#1 11-13-2016 11:25 PM

traveller1000
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Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

I am planning a trip to Oman for next year. In need of local guides/drivers and perhaps tours organized by the locally operated agencies. My Arabic is rudimentary (could brush up to intermediate level in a few months). So far I'm going alone. Best time of year to visit?

Any recommendations (accommodations, places, restaurants, people, anything), cautions, tips, off the beaten paths, all the must do's and mustn'ts, peeves, raves and the rest, please share them. I greatly appreciate any input anyone can give me.

Last edited by traveller1000 (11-13-2016 11:26 PM)

 

#2 11-15-2016 5:21 AM

petersindac
Peter
Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

I was in Oman last May and I was only in Muscat and Sur. Don't come during Ramadan. Omanis are nice people, kind and accommodating. I stayed in Al Bustan palace for a couple or nights, its pricey but its worth. I went to Sur to see the turtles, if you plan to do so July to October is the best season. I was lucky to see one last May. I have never been to Salalah but I heard it is beautiful. They do have the Big Bus tour there as well. Go to a Wadi, the famous sink hole and go for hiking. Public transportation is poor, we rented a car.

 

#3 11-16-2016 3:23 AM

traveller1000
Couch Potato
Posts: 2

Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

thanks for sharing your experiences. about the bus tour, I assume it's locally run. Any recommendations on any local travel agencies that arrange such tours or even just for car hire?

 

#4 2-12-2017 2:33 PM

Donnie_Duck
Ammr
Sheffield, England
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

Hey, when are going to Oman? I want to go there as well but dont have fixed dates yet. Thinking of driving there if u up for having a travel buddy?

 

#5 2-14-2017 12:58 AM

bitethelime
Brett
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

Going from April 8-16. Very interested in renting a car and camping around.

 

#6 2-20-2017 9:25 PM

DaveSwede
Batam, Indonesia
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

I had a car and enjoyed going around at my own pace.  An off the beaten path place I'd recommend is Misfat Al Abriyyin.

 

#7 2-21-2017 3:10 AM

harbinger
Cathy
Brussels, Belgium
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

We were in Oman for a few days last January, and really liked it.
Muscat is an interesting city, particularly if you've come via the UAE, where the big cities are modern and soulless.  They take heritage seriously, and buildings have to adhere to strict planning regulations which are consistent with traditional Omani architecture and limit high rise modern architecture. 
The Hop On Hop Off bus is good value does a good job of taking in most of the highlights (as the city is quite spread out), which you'll be particularly grateful for if the weather is hot and muggy.
We hired a local guide for a day trip up into the mountains to Jebel Shams and what is billed as 'The Grand Canyon of Oman'.  It's a beautiful drive through stunningly rugged landscapes and well worth the effort.  The arid mountains don't have much obvious wildlife (other than goats), but the bird life can be interesting, and we were lucky enough to spot an Egyptian vulture over the canyon.
We also did a day trip on a dhow to explore the 'fjords' around Kasab.  That area is absolutely stunning, and apart from lounging around on cushions and being fed delicious food, we loved being able to snorkel and watching the dolphins swim alongside the boat.  The purist might say that it's a bit touristy, but it's well touristed because it's such fun.
I'm new here, so I don't know whether I'm allowed to mention the company we used for Jabal Shams - if so, then we booked a guide via the excellent ToursByLocals website, which we have used quite a lot over the last couple of years.
Weatherwise, January was lovely, as it was relatively cool (high teens/ low 20s centigrade) and the humidity was low.  It was still possible for us to snorkel, but I can't be terribly objective about this, as I appear to have a polar bear gene, and we were the only people on the dhow trip who spent any amount of time in the water smile.  Up in the mountains, it was pretty chilly, but that's a function of it being up to 3,000m high.

 

#8 2-21-2017 3:24 AM

harbinger
Cathy
Brussels, Belgium
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

One other idea you might want to consider is venturing just over the border to Al-Ain in the UAE - and I meant 'just', as it's only a few kilometres.
Al-Ain is the antithesis of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and is known as the Garden City of UAE.  It's centred on an oasis, so you can wander around the date palm groves, and also visit a couple of nice forts.  To my mind, the most interesting is the Al Jahili Fort, which has a fabulous permanent exhibit on the life and photography of Wilfred Thesiger, the great explorer of the region.  The camel market is enormous and fun to wander around (I never realised that camels came in so many varieties).
The drive to the top of Jebel Hafeet mountain outside the city is an engineering marvel, and the views - out over the city and a whole lot of surrounding nothingness - are amazing.  This is a bit out of town, so you'll have to research options such as taxis (we did this as a day trip from Dubai, with a brilliant guide from the same company).
Improbable though it seems, Al-Ain also has an excellent zoo.  Even if you're not a great fan of zoos, this one is well worth a visit, and not just because it's got top notch facilities and seems to have limitless financial resources at its disposal.  It plays a huge role in the conservation of rare and endangered species from across the Arabian peninsula and North Africa, and its breeding programmes are a lifeline for the continued existence of these incredibly rare animals.  Certainly I saw many species (such as addax) that I'd never seen elsewhere, along with the more familiar stuff.
There's a souk too, but then in this area, there are souks everywhere.

 

#9 2-21-2017 3:36 AM

harbinger
Cathy
Brussels, Belgium
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

One more point you might want to consider.  Cruises from the UAE down the coast to Oman appear to be  increasingly popular (in fact, that's how we visited, as I got a heftily discounted Groupon deal).  These seem to run over the winter months, until the cruise ships transfer elsewhere for the summer season.  It won't affect accommodation availability, but if you have several cruise ships coinciding and disgorging hundreds of tourists somewhere small such as Kasab, the place could easily be overrun.
I would therefore suggest that as part of your planning, it might be worth checking the cruise ship itineraries so that you avoid days when there are multiple ships in port.

 

#10 2-23-2017 5:36 PM

vances
Vance
Dayton, Ohio
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

Will share link to my Oman blog which was an awesome experience.  Can recommend a pair of hikes we enjoyed: Snake Gorge and Jabal Shams (highest point in all of Oman).


And of course our fabulous guide who took us on both adventures --> Sun and Sand Tours.  Naseeb is the best!  Have a great trip!

smile

 

#11 2-25-2017 5:22 AM

Holeydel
Manchester, England
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Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

Simply reiterating what others have said. You won't need to know Arabic as some English is spoken in place. Renting a car is simple enough. You can wild camp all over the country and on the beaches. Great place for rugged natural scenery and wadi's. Hitch hiking is easy also if that's you're thing. Spent 3 weeks there a few years ago and found it an amazing place. Blog and photos on show on my page.

 

#12 5-3-2017 12:39 AM

alghafri
Muscat, Oman
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Posts: 1

Re: Oman Do's & Don'ts & logistics

Hi there, I am local Omani person, I would like to advice you to think of which places you like to see, so I can tell you which session is the best to go on.
Such as Salalah you need to go in summer between July and August.
If you want to see Wadi or some area with water, better to go from January till March,,, or June if its raining. For moder life, you have to visit Muscat, while if you really want to see the traditional life, you should visit the village. There is a lot of amazing places. .
For any further question about Oman, feel free to ask.
Hope you wonderful journey

 
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