Oman is steeped in history with more than 500 forts and castles scattered throughout the country with 22 managed by the Ministry of Tourism. An historian’s dream, many forts and castles have been restored and are open to the public with some available for private functions.
Oman has old markets full of handicrafts including silver, gold, textiles and masterpieces produced by traditional industries such as dagger-making. These are best visited in the mornings. Alongside the traditional, are modern shopping centres which open from 9am – 1pm.
They open again from 4pm – 10pm, seven days a week except Fridays when they open after 4pm.
Modern shopping malls are open daily from 10am-10pm
Heralded as the second largest mosque in the world, the intricately carved stone archways which graces the entrance to the outer courtyard of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque gives little hint to the scale and beauty within. The breathtaking blue, white and gold interior of the mosque’s dome, an eight tonne 1,122 bulb Swarovski crystal chandelier, exquisitely carved wooden doors, stunning stained windows and 1,700 million knot single piece Persian carpet make the main prayer hall a sight to behold.
Oman is blessed with a number of waterways and valleys known as “Wadis”. Nestled amongst palm trees, these cool and inviting oasis are popular picnic and swimming spots for both Omanis and visitors to explore, relax and refresh.
The first in the Gulf Region, the Royal Opera House Muscat is a world-class centre for performing arts; a venue that showcases cultural performances from around the world. Its vision is to serve as a centre of excellence in global cultural engagement and to enrich lives through diverse artistic, cultural and educational Programmemes.
Take time to explore the lanes of traditional villages that were built thousands of years ago and which, through design, take advantage of natural occurring springs, which demonstrate how to use natural resources to fulfil basic needs.