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From childhood tales of Arabia, a vacation in Oman is all you could ever have dreamed of, but a very great deal more besides. When you think of visiting the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates, do you think of wild, sandy wilderness, camels and rich, luxurious mysteries round each corner? Perhaps, but have you also considered the 1,300 kilometres of outstanding coastline offered by Oman? Here the sand is dazzling white, reflecting the sunlight which penetrates far below the cool ocean waves to the magnificent aquamarine waters, home to some of the most varied, colourful and memorable sea life and corals anywhere in the world.

Dubai is one of the cities which many people consider visiting, and this truly is a magnificent location – a feast for the eyes. Words simply cannot do justice to the architectural ingenuity and imagination which is constantly being demonstrated and challenged in a myriad of ways. It is said that there are more cranes in Dubai at any one time than anywhere else in the world. When you consider that only a generation ago Dubai was a small, mostly sandy location, it is incredible how much investment and development has taken place. A vacation in Oman should definitely include a day in Dubai, to marvel at the colossal Burj Dubai, a building that is not only the tallest building in the world – it is also twice as tall as its closest rival! It is still being constructed today at the rate of a floor a week.

The best way by far to enjoy a Dubai vacation properly is to be driven around in a private hired car, and in this way you can enjoy the spectacle of majestic towers, arching skylines and monuments to design. You can, if you choose, be driven through an area which, ten years ago, was ocean, but which today boasts the largest manmade island chain in the world. The Palm is so named because, from the air, it looks like a huge palm tree. This complex of islands is now home to some of the most luxurious and expensive property in the world, and is definitely worth visiting.

The largest city in Oman is Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman itself, and an essential stop during your vacation in Oman. This city, too, is dazzling in its rich splendour, offering perhaps more in the way of history and culture than the modern spires of Dubai. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque for instance, whilst a modern building, being completed in 1993, represents enormous cultural and religious importance. Built of beautiful Indian sandstone, the mosque is capable of housing 20,000 worshippers at any one time, and the lavish prayer carpet alone is a sight to behold – with nearly 2 million patterned knots within its extraordinary pattern. Not surprisingly, this carpet took four years to make, and weighs 21 tonnes!

 

Another place well worth seeing whilst you are in Muscat is the Bait Al Zubair Museum. This astonishing collection of over 5,000 fascinating items used to be a private home, but now plays host to a wealth of Omani relics and items of historical and cultural importance. Here you can see firsthand many items from centuries ago, depicting the Omani heritage. From everyday utensils and household items to weapons and armour, from rich, beautiful paintings and ornaments to costumes and outfits which bring alive the background of the modern day Sultanate of Oman. No doubt this unique collection will help to reinforce those childhood dreams of Arabian nights as well.

Having spent time in Dubai and Muscat during your Oman vacation, you may well wish feel no need to move away from the sparkling ocean and dazzling beaches, but you would be missing a lot. Oman is full of contrasts and surprises, and rarely presents the expected. A short drive from the cool waters that lap the coastline will find you in the middle of dunes and barren sands, though not for long. Perhaps you might stop at Seeb, a fishing village with a very traditional flavour. Speaking of flavours, if you arrive here just in time, you’ll find the Omani fishermen drawing up their boats and offering you the freshest fish you’ll ever taste, straight from their boats. The market here is fascinating, but it’s well worth continuing your drive a little further.

I mentioned that Oman was a country of contrasts, and having left cool blue waters and white sandy beaches, driven through rich barren deserts, passed fishing villages and more deserts, you are then likely to arrive in the middle of an enormous oasis. These are no mirages however, and the palms, buildings and settlements are all very real. So is the Nakhl Fort – a 350-year-old structure built within a gorge surrounded by mountains.

This is the essential holiday in the Sultanate of Oman – to take you on a journey, not simply one consisting of geographical distance, but one which takes you from one very different aspect to another. One day you could be watching dolphins swimming off the coast, the next day you could be driving through dunes rising 600 feet in the air; the day after, you could be watching turtles giving birth on the sands, and starting a new life cycle all over again, seeking the cool waves for the first time, after which you could find yourself at the top of an arching tower of steel and glass, or deep within the cool shadows of an age old fort. Whatever you choose to do and see on your vacation in Oman, you can be sure that you’ll be seeing a world in a grain of sand.

About the Author:
If you are seeking a
luxury Oman vacation, you can't beat the personal service offered by Ultitude with top class accommodation, food and travel. Ultitude provides you with a luxury travel experience for a fabulous Oman vacation.
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