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15:37 Wednesday

BEAUTY HAS AN ADDRESS

The importance of Oman’s natural and cultural sites has helped the Sultanate to gain the special attention and interest of UNESCO,

through its international Heritage Preservation Programme, which aims to categorize and name all significant heritage sites worldwide, both cultural and natural.

Opened in May 2001, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a splendid architectural achievement. This serene building rises above the surrounding area, its minarets standing tall against a background of mountains in a landscape which is quintessentially Omani. The forts stand as a proud monument to a bygone era of Omani heroism and martial prowess.

The Nakhl fort, Jabreen Castle, Nizwa for and Al Hazm fort are some examples.

Bait a Zubair Museum, opened in 1998, the museum occupies Zubair House, which was established by sheikh Al-Zubair bin Ali in 1914. The museum has a comprehensive & well-documented collection of traditional artifacts including costumes, jewelry, household equipment & weaponry from the past & the present. It covers many aspects of Omani culture and customs in the various regions of the country.

Oman’s highest peak, at 3,009 meters above sea level, is Jabal Shams. At 2,980, Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar (Green Mountain) is the highest peak in the Eastern Hajar Mountains and the second highest point in the Sultanate after Jabal Shams.

Wadi Bani Auf, an ancient wadi offering breathtaking vistas along its 26km trail, is one of five spectacular wadis in the Wilayat of Rushtaq.

One of the most famous tourist attractions in the country, the Wadi Bani Auf is 235km from Muscat and 140km from Sur.

Wadi Bani Khalid is well known for its huge basins of deep water, fed by waterfalls higher up the wadi bed which tumbles down from a plateau in the surrounding mountains.

The wadi is 3km after Wadi Shab along the coast road linking Muscat and Sur. It flows 26km from the mountain village of Meibam into the village of Tiwi.

At the northern edge of the Salma Hill along the road linking Muscat and Sur, is Majlis Al-Jin Cave, the largest cave in the Arab world and the third largest worldwide.

Al Hoota Cave is basically a 2.7km tunnel running from north to south across the western Hajar Mountains in close proximity to Wilayat Al-Hamra. It comprises and underground cavern and subterranean lake system.

If a dream of a perfect desert with a sea of undulating dunes stretching into the distance could come true, it would still fall short of sharqiyah Sands, formerly Wahiba Sands Spread over an area of 9,000km2, the sands are surrounded by forests of Al-Ghaf tress on the eastern and western extremities and extend northward from the coast opposite Masirah Island to Wadi Al-Batha’a. Rolling sand dunes, varying from deep red to a rich honey color, many of which are 100km long and tower up to 100 meters high, stretch as far as the eye can see.

Area:

309,500 Sq Kms

History:

Oman’s unique story reveals examples of great moral strength, courage, heroism, maritime skills, scholarship and hard work that have together molded the Sultanate into its present form Oman’s heroic resistance staved off the Persian invasion in that period and their ultimate victory is owing to the leadership of Ahmed bin Said Al-Busaidi who succeeded in ousting the Persians from Oman and was elected imam in 1744 AD, In 1970 His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the crowing Glory of Oman, inaugurated the renaissance and modern ago of Oman.

Location:

The Sultanate of Oman occupies the Southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula and lies between latitudes 16” 40’ north, and longitudes 51” 50’ and 59” 40’ east

Weather:

Oman enjoys 365 days of warm sunshine with cooler evenings and occasional showers in the months between November & March

Local Time:

GMT +4

Climate:

The varied geography of Oman has resulted in a wide variety of climatic conditions. Although lying the tropics, the Sultanate is subject to seasonal changes like the more temperate regions of the world. Winter temperatures can be as low as 15 Celsius and summer temperatures can be as high 48 Celsius in Muscat and as high as 54 in the desert.

Language:

The official language is Arabic although English is most commonly spoken German and French are also mostly spoken in all hotels. This is an asset for all tourists into the country.

Currency:

The currency is Omani Rials (OMR). OMR when shown in writing 1000 Baiza is equal to 1 Rial. The exchange rate is 1 OMR=US$ 2.58 (approximate).

Electricity:

Electricity services is Oman are excellent and power cuts in electrical supply are rare. Normal three-pin 13 Amp British style plugs are used operating on 220/240 volts. If the guests need to purchase an adapter, all supermarkets and most hotels will sell these.

Alcohol:

Alcohol is available at 5 star & 4 star Hotels Only. A few A Grade Restaurants also have Alcohol.

Please note you can only buy Alcohol at the Muscat duty Fee at the Muscat international Airport when you enter Oman.

Photography:

There are many great photo opportunities in Oman. However kindly note that local people may take exception to be photographed wearing their natural dress without their permission.

Culture:

The Sultanate enjoys an unspoiled culture and trading lifestyle in almost every aspect. Even in its modernity, Oman is distinctly Arab and Offers the visitor a glimpse of many unique old-world wonders.

Dress Code:

Visitors are free to dress according to their personal choice. Dress sensibly, although very revealing clothes shouldn’t be worn in public places of worship. Most Omani men and women prefer to wear their traditional national dress.

Heritage:

Oman boats an unprecedented number of UNESCO-classified World Heritage. Site including bat with its tombs dating back 3,000 years, the For of Bahla, and the fascinating Frankincense Route which commences from Dhofar and includes Al-Blaid, site of the ancient city of Zafa, khawar Rawri, Shisr and Wadi Dukah. Oman’s heritage feature a great sea-faring tradition, as one would expect from a country with 3,165 km of coastline. Many museums and galleries around the secluded and historic harbors of Muscat and Muttrah illuminate the importance of the sea and, indeed, of water generally, throughout Oman’s 5,000 year-old history.

Economy:

Oman follows a free economy system, encouraging open markets, competition and quality production. Oil remains the largest contribution to the GDP. The country is also keen on increasing other industries such as trade, Tourism.

Safety and Security:

Oman is safe destination and violent crimes are rare. However, It is recommended to keep any valuables and personal belongings covered and secured.

Hospitality:

Omanis are very hospitable people and welcome tourists. They are also vey helpful and generous. Oman is well known for its rich culture and heritage from the pas many years.

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