food. In Oman, it seems as if you never have to leave the car. ⠀
Why go to Oman? Of course just to taste its dates! Oman is also known for its delicious dates. If you visit the mountains, you will surely be surrounded by hundreds of these sturdy branches. My friend told me that from the roots to the leaves, the Omanis use palm trees for everything! But of course, the best part is the soft, sweet Medjool. The box I brought home to my family was finished within days!
9. Stunning Mountain Ranges and Breathtaking Sunsets
With rocky mountain tops and beautiful views, breathtaking sunsets, and little people, the Hajar Mountain Ranges is the perfect place for an adventurous outing. Known as the “Oman Mountains”, this vast mountain range is the highest in the eastern Arabian peninsula.
On my first day in Oman, my friend told me that being here is like being hugged by the mountains. No matter in which direction you drive, you’d be surrounded by the vast sky and endless rolling hills. Oman provides refuge for the everyday soul. Really, the entire country oozes a warmth only found in destinations that are in tune with nature, culture, and tradition.
On my first day in Oman, my friend told me that being here is like being hugged by the mountains.
Oman also offers some incredible sunsets. Due to the weather conditions, I could often see endless miles of reds and blues and purples and pinks once the sun starts to set. It’s a sight not to be missed.
10. Simplicity, Peace, and Serenity
So, what is Oman like for a holiday?
Simple, peaceful, and serene.
Not only is Oman worth visiting, it’s worth staying in for a long time. From the mishkak stands to the camping and road-tripping and swimming, you will find a sense of belonging in this country.
So, why go to Oman?
Maybe for the dates and wadis and mountains and adventure and sunsets.
Maybe, just not to squeeze arm to arm, sweaty back to sweaty back against another unknown traveler looking to take a selfie for the gram.
So, is Oman Worth Visiting?
You can start planning your trip with this guide here 🙂
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