My husband and I had only 5 days to visit the Sultanate of Oman and although coming from The Netherlands is definitely a challenge we found it to be absolutely worth it.
Oman is beyond beautiful and intriguingly exotic... and comfortingly very safe, clean and tolerant. Tourists are warmly welcomed and very well treated.

The sultan has done a marvellous job urbanising Muscat in a very harmonious way, most importantly maintaining the traditional arabic style. 
The buildings are all low and white framed by rocky mountains, which gives the impression of elegant simplicity embrased by impressive nature.

On the first morning, our guide from Oman Safari Tours drove us in a 4x4 into the dessert (the roads are marvellous and very safe). Along the way we paid a visit to the guide’s 11 camels who live very close to our desert camp. It was a pleasure to see.  These camels are well taken care and we could feel the appreciation and fondness our guide has for them. They are bred to participate in the popular camel races. 

 


Once they become too old to race, they are kept for breeding. The camels are taken care by a Bangladesh boy (his house shown in image below)…all the manual hard work is done either by Indians or Bangladesh people. 

Later at small local restaurant, our lunch became an unforgettable experience where we were offered saffron rice with camel meat…Delicious. We were invited to visit the very modest but clean kitchen where we were shown the pots they use to cook the camels. They were enormous! Each one of those huge pots fits one camel.


We drove onto the Wahiba Sands Dessert where we slept for one night in a wild camp that belongs to the Safari Desert Camp. My husband and I were all alone with just the 2 cooks who took care of our dinner and breakfast.

By the time we arrived at the camp, the firey sun was sinking in the sky and casting its golden light accross the dessert sands. We lost no time and went in the search of the highest dune from which to watch the sun set and, as the sky was set aflame, we languished in the vibrant colours and magical light. It was the most unforgettable experience. At night, our hosts built a giant fire in the open air and, by now, we had taken on the rythm of the sands and lazily spent hours gazing at the deeply dark sky splashed with bright stars.

 





 


The next day we found ourselves exploring a few wadis (rivers). We discovered tha,t while it only rains a couple of days a year, the rocky soil doesn’t allow the water to penetrate and, therefore, the water flows from the mountains into these wadis in the most remarkable emerald colour. Some of the most famous are Wadi Many Khalid, Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Alshab. What we loved, in addition to the dramatic and amazing nature, was the fact that the only tourists we spotted were locals, Omani families with picnics and 
swimming in the waters.

 

 

Back to Muscat, a friend who lives there drove us around and showed to us the well reputed Opera House, the Sultan’s Palace, the Grand Mosque and the Souk. 
The topping was the boat…our friend asked a fisherman to take us for a tour to admire the coast from the water. The rocky formations allowed us to play "cloud-shape guessing" game and we found this drinking lion among others. 

 

The stylish and charming Chedi Hotel and its restaurants are highly recommended to end this marvellous trip on a high note and well worth splashing out for.