Monday, 16 Sep 2019 | 17 Muharram 1441
Oman – A Snap Shot

Oman – A Snap Shot

The time period ‘jewel within the crown’ has been nicely used however by no means extra is it so apt in describing the Kingdom of Oman, the jewel within the crown consisting of the Arab states. Oman merely is the ‘essence of Arabia’.

Dominated by an inside of jagged mountains (jebels), huge desert and plains, Oman is a panoramic delight occupying the japanese bulge of the Arabian Peninsula, and till not too long ago has been among the many backwaters of world tourism. The nation’s huge and diversified panorama has virtually a childlike innocence – unspoilt, unblemished, and unaccompanied.

Geographically the nation ranges from the fiord-like barren majesty of the Musandam Peninsular that plunges into the Strait of Hormaz within the north, to the plush, monsoon-laden tropical Salalah within the south. In between lays the huge sandy desert (Rub al Khali, the accused ‘Empty Quarter) and the fertilizer Batinah Plain.

Populated as early as 6000 years BC, few international locations can boast to have suffered so little oppression. Only within the 17th century was Oman partly occupied by the Portuguese, and as soon as expelled, the nation has maintained a self rule by the royal sultan household of Bin Said. Held again by years of over-conservative, inward pondering rule, Sultan Qaboos bin Said got here to the throne in 1970 after disposing his father which started a renaissance that introduced Oman from the darkish ages into the 21st century. Today the nation has nice prosperity by its oil, copper, gold, marble & granite, and extra not too long ago tourism. With this wealth Oman has not too long ago modernized the nation with out the present of flashy excesses as displayed by its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates.

Oman is made up of 6 areas and a pair of Governorates. From the north transferring to the south they’re: Musandam Governorate, Al Batinah Region, Muscat Governorate, Dhahrah Region, A’Dakhiliyag Region, Al Wusta Region, Al Sharqiyah Region and Dohfar Region

Musandam Governorate
Remote and rugged, it’s little explored and but for divers, nature lovers and explorers who make an effort, they are going to be rewarded with an unsurpassed alternative to immerse themselves within the gorgeous range of fjords, hidden coves, coral reefs and an abundance of birdlife . For historical past buffs there are a lot of previous watch towers and mosques value exploring and in Madha there’s proof of human settlement relationship again to 3500BC. Rock work and different ruins additionally date again to the Iron Age. Musandam is now simply awakening and numerous gorgeous environmentally resorts are being developed.

Al Batinah Region
Wedged between the Gulf of Oman and the northern Hajar Mountains, the coastal plain of Batinah is essentially the most fertile within the nation and likewise essentially the most densely populated. It is on this plain that almost all of the crops are grown for the nation’s demand. Sohar, relationship again 5 millennia is the principle city on the coast and value a go to for its well-known fort relationship again to the 13th century. Nearby is Rustaq, as soon as capital of Oman and renown for its plethora of historic watch towers and forts, essentially the most notable being Rustaq Fort. Being largely a plain there are quite a few wadis providing lush date plantations.

Muscat Governorate
Gateway to Oman is usually by Muscat, the capital. In common, Muscat presents a comparatively homogeneous look of low (not often greater than 5 story), usually white buildings, with residential, authorities, and industrial structure incessantly recalling historic regional types. Even although this metropolis is getting ready to the Arabian Peninsula with excessive local weather, it’s remarkably inexperienced and fundamental streets lined with timber, lush grass, flowers and shrubs linking the districts and public areas.

Muttrah, the traditional port exudes a pleasant old-world appeal, with a bustling traditionally important souk, set again from the accused Al Bahri Street (Muttrah Corniche). Here one can stroll simply alongside the waterfront and stare upon historic styled dhows loading and off-loading cargo whereas shark fins reduce the floor of the ocean chasing fish! Best time to go to right here is late afternoon when the suffused daylight softens the majestic tapestry of colour.

Before leaving Muscat to discover the remainder of Oman time should be despatched visiting the variety of museums, artwork galleries, seashores and particularly, the Grand Mosque and Sultan Qaboos’ palace, two visibly gorgeous architectural masterpieces.

Dhahirah Region
This island area which sits on the border with the United Arab Emirates is generally an arid desert swathe intermingled with large mountain landscapes. There is little motive to go to right here besides to see one in every of Oman’s most prized archaeological treasures – the beehive tombs at Bat, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Numerous historic forts and citadels might be discovered within the area that was used to guard the water assets in wadis from invaders.

A’Dakhiliyah Region
More generally often called the ‘Interior’, the Dakhiliyah area is the middle of Islam in historic Oman. With such historical past it’s not stunning its abundance of fortifications and historic edifices. With sheer mountain massifs, precipitous gorges and vibrant conventional crafts this area is a highly regarded vacationer vacation spot inside Oman. In explicit the traditional city of Nizwa stands out as a ‘should see’ place to go to, with its formidable totally restored historic fort. Nizwa was as soon as a walled city and historic capital of Oman. Today guests can stroll by the tiny streets and souks that make up the previous quarter within the walled-off inside. All across the city lay date palm orchards and farms making the realm visually lush. Another poplar web site are the rose gardens of Al Jabal the place in April hundreds upon hundreds of rose bushes in bloom cascade down terraces reduce right into a mountain to the gorge under.

Al Wusta Region
Rich in oil, Al Wusta stretches from the Arabian Sea on the east to the Empty Quarter within the west. For tourism the area is best identified for its fluora and fauna a haven for specialist examine teams. Here the world-famous Arabian Oryx Sanctuary occupations 25,000 sq kilometers of desert expanse. On the japanese seaboard of Duqm are seldom visited breathtaking sandy seashores with spectacular promontories.

Al Sharqiyah Region
Spread throughout the north japanese space of ​​Oman, this area encompasses the massive Sharqiyah Sands, extra generally often called the Wahiba Sands. The historic city of Sur is essentially the most distinguished within the area, renamed for its facilities of buying and selling and dhow constructing. Nearby lays the Majlis al Jinn caves, one of many largest cave programs on the planet. One cave alone can maintain the equal of 6 jumbo jets! Another large attraction is the inexperienced turtles that come to put their eggs throughout summer time, the realm of ​​which is now being made right into a conservation web site. Despite although, the biggest attraction is the Wahiba Sands, a splendid area of extraordinarily high quality reddish brown sand dunes and desert life, a highly regarded space for ‘dune bashing’ in four x 4s, tenting or taking camel treks.

Dhofar Governorate
Dhofar within the far south of the Sultanate with its distinctive monsoon season is climatically far faraway from the remainder of the nation. With mist shrouded mountains, lush landscapes, gorgeous seashores, historic treasures and a wealth of wildlife, vacationers aplenty flock right here to immerse themselves in arguably the showcase of Oman. In antiquity, Dohfar was identified for its Frankincense and right this moment this has not modified because it provides almost 90% of this fragrant gum to not solely Oman however to the world. Salalah is the regional capital and gateway to Dhofar. This quaint historic city, famed for its historic shrines is the perfect place to base itself to discover all of the treasures of this area. Unlike different international locations when monsoon is a season to keep away from, monsoon is Dhofar spells the vacationer excessive season the place hundreds of holiday makers (primarily from close by Arabic international locations) journey to the area for its dramatic myst lined mountains, dashing streams, lush vegetation and wealthy heritage. And while the inside is so visually gorgeous the shoreline is a vacation spot inside itself with kilometer after kilometer of barren, unpopulated, pristine white seashores and turquoise sea.

Final Note
With Oman’s new discovered wealth of oil and tourism, fast strides are being made by the Sultanate to change into the following ‘new frontier’ in smooth journey and cultural tourism. Many stunning but tasteful ‘Arabic’ model resorts are within the planning that can carry to Oman all manors of vacationers. There can be the event of the wetlands for sanctuaries of migratory birds plus the enlargement and upgrading of Jiddat al Harasis Oryx Sanctuary. The time nevertheless to see Oman in its easiest and purest state is now, earlier than tourism modifications without end the face of this nation.

Author Rick E. Wood

Check Also

MoAF calls on SMEs to take part in Omani Dates Festival

MoAF calls on SMEs to take part in Omani Dates Festival

As part of its efforts to support SMEs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has called on Omani farmers and investors to participate in the seventh Omani Dates Festival. The festival will take place from October 24-31 at Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat.