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Holiday There are so many activities on offer in Oman including dolphin watching, turtle watching, sight seeing, sand safaris, swimming, snorkelling, and much more. For an amazing experience on your Oman holidays, whether in Muscat or the more remote locations of Oman, travlling with Direct Traveller Oman holidays will ensure you make the most of your experience at this enchanting destination.
Fresh fish is one of Oman's main delicacies. This isn't surprising, considering its interesting geographical location that is surrounded by a variety of waters a swim with exotic marine life! If you fancy taking a day trip out to experience some Omani fishing first hand then many companies in Muscat offer just this. The Hallaniyat Islands are also home to charter companies such as 'No Boundaries', which offers trips out to sea where you'll have the opportunity to catch giant Trevally, among other types of fish! The Musandam Peninsula is another great destination for fishing, playing host for many types of Omani tours. It has a plethora of wildlife to see, and some fantastic fishing grounds with a very diverse selection of underwater life. The fishing village of Kumzar to the North of the area is an especially lovely way to experience some authentic and traditional Omani life, taste delicious food, mingle with the locals, and take a break from exploring. Safari tours travel out to the Arabian Sea on open topped boats, so that you can do some fishing in between relaxing in the sun and eating lunch. This sums up the joy of the Omani fishing experience. It is a relaxed affair, which provides you with the chance to see some of the countries most beautiful scenery, spot the tropical sea life, and get involved with a popular cultural tradition.
Golf is growing in popularity in Oman, with three 18-hole golf courses, each expertly designed - more are in the process of being launched too. This enchanting Middle Eastern, with panoramic views, lush greens and sun warmed skies, provides even the most avid of golfers with a new and refreshing experience. Courses are generally created to suit a first time player, whilst still challenging players with more experience. Because of the hot summer climate, the best time of year to play golf tends to be between September and May when it is slightly cooler, allowing for a more comfortable round. The main golf venues are Almouj Golf, Muscat Hills Golf & Country Club, and Ghala Valley.
Horses are a large part of Oman's cultural identity, with the breeding of Arabian horses in particular a main tradition of the country. The horse symbolises integrity and pride to Omani people, and is in general greatly admired. For this reason it's no wonder that horse riding is such a popular activity here. The Capital City of Muscat is an especially good spot to go horse riding, with riding centres that offer lessons and short trail rides suitable for children and adults alike More experienced riders could always go for a ride through the nature reserve. Qurum Natural Park is the largest park in Oman, and an especially beautiful place to go riding in, full of long stretches of vibrant green gardens and springs. Many places around Oman offer horse riding tours, including some hotels that organise excursions.
The temperate waters of Oman are home to a diverse and exotic range of marine life: turtles, tropical fish, dolphins and whales (to name just a few). All this, teamed with the plethora of corals beneath the sea, provides an exciting and vibrant underwater world for scuba divers to explore. There are many diving centres to choose from in Oman, many of which are of an excellent standard. The most prominent diving areas tend to be around Muscat, with Al Khayran, Al Fahil Island, Damaniyat Islands, Al Makbara Bay and Al Jissah Beach each host to a range of diving sites. One of the great things about Oman is how diverse the environment in every region is, and you'll notice that each different diving site has its own unique attributes. This means that there's plenty of opportunity to find new and exhilarating diving experiences throughout your holiday. Most diving centres should be able to provide any needed equipment. Diving Sites: - Al Fahal Island - Al-Dimaniyat Islands Nature Reserve - Dugm Beach - Lion's Jaws Gate - Bandar Khayran Reserve - Dhofar Beaches - Plage d'ad Duqm - Al-Halaneyat Islands Need more information? Call 0844 414 1686 today...
Shopping for Souvenirs and Handicraft
Souvenirs are a must from any holiday trip, and there's plenty to tempt you in the Sultanate of Oman. Let's start off with perfume. Being a fragrant mingling of landscapes, infused with tropical aromas and frankincense, it's no wonder Oman is so popular for its perfumes. All naturally made, you'll be taking home an essence of Oman atmosphere.
Amouage in particular is one of the countries most desired perfumes (though for this reason can be quite expensive). It is harvested from the mountains of Oman, and every bottle is handmade. Around the markets you're sure to spot plenty of enticing fresh food. This is usually naturally grown and has a unique taste of the Middle East.
Dates especially are something many choose to take home with them. They make a great snack to share with friends back home, and as many Omani's would suggest, they go fantastically with a cup of coffee. Frankincense is of course one of Oman's identifying features, and has brought the country much trade and recognition over the centuries. It is taken from the Boswellia Tree and is found most commonly in the areas of Muscat and Salalah. Its uses include herbal medicine, essential oils and perfume, so all around it's a great souvenir for maintaining that relaxed holiday spirit. Handicrafts are one of the most popular of souvenirs to buy whilst out here, with everything from baskets created from palm trees to striking silver jewellery. Oman has a reputation for making beautiful silver jewellery. This has also become an important tradition in the country, particularly in the region of Nizwa, which has a silver souq. Here you'll find many a glamorous gift to give a loved one, with necklaces, bangles and earrings just a few examples.
The 'Khanjar' is also often sold, which is a curved dagger and represents the national symbol for Oman. If you travel to Bahla you'll find some of Oman's best pottery. From clay jugs and urns to traditional pots, each will have something slightly personal about it. You'll even be able to catch a glimpse of the potters at their wheels crafting these objects. If you venture into the desert, through the Wahiba sands especially, you're likely to see some women selling camel girth straps that are all designed in various colours and patterns. These are specially made by the Bedouin Women. Whilst dates may be a popular food in Oman, the palm tree they are harvested from is not only used for this purpose. Its leaves are also used to create mukhraf, a bag that handily can be used for collecting dates. Baskets and shoulder bags called murbah can also be made. Wood carvings are popular too, which isn't too surprising when you consider the fact that one of the things Oman is famous for is their traditionally made dhows. You can buy miniature replicas of these, as well as delicately carved chests and shelves that mean you can have a little bit of Oman in your home.
Shops, Souks and Malls
Oman is a great place for shopping, inspired by both the traditional and the modern, with colourful Souks bustling with souvenirs and handcrafts to haggle for, along with shopping centres full of fashionable brands. The main towns are, of course, the place to go for a day of shopping, and Souks in particular can be found quite easily. Muscat city, the capital city of Oman, is a shopaholic's haven, with its own 'fashion avenue' in the city centre mall - a veritable hall-of-fame celebrating famous fashion brands. The shopping here is not only a fun activity but also a good way to experience the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, and experiencing the different dimensions to its culture. It also makes finding gifts for friends and family back home a whole lot easier.
If you go to Oman then you have to visit a Souk (traditional markets). It's such a big part of experiencing the heritage of the country's culture, and fun too. You'll find them in pretty much every major town, and they're the perfect place to pick up gifts and souvenirs.
The most popular sales are for Halwa, textile materials, electronic goods, and spices and perfume - the things Oman is so famous for. The Souks are not just a place for shopping, though; they're a place to soak up the atmosphere. The hustle and bustle of communities, browsing, gossiping and haggling amongst the colourful arrays of items, provides a sociable environment in which you can get to know the locals and other travellers better, as well as gaining an authentic insight into Oman's traditions and past. It's important to note also that, despite being quite busy, the Souks in Oman maintain a civilised environment. Some famous Souks around Oman include Sinaw Souk, Mutah Souk, Souk Al Hafah and Nizwa Souk.
If you're a bit of a shopaholic then prepare to be very tempted, especially in the capital city of Muscat. The City Centre Mall, for example, has a plethora of modern shops selling current trends and cosmopolitan fashion, such as Monsoon and Mango.
Alongside clothes shops there are also sports, electrical and cosmetic shops, and jewellers too. The Markaz Al-Bahjah and Lulu complexes are also popular places, with food courts, air-conditioning and plenty to keep the whole family entertained with shops catering for all tastes.